Trudy Vanarsdale, a big time pet lover, dog owner, grooming salon owner and operator of Dog Gone Classy Grooming, Boarding and Retail in Columbia, Kentucky is an industry superstar.

My love for dogs began as a child, watching my father train many sporting breeds. Because of his knowledge of dog conformation, especially with retrievers and setters, he was asked to judge dog shows at local country fairs, which I would always attend with him. From here my passion, interest and desire to learn as much as I could about man's best friend, continued to grow. Recently, I have been asked by our county judge to sit on an "Advisory Board" for our local animal shelter, which is an honor.

In 1997, I knew that I was meant to make working in the wonderful industry my life's work and to one day become a business owner. So I attended and graduated from the Traditional Dog Diploma Program at Nash Academy of Animal Arts. My next step was returning to my small town of Columbia, KY (population 17,900), and opening my own business, Dog Gone Classy. 

My business surpassed my expectations, and within a few years I was operating a business with up to 5 groomers. I credit my continued successful business and pet grooming knowledge to: continuing education which included attending seminars, summits, and competition events, even competing myself as well as sharing what I know by training my team on site, while still allowing them to create their own personal style.
I am certified as a Practical Skills Instructor for on-site training with Nash Academy; sometimes training others is the best personal training and satisfaction.

I competed in dog grooming competitions in several arenas for 5 years and won multiple awards. At the first ever IJA Pet Expo Competition in Pittsburgh, PA.,I received "Best All Around Groomer" and was equally honored when one of my valued salon groomers achieved 1st place First Timers at the Atlanta Pet Fair and another won "Best In Show - Poodles" at Pet Quest, her first competition and now just the first of several Best In Show placements.
Other examples of my grooming competition experience, placements and success include:

  • 1st place and 2nd place wins

  • Poodle Class

  • Non- Sporting

  • Free Style

  • Rescue 

  • 3rd place win

  • Terrier 

At Atlantic Pet Fair, Pet Quest, Groom Expo, Pet Stylist Super Show and IJA Sanctioned Rescue Me Competitions at the Pittsburgh Pet Expo and All American Pet Expo, plus several 3rd place wins in several classes.
Other grooming competition awards include:

  • Most Outstanding Image 

  • Technical Award

  • Degree of Difficulty

Since 2013, Dog Gone Classy has partnered with Nash Academy, as a Nash Approved Site, and now I am ready for my next rewarding challenge and journey. I want to continue to educate groomers and be a part of fair and equal opportunity competitions where talent is rewarded and judges work together to recognize and reward pet professionals. I am honored to be enrolled in the IJA Judges in Training Program and will tour the USA in 2015 at IJA Sanctioned Rescue Me Competitions. 

© International Judges Association

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