Previously, when I’ve posted weird Poodle-do pictures, many readers have asked “why?” Some have lined up pitchforks and torches with murmurings about what they would like to do to the creator of these do’s.
But here’s the story on Poodle decorating:
This is Sandra Hartness, the 37-year-old creator of many of the designs, and her 8-year-old Poodle, Cindy. Some of their most [insert your own adjective here] Poodle-do’s have been a chicken, a camel, a dragon, and a Mutant Ninja Turtle and, of course, this peacock.
These are the results of Poodle grooming contests. Hartness, who owns a pet grooming salon in Yucca Valley, California, started on the competitive grooming circuit eight years ago after learning about them through a trade magazine. Since that time she has won many prizes for her designs.
For the competition the styling is done in front of hundreds of people and has to be completed in two and a half hours. The dogs are allowed to lie down and take potty breaks during the competition.
To color the fur she uses food dyes and chalk, nothing that a child could not safely consume, she emphasizes. Most of the colors wash out easily and the dogs are shaved after the competition. As a safeguard she has Cindy’s blood tested once a year.
Hartness admits to being under a lot of pressure during the competition, but Cindy remains calm and collected, all business. When they’re finished she jumps off the table and wags her tail at everyone.
She has gotten hate mail from people who think she is harming her dog. She stresses that she wouldn’t do the competitions if Cindy didn’t enjoy them.
When I get my traveling bag out to pack for a contest she knows where we’re going and gets really excited. She loves the attention. When she's colored or decorated, she's so much more lively and outgoing. She'll run up to people like, 'Look at me, look at me.’ Her whole personality changes. She loves to be different. Source
So before lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks, the thing to remember is that for centuries Poodles have been clipped, trimmed, coiffed, poofed, and generally fussed over. Any dog who would fight grooming would not have been bred since that would be a behavior defect in a Poodle.
Through the centuries, Poodles have gone from being working dogs to being companion animals (as most dogs are today) and they do enjoy Poodle pampering and privileges. See origin of clip (my version).