Crufts Dog Show Judges On Alert For Competitors In Makeup


Judges at Crufts, the world’s largest dog show, are on high alert this year for canine competitors whose looks have been enhanced with cosmetics, reports the (U.K.) Telegraph. We’re not talking blue eyeshadow or contouring blush, but the use of products such as hair removal creams and color dyes.

“Although competition rules do not specifically ban the use of cosmetics and other beauty treatments on dogs, they do forbid anything that alters an animal’s appearance during dog shows, to gain extra marks from judges, who award prizes for entries that best match the ‘ideal’ characteristics of each breed,” reports the Telegraph. Dog owners who show hairless Chinese crested dogs have been suspected of using “female depilatory creams” to rid their champion canines of excess hair. Owners of other breeds have been suspected of using lipstick, eyeliner and Clearasil acne cream.

The notion of using makeup on dogs is so strange that it’s led one British veterinarian, Peter Wedderburn, to wonder, “What’s next, dope testing?” “It seems bizarre to me that it happens at all: if showing dogs is about celebrating the health and vigor of animals, what does it matter if there’s an occasional tuft of hair in the wrong place?” Wedderburn asks.

It’s admittedly a “grey area” according to the British Kennel Club. At the Westminster Dog Show, the most prestigious canine competition in America, this reporter witnessed a Chinese crested dog getting a last minute shave and having the rims of her eyes touched up with white powder to “get the red out.” Not too far away, corn starch was being used to brighten the legs on a gray-and-white schnauzer and all around, dogs were being shampooed, blown dry with hair dryers and coiffed with hair spray. None of it was done in secret.

Caroline Kisko of the British Kennel Club, tells the Telegraph that they are trying to be “particularly vigilant this year” about dogs in makeup. But with nearly 28,000 dogs anticipated to participate in this year’s event, the task can be daunting, if not impossible. “We do carry out spot checks, including hair samples, but while it is easy to find colour dye it can be very hard to prove that removal cream has been used on a hairless dog,” Kisko admitted to the Telegraph.

The Crufts dog show began yesterday in Birmingham, England, and continues through Sunday.



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