To groom, not to groom, and to over groom

Over grooming

When is it grooming… and when is it just too much?

The other day I was walking in NYC (more like freezing in NYC). It’s always a sight to see people walking their dogs when the temperatures drop below freezing. You can see the reluctant walkers being dragged by their parents, the thick coated dogs jumping in the snow and slush, and then I did a massive double take. Was it just me or did I see a poodle with a green Mohawk.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve been some.. well let’s call it “creative grooming” (who can forget leaving Ms. Soufie with friends only to come home and find they decided to ‘punk her out’):


And yes it was adorable, but it made me think. Is it ok? Is it too much? Some are staunch against using dyes on dogs citing health risks from the toxins and even potential psychological ramifications.

And we are not even getting into the whole aspect of dog shows- and grooming contest.

Personally we prefer a natural look and we think it’s best of the health of the dog. But check out some of the scary, crazy and more pictures below and tell us what you think?

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4 thoughts on “To groom, not to groom, and to over groom

  1. Gosh… some of the tamer designs like the “Marry Me” and “Mom Tattoo” ones seem more harmless, assuming they are temporary and use non-toxic, wash-off dyes, but most of this is just too much. If the dogs have no problem with it and are not harmed in any way I guess it is ok, but it would seem that the discomfort of the decoration process for some of these more elaborate styles might outweigh the amusement to the humans involved. I would assume that any enjoyment the dog gets is purely from the extra affection and attention from the humans, but that there may otherwise be lasting discomfort. The dog can’t communicate their consent clearly on this item, which is true for when my humans dress me up in costume as well, but at least that is over relatively quickly and doesn’t interfere with my standard image. I for one am just going to stick to playing dress-up. *wags* – Gilligan from


  2. There was a blogger who was also a groomer and she blogged quite a bit about the grooming competitions and the dyes they used. She was getting into it herself and hoped to compete. The dyes she was using were natural and just put on the top of the fur. I remember it was not at all easy to make designs. I have no issue with it if that is what people want to do. Of course we do almost no grooming of our Chessies aside from clipping nails and maybe cleaning ears and clipping whiskers/eyelashes (and sometimes not even that). That holds true even when they are entered in a dog show. We just spray with water about an hour or so before the show. Good to go (and hope they don’t smell…lol).


  3. Hilarious. I’ve met quite a few dyed dogs at different shows. The dyes they used were safe, and the dogs didn’t seem to care. I used to dye my own hair, with much more harsh chemicals. Meh. It’s fun.


  4. Given that the average dog:
    – is not blind ………… so it can see the grooming result.
    – is sensitive to touch …….. so knows its coat profile has changed.
    – has an amazing sense of smell ……………. so no doubt picks up on chemical odors that we cannot detect.
    – reads body language ……….. so knows that human (and probably dog) reaction to him is different.
    How can it be anything but insensitive to the dog? The argument that they don’t seem to care seems a little short sighted. My dog doesn’t appear to care about being leashed, but if he had a choice? He doesn’t object when I put his muzzle on him, but if he had a choice? Dogs are the best companions, but they are neither toys, pseudo babies, status symbols nor fashion statements. Just love them for who they are after all, isn’t that how we would like to be treated?


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