If there’s one good thing to come out of quarantine over the past year, it’s been the extra time we spent with our animals. And the animals — especially dogs — have been equally excited for the extra time with us. We love them, take care of them, snuggle them and even occasionally take them to the groomer — but has your dog ever gone to an extreme groomer? And what even is that? ABC’s new eight-episode series Pooch Perfect answers that question as 10 of the country’s most accomplished groomers and their assistants take on challenges every week to prove themselves the best in all the land and win a giant cash prize.
The series is based off of an original series in Australia, and the host is the same — actress Rebel Wilson, who surprisingly is actually the perfect choice for this show. “What a lot of people don’t know about me is that I am a fourth-generation dog show-er. My great-grandmother started the Beagle Club of Australia, and every weekend of my childhood until I was old enough to stay home by myself I was going to dog shows,” explains Wilson. “And my family’s business was a little yellow caravan that we traveled all around Australia in to different dog shows, and we’d sell dog grooming products mainly to all of the dog show-ers. So dogs have just been such a huge part of my life.”
The judges’ panel is just as stacked with dog lovers. There’s Dr. Callie Harris, a licensed veterinarian; reality star Lisa Vanderpump, known for her work with rescue animals; and Jorge Bendersky, a celebrity dog groomer himself. The trio are boisterous and increase the energy of the show tenfold, along with Wilson and her comedy antics.
Expect to see some crazy grooming, from colorful dyes to sculptural haircuts. To ensure the dogs are well-behaved and proud to show off their new looks, the producers sourced animals from homes where the dogs bask in the limelight. But as Bendersky says, you have to find those perfect dogs. “Every parent thinks their kids are perfect, right? But not every kid wants to go to a beauty pageant. Those that are chosen to become creative partners, they are dogs that love the attention. If you have a dog that is very shy, you probably won’t want them to have pink hair and walk on the street and have people taking pictures.”
Mostly the show serves to blow the lid off of a profession that isn’t widely understood. It may seem simple, trimming a dog’s hair, but the reality of what some groomers can do can be conceived as art. If these contestants can blow away the judges on the “dogwalk,” they might have a chance to not only show off the limits of what their profession can do, but also possibly set some new trends.