The Vita Canis Style to Rescue Grooming Competition took place on Saturday the 19th of May 2018 and was the first event of its kind in the UK to put the spotlight on rescue dogs, along with the individuals and charities who dedicate valuable time and resources to rehabilitating and re-homing dogs in need.
The idea behind the Style to Rescue competition was to support rescue organisations by offering the dogs in their care the opportunity to be pampered by professional groomers. The challenge for each groomer was to take their assigned dog and present them in clean, well-groomed manner, helping to show them at their absolute best and hopefully encouraging a potential new owner to adopt them.
It’s worth pointing out that the health and well-being of all the dogs was absolutely paramount, with stewards and judges keeping a close eye on the dogs throughout the day to ensure that the environment was kept as relaxed as possible.
Once groomed, each dog was then assessed by two experienced and well respected judges: Mike Wildman (a championship show judge and former ‘Groomer of the Year’) and Philip Langdon (three-time winner of British Dog Groomer of the Year and Eurogroom). Twelve finalists were selected to receive prizes of up to £500 for 1st place. The winning dogs also received the same financial prize as the groomer in the form of a donation to a selected rescue organisation and every canine entrant received £10 each as a donation to their rescue organisation.
Dog Rescue Organisations | A number of charities and individuals responsible for rescue dogs were on site throughout the day, some with dogs entered into the competition, others raising awareness for the dogs in their care including:
Lisa is an award-winning groomer that we've been following on social media for a while...We actually found out about the Style to Rescue competition via Lisa Hart's Instagram page because she was performing a demonstration of how to achieve an ‘Asian Fusion’ style on her own Miniature Schnauzer, Esme.
Lisa is a perfectionist and we are huge fans of her work! We've been lucky enough to spend time with her recently when she helped me get Elsa's coat back into shape after a long growth period.
Other seminars that were held on the day included Pet First Aid with Jan Gallier, Trick Training with Lynne Land and Mojo the Toy Poodle, Emmi Pet Toothcare and Demonstration with Sally Hart, Dog Behaviour and Training with Craig Flint, aka The Dog-Man and Tellington TTouch with Marie Miller.
The highlight of Elsa's day was spending time with Mojo and her pack. They were with their lovely owner Lynne and she was kind enough to give us some very useful tips for training Elsa!
Mojo and Elsa had lots of fun demonstrating their ‘bell ringing’ capabilities, but Mojo definitely ‘took the biscuit’ when it came to spinning on her hind legs… she even holds the Guinness World Record for ‘the most rotations by a dog on their hind legs in 30 seconds’ (17 in case you were wondering!)
This event was hosted by Vita Canis - They offer a range of 100% natural products for dogs that includes: Aromatic Dog Sprays, Ear Cleaner, Tick Off, Skin Relief and Antispetic Sprays, along with Paw Butter and Hand Butter for humans too. We picked up a bottle of Floral Aromatic Dog Spray for Elsa at the event, it is infused with essential oils to calm and balance and it smells gorgeous!
There were lots of other things happening at the event too, including a Kids Corner where children could practice their 'grooming' skills on toy dogs. There were also some very impressive cakes for sale too!
Throw us a bone Jitka Krizova!
We chat to Jitka, the organiser of Style to Groom and owner of Vita Canis, about the event and what to expect in the future:
What inspired you to organise and host Style to Groom?
I was inspired by a dog grooming competition run in the USA call Rescue Rodeo.
Were you pleased with the turnout at the show?
Yes, I was very pleased. Even with few issues with the water & electricity for the grooming vans, it all went well in the end. All the dogs did really well, the groomers did an amazing job and I think that everybody was relaxed and happy. Despite the fact that there were two other big events on the same day, (a Royal Wedding and FA Cup final) we had a pretty good turnout!
What was the biggest success story of the day (e.g.: did any dogs who were struggling to find a home get adopted as a direct result of the show?)
In the end, most of the dogs in the competition were rescue dogs but with permanent loving homes. Unfortunately some of the centres couldn't come, some didn't have suitable dogs, for some it was too far or they were short of staff etc. Despite this, the rescues that took part will still benefit from the money that was raised. We did have 5 dogs from Hesse's Homeless Hounds, two of them were lovely young Bichons from Romania that were rescued in a group of 8 dogs, all found in a shocking state. I’m pleased to say that we had quite few enquiries about them and I will follow up with anyone who was interested, so fingers crossed they will find a suitable home!
What are your plans for next year? Any thoughts yet?
We will definitely do it again!! I’m confident that it will be even bigger and better next year!
Congratulations to all the winners!
As an ambassador for ORIJEN, we were very proud to award the winner of Best in Show an additional prize: a 2kg bag of ORIJEN Original Dog Food which was kindly donated by Bern Pet Foods!
We really enjoyed the time that we spent at Style to Groom. As Jitka points out, everyone was very relaxed and happy and this really gave the event a great atmosphere! Although it was busy, we never felt crowded and all the dogs had plenty of space. There were also lots of outdoor areas where the dogs could relieve themselves and stretch their legs, or even play together in an enclosed pen. Elsa was happy because she got lots of treats when she was practising tricks with Mojo and she got to bark as much as she wanted when the winners were announced! It was a great opportunity for us to meet some new people, learn more about the world of grooming, rescue dogs and training, as well as squeeze in some shopping. We look forward to doing it all again next year!
The event took place at: The Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire CV8 2LJ