Each year, dog groomers from across the country come together to showcase their colorful, makeup doggies at a competition in Hershey, Pa.
The Groom Expo sees pet owners competing to wow a panel of judges and land the winning title, and with a cash prize of $ 2,500 up for grabs, groomers are sure to go all out with their designs.
Some of this year’s wacky designs included a pumpkin carved into the side of a poodle, a giraffe, an elephant, a lion and a gazelle carved around the circumference of a dog, and a transformation from a dog into a variety. of Looney Tunes characters.
Dog Day: Each year the Groom Expo is held in Hershey, PA. Dog groomers from across the country come together to compete for the winning title and a $ 2,500 cash prize
Safari-inspired: Dog groomer Milena Kon (pictured) and her poodle Soleit are regular competitors in the competition. His design featured an elephant, a giraffe, a gazelle and a lion
A work of art: Milena used different hair dyeing and cutting techniques to create a variety of safari animals on Soleit’s fur, including an elephant with pleats on the dog’s hind legs
Poodle-pro: Milena has been participating in creative dog grooming competitions for about three years
The competition sees dog owners showcase their most outrageous designs as displayed on their dogs.
On competition day, owners only have three hours to shave, trim and color their pets’ hair, with the goal of creating a stunning design.
Once the time is up, contestants must present their masterpiece to the judges and the public.
Judges choose their winner based on a variety of criteria including hair dye consistency and cut quality.
Professional dog groomer Milena Kon and her poodle, Soleit, are regular contenders for the competition.
Milena told Barcroft TV: “I’ve been grooming for about six years, but I got into creative grooming about three years ago when I came here to Hershey.
“I told my husband that I was going to be up there one day with the girls, and here I am today,” she added.
Milena has been competing with an “African” theme since March, which features a giraffe, elephant, lion and gazelle designed with Soliet’s fur.
Poodles are a popular choice of show dog due to their long, thick hair which tends to grow continuously.
Milena, however, has a second show dog that she alternates with Soleit every two years. This leaves enough time for Soleit’s hair to fully grow the dye to fade after a competition.
A Popular Pick: Long, thick haired poodles make them one of the most popular choices for creative dog grooming competitions.
Winner winner! Cindy Oliver and her dog Paisley (pictured) won this year’s competition with a design inspired by the 1980s cartoon The Wuzzles
Tough competition: a ‘seasonal’ design featured a carving of a pumpkin on the side of a dog and Santa Claus on one of its paws
She said: “I love the creativity, I love what you can do with the hair – it’s just amazing.
“And I always say dogs love it too, they love the attention.”
But despite Milena’s best efforts in this year’s competition, she and Soleit failed to qualify in the competition.
The first place title went to Cindy Oliver and her dog Paisley.
The winning design was based on the 1980s cartoon The Wuzzles.
Milena said: “When you compete you want to be number one, everyone wants to be number one.
“There will always be competition, but luckily we are all groomers and we are friends with each other, and I’m happy for anyone who comes above me.”
Emily Myatt, one of the contest judges, said the creative dog grooming business is a serious competition.
Childhood memories: candidate Cheryl Grain created a Tweety and Sylvester pattern on her dog
What’s up doc? Cheryl’s design also included a sculpture of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in her dog’s fur.
Some states in the United States, including Florida, have laws that prohibit coloring pet hair.
Likewise, creative dog grooming is banned in countries like Belgium because it is considered cruelty to animals.
However, despite this, Emily insists that the dogs are not harmed during the process.
“All of the products we use are completely safe for pets and are designed for dog hair and skin, so we don’t have to worry about the safety aspect.
“Sometimes people laugh because they don’t appreciate art.
She added: “I think if you enjoy any art or sculpture or painting you will have a real appreciation for what the girls are doing here, and they are doing it on something that can move, which adds an element of difficulty.”