‘We like dogs better than people,’ says pet stylist ahead of Groom Expo West in Pasadena

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Dog groomers are gathering this weekend at the Groom Expo West in Pasadena, where they can compete, take courses from experts, and visit the trade show for everything pet styling and creative grooming. 

Teri DiMarino is one of the featured speakers and judges who will be at the event. The pet stylist tells KCRW, “The dog has to have the right coat and condition. It also has to be patient and most of them are. ... And the groomer has to know the proper products to use.” 

DiMarino likens the grooming process to going to the spa — the pooches get their fur dyed or add hair extensions, all with specialized care. 

This poodle is given wings and fur with rainbow colors. Courtesy of Teri DiMarino.

This dog is styled to reflect different animals. Courtesy of Animal Photography. 

As for the competition at the expo, many factors go into the scores that DiMarino and her fellow judges dole out. “We're not judging the physique of the dog. We are judging the groomers’ work. And we take a comb to that … and make sure that the scissor work is perfect [and that] the clipper work is correct.”

“Dog groomers groom dogs because we like dogs better than people,” says DiMarino. “We're kind of marching to a different drummer. And us groomers, we just love working with the dogs and the cats. Let's not forget about cats. Cat grooming is a big thing as well. So we just love working with the animals. There's no two ways about it.”

Dog groomers march to a different drum and prefer dogs over people, according to Teri DiMarino. Courtesy of Animal Photography

“Let's not forget about cats. Cat grooming is a big thing as well,” says Teri DiMarino. Courtesy of Animal Photography

DiMarino grooms pets, including her own dogs Jagger and Kona, sometimes more reasonably for everyday styling. Courtesy of Teri DiMarino.