To the tip of his nose The Beagle, this tireless, little hunter is a very work oriented breed. One can be forgiven for thinking that function is enough to carry him through in a show ring.
He is often seen as a no nonsense breed and the brevity of the coat paragraph of the standard can be deceptive. The show ring surely is more than just presentation of a dog that can do his job. It has been suggested that the show ring is the forum partly for the evaluation of the parts of the dog and most importantly for the whole of the dog, the type, the visual picture that fills your eye of the dog as expected from the reading and hands on experience of the breed.
So, it is expected that one attempts to fill the eye with all the glory and majesty of the breed when presenting at show time. Your breed may be small and he may be a short coated fellow, but he is a terrific little dog and ought to have all the assets of his breed highlighted and showcased in that brief moment of spotlight time when the judge turns his head to focus on him. There isn’t any mention of clipping, trimming or otherwise – some people do and some people don’t. If you do or wish to do, then it is still minimal – just to sharpen the outline rather than change it, after all, there isn’t enough hair to change it. A light neatening of the tuckup with the thinning shears – same with the ridge of hair on the back of the stifle. The tail may need some neatening too.
A cigar shaped, well covered tail is the visual appearance to strive for, and you may need to snip the strays and round off the tip. The coat ought to have some weatherproof attributes and not be soft, he is after all a working hound. You need to be selective in what to use and what not to use so as not to artificially soften the coat yet give lots of moisture to maintain health and vigour. I recommend you select a shampoo that does not alter texture but gives good cleansing and tone to the white areas. Use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo which does not contain bleaching agents but has good tonal qualities for that pearly white finish. Dilute 5:1 i.e. 5 parts water to 1 part shampoo. If you need extra heavy duty cleansing on the feet then use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo at 3:1 ratio. Should the coat be dry and dull then use the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna at 5:1 to enhance shine.
For extra white or stained areas use Plush Puppy Wonder Blok, this product is one of our proudest achievements in helping to maintain a white stain-free coat. It’s not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals and is designed to gently remove unwanted warm/red tones in the coat. Best used on a damp/wet coat, gently rub into the areas requiring being sure to take care around the eyes, allow time (5-10 minutes) and rinse. For maximum effects repeat or allow a longer time for this amazing product to work.
For face area use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It, a product the dog showing world has needed for way too long. Combining the latest technology with high levels of naturally sourced ingredients we’ve developed a product that is a must! This is a hypoallergenic sulfate-free low foaming shampoo specifically formulated for faces. Its no-tear formula contains quality Blue Cypress Extract, Panthenol with Pro Vitamin B5 and SugaNate to clean, sooth, add moisture, aid healing and offer anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amount applied directly to the face and eye area allows you to thoroughly clean without causing irritation. Can be used in and around ears also with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows easy of rinsing yet complete cleansing.
I do not like using conditioner on this breed, it tends to make the coat soft and fluffy although you do need moisturise the coat it cannot take a regular conditioner. So, the alternative approach is to use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil, this is the best stuff for that healthy coat bloom, and wonderful for dry scratchy skin. Use at the rate of 1 teaspoon to 1 gal/4lt water. Pour over the coat or work well in with a sponge until saturated thoroughly. LEAVE IN! DO NOT RINSE.
Now you have your well hydrated and oiled coat without the greasiness one associates with coat oils. Now blow dry! I know – you think this is a wash and wear dog. Well, the reasons for blow drying are that it gets ALL the dead hair out. The coat is always regenerating and you don’t seem to get those holes or patchiness with the coat when shedding. Plush Puppy Chalkestral is an excellent pre chalk cream, this unique product that conditions the coat to minimise chalk dry out plus adheres chalk to coat. Totally water soluble.
On show day should you need any extra whitening to any area, apply Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream with a barely damp sponge. Use kitchen sponges as they are readily available and cheap, just chop them up into workable pieces about 4” x 4” – not too damp as it will then take forever to dry. Damp days delay the drying too so apply a little loose chalk on top and let it dry – usually a few minutes and then brush to remove excess chalk. If it takes too long to dry, you have applied too thickly or the sponge is too wet. I like to layer this product when applying. A light application and allow it to dry and then another on top etc. It will last all day and will wash off with water and shampoo.
I also keep Plush Puppy Wonder Wash handy with this breed – they are busy little people and prone to oops moments, usually just prior to ring time. This self-rinsing shampoo foams and doesn’t stay there looking at you hoping your elbow grease will make it work, it really does the trick. Spray, foam up with fingers and then towel dry off. Leaves whites really white. Okay so it’s now your turn for the ring and your supermodel is ready to strut his stuff. A light spray over with Plush Puppy Shine & Comb which is a water soluble shine – just bliss! Non-greasy and a good low level shine that appears natural but very effective. Run your hand over the top-line to even out the application. Last but not least is the fragrance … we all like our dog to smell good, Plush Puppy Odour Muncher does more than just smell good. It is a deodoriser as well as a fragrance, eating up the nasty odour and leaving a good fresh smell that won’t asphyxiate the dog or the judge. Want to stretch it and go the whole hog? In for a penny and in for a pound? Then add just a sprinkle of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust, used judiciously this stuff is wonderful. Apply a light dusting to your brush – usually an oval cushion ½ bristle ½ plastic Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Brush for this dog and touch lightly along the top-line and pants and up under the tail to the tip to work the powder down under the top layers of the coat and leaving the shimmer behind. You would apply this BEFORE the shine spray. So, what have we got now? You have one of the showiest breeds in the dog ring on that leash. His little white tipped tail standing up like a beacon for all to see that he is here and frankly, here he is, gleaming in all his glory for everyone to envy and admire. This is such a tempting breed.