Grooming & Presentation Trends Over the Decades

Experts examine some of the show dog grooming and presentation changes that have occurred over the decades.

Posted: Mar 13, 2014 3 p.m. PST

Whenever conformation judges gather to discuss how dog shows have changed over the decades, it doesn't take long before the subject of "today's overgroomed dogs" takes center stage. Flip through the magazines of the 1960s and '70s, and the show photos speak volumes: Whatever the breed, we see sparser head and leg furnishings, a less tailored look and little evidence of the "P" word (product).
So what's happened? Are exhibitors and handlers feeling less constrained by the individual edicts of dog breed standards and eager to put their artistry on display? Are judges more accepting of a generic (big coat, big movement, big everything) show dog? Is it the smorgasbord of shampoos, lotions and potions available for purchase at dog-show vendors and online? Probably a combination of all three.
In this series, we ask breeders, judges, professional handlers and owner-exhibitors for their take on the grooming changes they've witnessed firsthand.

Click on one of the photos to learn more about the grooming and presentation trends that have occurred over the years in that group.


Sporting Group Grooming

The Sporting Group

Hound Group Grooming

The Hound Group

Working Group Grooming

The Working Group

Terrier Group Grooming

The Terrier Group

Toy and Non-Sporting Groups Grooming

The Toy and Non-Sporting Groups

Herding Group Grooming

The Herding Group




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Kim   San Francisco, California

10/31/2015 8:26:16 AM

I think All breeds should be shown in the breeds natural coat!

No hairspray, or chalking
I was recentally at dog show and was surprised how the Shelties looked once the groomer was done, they looked like lions not a working dog! The Corgis with chalk on them, the Newfies & Golden with the sculpted cut! And short Goldens & Labs what happened to the 24 inch Labs & Goldens? Excessive shaving on the Brittany's neck, and cutting down their coat

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