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Onsite Pure Breed and

Free Style FAQ's

Individual and the IJA Groom Bowl Teams

Competition Dog

1. Do I have to provide my own dog for pure breed and free style classes?

Yes, you will have to provide your own competition dog. For international shows, you can take your own dog or "rent" a dog. Show promoters contact breeders or individuals who furnish dogs for competitors. The rental fee various per show.


2. If I rent a dog how can I determine the quality of the dog?

Dogs are evaluated and maintained by the Contest Dog Rental Agency. The rental agency places dogs in pet and show quality categories. Many Contest Dog Rental Agencies furnish pictures of dogs for you to review before securing the dog.


3. How do I receive my competition dog? When do I turn my dog back over to the rental agency?

Dogs are transferred to the competition location by the Contest Dog Rental Agency the day before the competitions. Competitors may or may not be responsible for the care of their rental dogs during the competition. Dogs may or may not be permitted in the show hotel rooms. A holding facility may be available. Competitors also have the option to stay at a dog-friendly hotel. To find out about holding facilities check your show promoter info about the show.


4. Can I groom my competition dog in any style or do I have to groom to the breed style?

In pure breed classes, you are required to groom the dog in a style presented in the conformation ring. In freestyle classes, you cannot groom a pure breed in the trim presented in the conformation ring. You must create something different. You can create a Kerry Blue trim on a Poodle. You can create a Lion Trim on a Pomeranian. You can create a Dandie Dinmont trim on a mixed breed.


5. Can I add ribbons and bows and color on my competition dog?

No ribbons, bows, or color are allowed in the Pure Breeds and Free Style Classes to separate these classes from the creative. You can apply color to your dog to enhance the natural color. For example, you can enhance a black dog to make the coat appear darker.



1. Do I have to prep, bath, and dry my own competition dog?

Yes, you have to prep and bathe, dry, and finish brush your dog before the competition starts. Pure Breed and Free Styles classes are checked before the competition starts by the judges. Prepping, bathing, and drying areas are furnished by the show promoter and are typically in the same facility. Salons near the competition may also be available. Information on prepping, bathing, and drying areas are included in the show promoter info about the show and posted on the daily competition schedules.


2. How Much Time Do I Have?

The prepping, bathing, and drying areas are open at different times for each show. The time frames are always posted on the show promoter info about the show.


3. When can I use the bathing area?

Competitors may be assigned a time frame to bathe their dogs prior to competition start time or the facility may be open and competitors can pick and choose the time. The time frames are always posted on the show promoter info about the show.


4. Do I have to bring my bathing supplies?

A wide selection of shampoos, conditioners, dematting products, finishing sprays, cologne, ear cleaner, ear powder, and more are typically furnished. Biogroom is the IJA platinum sponsor and official sponsor for IJA Rescue Me Shows in the USA.


Grooming Tables

1. Will there be grooming tables at the competition? Do I have to bring my own?

Grooming tables may or may not be furnished. To confirm is tables, posts, and clamps are furnished check show promoter info about the show. If tables are not furnished, take a clean, well maintained, state of the art, grooming table.


Grooming Supplies

1. What are the competitors required to bring to the event?

Bring your full tool kit to make sure you have all the tricks of the trade to make your dog look the best. Bring your clippers, scissors, combs, brushes, and toenail clippers. Be prepared but don't overpack. Too much clutter will make your station look messy. Take the time before the competition to clean, organize, and replace broken tools and equipment. Create the ultimate in your overall professionalism. Bring a SAFETY LOOP and a SAFETY LEAD. You must have your dog under control at all times during the competition.


Grooming Attire

1. What should I wear for the competition? Should I wear a grooming smock?

Professional attire and you looking "bathed - groomed - styled" is a must for the competitor in the competition arena to create the ultimate in professionalism. You are the superstars and this is your time to shine. Also...don't forget to show your passions and compassion to the audience as well as your skills!


Ring Buddies & Assistants

1. Can I bring an assistant to help hold the dog?

IJA offers a special opportunity for bathers, groomers, stylists, and grooming school students to participate as a contest buddy. Contest buddies have a very important role at the show. They help competitors in the ring and help make competition dogs feel at ease. If you know of anyone who would like to register with IJA as a contest buddy, they fill out the member's profile application and are listed on our site.


Arrival Time

1. When should I arrive and check-in?

Competitors should arrive 1 hour before check-in time. Check-in times will be posted in show promoter info about the show.


Check-In Time

1. Where do I check-in?

Competitors should check-in at the competition area at the IJA Check-In Station with their competition dog. Make sure to prepare your dog before check-in.


Departure Time

1. What time is the competition over?

All competitions are over when Best in Show is awarded. Check show promoter info about the show for Best in Show Awards and Ceremonies.


Awards Time

1. When is the best in class awards presented?

Best in class awards are typically announced and presented at the end of each competition.


2. When is the best in show awards presented?

Best in show awards are typically announced and presented at the end of the show.

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