Interview with Verity 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.
How did you get into dog grooming?
I have always had dogs and cats all around me, growing up I was a huge animal lover. Every Christmas I would write my Christmas list, where I would always ask for either a pony, a dog or a cat!
When I was 18 I got thrown into the dog groomer circuit with my first Doberman, as I became more enveloped into the dog world I knew I needed to make it a permanent part of my life. I started looking at career possibilities, I did a grooming taster day and did more training, and I took to it like a duck to water.
Now I am a groomer, I also do groomer training, and work with them on perfecting their craft.
What made you want to be a part of the show?
There has never been a programme like this, it’s really going to show the nation what compassionate and caring people groomers are, I love this industry so much and I wanted the opportunity to be part of this amazing experience, and to showcase that to people.
How does Pooch Perfect differ from a regular dog grooming competition?
In a normal competition you would play to your own strengths to showcase your skill, whether that’s with technique or the type of breed. You would chose a dog you know, usually your own, and you understand every part of the dogs anatomy, and you have a forethought of what you need to achieve and how you’re going to do it. With Pooch Perfect the groomers don’t know most of the challenges, plus the dogs are a surprise, it’s almost like day to day in a salon, but instead it’s a competition!
Why is grooming so important when it comes to dog welfare?
Grooming is now deemed an essential part of dog welfare, so many breeds now have hair that continuously grows, if you don’t they become matted up and then it becomes a welfare issue. Dogs need to be able to see properly, have their nails trimmed, it’s so vitally important to be a part of pet care. When a dog has been groomed they walk out and they have an extra swagger about them! If I take my dogs to the park after they have been groomed, they go wild, with their heads held high just wanting to show off!
Did you find it hard to be a judge?
Being a judge was hard when we all got on so well, but I had to put emotions aside and be fair, and that was the most important thing. It was so tough as each episode we sent home two groomers, which was emotional every time. They had all invested a lot by coming on the show, this is their livelihood and they were putting themselves on a platform and you knew how much it meant to each of them. We had contestants who had been grooming for three years, and then some who had been grooming 30 years, but we had to judge on what we had just seen in those few hours.
What makes Pooch Perfect the perfect show for the new year?
It is such an uplifting and captivating show, it is just what the nation needs at the moment, especially in January! It really is a warm hug of a show.
Most people drop their dog at the groomers and pick them up later, and they don’t realise what goes into a groom. I think the viewers at home will be captivated, and surprised at how complex dog grooming really is. It’s that immediate gratification and people love a before and after trans-fur-mation!
Over lockdown I had customers call me panicking with a pair of scissors, attempting to groom their dog, they didn’t realise how hard it actually is. I think there is going to be a new found respect for groomers and people have realised this year how important they are. There is such a dog boom at the moment, the nation really has gone dog crazy!
What three words best describe Pooch Perfect?
Fascinating, joyous and warm!
Source BBC One
January 6, 2021 9:10am ET by BBC One