It's the Tigoodle and the Zeboodle: Dogs transformed into wild animals for pet grooming competitions

By Lucy Laing

Zeboodle: Su Weaver with the Zeboodle, a poodle groomed to look like a zebra and the Tigoodle, dyed to look like a tiger

This may look like an experiment carried out by a mad scientist or genetic engineer.

But far from taking place in the secrecy of the laboratory this is actually the latest grooming craze set to take Britain by storm.

As part of the wacky fad, already popular in the U.S, dogs are clipped and dyed into different shapes for competitions, with 'dog artists' already turning pets into everything from dragons and chickens to pirates and footballers.

Award-winning British groomer Su Weaver – inspired by the coats of tigers and zebras – has embraced the craze and has now transformed two poodles named Willow and Floyd into a Tigoodle and a Zeboodle.

'People do a double-take on seeing them out together,' said Su, 36, who owns a dog grooming salon in Rushden, Northants.

'Some think the practice is cruel but all our dyes are vegetable-based so the animals are totally unharmed.'

Craze: Willow and Floyd have been groomed by 'dog artist' Su Weaver to resemble a tiger and a zebra

Su had been a dog groomer for ten years when she first became aware of creative grooming and admits she gets some very strange looks when she takes the pair for a walk.

‘They can’t imagine how they are seeing a tiger and a zebra walking so close together.

'It’s only when they look closely that they realise they are actually two dogs.’

Unusual: Su Weaver admits people often 'do a double take' when they spot the unusually groomed poodles

‘I had worked in my own grooming parlour since leaving school and I was reading an article one day about extreme dog grooming.

‘It showed a poodle whose coat had been styled and dyed to look like an American football player. It was so realistic, it looked fantastic.

‘I wanted to give it a try so I did some research into techniques for styling with scissors and the kind of dyes to use for colouring.

Dye: The Tigoodle's coat is dyed in order to look like a tiger

‘They are all vegetable based to avoid harmful chemicals. None of the methods pose any harm or discomfort to the animals.’

Su tried dying her own poodle’s coat pink, then she was asked by a friend to create a Valentine’s look for her dog.

She clipped love hearts into his coat and dyed them red.

Competition: The finishing touches are applied to the Zeboodle to enter grooming competitions set to take Britain by storm

She said: ‘The dogs don’t mind standing still and they seem to really enjoy it. They love the one to one attention they get in the grooming parlour whilst it is being done.

‘I’ve never had any skin problems or matted fur as a result. If anything, the grooming keeps them more healthy.’

She has since created other designs, such as decorating dogs with holly and ivy for Christmas and grooming dogs to look like dragons and won the Creative Stylist of the Year in 2010.

The contests are expected to grow in popularity since a law change on January 1 that allows easier movement of pets between Britain and the US.

Panda: This pooch may resemble a panda but is actually a poodle vying for top dog at a 'creative grooming' show in the U.S.

Touchdown: This poodle was transformed in to an American footballer in a bid to win a grooming competition in the U.S.



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