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The Weird, Wondrous World of Competitive Dog Grooming

Jan 08, 2018 | 649 videos
Video by Rebecca Stern

For competitive groomers, dogs are more than pets—they’re living canvases. These dedicated hobbyists spend months sculpting, coiffing, and dyeing their canines into vibrant works of art, ranging from recreations of Michael Jackson to Disney characters to lions. Rebecca Stern’s whimsical short documentary Well Groomed follows creative groomers as they intricately style their dogs to compete for Best in Show. But this is no Christopher Guest movie; Stern’s film is earnest proof of creativity’s variegated forms.


“It was surprising to find out how vast the world of competitive dog grooming is,” Stern told The Atlantic. “Like a lot of people, I'd only really seen the Westminster Dog Show and had assumed the breeding was what made the coats that shiny. I was so wrong. A lot goes into dog grooming, and there's an entire world of people passionate about making our furry friends look their best. In fact, they’ve staked their livelihoods on it.”


For more information, including Well Groomed’s future as a feature film, visit the website.


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Author: Emily Buder

About This Series

A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic