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Not so Pooch Perfect! BBC show condemned after poodles’ fur is dyed

Dog lovers tuning into the latest episode of BBC One show Pooch Perfect have slammed the show’s creators as ‘cruel’ after judges asked contestants to dye fur and paint claws. 

The latest episode of the programme, hosted by Sheridan Smith, saw judges Colin Taylor and Verity Hardcastle set this week’s groomers the challenge of using bright colours to create a look on three toy poodles and a terrier.

Taylor told the contestants: ‘I want you to use thoughtful, temporary colour to enhance an impeccable cut.’  

Meanwhile Hardcastle quipped: ‘What girl doesn’t want to have her nails done before a night out?’ 

The latest episode of BBC One show Pooch Perfect saw four dog groomers vying for a place in the quarter-final of the BBC One show – by dramatically transforming how poodles and a Yorkshire terrier looked. Pictured: Dolly the poodle before her make-over

Hello Dolly: After the challenge, the poodle wore hues of pink, yellow and blue on the top of her head, and a fishnet bolero around her chest

Hello Dolly: After the challenge, the poodle wore hues of pink, yellow and blue on the top of her head, and a fishnet bolero around her chest

Dolly also sported a bright red polish on her claws as she took to the 'dogwalk'

Dolly also sported a bright red polish on her claws as she took to the ‘dogwalk’

Other viewers defended the show, saying the dogs were unharmed by the experience

Other viewers defended the show, saying the dogs were unharmed by the experience

The episode saw four dog groomers hoping to bag a place in the quarter finals of the show given three white poodles and a Yorkshire Terrier to makeover with a variety of pet-safe dyes and accessories. 

A BBC spokesperson says the show’s makers ensured the ‘care and wellbeing of the dogs was of the upmost importance’ during the challenge.  

The resulting looks – shown off on the ‘dogwalk’ – used dramatic colours, glitter, jewellery and paint on the dogs’ claws but sparked a raft of complaints on Twitter. 

One fluffy-haired toy poodle, Dolly, emerged with her groomer wearing hues of pink, yellow and blue on the top of her head, and a fishnet bolero around her chest. 

On her claws, there was a bright red polish. 

Elsewhere, Noah the poodle was given bright blue ears and a necklace by groomer Mich, while Michael left his poodle Alaska with faded out yellow and pink ears and a pink heart around her bottom, something judge Colin Taylor admitted he ‘didn’t want to see’.

Judge Colin Taylor, left, told the contestants: 'I want to use thoughtful temporary colour to enhance an impeccable cut.' Meanwhile, co-judge Verity Hardcastle quipped: 'What girl doesn't want to have her nails done before a night out?'

Judge Colin Taylor, left, told the contestants: ‘I want to use thoughtful temporary colour to enhance an impeccable cut.’ Meanwhile, co-judge Verity Hardcastle quipped: ‘What girl doesn’t want to have her nails done before a night out?’

Groomer Kayla with Dolly before the groomer got to work on the toy poodle

Groomer Kayla with Dolly before the groomer got to work on the toy poodle

@Haylestone88 wrote: ‘Shocked at how cruel #PoochPerfect is! Using dyes, glitter etc on dogs is encouraging people to treat dogs as accessories, & people may use products that are fatal for dogs if trying to copy the TV look. It’s not natural & dogs can’t consent! Love dogs for how they are!’ 

@bret70_brett agreed, saying: ‘I’ve just flicked through the channels and this car crash is on, has the BBC ever wasted license fee payers so much before, its awful and cruel.’  

@CruisieDave wrote: ‘So since when has it been acceptable to paint and dye a dog. They are animals! Society complains about cruelty to animals yet the @BBCOne #PoochPerfect think this is entertainment.’

Mich opted for bright blues to tranform toy poodle Noah...along with a glittery stick on necklace

Mich opted for bright blues to tranform toy poodle Noah…along with a glittery stick on necklace

Meanwhile Michael got to work on Noah's twin sister Alaska...

Meanwhile Michael got to work on Noah’s twin sister Alaska…

However, some defended the show, saying the dogs wouldn’t know whether they had dye on their fur. @_isabel_ds wrote: ‘Cruel? They clearly stated not to try it at home and leave to the professionals, all products used were also dog friendly.’  

MailOnline has contacted Pooch Perfect’s makers for comment. An official BBC Spokesperson said: ‘When temporary colour was used it was kept to a minimum and, as shown in the programme, it washes out easily and was used to demonstrate specific areas of skill and creativity. 

‘All the products were animal safe and the grooms were performed by professionals who have great experience of handling and managing dogs. The series displays many aspects of dog grooming, including use of temporary colour, and it is consistently stressed that these grooms should only be carried out by professionals. 

Alaska ended up with faded out yellow and pink ears and a pink heart around her bottom, something judge Colin Taylor admitted he didn't want to see

Alaska ended up with faded out yellow and pink ears and a pink heart around her bottom, something judge Colin Taylor admitted he didn’t want to see

The look might have been better if the heart was in a different place, said fellow judge Verity Hardcastle

The look might have been better if the heart was in a different place, said fellow judge Verity Hardcastle

‘The care and wellbeing of the dogs was of the upmost importance and on set we had a Vet who was recommended by the British Veterinary Association, an RSPCA approved Animal Welfare Consultant and a highly qualified Grooming Consultant to ensure the dogs’ safety and welfare. 

‘Pooch Perfect prides itself in promoting responsible pet care and ownership and in no way encourages viewers to try any of these activities at home. We firmly believe that the dogs enjoyed their pampering in the hands of these skilled professionals and by highlighting the positive impact that professional groomers can have on a dogs’ health and happiness, the series seeks to positively influence the way people treat their beloved pets.’

Jody Gordon, the series’ animal welfare consultant, who spent nearly 20 years working for the RSPCA and who co-wrote the RSPCA’s own ‘Guidelines for the Welfare of Performing Animals’ said: ‘The series is there to highlight the skills and knowledge of professional groomers and not to encourage owners to ‘experiment’ with their own dog. 

In the episode, care is taken to ensure that there is no suggestion that the series is a set of instructions for “how to do this at home”. All owners should only ever use animal safe products when grooming their dogs including shampoos, colours, sprays or any other product that they may wish to use in the care of their dog and this was always highlighted throughout the series.’


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