Creative Grooming of Poodles: Cruel or Kind?

Photography by Ren Netherland

Wow. We are so rarely speechless, that we weren’t sure what to do when someone sent us this story from the UK’s Daily Mail.

These pups—all poodles—are transformed into camels, snails, buffalo and even, yes, Jack Sparrow, in the name of creative grooming competitions, which happen across the United States.

We personally have trouble with this: the owners/groomers claim that these dogs are thrilled to bits by all the attention they get by being in the shows, but we know that dogs communicate with each other partially by body language, and any kind of clothing/costuming/etc., can hinder that communication and lead to misunderstandings with other dogs. We’re also not sure about painting the dogs–can that really be safe? Plus, don’t some of them look a little humiliated?

What do you think? Is creative grooming simply a harmless past time, or a cruel canine humiliation?

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