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Art or Pure Evil? Extreme Dog Grooming Is Here!
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Art or Pure Evil? Extreme Dog Grooming Is Here!

Picture of India Irving
Social Content Producer
Updated: 8 November 2017
There’s a new dog trend taking over the US and it requires just about as much primping as any animal, human or otherwise, could possibly stand. It’s extreme, it’s creative and it will have you either laughing or crying.

Welcome to the world of ‘creative grooming,’ where your pooch can become anything from a panda to a Star Wars character. Owners of these ultra-particular brand of show dogs don’t mess around, nor do the groomers, who spend up to two hours prepping the poodles for their onstage debuts. Two hours that include trimming, shaping, sculpting, dyeing and beyond! It’s no wonder the big winners can take home up to $5,000!

A dog with animal designs at a creative grooming competition in Seacaucus, New Jersey
A dog with animal designs at a creative grooming competition in Seacaucus, New Jersey | © and Courtesy Ren Netherland / Barcroft Media

Hailing from Florida, pro animal photographer Ren Netherland travels all across the country capturing these daffy dogs as they undergo their absolutely insane transformations.

The dogs become almost unrecognisable, transforming into the characters they are portraying.

A dog with a half tiger and half elephant design at a creative grooming competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania
A dog with a half tiger and half elephant design at a creative grooming competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania | © and Courtesy of Ren Netherland / Barcroft Media

Ren explains of the process: ‘The owners have to grow out their dog’s hair in preparation for the show – so that it’s long enough for them to make something.’

The way the show is run, spectators actually get to watch the dogs being groomed. According to Ren, the highlight of the event is ‘when the poodles fist come onto the stage, they just look like normal poodles. Suddenly they are transformed before your eyes into something colourful and completely different.’

A dog dressed as Star Wars character Yoda at a creative grooming competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania
A dog dressed as Star Wars character Yoda at a creative grooming competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania | © and Courtesy of Ren Netherland / Barcroft Media

Ren, who has obviously been around a lot of these events, insists that the dogs seem to enjoy the spa-like treatment and attention, but views on this will of course differ.

So what do you think? Is this animal loving or animal cruelty?

A dog with a sesame street design at a creative grooming competition in Pasadena, California
A dog with a sesame street design at a creative grooming competition in Pasadena, California | © and Courtesy of Ren Netherland / Barcroft Media