JoAnna Lou
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Extreme Primping
Is competitive grooming embarrassing for the pups?

Last month I read about dogs in China dyed to resemble wild animals. It seemed so outrageous that I didn’t think it could possibly be true. After checking web sites like Snopes, It looked like it was indeed real.

As crazy as it sounds, the desire to transform dogs into wild animals is not limited to China. A new show called Extreme Poodles on TLC follows four groomers and their adventures in the world of competitive dog grooming. The pups are cut and styled to look like all sorts of things from a lion to a basket of flowers. The winner will get $5,000 and a cover story in Groomer to Groomer magazine.

I suppose the dogs aren’t being harmed, and if anything, they’re getting a lot of attention and are well taken care of, but it seems a little embarrassing for the dogs. None of the dogs that I saw looked particularly stressed out, although it was hard to see their faces under all of that primping, but I can’t imagine that they enjoy standing on the grooming table for that long!

What do you think? Are you a fan of competitive grooming?

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Discovery Communications.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Maura | June 25 2010 |

I think it's a bit ridiculous really. I'm sure the dogs much rather be out doing dog sports, out walking, anything but being groomed for that long! Plus, all the chemicals can't be that good for them (their skin or inhaling them). I rather these people let their dogs be dogs and get a doll or volunteer if they wanna play around that much.
I see your point I suppose about them getting a lot of attention tho... just not the attention I'm sure they would choose to have;)

Submitted by Frances | June 25 2010 |

For me, it is part of the lunatic fringe of dog ownership! But then, I also find dressing dogs up in frilly frocks and "amusing" costumes bizarre, and am not even sure about the good sense of collar charms and other danglums. I know of many people on US chat boards who have chosen to have a white poodle so that they can experiment with colouring it. I suppose it does the dog no real harm, as long as the time on the grooming table is controlled, but it does seem to me to be turning a dog into a fashion accessory, rather than enjoying its innate dogginess.

Submitted by Pearl | June 25 2010 |

Mean & stupid.

Submitted by Jean | July 16 2010 |

True, but better than eating them. It may help encourage dog-eating Chinese people to stop that horrendously horrible cultural practice.

Submitted by Carolyn | June 26 2010 |

I think I'd feel better about it (extreme grooming), if the dog was complicit. You know when your dog wants to play, to take a walk, to eat, and also when it doesn't. Of course dogs can't always choose ... but extreme grooming is a situation where the dog has no choice. Some dogs may tolerate it, some may hate it. It is hard for me to imagine that any dogs really enjoys it.

Submitted by Anonymous | June 29 2010 |

I know I love my hair being played with! I know my Golden does too. She will not move if you are toucing her hair, for hours. I am sure that most dogs love it! Anyone that really knows dogs, knows that if they are not happy, you will soon know!

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