Skip To Content

    There's Something Called "Creative Dog Grooming," And I'm Not Sure How To Feel About It

    Petco, but make it Vogue.

    I recently stumbled across a documentary on HBO called Well Groomed.

    HBO

    The poster certainly caught my eye, but once I read the summary and saw that it followed "competitive and creative dog groomers," my destiny was set. I was watching this movie.

    Warner Bros.

    Competitive and creative dog grooming is when people dye and sculpt their dogs' hair/fur/fluff, then enter them in competitions. Whoever shows the most skill and creativity in turning their dog into a work of art is the winner.

    HBO

    The documentary follows four women who are hoping to win the world's largest creative grooming competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

    HBO

    Yes, that is Pikachu being spray painted onto a dog's torso.

    There's Cat Opson, who decorates her miniature poodle, Kobe, in a Jurassic Park theme.

    HBO

    Side note: Just in case the whole affair wasn't goofy enough for you, the contestants dress up WITH their dogs.

    There's Angela Kumpe, who decorates her dog like a ram in the front and a turkey in the back.

    HBO

    P.S. I took a look at some of the other designs she's done (that aren't shown in the film) and I have no choice but to show you her Pennywise masterpiece. Have fun sleeping tonight!

    facebook.com

    Then there's Nicole Beckman, who decorates her standard poodle, Ira, like a hen.

    HBO

    And finally, there's Adriane Pope, who designs her poodle, Encore, in an Alice in Wonderland theme.

    HBO

    When I started watching the movie, the first thing I thought about were the inevitable arguments about whether creative grooming should be considered animal abuse or not.

    HBO

    I found a few tweets from people who were super angry about the concept, to say the least.

    Just watched Well Groomed on @HBO and I'm horrified. I just keep screaming "Why are white people so crazy!?"

    I’m about 15 minute into the documentary “Well Groomed” on HBO and I kinda want to claw my eyes out. wtf is wrong with people? Most of these dogs look miserable.

    I’m cuddled up with Fraggle and our poodle mix Zeus and watching “Well Groomed” on @HBO I would kick someone’s ass if they came near my dog. #JustSayNo

    About halfway through the documentary, they address the controversy by showing past news coverage on the topic. In one clip, Anderson Cooper asks a veterinarian if it's ethical. "Their tails are wagging, so they're happy, and philosophically I have no problem with it," he says.

    HBO

    Opson is also interviewed on a British program, where she tells a woman who's criticizing creative grooming that some dogs are cut out for it and some just aren't. It's all about gauging their personality.

    HBO

    "Creative grooming is not for every dog. It's only for a confident dog," Opson says. "If it's a shy dog or maybe a dog that's a little bit insecure, it's maybe not the best choice for creative grooming."

    Creative grooming's potential effect on a dog's overall health is also addressed. Another professional dog groomer who's interviewed says all the dyes are safe.

    HBO

    Yes, that's an ass on an ass.

    I personally am kind of torn. I definitely think it's a super original idea, but I do see how it could be exhausting for the poor pups that probably just wanna lie down!

    What do you think about creative grooming? Is it a cool form of creative expression, or harmful toward dogs? Sound off in the comments below!

    Want the best of BuzzFeed Animals in your inbox?
    Sign up for a newsletter today!

    Newsletter signup form