Shelter Dogs Paint Masterpieces With Just A Colorful Shake Of Their Fur

All it takes is some pet-friendly wet paint and the full-body shake of a shelter dog's fur to create these beautiful works of art.

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This is the most colorful moment ever captured.

Sometimes you can’t fully appreciate the unique beauty of something until paint is poured all over it and then immediately shaken off onto sections of canvas.

That’s what happened when shelter dogs were given the chance to show the world their true and lovable selves through art. Canismo is a fascinating creative movement that turns shelter dogs into artists by dousing them with edible and pet-friendly paint (a combination of corn starch and food coloring) and allowing them to shake those paint spatters onto clean canvases to later be sold.

This is the most colorful moment ever captured.

Shake it off. Via Canismo

A slow-motion video of the process was posted to YouTube this week. In the video, paint is poured onto the “artists,” who then do the wet-dog dance, shaking the paint off onto nearby canvases.

Each dog received an individual set of colors, according to the YouTube description, making their art just as wonderfully unique as they are.

“The ink shaken reveals a remarkable exercise of freedom where every drop bears the stain of prejudice,” the online description reads. “The combination of different colors in the paintings reveals the mixture of races, so random, and as beautiful, as each canine pooch.”

A sample of one artist's work. Via Canismo

A sample of one artist’s work. Via Canismo

The project, which is based in Brazil, aims to “help with the support and adoption of sheltered animals,” according to its website. People are encouraged to adopt one of the country’s homeless dogs or make a monetary donation, which will contribute to the cost of their care until they find forever homes.

Famous artists in the making. Via YouTube

Famous artists in the making. Via YouTube

The use of art to highlight the individuality of each available dog is a brilliant way to remind the world that there are so many dogs out there who are patiently awaiting loving humans to make them part of their families. Every single one of them can offer endless joy and comfort — and now, surprisingly, artsy home decor.

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  • je trouve ça fantastique j aime beaucoup bravo tous ces chiens sont merveilleux et ont fait du beau travail bravo

    bigard June 10, 2015 1:40 am Reply
  • Fantastic. Anything that brings peoples attention to the plight of shelter animals is to be applauded.
    Well done.

    memory murphy June 10, 2015 2:09 am Reply
    • Sorry… I don’t approve. My cat would go Ballistic if I doused him with any paint – safe or not!
      I think beautiful animal pictures do more in the way of finding forever-homes.

      Helga June 10, 2015 12:23 pm Reply
      • Agreed. But then, I don’t think this would apply to shelter cats. Not much does. Sad.

        KatWrangler June 10, 2015 5:40 pm Reply
  • They’ll give the Jackson Pollacks out there some canine competition!

    AnnieLaurie Burke June 10, 2015 2:19 am Reply
  • Love the idea. Blessings to these amazing souls, I hope they all are adopted. ♡♡

    Tatiana Q June 10, 2015 4:45 am Reply
  • I think putting paint on any dog is a horrible thing to do to those poor “critters.” Having them shake and splatter paint isn’t any kind of artform, it’s a natural thing for them to do to try to dry off. BOO to you!!

    Dawn Bowers June 10, 2015 5:31 am Reply
    • It’s not paint. It is, as the article said, a combination of food color and cornstarch. Totally edible and harmless.

      Lady Anne June 10, 2015 5:42 am Reply
    • I agree with Dawn. Even though it’s not really paint, dogs hate to get wet which is why they shake it off. It’s not fun for them and the “art” is abysmal at best. There are so many better ways to photograph shelter and rescue animals to put forth their best personalities. This is definitely NOT one of them!

      Charity June 10, 2015 6:14 am Reply
    • I agree also, other ways to introduce these shelter dogs..food coloring is not a great item anyway, unless it’s natural. Most food coloring is not edible for anyone to eat, human or animal.

      Jan June 10, 2015 10:32 am Reply
  • I was shocked and horrified at the same time when I saw these dogs shaking off paint from their fur to create art. I am somewhat relieved to know that it is edible, but nonetheless it is wrong. If it is made of food coloring, then doesn’t it stain their fur? I am an animal advocate and would appreciate it if you would stop doing this to the dogs, just so that you can show off/sell their artwork and try to help adopt them as pets. A snapshot picture says a thousand words about the animal and a more humane way for adopting them.

    D. June 10, 2015 6:27 am Reply
  • Not all dogs dislike getting wet Charity. Many dogs love to go swimming. I think people need to look at the bigger picture here and see that this is a great way for them to make money to care for the many homeless dogs of Brazil and to help bring awareness to the many dogs needing homes in that country. These dogs are not traumatized nor physically harmed. There are far worse things being done to animals in the world that deserve your outrage.

    Cindy June 10, 2015 6:40 am Reply
    • i understand the concerns people are voicing, but i think cindy really got to the heart of the matter when she wrote “There are far worse things being done to animals in the world that deserve your outrage.” The dogs creating the art are presumably safe in rescue and even if they don’t love the experience, it isn’t torture, and the good it may do overall could far outweigh any negatives. anything which draws attention to the plight of animal overpopulation helps rescue. in a perfect world no animal would ever be exposed to harm or even discomfort, but this is far from a perfect world.

      marci June 10, 2015 10:54 am Reply
    • I am almost 70 years old. They could “paint” my hair and I would gladly “shake it off” if it saved only ONE dog, but to help MANY homeless dogs know the love of a special person or family, they could shave my head and I would be so honored, knowing dogs are being helped. I know the ones behind this form of fund raising WOULD NOT do anything dangerous to these dogs. They love dogs and are trying to help shelter and homeless dogs, and all they get is criticism.

      @ Linda “There has to be a better and healthier way that animals can help raise money for shelters. This is not it. I also agree that it needs to stop.” There IS a better way!! Everyone who is so horrified at this treatment of the dogs needs to DONATE money to help the shelters with expenses and ADOPT a shelter dog. Rescuing dogs is a very expensive thing to do, and I praise all who do so. Then there is the HEARTBREAK of losing one of the babies. It is so easy to become attached to them quickly!! They did NOT harm the dogs in doing this. They would NEVER endanger the pets!!

      Brenda June 10, 2015 11:20 am Reply
      • Well said, Brenda. The dogs didn’t seem to mind. It’s a unique and, I hope, effective means of drawing attention to shelter dogs and raising funds. There are so many things to appropriately direct our ire toward regarding animals. This is not one of them.

        Pamela June 10, 2015 2:52 pm Reply
  • I think this is cruel to the dogs!

    Estelle Shrum June 10, 2015 7:36 am Reply
  • Seriously people…The dogs look like they’re having fun, it’s for a good cause & it’s bringing attention to the many dogs that need loving furever homes.

    Peace & Love

    danielle June 10, 2015 8:20 am Reply
  • Not cool. Even if it is cornstarch and food coloring, both of those things are NOT healthy for a dog’s coat, and certainly not safe for them to EAT. Wonder why dogs have allergic reactions to food that contains CORN? And why so many vets recommend GRAIN-FREE dog food? And what exactly is in the food coloring? This is a very, very stupid idea. Stop.

    Laurie June 10, 2015 8:28 am Reply
    • I agree that cornstarch and definitely food coloring are not safe nor healthy for dogs to ingest. My dogs get grain free food as well. I also read the packages so that my babies don’t get food or treats with artificial colors in them. They, unlike people, don’t care what “color” their food is as long as it tastes good. (I need to know it’s healthy for them!)

      There has to be a better and healthier way that animals can help raise money for shelters. This is not it. I also agree that it needs to stop.

      Linda June 10, 2015 8:59 am Reply
  • Ok, I wasn’t too fond of pouring it over the dog’s head/face, and really, they shouldn’t do that, but the video will most likely HELP these dogs get adopted. The video in reverse was super cool! Music was neat too! Luckily it was only food coloring (vegetable-base, I’m sure) and cornstarch which doesn’t burn the eyes. Relax people……

    Chalene June 10, 2015 8:57 am Reply
  • c’est nul ! le pelage des chiens n’est pas prévu pour leur mettre de la peinture même s’il est comestible ! c’est ridicule, je n’aime pas cette vidéo !

    florence June 10, 2015 9:10 am Reply
  • Bless all shelter animals….may they be blessed with loving forever humans!

    Ellen June 10, 2015 9:13 am Reply
  • Seriously people. You can use cornstarch with baby powder to treat dog’s hot spots. It is not unsafe for their skin. As far as eating it, it is safe for them to eat and I’m sure they were given baths promptly after making the art. As for the food coloring, there is more food coloring in foods and treats than what they probably ingested doing this project, and again I’m sure they were promptly bathed and not just left to sit in the “paint”. It really disgusts me that there is so much criticism of this when there are millions of animals looking for homes. This outside the box idea is great. If you are worried about what these dogs are ingesting doing this, think about what they were eating on the streets.

    Cindy June 10, 2015 9:18 am Reply
  • Charity done in poor taste..
    Both ingredient used to create the wet paint can caused them allergies.
    Some dogs enjoy getting wet, they even willingly go into the bath or pool, but having paint/water pour on them is another story.

    Nicole Loh June 10, 2015 9:22 am Reply
  • We have three adopted dogs which range from 12 pounds to 90 pounds. Each one of them would hate having paint (safe or not) poured all over them, shaking as hard as they could to get it off and then having to be well bathed around their eyes, nose, etc. to clean them properly. Many shelter dogs are there because they have already been neglected and abused. There must be a better way to encourage adoption. I know awesome photography and videos of the dogs personality are big hits. I applaud the agency for trying to “think outside the box” but I know my fur babies would hate having this done to them and I would never allow them to be mistreated. My 90 lb. shepherd/hound mix loves to swim, but this is in no way comparable to swimming.

    Jackie June 10, 2015 9:51 am Reply
  • I do not believe that these animals are being harmed. This organization , I’m sure checked out anything that would be described as harmful mentally or physically. How do you know all these animals hate it. My dogs love getting wet by the hose , or swimming. And then of course shake it off. It is more than likely set up as a fun , fun time. And is made SPECIAL for everyone.

    skylar June 10, 2015 11:24 am Reply
  • I volunteered with a shelter that did ‘paw paintings’ at a benefit. People couldn’t get enough of it! It was a wonderful way to raise funds and while the dogs didn’t always love it, there were no lasting detrimental effects on them. I have one from my dog, who has since passed, and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

    Remember, dogs have the most generous of spirits. Some folks on here would do well learning a lesson from them and nix the holier than thou comments on here. This project is trying very hard. And not all countries have the resources we have in the U.S. Not sure about Brazil, but there are South American countries with more street dogs than we have in shelters. If they have found a way that helps them, do like your dog and give them unconditional support.

    JJ June 10, 2015 12:55 pm Reply
  • I was horrified to see the paint, whether it is safe for dogs or not, being dropped on them!! Of course they would react by shaking it off!! Why do dogs shake like that?? Think about that!!

    Rosine June 10, 2015 2:00 pm Reply
    • Dogs shaking in this manner is a normal behavior. Dogs shake to dry off, they shake to itch, they do it to spread their sent, they even do it to get your attention. It is a very natural behavior and not detrimental to them at all.

      Cindy June 11, 2015 9:22 am Reply
  • I wish everyone who is worried about these amazing creatures.Would just stop whining.And,take all this attitude.And,figure out what it is going to take.To find all of them homes.And,just so you know.Dogs are missing love and affection The whole time they waste,in a shelter.

    Tony Lilich June 10, 2015 2:58 pm Reply
  • I commend you and anyone who actively works for animal rights. I think there may be a better way for you to get your message across, without creating controversy, and with a gentler, more loving means and message. I personally think that photos that capture their personalities along with descriptions of their dispositions and energy needs can inspire pet adoptions, especially in the digital/social media age…BUT if you are determined to do your shaking Dog art…
    I think it would be more fun for the Dogs if they were allowed to voluntarily play in a mud puddle and not follow this with bringing them into a cold room (get out there and capture the action!) Paper/canvas can be primed with any colors, so no color would need to be applied to the Dogs; in fact, NOTHING would be applied to them.
    The great time the Dogs would have playing in the mud would make them happy, and every time you would look at the mud-painting, it would bring a memory of a really fun moment in the Dog’s life. I believe that any activity we do with animals should be with their consent. My brother’s Dog loved playing in the mud, but only some Dogs will be interested.
    I think what some of us worry about is giving ideas to people who will do the wrong thing. With this project, even if your intentions are good, how they are being perceived is very important, too. Art is an effective way to raise money because there are people who will pay a lot, but something about this technique does not align for me with the movement to rescue Dogs who likely need nurturing to rebuild trust with humans. It also seems like it would attract some people who tend to view animals as some “thing” for their amusement.
    I hope that you will continue to find ways to help animals, and I hope that the mission to rescue the Dogs is a great success. Maybe, think of it from the Dogs’ point of view.

    Jes May 17, 2016 3:50 pm Reply

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