You Won't Recognize These Dogs After Their Extreme Haircuts

Smiley Herman seems to really like his new look. Grooming by Cindy Reyes. (Photo: Grace Chon)

You know that feeling after you get a haircut when you don't quite recognize your reflection in the mirror? Los Angeles-based photographer Grace Chon captured that before-and-after double-take with shaggy dogs that underwent extreme transformations after a trip to the canine spa.

Chon shared the images on her website, Instagram and Facebook, where they struck a chord with people who loved the sweet faces and the new 'dos.

"I think a lot of us have a fascination with before-and-after images because it’s always fun to see dramatic transformations, whether it's for weight loss or a new bathroom," Chon tells MNN.

"As a huge animal lover I wanted to capture this idea, but with my favorite photography subject: dogs! Sometimes the dog looks so different and you wonder if it’s the same dog in both images. I wanted the 'after' photos to be extra adorable by showcasing Japanese dog grooming cuts since they aren’t that common and the results are so striking."


Teddy's new 'do makes him look so much younger. Grooming by Donna Owens. (Photo: Grace Chon)

Chon, who also volunteers her time photographing homeless dogs at shelters, says she enjoyed portraying a little something different in the dogs' personalities before and after their grooming experiences at Healthy Spot in Los Angeles.

"I think for most of the dogs, they look pleased with themselves, as if they know they look really, really good!" she says.

"I know from personal experience that my dogs love the feeling after a bath and being squeaky clean. When all the dogs walked on set after their grooming, they were positively happy. A few look ambivalent in the shots though, which makes the results all the more funny to me."


Nala's new bob really makes her eyes stand out. Grooming by Alyson Ogimachi. (Photo: Grace Chon)

Many purebred dogs are groomed to a specific breed standard, meaning they get traditional haircuts specific to how they are "supposed" to look.

"Japanese grooming throws all these rules out the window with the ultimate goal of highlighting the cutest attributes of the dog," says Chon. "These dogs were cast specifically for the shoot because they are regularly in grooming competitions and are used to having their hair cut. The cuts take longer than normal hairstyles because a lot of the shaping is done by hand with scissors."


That side sweep really works for Rocco. Grooming by Patricia Sugihara. (Photo: Grace Chon)

In addition to being regulars at the groomers' and grooming competitions, these dogs were chosen for more than their luxurious locks. Chon wanted dogs that wouldn't be flustered by a lot of hubbub.

"This was important to me because I wanted to find dogs that could withstand being on set with flashing strobe lights, so they wouldn't be completely freaked out," she says. "I did request that the dogs come in a little shaggier than usual to make the before-and-after shots as different as possible."


After her beauty session, Athena almost has a little bit of a punk thing going on. Grooming by Donna Owens. (Photo: Grace Chon)

Chon isn't surprised that the images resonate so deeply with people.

"People love a good before-and-after transformation, people love adorable dogs, and when you combine the two, you get something really fun to look at!"

Biggie Smalls

Biggie Smalls looks like a stuffed animal post-haircut. Grooming by Cameron Adkins. (Photo: Grace Chon)

A former art director in the advertising business, Chon spends much of her time taking portraits of people and their pets — including cats.

"I love photographing all of God's creatures great and small, but my favorite subject will forever be dogs," she says. "They wear their emotions all over their face, resulting in such a range of expressions and feelings. It's such a joy to capture that for people to see and experience in a still photo."


Lana is seriously unrecognizable after her spa day. Grooming by Koko Fukaya. (Photo: Grace Chon)

Chon is shooting more before-and-after grooming photos and has plans to release a book in 2018. Here are a few more examples of what cuteness to expect.


Raider looks like a bear with sweet, sweet eyes. Grooming by Koko Fukaya. (Photo: Grace Chon)


Braids and a very high pony make Yuki look very glamorous. Grooming by Alison Ogimachi. (Photo: Grace Chon)