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The purpose of these rules is to encourage groomers to further develop and extend their skills by participating in FCI grooming competitions for purebred dogs, always with the aim of promoting and protecting the welfare of healthy, purebred dogs.

This regulation serves as the primary guideline for organizing FCI competitions conducted under the auspices of an FCI NCO. New NCOs embarking on the adoption of these FCI guidelines can tailor their own NCO regulations to align with FCI standards within a two-year timeframe, ensuring alignment with the objectives outlined by the FCI Grooming Commission in the regulations.

The objectives of grooming are: 
- to maintain a dog’s health and cleanliness;
- to prevent illness by maintaining the healthy condition of skin and coat;
- to enhance the structural and anatomical strength of the dog;
- to respect the image of each breed according to its standard and maintain the correct techniques to 
perform each grooming task. 

The welfare and health of dogs must be of utmost importance and priority at all grooming competitions.Consequently, the organizers must provide a physically and mentally beneficial environment for dogs (for example, ensuring water is always available, dog not to be standing for too long, etc.) 

4.1 Classification of Categories 
Five (5) categories are offered in the competition, the first four (1 to 4) are mandatory and the fifth (5th) is 
optional. There are three (3) levels offered within each category. 

The winners of each category compete for a BIS by Level and will be taken into consideration to decide for the overall BIS winner. 

Aspects that the judges must consider as they judge:

Respect for the current breed standard
The Quality of scissoring, clipping and/or hand stripping, and the groomers attention to detail Balance, symmetry and smoothness of the groom

The ability to camouflage defects and bring out the beauty of the dog
The suitability of the chosen style for the dog
The degree of difficulty the groom
Up to date with today’s modern grooming styles
Presentation of the dog to the judge

Respect for the current breed standard 
Breed standards change and FCI has made several changes taking into account the health and the welfare of the dog as utmost importance. Groomers need to know the breed characteristics of the breed that they are grooming and are expected to amplify them

The Quality of scissoring, clipping and/or hand stripping, and the groomer's attention to detail
Judge the skills and technique in handling scissors, clippers or blades and the results of such skills and the 
use of these tools. The more detailed the workmanship observed, the bigger impact it will have on the 

Balance, symmetry, and smoothness of the groom
For example, the length of legs should be balanced with the depth of the body, length of body should be balanced 
with the height in accordance with the breed standard.
The ability to camouflage defects and bring out the beauty of the dog
For example, if an unwanted sloping topline is observed on the dog but the groomer can camouflage the 
defect this will be assessed positively.

The suitability of the chosen style for the dog 
Depending on the balance of the dog, the chosen style should cover up the flaws and emphasize the positive 
features of the dog.
The degree of difficulty the groom
If a groomer can make a big change between before and after, or to handle a coat of poor quality by 
improving it in relation to the breed standard this will be rated positively.
Up to date with today’s modern grooming styles 
For example, the style for grooming Miniature Schnauzers differs from those of 10 years ago as dogs improve 
in conformation. This allows for more volume of hair on the leg, two eyebrows and the beard become 
triangular instead of round.
Presentation of the dog to the judge 
The health of the dog, muscle condition, condition of the coat, whiteness, etc., and at the end of the competition during the judge’s examination, the correct posing of the dog will be looked favorably for the judging

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“Best in Level” and “Best Groomer in Show” Competitions 

The organising NCO may also choose to offer prizes to the top participants across each Level and then across 
each category as follows: 

FCI BIS by Level.png

After the finals, the competitors will have a short period of time in which they can ask to the judges 
for a brief critique of the work they presented, so that they know which aspects they can correct in the future.


Any competitor under the age of 18 years old must have parental consent.
In principle, the use of hairspray is not allowed. However, in the country where the use of hairspray is customarily 
allowed, its minimal use will not be penalised. 
The use of powder/chalk and volumizer is breed-specific and is allowed as long as it does not come off on the 
judges hands. Use of those items should be done before the start of the competition. 
Any products that change the colour, nature and texture of the coat will not be allowed. 
Dog models must not be groomed for 60 days or more prior to the date of the competition except for the flatwork
areas of stripping breeds which may be groomed up to 30 days prior the competition. 
There will be a compulsory 10-minute break for dogs and/or contestants to rest in the middle of the competition.
The competitors must provide their own dog models and their own grooming tools. The competitors must
ensure that their dogs are duly vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination if required by the organiser. 
A grooming arm is allowed in countries where the law permits it. However, the safety and welfare of dogs is of 
utmost importance. If a dog is found to be short of breath on the table due to the use of a grooming arm or any 
aggressive attitude on the part of the groomer towards the dog, the groomer will be automatically 
The groomer must take care of their working equipment or could be penalized. 
Contestants need to be in the ring 30 minutes before the start of the competition for prejudging. 

From time to time, some changes to these rules may be necessary. Amendments of these Rules and Regulations 
shall be decided solely by the FCI Grooming Commission and General Committee as and when deemed necessary.

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