Shelter Dog Before-And-After Pictures Reveal How Grooming Can Help Adoption

Even for the most die-hard dog lovers, the appearance of a pup has a lot to do with how likely you are to adopt one. Not only do some shelter dogs have unkempt fur from not being cared for, but they sometimes are even hidden under mounds of it. What can at first appear to be a mini Chewbacca can be transformed into a sweet, soft dog full of renewed confidence. That’s why a New York groomer decided to put his skills to work by volunteering to help shelter dogs. The results of his efforts are incredible.

That Gradual Smile

A dog smiles after getting a haircut.
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dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

This little guy seems far more outgoing after a haircut. The bottom right photograph shows the timid dog before being pampered. After a good cleaning, the dog seems to be smiling for the camera. The top right photograph even captures the dog’s mood as the process was happening. It seems to have become increasingly happy as the haircut went on.

The idea to do this struck dog groomer Mark Imhof after he adopted his own dog. He says he noticed such a difference in its mood from a simple shower.

It’s Amazing There Was A Dog In There

A golden dog's trim reveals its peach-colored, soft fur.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

This pup can’t stop licking its own mouth. That little tongue is pretty much the only thing recognizable about this dog. The top right photographs reveal that the pooch clearly hadn’t been properly groomed in quite some time. Underneath all of that crazy fur was this tiny guy. Its fur even transformed into a lighter color, which makes the dog look even sweeter.

These puppies don’t just need a cut to make them feel better — the grooming can do wonders to help get them adopted, too.

You Can’t Hide This Personality, But Now It Really Gets To Shine

A dog's chaotic, grey fur is cut down to a soft, thin layer.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Even under all that fur, this dog’s personality radiates. As friendly as the little rascal looked before, now it looks ten times more approachable. Plus, the dog’s fur is no doubt smoother to the touch. There’s something about its big smile that is so much brighter when its eyes are exposed.

Mark “The Dog Guy” grooms these shelter dogs for free in addition to running his grooming business. Being able to see these dogs transformed must be quite gratifying for such a dog lover.

Is That A Massive Dust Bunny?

A dog that previously could barely be seen under its fur is revealed after its haircut
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

The fluff ball in the top right corner is, in fact, a dog. This dog’s fur was so out of control that you could barely make out its body, let alone its face. Now that it’s received a proper grooming, you can actually see the expression on its face.

It can be easy to forget that these dogs have feelings too. Pulling back all of their thick, matted fur can remind potential adopters how much being taken to a permanent home means to these pups.

This Dog Had Some Pigtails!

A dog's pointy ears are revealed after a trim.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

This scruffy dog looked like a preteen girl with high pigtails before its groom. By showing the entire process, Mark reveals how much effort goes in to getting these dogs groomed. But man, is it worth it. This dog has huge round eyes and pointy ears that can finally steal the show from all that pesky fur.

The Dog Guy has helped dozens of dogs pro bono in the New York area, many of whom now have a furrever home.

This Pup’s Fur Looks So Soft Now

A dog's wild white fur is trimmed down to a thin coat
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Like human hair, dog fur that goes ungroomed can become not only dirty, but less soft to the touch. Additionally, it can become matted and impossible to comb. Now that this dog has its fur all groomed, it looks much softer than before.

While some of the dogs have had a huge transformation after their groom, this one carried the same expression all along. Animals have their own characters, too, and this one seems like a great sport. Hopefully, visitors will be able to see that now.

This Dog’s Mouth Was In Pretty Bad Shape

A dog's dirty facial fur is trimmed back to reveal a cute pooch.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

The shaggy dog seemed to have been carrying around something in that facial fur of his. The pup’s fur gave the appearance of being wet, but more than likely was probably just stuck together without a proper fur cleaning regimen.

Now that its fur is trimmed back, a cute black and white dog is revealed. Even the dog seems more comfortable in its skin. The need for shelter canines to finally be relieved of their unkempt fur has kept Mark’s project afloat for three years.

This Dog Looks The Sweetest Now That We Can See It

A timid dog snuggles up after its fur is trimmed down to its soft white fur.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Prior to its haircut, it was hard to tell what was going on with this dog. The shaggy white pup could have been mistaken for a piece of a shag carpet. But after getting a trim, its sweet face reveals the personality of a very timid dog.

It’s much easier to connect with someone or something when we can see its face. Seeing this dog snuggled on its blanket and looking unsure of itself is heartbreaking enough to motivate someone to take the dog home.

This Dog’s Fur Looked Like Stuffing

A dog's face is revealed after trimming its fur.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Something about the dog’s fur when it was mid-shave is similar looking to whatever they pack stuffed animals with; it’s thick and fluffy. Mark must feel like he’s plowing through snow sometimes when it comes to shaving such shaggy dogs.

This pup definitely can stand tall and proud now that its fur is pulled back. It’s almost like the dog knows it has a sleeker look now. Grooming helps the dogs feel better, which can elevate their confidence, even just a tad.

This Dog Looks Like A Movie Star Now

A dog's eyes are revealed after its fluffy face is trimmed.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

The dogs in the movies tend to have this subtle, inquisitive look in their eyes, like they’re trying to understand you. Now that this dog’s face is revealed, it can actually communicate with people using its eyes. There’s just something special about a gentle dog looking at you like they want to get to know you.

In addition to Mark, volunteers, shelter workers, and foster dog owners all aid in the grooming process. These dogs get to be cared for by an entire team of kind-hearted people.

This Gene Simmons Look-A-Like Got A Revamp

A fluffy white tongue with a long tongue always sticking out looks more like a pup now.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Before its groom, this dog’s long tongue and shaggy hair could have made for a complete Gene Simmons canine. All it needed was a little fur die, and this dog would be ready to join a KISS cover band.

After a good grooming, this dog is much more than just a celebrity look-alike. While the long tongue is still hard to miss, now it makes this pup all the more lovable while you look into those kind, dark eyes.

This Dog Looks Happier Than Ever

A dog looks equally excited before and after his furcut, only after we can see its round eyes.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

This pup’s fur made it look like it was suffering from a serious case of bed head. However, its facial expression in the bottom right photo looks more than awake. In the bottom left photograph, this dog looks a bit down, which is exactly how you would feel with all that fur in your eyes.

Now, this pup’s happy expression makes it commercial-ready! The dog is so excited, it looks like someone is holding a Beggin’ strip right behind the camera lens.

It Looked Like Mini-Chewbacca!

A Chewbacca-looking dog smiles after being tranformed by a grooming.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

This dog’s personality completely emerged once it lost the Chewbacca look. Its sweet eyes in the top right corner scream, “Can you help me?” If it weren’t for those eyes and its cute little snout, there’d be no way to recognize this pup.

Underneath all of that chocolate-colored fur was a smoky gray coat, floppy ears, and an overall much more outgoing dog. Now this previously unsure dog looks comfortable in its own fur, and ready to find an owner.

Those Eyes Are Heartbreaking

After its groom, this dog's red, hazy eyes are exposed.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Another good thing about shelter dogs getting groomed is that people can see how much the dog needs them. This canine seemed a little shy before, but now that its fur has been pulled away, we can see its red, hazy eyes.

While some people are looking for a happy, healthy puppy, others find their hearts drawn to the ones that might not have much longer to feel the love of an owner. When a person looks into this helpless little dog’s eyes, they just might find themselves wanting to step in and help.

This Dog Just Reverse-Aged

A shaggy dog doesn't look at the camera, but after its trim it turns around as an after picture is taken.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

As humans, we take notice of how style can age you up or down all the time. Looking at these photos, it’s clear that the same rule applies to dogs. The before photo looks like an older dog, and for some potential dog owners that can make all the difference.

However, when you see this groomed pup, it looks like a younger companion that can grow with you. As an added bonus, this little guy certainly seems less camera-shy now.

You Got A Problem With Dogs Or Somethin’?

A dog with long fur going in all directions is revealed to be a little tough guy after a trim.
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dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

The ‘before’ photo of this dog is just downright hilarious. It looks like it woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and also like it’s saying, “What? You never seen a dog before?” After a grooming, this dog hasn’t lost any of its spunk.

The protruding tooth and unsteady stance give this dog an air of thinking it has it all together when really it’s just a hot mess that needs love more than it realizes.

Look At That Pile Of Fur!

The dog appears to be climbing out of its old fur as different stages of its grooming process are captured.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Some of the best ‘before’ and ‘after’ doggie shots are the ones that show the fur once it’s been removed from the dog’s body. Can you imagine walking around in that all day? It’s no wonder this little guy looks so much perkier afterward; it literally has a huge weight off its shoulders.

The chronological photos really capture this dog coming out of the fur, like it’s shedding an old layer. The dog that was hidden before is now out in the open and much more noticeable.

Look At This Cute Little Thing

A small white dog with big eyes is revealed after shaving its long, straight fur.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

This dog’s giant, round eyes are almost too big for its little face and body, but that makes it all the more adorable. Before being groomed, it was impossible to keep this dog’s floppy fur out of its face. Now, the little pup is soft and cute as ever.

It has to be mentioned, the progress photo at the top right absolutely looks like the dog has a very long, white beard. Maybe its future owners will let the fur grow back out, then partially shave it so the dog can be Santa Claus one year. Or Gandalf, if that’s more their thing.

This Dog’s Facial Hair Was Too Long

Long, white fur crowded this dog's face before its shave revealed an adorable pup.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Though this dog’s facial expression remains the same in the before and after photos, its face has completely changed. Before, the dog’s long fur surrounded its face like a snowstorm. Now, the subtle pink fur around its eyes only adds to its sincere look.

Many of these of shelter dogs can be found at the Animal Care Centers of New York City. These centers are where Mark Imhof began doing this kind of pro bono work, alongside volunteers and workers at the facility.

This Dog Looks Like It’s Half Teddy Bear

The fluffy golden fur of this small dog hid its small, teddy-like face.
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram
dogguyfoundation/ Instagram

Something about small faces makes you just want to squish them even more. This pup would be the best snuggle buddy, because it already looks like it has the teddy bear gene. As cute as the little dog was before with all it’s fluffy golden fur, now its face takes the focal point. It even looks like the dog was trying to get its fur out of its face with a major tongue lick in the ‘before’ photo.

Mark “The Dog Guy” Imhof and more of his amazing transformations can be found on Instagram under the page name DogGuyFoundation.

This Dog Got A New Lease On Life

shelter dog new life after matted fur
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

This dramatic transformation is all thanks to groomer Emma. She fell in love with the pup and made sure it got a new lease on life. You can see before the haircut it was pretty neglected.

Even after the haircut, this dog doesn’t look quite sure about the new world around it. Once he settled down, Emma said he curled into the crook of her neck and wagged his tail, melting her heart.

Good Boy, Max!

dog after bathe at shelter
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

This is Max. We don’t have a before picture to show you, but he was reportedly found tied to a hot fence during the summer. He had no food or water and needed someone to rescue him.

The shelter gave him a bath, and now he looks like he’s ready to find a new family. In fact, Max already has! On August 25, 2019, this sweet boy was adopted into a brand new and loving furrever home.

It’s Amazing What A Good Bath Will Do!

a bath and a brushing did wonders for this pooch
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Chloe doesn’t like living in a shelter, and is constantly getting herself into messy situations. In this case she needed a bath and a grooming after going to the bathroom on her blanket and laying in it.

She’s described as a sweet girl in need of a home. Don’t be scared off by her age either. Chloe may be 14 years old, but she has the heart of a young pup still!

What A Face

fluff to scruff dog after grooming
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Troy wasn’t in great shape when he was brought into the shelter, but luckily had an amazing team look after him. Not only was he groomed to look good as new, he also had a medical team take care of him. His hair was matted pretty badly, and he actually needed to be sedated before his haircut!

With his new look, it didn’t take long for Troy to get adopted into a loving new home.

Look At This Pretty Dog

a handsome boi after his grooming
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

This is Bailey, and she got adopted before she even got groomed. You can see she was a big ball of fluff before, and now she’s one of the prettiest pups of all time!

By grooming the shelter dogs, they not only become more adoptable, they also get fresh starts with their new families. Bailey, for instance, didn’t necessarily need to be groomed, but her new look helps put her old life in the past!

The Tongue On This One!

the tongue stays the same
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

The groomer for little Addison here fell in love with him so much during his appointment she didn’t let him go. She adopted Addison, who now has the perfect furrever home.

During that day, the groomer was actually hoping to adopt one of the many senior dogs that was getting bathed, and when she saw Addison she knew exactly which one she was coming home with. It was a match made in doggy heaven.

Ready For His Closeup

freshly bathed dog after grooming
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

This dog is named Rocket, which might explain why there was no before picture. The high spirited two-year-old was given his bath, where he learned to master the “side-eye.” Once he’s adopted, he’ll learn some other useful tricks, too.

We can’t imagine Rocket is going to have wait too long to find a home. Who wouldn’t want this loving bundle of doggie? He might have a lot of energy, but he also has a lot of cuddles to give.

Honey Got A Bath

dog after medicated bath with groomer
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Honey doesn’t like getting her bath, which explains her lack of a before picture, but she’s slowly learning getting clean is in her best interest. This sweet girl is actually getting medicated baths and is starting to look healthier every day!

According to the shelter, even though Honey is “anti-bath” she still smiles her way through them. She’s got tons of love to give and hopefully will find the perfect family soon!

This Doesn’t Look Like The Same Dog

dog grooming transformation what a difference!
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Kumar was a stray when he was found by the shelter, and looked like he had been away from his owner for a long time. His fur was very dirty and matted. Luckily his groomer took good care of him!

As of right now, Kumar is not up for adoption. The shelter is hoping to reunited him with his family. He didn’t have any signs of abuse when he was picked up, meaning he must have gotten lost.

This Dog Is Happy To Be Clean

happy dog after bath thanks to groomer
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Billie was in rough shape when she showed up at the shelter originally. You can see just how unhealthy her fur and skin was. After her bath, though, she looks like a million bucks!

Billie looks so happy to be clean, too. Who knows when her last grooming was!. She still has a few outstanding medical issues, but those shouldn’t pose any problems in her finding a new furrever home.

This Dog Looks Like A Teddy Bear

teddy bear dog so fluffy after grooming
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

This is a senior pooch named Billy. She was looking really matted before her grooming, and now she looks like a stuffed teddy bear, which makes her instantly adoptable in our minds.

Unfortunately, Billy has some pretty serious health issues, including tumors. She is also blind, so the faster she gets adopted, the better things will be for her future. With her new look, Billy should find a loving family with time to spare!

Family Reunion

dogs reunited after grooming with their owner
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Meet Molly, Dolly, and Beyonce. These sweet girls were found lost. They all belong to the same, and it’s now the first priority of the shelter to happily reunited them all.

Of course, the shelter also groomed these lovely ladies. It can get hot in the New York heat, and they needed a good trim to stay cool. Two of them needed to be sedated before the grooming, but Beyonce stayed awake.

A Much Needed Bath

dog in dire need of bath gets groomed
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

This dog was so pretty that it was named Pretty! She also showed up to the shelter filthy. Just look at that paw! It really is amazing how happy being clean can make a pup. We wish there was a better before picture to really show you the difference.

Now that she’s as pretty as possible, Pretty just has to wait to be adopted. With a smile like that the wait probably won’t be too long.

This Dog Found A Home After His Bath

a bath and home for this dog
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Say hello to Jack. His underbite is undeniably adorable, and combined with his fresh grooming, he found a home nearly right away. His groomer was a little sad because she loved Jack, but she was also happy because now he gets to live his best life.

At the shelter, Jack was known for being one of the sweetest pups. He made friends with everyone, and now he has a loving family to call his own.

The Happiest Dog

a happy dog after his grooming
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

This beautiful girl is Kita Banana. She needed quite the grooming, but it all paid off. Unbeknownst to her, while she was sedated and groomed, a couple came into look at her and possibly adopt her!

It was perfect timing for the meet-and-greet. After leaving, the couple thought about what they wanted to do, and ultimately decided that Kita Banana was the perfect dog for them! What a lucky girl!

K-Pop Is Special

this dog got groomed and looks wonderful!
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Not as many dogs at shelters are as lucky as K-Pop. He was just about to get groomed when he got adopted. Obviously he was still groomed, and then joined his new family ready for a fresh start.

The transformation here is night and day. K-Pop went from having intensely matted fur to having a perfectly short haircut to help him beat the heat of the blazing New York summer.

A Life-Changing Transformation

a life changing transformation for this dog
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Ricky Ricardo arrived at the shelter with terrible skin issues. While those will need to be taken care of over time, he still got groomed so he could look his best for potential adopters. He’s such a handsome boy!

Thanks to the shelter, Ricky was able to have his first medicated bath. He will need many more, but now that he has started treatment his quality of life will begin to improve immensely.

All Smiles Here!

dog getting medicated bath at groomers in shelter
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Bella is so popular at the shelter she lives at that they named Tuesdays “Bella Day.” Every Tuesday, this lovable pup gets a medicated bath. Emma, one of the groomers, wishes she could adopt Bella, but her apartment complex won’t allow big dogs.

Bella also struggles getting along with other dogs, so taking her to the dog park is a no-go. Still, with a smile like that, Bella shouldn’t have any trouble finding a new home!

A Noble Looking Cut

doggy haircut from groomer
gogguyfoundation/Instagram
gogguyfoundation/Instagram

Freddy doesn’t have to stare longingly out of that window any longer. After getting this noble-looking haircut, he was adopted and has officially left the shelter life behind and we couldn’t be happier.

Cleaning up Freddy was no easy task. It was a three-part process described as a marathon by shelter workers. It was all definitely worth it, though. His new owner is positive that Freddy is going to have the best life ever.

The Happiest Pup Ever

from fluff toy scruff thanks to the groomer
dogguyfoundation/Instagram
dogguyfoundation/Instagram

Cookie has been described as one of the most loving dogs at the shelter, which is hoping to reunite her with her owner. Like so many, Cookie got lost, and before putting her up for adoption, the shelter would like to reunite the family.

You can see before the grooming Cookie was a giant ball of fluff but still appeared healthy and happy. After the grooming, this pup looked absolutely ecstatic!