Pooch Perfect's judge Verity Hardcastle and her experience in dog grooming

Pooch Perfect has been on our screens for a few weeks.

The show is an eight-part series and gives viewers a glimpse into the world of dog grooming. 16 professional dog groomers are more than just pampering pets. They are fighting to be named the UK’s best dog groomer.

Each week four participants face two challenges, with two going into the next round.

Judge Verity Hardcastle and colleague Colin Taylor have a hard time deciding who will make the cut.

As an award-winning groomer, Verity seems like the perfect person for the job as she has earned numerous awards from The Grooming Show, Great North Groom, Master Groom, Premier Groom and Love to Groom Scotland. It even took first place at the Groom Expo in America.

It’s no surprise to hear that Verity has always been an animal lover after being thrown into the dog grooming circle at age 18.

She said, “I always had cats and dogs around me, and growing up I was a big animal lover. Every Christmas I wrote my Christmas list, always asking for a pony, dog or cat!

“When I was 18, I got thrown into the dog grooming circle with my first Doberman Pinscher as I got more immersed in the canine world, which I knew I had to make an integral part of my life.

“I started looking for career opportunities, did a trial day and exercised more, and I took it to the water like a duck.”

As well as being a dog groomer, she trains others in the art of dog grooming. She is extremely passionate about her craft and loved sharing this with the audience.

“There has never been a program like this. It will really show the nation what compassionate and caring snow groomers are. I love this industry so much and I wanted to have the opportunity to be part of this amazing experience and show this to people, “Verity said.

As someone who has participated in a number of competitions himself, Verity explained how Pooch Perfect is different from a regular dog grooming competition.

She said, “In a normal competition, you would play your own strengths to show your skills, be it technique or type of breed. You would choose a dog that you know, usually your own, and you understand every part of the dog’s anatomy, and you have a foresight into what you will need to achieve and how you will do it.

“With Pooch Perfect, the groomers don’t know most of the challenges and the dogs are a surprise. It’s almost like being in a salon every day, but instead it’s a competition!”

Pooch Perfect's judge Verity Hardcastle and her experience in dog grooming 1

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Despite all of her years of experience, Verity admitted that she found it difficult to judge the competition.

“Being a judge was hard when we all got along so well, but I had to put emotions aside and be fair, and that was the most important thing. It was as difficult as any episode where we sent two snow groomers home, which was emotional each time.

“They had all invested a lot when they came on the show. This is their livelihood and they stood on a platform and you knew how much it meant to each of them.

“We had participants who had groomed for three years and some who had groomed for 30 years, but we had to judge what we had just seen in those few hours,” she said.

Verity said of why she thinks viewers should prepare for Pooch Perfect: “It’s such an uplifting and compelling show that it’s exactly what the nation needs right now, especially January! It really is a warm hug of a show.

“Most people drop their dog by the groomers and later pick them up and they don’t know what’s going into a groom. I think the viewers at home will be intrigued and surprised at how complex dog grooming really is. It is this instant gratification and people love a before and after transformation! “

Pooch Perfect airs on BBC One’s television at 8pm on Thursdays.

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