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Widespread Cheating at U.K. Kennel Club

They’re banned substances at Crufts, the world’s most prestigious dog show: hairspray and chalk.

But almost everyone cheats. Poodle people want the perfect look for their pooches, so they fluff them up and keep the look in place with hairspray.

White dogs with an unwelcome brown spot have it covered over with chalk. Silicone gel gives a shinier look.

All these substances are banned. But almost everyone breaks the rules.

“We know it is against the rules,” said Sandy Vincent, secretary of the Standard Poodle Club of Great Britain. “But everyone has done it.”

Dogs are routinely tested for banned substances. Two people whose dogs failed the test at a recent show admitted that they’d used chalk on their dogs, but said that it was “not for cosmetic purposes,” rather “part of the grooming process.”

Another person, whose poodle had tested positive for hairspray argued that it must have blown onto her dog from someone else’s spray … or perhaps the judges had touched other poodles and then contaminated her dog.

Other people say it’s humiliating to be publicly marched out of the ring when your dog has tested positive for a banned substance.

The trouble is that the Kennel Club basically exists to make money for their industry, and Crufts doesn’t want a lot of unhappy show dog “owners.”

So they’ve decided to cave in and stop doing the tests.

“We agreed to suspend testing,” said Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, “but the regulations are still in place.”

For more of the story, check out the London Daily Telegraph.