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Coiffed at Crufts! Dog show to lift its ban on hairspray and other 'performance-enhancing' products

Crufts is changing its rules to allow dogs to be treated with ‘performance-enhancing’ items, such as hairspray.

The break with tradition at the competition means that owners may use chalk to enhance the appearance of breeds which have white fur.

Poodle hair can at last legitimately be tamed with hairspray.

Let us spray: Competitors at Crufts will now be allowed to spray their animals with hairspray and other cosmetic products (file picture)

Let us spray: Competitors at Crufts will now be allowed to spray their animals with hairspray and other cosmetic products (file picture)

The move comes after furious owners said banning the products would be like 'Miss World being made to go on without her make-up'.

The new rules, which break almost 100 years of tradition, mean owners of breeds with white fur will be able to use chalk to clean their pets before the competition and poodle owners can use hairspray to tame their animals' long hair.

The decision to change the Crufts code of practice comes after a farcical row at last year's show, when dogs were for the first time randomly selected to be tested for banned products, like in athletics.

To check for cheats, hairs were removed from the dogs selected and sent to a forensics laboratory.

Under the Kennel Club code of practice, which dates back to the 1920s, owners are banned from using any grooming products on their dogs before the show.

But because the use of hairspray and white chalk was so common, all four dogs selected at the 2011 show failed the tests.

Two West Highland terriers showed traces of chalk substances and two miniature poodles were tested positive for lacquer, indicating the use of hairspray.

Doggy divas: The use of cosmetic products was given the go-ahead by organisers after an outcry from competitors (file picture)

Doggy divas: The use of cosmetic products was given the go-ahead by organisers after an outcry from competitors (file picture)

Attempts to disqualify the dogs were, however, suspended after protests by a group of owners calling themselves the 'Elnett revolutionaries', named after the hairspray brand.

The Kennel Club eventually agreed to suspend tests and promised to look at the aggrieved competitors' arguments.

It has now reported back and has sided with the revolutionaries, agreeing to allow the use of 'block white chalk' to brush dirt out of white dogs' coats and the 'light use of hairspray' around a dog's head and face.

Chalk can be applied before the contest but must be brushed out before the dog is judged. Powder will, however, remain banned.

Traditionalists are angry, saying rules banning grooming products should not be changed and that competing dogs should be judged in as natural a state as possible.

But many dog owners argue the rule changes are a victory for common sense.

One poodle owner said the hairspray ban is 'like Miss World being made to go on without her make-up'

One poodle owner said the hairspray ban is 'like Miss World being made to go on without her make-up' (file picture)

Where did you get your hair cut? An Afghan Hound stands on a grooming table during the final day of Crufts at the 2012 final (file picture)

Where did you get your hair cut? An Afghan Hound stands on a grooming table during the final day of Crufts at the 2012 final (file picture)

Graphic by Pugh

Sandy Vincent, the secretary of the Standard Poodle Club of Great Britain, told the Sunday Telegraph: 'The Kennel Club's position was ridiculous. The majority were using hairspray anyway.

'It made us look foolish in the eyes of everybody overseas. In the US they think nothing of using hairspray.

'It's a beauty competition. [The hairspray ban] is like Miss World being made to go on without her make-up.'

The new rules will now be put to the Kennel Club general committee, which will report to the annual general meeting in May. They are expected to be put in place in time for the 2014 competition.

Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, said: 'The aim is that this will allow us to crack down on real cheats, because everyone agrees that it is straightforward cheating to use hairspray extensively all over to make the hair stick out from the body and change the coat's appearance.

'This could be a step forward. If exhibitors don't feel they are being hounded over something they view as perfectly reasonable, they will start to treat the rule book as fair and abide by it.'


Tags:  competitionhairpoodle
Posted by www.dailymail.co.uk on 01/28/2013 at 7:36 AM - PERMALINK | ADD YOUR COMMENT | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
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