A BLACKTOWN dog groomer hopes to be a cut above the rest at an international competition in Las Vegas.
Shear Elegance Pet Styling salon owner Mitchell Waygood is perfecting his skills in the lead-up to the SuperZoo grooming competition on July 23.
It comes after he was crowned the national Purina Groom Quest overall winner last year.
"First prize was to represent Australia in Vegas, all expenses paid," Mr Waygood said.
"It's one of the biggest dog grooming competitions in the world. It will be an exciting experience. I want to be the best as I love the industry I work in."
Mr Waygood has been a dog groomer since he left school.
He opened his own salon two years ago and now has 300 clients.
The salon won the pet care category at the recent Blacktown City Local Business Awards.
Services range from the basic cuts, baths, blow dries and nail clippings to more fancy treatments such as colouring, aromatherapy massages and even spa treatments.
"I opened one here as a I saw the need from a good grooming salon. I was looking for a job after I finished year 12 and found one in grooming. It's a a job you need to be passionate about."
He said the grooming industry was growing.
"People like to bring their dogs for a special occasion," Mr Waygood said.
"Some dogs enjoy the pampering while others can be be difficult."
There's more to the job than playing hairdresser to dogs.
"You need to be well trained," Mr Waygood said. "Practice comes with time. Dog hair needs to be a certain length, which takes a lot of skill."