These impeccably coiffed canines are taking over the catwalk!
“Pooch Perfect,” a new dog-grooming competition series hosted by actor and fourth-generation dog-show competitor Rebel Wilson, is shaping up to be a mad parade of dashing doggie topiaries.
In the new competition series, which premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC, 10 teams of dog groomers from around the US (Wilson hosted the Aussie version of the show last year) flaunt their skills in the hope of winning $100,000 cash to fund their artistic endeavors. In each episode, one crew who misses the mark will be sent home “with their tail between their legs,” Wilson jokes on-screen.
“It’s a competition of the rock stars for the grooming industry. They’re trendsetters,” celeb dog groomer Jorge Bendersky, who is a judge on the show, told The Post of the contestants. “They don’t follow breed standards. They think outside the box — and that box has four legs.”
Joining Bendersky to rate the over-the-top colorful looks is “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star and animal activist Lisa Vanderpump and vet Dr. Callie Harris.
The show’s grooming challenges show off unbelievable transfurmations: Groomers must shape their dog’s mane into everything from flowers to faces and, during Tuesday’s premiere, an entirely different animal altogether. The ruff-and-ready results included a peacock, a fish and a tiger. One bright white pooch was totally unrecognizable as a black skunk topped with a snowy stripe.
In another episode titled “Feliz Navidog!,” contestants create holiday-inspired canine styles. Alyssa Kasiba, an internationally recognized groomer from Elgin, Illinois, fashioned her poodle into a ridiculously round Halloween pumpkin. The same challenge saw duo Macie Pisa and Corina Stammworthy, from Kenmore, New York’s Laundromutt, morph an adorable Maltese into a pastel, Easter egg-inspired pooch.
“I push them and push them and push them, and they deliver,” Bendersky told The Post. “I think that the viewers are going to be so amazed by the work,” he said, comparing the “mind-blowing” creations to that of a sculptor.
The beauty contest is only half of it. “Safety is always the first concern,” said Bendersky. Dr. Harris and other veterinary professionals oversaw the selection of nontoxic pet care and styling products used on the show.
For anyone at home who feels inspired by the ambitious looks paraded on “Pooch Perfect,” Bendersky urges the use of products specifically designed for pets made with temporary, dog-safe dyes. And he stresses taking great care with the application, too.
“You can try to dye your dog pink — but, remember, that dog is going to shake. So you might end up with pink walls, and a pink sofa,” he said. “You’ve got to really plan the logistics.”
“Pooch Perfect” premieres March 30 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.