Although dog grooming has never been an Olympic event, there is a so-called Olympics of dog grooming held annually.
From humble beginnings back in 1988, the dog grooming competition at Hershey, Pennsylvania has grown to become a major attraction, now called the Olympics of Dog Grooming. Held in September, it attracts more participants and larger audiences each year to watch the dogs being groomed. A documentary was recently released on the competition.
The competition has been dominated by American groomers until this year. English groomer, 38-year-old Su Eld-Weaver won with Dobby, a Poodle groomed to look like a Japanese geisha girl.
Whenever I do a post on extreme dog grooming (and I’m obligated to since this is The Poodle (and dog) blog), I’m torn between joining most of you in gathering torches and pitchforks and in defending extreme dog grooming.
Over the years I’ve heard from groomers who are very upset that I would think they would bring any harm to their beloved dogs.
The thing that people need to understand is that Poodles are not like other dogs. Poodles love grooming. Any Poodle who would fight grooming would have been removed from the gene pool centuries ago.
Unlike most other breeds, the Poodle hair grows like human hair and does not periodically shed like a normal dog coat. A Poodle ungroomed can develop physical, even life-threatening problems. Not to mention poop-related rear end issues that would quickly be most unpleasant for all.
Poodles love the bonding that takes place in grooming and the attention that comes with it. They love being the center of attention. They love performing and entertaining. This is in their genetic code. They don’t understand ridicule, but if they did, they would consider it a human foible that they wouldn’t take seriously.
If any physical damage were done to a dog, any number of animal welfare organizations would be demanding an end to the competitions. None have. The dyes are as harmless as Kool-Aid and quickly wash out.
The extreme groomers don’t get gold medals or product endorsements from winning the competitions. They do it for love of their craft and of their dogs.
Having said all that I can’t imagine that I would enjoy watching beautiful Poodles being turned into weird objects. But there are a lot of things that are not of interest to me that other people seem to enjoy---“The Bachelor,” rugby, TV awards shows, soccer, clowns, and any of the Kardashians.