What is a dog, if not a fluffy, walking canvas? That seems to be the mindset of competitive dog groomers. Photographer Ren Netherland (previously featured here) is still traveling around the United States taking awesome canine portraits at creative dog grooming competitions. We’re still impressed by just how many characters or creatures a groomer is able to include on one dog thanks to careful dyeing and shearing.

Why settle for simply transforming a dog into Yoda when you can make one end look like Yoda and the other end look like an Ewok? And just how many different Sesame Street characters can you fit on a single dog?

"It takes two intense hours for the groomers to produce their masterpieces before facing judges. Mr Netherland said: ‘The owners have to grow out their dog’s hair in preparation for the show - so that it’s long enough for them to make something. They train and rehearse throughout the year in preparation for the competition, whittling their creation down to a fine art.

'The best thing for spectators is that when the poodles fist come onto the stage, they just look like normal poodles. Suddenly they are transformed before your eyes into something colourful and completely different. The dogs seem to enjoy the pampering and all the attention.'”

Visit Ren Netherland’s website to view more of his fascinating photos.

[via Laughing Squid and Neatorama]