The premiere showed many amazing grooming transformations, turning several pooches from drab to fab, but some viewers questioned just how safe it was for the dogs to be so heavily groomed and often have their fur dyed to match the design theme — sparking some outrage on social media.
“This show is a disgusting display,” one user wrote on Twitter. “This is not artistry, it is animal abuse. #PoochPerfect.”
“You can’t convince me dogs like being poked, cut, bejeweled, and dressed up like this. #PoochPerfect,” another user tweeted, while a third commented: “Anybody else think this is kinda animal abuse? I’m uncomfortable #PoochPerfect.”
A fourth asked animal-rights group PETA to intervene, calling the pup pageant “the most disgusting show I’ve ever seen!”
Wilson is joined on the show by dog lover Lisa Vanderpump, veterinarian Callie Harris and celebrity groomer Jorge Bendersky. Wilson’s great-grandmother started The Beagle Club of Australia, and the Pitch Perfect star’s mother is a renowned international all-breed dog show judge.
Ahead of the controversial series launch, the producers were asked about the experiences for the dogs and if there would be a “Do not try this at home” disclaimer placed before the show, according to The Wrap.
“Some dogs like it more than others. Some find it uncomfortable,” executive producer Elan Gale said at the Television Critics Association press tour. “So we made sure we had the kind of dogs that were used to the entire process.”
Bendersky, a judge on the show, added: “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.”
Scroll through to see more Twitter backlash from the premiere.