Here's a fun article that I thought I would pass on... –Kim
How to Win a Dog Costume Contest
Clever, simple, and comfortable are what to aim for – and how to impress judges.
by Carol Bryant
Oct. 4, 2012
Did you ever dream of having your dog win a prize in the local parade, online photo contest, or pet event? I've judged and entered dozens of dog Halloween costume contests, so I know there are throngs of dog lovers, myself included, who love dressing their canines in spooky, fun, and festive attire each Halloween season.
Here are the top 10 things I've learned (as judge and contest winner) to help your canine win.
1. Try a concept costume
Modify a human concept costume so that Fido gets in on the festive conversation-starting fun. A concept costume is the type that makes people think and perhaps even speak it aloud, to "get it." Take a pun and maximize it.
For example, I won first place at two events to benefit rescue last year with my dog Dexter's costume. Check out the photo below and try to figure out what he is before scrolling down. Note the elements of the costume to guide you in figuring it out.
See the bloodied plastic spoons and knives? How about the small boxes of cereal? He was, of course, "a serial killer." The cost for this costume, by the way, was $14.99. Plus, Dexter now lives on in Facebook/Internet infamy, so how fun is that!? (Stay tuned for his costume this year – spoiler alert.)
Ideas: Candy wrapper: Dress Fido in a dog-friendly t-shirt, glue a variety of candy bar wrappers on the outside and bling a dog out with gold-tone beads. There you have a "candy (w)rapper." Got the idea? One caveat: Don't make it too difficult to figure out.
2. Go opposite; go in a group
Ever see a dog dressed as a squirrel? A dog dressed as a cat? People love opposites, and by "people" I also mean judges.
Take a news story and turn it into a costume. Remember the swine flu scare from a few years back? Dog Mom Judy Fridono came up with "Swine Floozie!!!" How hysterical is this:
4. Mimic pop culture
Who is hip and in and would make a clever costume? I met this gang at a Halloween costume contest in 2010 and they dressed their Chihuahuas as members of the Jersey Shore television show (with the owner resembling Mike "The Situation"). They won first place. Or check out Michael "Cocker" Jackson from Patty Troup. Love the glove!
When my dog was a pirate for Halloween, I cut and modified a child's size pirate costume and added a parrot purchased at Party City for $5.99. I super-glued that on and she was the most unique pirate in the parade. This is my late dog, Brandy, eternally missed.
Dressing with your dog theme-wise – this can go either way; if your dog has a caveman costume and you are the cave woman, that is way cute. Stage moms and dads beware, these contests are for the dogs. Complement the dog's costume, don't overshadow it.
7. Comfort and enjoyment
Your dog needs to enjoy it and not look uncomfortable – the people constantly adjusting something Fido clearly isn't happy in won't (and shouldn't) catch the judges eyes or votes.
8. Add music
When my Brandy was a clown, I added balloons and played "It's a Small World" on a tape recorder I held in my pocket (yes, the tape recorder days). She won first place, and there were several clowns there.
9. Modify dog clothing
I used a dog's polo shirt I found at a pet supply store for $6.99 and used it as a base for Dexter's "cereal killer" costume.
Take a familiar costume and improve it: Clown costume with a makeshift boa; witch costume and when you walk by the judges, spooky cackling sounds emit from a tape recorder in your pocket.
Let the costume speak for itself: If I can't tell what it is when I look at your dog (or with a little thought), it isn't good costume fodder. Don't tell me "Now this glitter represents the galaxy and my dog is a star in it."
As promised, here's Dexter in his costume this year. I never enter for the prizes and always donate them to someone else in the parade. I just love being creative. Any guesses?