Is this ethical? Well, it’s probably more humane than dressing up human children in ridiculous costumes and parading them around the pageant circuit. Assuming the dyes and props are safe, poodle topiary is only a sin against good taste.
Culture Vulture wonders if the handlers have to drug to get them to stand still for all that primping (video). I doubt it. Many poodles enjoy being groomed. My mom’s standard, Miles, likes haircuts so much he jumps up on the table and presents himself to the groomer.
Unlike toddlers, poodles’ feelings aren’t hurt if they lose.