10 Things That Happen at Westminster Dog Show That Are Just Plain Wrong

Most sensible people take one look at the Westminster Dog Show and know something’s up. Here are the GIFs to prove it.

1. At Westminster, dogs are roughly handled during grooming, like the way this woman yanks at this little dog’s hair so she can flat-iron it.

Sad Small Dog

2. Or the way this dog is forced to stand on tiny pegs so that he can’t move.

Westminster Dog on Pegs

The groomer: “It’s easier than fighting with them.”

3. Or the way this dog is tightly tied by the muzzle to this grooming table.

Dog Tied to Table

4. This is a rack with cosmetics that you can buy at the Westminster Dog Show. For your dog.

Dog Cosmetics

5. White powder is used to make parts of the dogs’ fur whiter. Like on this dog’s face …

Poodle at Westminster

6. … and on this dog’s legs.

Dog at Westminster

7. Handlers will also apply eyeliner to the dogs.

Applying Eyeliner to Dog


8. A woman explains why:

Dog Eyeliner Logic

“You’re supposed to have―on some breeds―pigment around the eye, and when they don’t get it, they eyeline it. You’re not supposed to, but they do it anyway so that they fill that gap in. And sometimes, they’ll take it to the corner of the eye, and they’ll pull [the line] out, so like if you have the masking on your dog―makes it look like the eye’s bigger.”

Nope. Still don’t get it.

9. Here, a dog is sprayed with a bottle marked “Plant Sprayer” and hosed with an air hose.

Westminster Dog Being Sprayed

10. These women apply a substance to this dog’s face. It doesn’t look pleasant.

Sad Dog

Why put dogs through all that? Why not just give them the love and attention they need and let them be dogs?

And don’t forget: Dog shows like Westminster don’t just put “competing” dogs through absurd torment―they also promote breeding and buying of dogs, which takes homes away from equally deserving dogs languishing in our nation’s animal shelters.

Please, don’t watch the Westminster Dog Show, and never buy a dog from a breeder or pet shop. Instead, adopt!

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind