Interview with Colin on BBC One's Pooch Perfect
Pooch Perfect starts on Thursday 7 January at 8pm on BBC One and will also be available on BBC iPlayer
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Tell us about your role on the show.
On Pooch Perfect, I am a judge, so Verity and I present the groomers with a brief and we observe them through the process. It’s not just about the end result, it’s about how they got there. They need to carry out the brief with compassion and drive and ultimately follow the brief we have set them.
How did you get into dog grooming?
When I was 15 years old I was working in a pet shop as their Livestock Manager, which was a dream to me as I wanted to be a Primatologist and study gorillas. I spent my childhood at London Zoo, staring at the gorillas as I just found them fascinating. One day in the pet shop, I served a girl who was buying nail clippers for dogs, and that’s where the seed was planted. I then went to the London Academy Of Grooming, and that led me to travel the world to learn and compete in dog grooming. I’ve been grooming now for 35 years, my role today is educating dog groomers; I run seminars and teach in the UK.
What made you want to be a part of the show?
It was a good time in my life to put back something into the industry, and I wanted to make sure the industry was put into a good light and represented truly. Plus this has never been done before, dog grooming has always been seen as a B-roll job, and Pooch Perfect was really shining a light on that. I wanted to do the industry justice, whilst educating people at home and raising awareness of the craft I am so proud to be a part of.
What makes a good dog groomer?
Everyone goes into the industry as they love dogs, but that doesn’t automatically make you a good groomer - you need to have compassion, respect and understanding of the dogs needs. Handling is so important, and good or bad handling can make a massive difference. Dog grooming is subjective, there are multiple ways of getting from A to B and that’s what we are there to judge. It takes a special person to be an amazing dog groomer, they need to be a strong leader and although anybody can be taught, it takes a certain ‘want’ in someone to do this job well.
Why is grooming so important when it comes to dog welfare?
Dog grooming is essential, and as a human should, a dog should have its hair cut every six weeks. When we feel rubbish about ourselves, a simple shower and hair wash does the world of good to our mental health. By visiting the groomers, they can find any issues a dog may have with its skin or hair which the owner wouldn’t of found themselves at home. Grooming has been deemed essential during the second lockdown because of this, grooming a dog can prevent a welfare case from happening.
Were there any stand out emotional moments from the show?
Filming was really emotional, it was an incredible experience for everyone, and you could see how much it meant to all the dog groomers. It was tough having to send two people home each week, but it was equally as joyous to watch them grow and learn as groomers. It was awesome to see them on this journey, and I wanted them to go home with critique they could develop further and to ultimately feel proud of themselves.
As this is a competition, what are you looking for in your winner?
I was looking for a person who could take on any task we set them, they didn’t necessarily have to be flawless, but they had to fit the brief. The dog should have balance and symmetry, you want to heighten their features and also complement the breed. Ultimately they need to have compassion and be well versed in dog handling and welfare.
What three words best describe Pooch Perfect?
Warm, loving and colourful!
Source BBC One
January 6, 2021 8:10am ET by BBC One