It’s All About Glam and Grooming for the Diva Dogs of Westminster

It’s All About Glam and Grooming for the Diva Dogs of Westminster

Some pups require a little extra primping.

By Rebecca Macatee

Most of the dogs you see in the Westminster Dog Show ring didn't just #wakeuplikethis. Pointers and poodles alike totally transform with the help of glam squads/groomers.

Some breeds do require more work than others, though. Shih Tzu owner and breeder Kathy Kwait is the first to admit "the grooming for the shows is very high maintenance." As evidenced by the whole “just slept with braids in my hair” look:

Then there's Stephanie Kodis, the proud owner of a Lhasa Apso named Angie, who told Unleashed her long-haired little lady had "a full bath and blowdrying" back home in Massachusetts, "but she'll have to be done before [in New York], too."

The Pumi, which is one of three new breeds recognized by the AKC this year, is easy, comparatively. Its non-shedding coat is trimmed, but not blown dry, and the ears and tail are natural as opposed to being sculpted. But low-maintenance doesn’t necessarily mean low-drama: This year’s Pumi named Zsa Zsa is "a total diva" according to her owner, Nancy Nelson.

"She's very definitely named after her namesake Zsa Zsa Gabor, so she needs to present that presence," Nelson explained. And Zsa Zsa, via her owner, said, "Obviously, I have to primp" pre-show, "and I also review all my fashion choices." Zsa Zsa's main thing, though, is to stay relaxed, said Nelson, "and not get too excited" by all the commotion.

Keeping calm seemed to be a common goal for all the pups. Even Preston the Puli, who won Best in Show at the AKC National Championship (and is believed to be a top contender at Westminster), skipped out on sightseeing in the big city so he could get some much-needed beauty sleep.

"He's resting in the hotel on the bed," Penny Kelley, Preston's breeder and co-owner, told Unleashed. Grooming and maintaining that corded Puli coat is no easy feat, but Preston lets the humans worry about that. His only pre-show ritual? "To just chill," said Kelley.

Meanwhile, a few lucky owners themselves are able to relax thanks to their low-maintenance breeds. Like the Otterhound, a 4-year-old named Honey, who only needed "a bath, about four days before the show, and then a brush right beforehand," said her owner, Joellen Gregory. "The breed is very much wash-and-wear," she noted, "and they don't require a whole lot of grooming, which is wonderful."

Yep, some pups—like people—are just naturally gorgeous and camera-ready. At least, though, we can judge them on the things that really matter—like inner beauty.

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