Harrogate’s former Crufts winner reveals secrets of good grooming and what it takes to be a winner
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Master groomer, entrepreneur and TV presenter Verity Hardcastle, who was a judge on BBC TV’s Pooch Perfect, a prime time dog grooming competition presented by Sheridan Smith, was speaking from personal experience after the final winners of this year’s Crufts were announced yesterday, Sunday.
The two times winner of national grooming Salon of the year revealed what she believes it takes to be a winner at the annual dog show.
"It’s definitely got to be the right dog and by that, I just don't mean they have to adhere to the breed standard that the Kennel Club set out,” said Verity who second in class at Crufts in 2009.
“It has to be a dog that's enjoying itself and is loving life, as well as being beautiful, otherwise, they're not going to show well, they're not going to carry their tail properly.”
Verity, who was speaking in an interview with Butternut Box, an official sponsor of Crufts 2023, said owners can quite often find the big-time atmosphere and pressure of Crufts more intimidating the the dogs themselves.
"I think can be more challenging for the owner. We’ve got to keep our cool because showing at Crufts is really quite daunting,” said Verity who got involved in the dog groomer circuit at the age of 18 with her first Doberman.
"The dogs are used to that, but when you go to Crufts it’s on a much bigger scale and there's a lot more noise
"It’s very important for owners to keep cool because the dogs pick up on any tension.”
As a much-admired expert whose own salon offers a bespoke service, Verity says the most important thing for new dog owners is to build a strong bond with their dog.
“It’s about positive training, ignoring the stuff you don't want to see and rewarding the stuff you do want to see
"Essentially, it's a bit like bringing up children.”
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