WPA General Contest Rules 

World Pet Association produces two grooming shows – One at SuperZoo, Las Vegas, NV and the other at GROOM’D, Atlanta, GA. Contact: info@wpamail.org, 11801 Pierce Street, Ste. 200, Riverside, CA  92505-4400, USA, (800) 999‐7295 or (626) 447‐2222.

Contest Registration Deadline is July 24, 2024 for SUPERZOO. Only entries submitted online through the show Registration website will be accepted. Registration is not complete until payment is made in full. There are no refunds after the contest registration deadline.  Entry fees will not be refunded in the event that a contestant is late, absent, disqualified, or excused by the Judge or show management. Contestants under 18 years old may compete, but must have an adult parent or guardian sign and submit a waiver. Send all waiver requests to Janelle@wpamail.org

Show Entrance: All registered competitors will receive free access to the trade show floor. All attendees including competitors and assistants must be registered to attend the show and badged at all times. If they are not registered and badged, they will not be allowed entrance.

Special Note: Electric will not be provided for any contest inside the contest ring. You must supply your own cordless equipment. Electric will be available in the spa for preparations.

Competition Level Divisions

GroomTeam Sanctioned Class rules will apply to all levels with the following exception:

ONLY Entry Division may use clippers, scissors and thinning shears when the bodywork is typically hand stripped and/or carded for the show ring in the sporting class and the wire coat class. The contest time will be reduced by 15 minutes.

WPA shows are GroomTeam sanctioned. Please refer to the full GroomTeam Rules.


Open: (GroomTeam Points) Open to all Competitors/Stylists/Professional groomers. A contestant placing and defeating someone in open division at any show is prohibited from competing in intermediate or entry division.

Intermediate: Restricted to competitors who have not won:

  • Two Best in Show or two Best All Around groomer titles from the intermediate division at any show.
  • OR three 1st placements from the intermediate division at any show. A minimum of two contestants must be entered and judged for class first to be considered in level advancement protocols.
  • OR three Group placements from a tiered show.

Entry: Restricted to competitors who have never competed, or who have not won:

  • A Best in Show or Best All-Around Groomer Title from any division at any Grooming show.
  • Or three 1st placements from the Entry Division at any Grooming show. A minimum of two contestants must be entered and judged for class first to be considered in level advancement protocols.
  • Or one Group placement from a Grooming show
  • Owners, handlers, or breeders who have “finished a Champion,” instructors, pet styling contest judges, and certifiers must compete in either the Intermediate or Open Division.
  • A contestant placing and defeating someone in intermediate division at any show is prohibited from competing in entry division.

For all Classes: Ring opens at least 15 minutes prior to prejudge, contestants must be present for prejudging or they will not be permitted to compete. Check the contest schedule for times.

Coat Growth: Six weeks or more coat growth is recommended; however, as some dogs grow coat more quickly than others, adequate coat growth is defined as enough coat to make a distinct change in the dog’s appearance. Rolled or rotated coats are permitted in the hand stripped breeds, but must be adequate to make a distinct change in the dog’s appearance.

Contest Dog Preparation: Prior to competition start, the dog’s coat should be clean, dry and free of mats, and the nails should be clipped and/or filed and ears cleaned. Sanitary area and foot pads may be trimmed. Coloring, other than to enhance the natural color of the coat is prohibited; only non‐toxic color and products may be used.

Products and Product Application: Chalk may be applied prior to or during the completion time period to aid in hand stripping or enhance coat color. It should be used sparingly and should not rub off on the judge’s hands. It is prohibited to apply any products once each contest finish time is called. Hair sprays, finishing sprays and gels may be applied during the competition time period. Once the contest finish time is called, sprays are limited to minor application. Re‐shaping, such as the marcelled Kerry Blue coat or spray‐up of the show Poodle headpiece is prohibited.

Competitors should only use non-toxic materials on their dogs. You can request a list of safe non-toxic products at janelle@wpamail.org

Decorative Objects and Wigs: If permitted by individual contest rules, hair extensions of the same coat color of the dog may be applied before the competition start time. Decorative objects such as bows and scarves are prohibited unless otherwise stated in individual contest rules.

Contest Dog Qualifications: The competition dog must be current on vaccinations as required by law, age appropriate for competition, (recommendation is between the ages of 1 and 10 years), appear healthy, free of disease, open wounds, injuries and parasites, must not show obvious signs of pregnancy or nursing, must not show signs of aggression or viciousness, must be leashed when not crated or not being groomed and must never be left unattended. Animal Safety & Handling Standards must be followed at all times.

Pre‐Judging: Prior to the contest start time, Judges will evaluate the dogs during pre‐judging to confirm the following: dog is entered in the correct class, the allotted time for the breed, groomer is entered in the correct division, and there is sufficient coat growth, preparation, and suitability of dog for competition. Judge will make a notation of specific information supplied by the contestant such as missing coat, scars, warts, healing injuries, etc.

Contest End: Contestants should clear table of hair, tools and equipment and place a comb on the table and then stack and present their dog to the judge.

Competitor Protocol: Dress in the ring should be professional for both men and women.  Shoes (preferably with non-skid soles) must be worn. Appropriate grooming attire and shoes should be worn at all times, (low cut shirts or pants, tight shorts or very short skirts and flip flops are considered inappropriate). A grooming smock is required to be worn during competition. A contestant’s attire that management determines to be inappropriately dressed will not be permitted to compete. Consider the dog’s color when choosing a competitor’s attire. Professional manner, attitude and good sportsmanship must be practiced at all times. These attributes are displayed when a competitor respects fellow competitors, judges, and the contest dogs. Professional conduct is also carried into the care of the contest dogs, and respect for hotel, grounds, rooms and property.

Application of Professional Skills: Contestants must maintain a safe styling station at all times, (open scissors left on the table for the dog to step on is an example of an unsafe styling station,) practice safe handling techniques at all times, apply technical skills with safety. Nicks, cuts and clipper burns are considered unsafe technical skill application.

Strictly Prohibited in Contest Ring: Cell phones, radios and headsets, hair dryers, flame devices or smoking, beverages not in spill proof containers, visual or written instructions, very large tack boxes, kennel crates, standing on tables or chairs, coaching by anyone at any time during the competition.

Equipment for the contest ring: WPA will provide grooming tables and grooming arms. Contestants must provide grooming equipment such as but not limited to: table risers, scissors, clippers, blades, brushes, grooming loops, bath towels, products, etc.

Warnings and Disqualifications: Judges and Show Management will monitor the contestants during the competition to ensure a professional atmosphere is maintained. Warnings may be given to include: unprofessional image, unprofessional conduct, unsafe skill application, unsafe grooming station, unsafe handling, etc. A second warning may result in dismissal from the class. A third warning may result in dismissal from the show. Failure to follow WPA Animal Safety and Handling Standards will result in competitor disqualification.

Grievance: Immediately notify contest coordinator of grievance and then provide written notice. A grievance form can be found at the contest table or ask the ring steward for a copy. Grievance(s) will not be accepted after the close of the class, with the exception of sportsmanship issues, which must be submitted prior to the close of the show and while all involved parties are on site.

Access to Spa: The Spa/Bathing will have sign-up sheets available to schedule tub times. Bring a towel for drying your dogs in the spa area.  You will be provided with bathing tubs, shampoo, conditioner, tables, dryers, and electricity.

Dogs may only be on convention center property if they are being utilized for competition, in‐booth demos, or by speakers for specific lectures. Otherwise, no personal pets are allowed. Dogs are to be kept in the 24-hour Dog Holding Area. No soft-sided holding crates are allowed.

Group Lineup: Immediately following the class awards, the 1st Place winners from all three divisions compete for Group 1st Place. The 2nd Place winner from the winning division will then compete with the remaining competitors for the Group 2nd place. The division which wins the Group 2nd will compete for Group 3rd Place.

Best in Show will be chosen from the 1st Place winners from each of the following Groups: Wire Coats, Sporting, Other Purebreds and Poodles. The Group 1st Place winners should remain in the contest ring with their dog for evaluation by the Best in Show judge and then return with their entry to the Best Pet Stylist in Show Awards Presentation at the listed date and time.

Award Policies: Provided sufficient eligible Competitors are entered, 1st, 2nd and 3rd placements must be awarded in that order to the competitors. Awards will not be withheld unless there is a specific disqualifying factor as described above in warnings and Disqualifications.

All prize winners must complete a W-9 form or international tax forms before payment will be made. If you win multiple awards, you only need to fill out the form once.  Please hand your completed W-9 to a grooming staff member by Friday, August 16 by 3:00pm. United States and Canada winner checks will be mailed within 30 days of close of show. All checks must be cashed within 90 days of issue or they will be voided. All other winners will be paid on site at the contest table on Friday, August 16 after 10:00 am. Anyone not turning in Tax papers before the end of the SUPERZOO show on Friday at 3:00 pm will forfeit their win money. For international winners WPA is required to withhold 30% of total prize money.

Show photographer: Before and after contest photos are optional. All winner photos are mandatory including Best Pet Stylist in Show, Best First Time Competitor in Show, Best International Competitor in Show, Creative First Place, and all Group Winners. All photos will be taken inside the photo studio near the grooming stage. You may have pictures in the studio taken any time after awards are completed. You may purchase these pictures from the photographer.

Animal Safety and Handling: All World Pet Association (WPA) events will observe the Animal Safety and Handling Standards.

As a competitor, I hereby certify that I have read and understood the competition rules and regulations and agree to abide by them. I hereby acknowledge that the organizer of the competition has the sole right of use of any images, (photos or videos) data (names of the competitors) for the purposes of promoting future events.

Show management will determine clarification of any issues that may arise that are not covered by the rules.