The Finnish Lapphund is a medium sized breed that combines the look of the northern type dog with the temperament of the herding dog. They are intelligent, alert, agile, friendly and eager to learn. Developed to live and work outside, north of the Arctic Circle, the breed is strongly built and thickly coated.
This breed has a typical double coated arctic style being with a harsh outer longer coat with a dense and soft undercoat.
You will note that we recommend diluting all the shampoos and preparations especially for arctic coats, to get the total richness of effect to the coat right through from skin to tips. No point just applying to the ends of the coat if the underneath hair is not doing the same thing.
For the show ring you could conceivably use up to five different shampoos to sculpt that perfect silhouette – depends on which dog and at what stage the coat is at. Also what parts you wish to lift and which parts you want to lie down. A Lapphund coat is a natural therefore all sculpting has to be cleverly done at the bathing and drying stages. All colours are permitted but the main colour must cover the body.
Always start with the face, this is an arctic breed where the head and expression is key. Using a no-tear formula like Plush Puppy Let’s Face It you can easily and safely clean knowing the face and eyes are perfectly cleaned without any tears or irritation. Let’s Face it is what the dog showing world has needed for way too long. Another one of the famous Plush Puppy products that with the latest technology and high levels of naturally sourced ingredients has developed a product that is a must! This is a hypoallergenic sulfate-free, low foaming shampoo designed for faces. It’s no tear formula contains high quality Blue Cypress Extracts, 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 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 cleaning.
For the white areas, use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo at around 5:1 for that crisp white finish. This will not lighten or bleach but instead tone with optical brighteners. Should a more natural white be desired, which is great for white areas on the red and/or tan areas on dogs, then use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo diluted 5:1 which has a clarifying action and good for an all-round quick clean up to mildly stained areas. You can also use Plush Puppy Wonder Blok; which is an extremely effective stain reducing pure organic solid shampoo that is mild, yet works amazingly well on those stubborn stained areas. Apply to wet coat and work well before rinsing. For the body use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo at 5:1. This is the perfect shampoo for this double coated type of dog. Use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo diluted 5:1 for the head and topline for that added shine thus these are tools for the serious exhibitor who wants to tweak the silhouette to perfection. They are outcome oriented and deliver the results they promise.
Don’t use a conditioner, they flatten and soften and you want a fuller look to the coat, especially for those not in full coat. The coat requires texture and not a softened texture. You need to hydrate the coat plus maintain the texture and shine, so instead use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil diluted 1 tbsp. to one gal/4 litres water. After shampooing and rinsing off, then thoroughly saturate with the oil mixture and leave in – do not rinse out. This is absolutely wonderful on the coat and skin, giving fabulous shine and texture to the coat without being greasy. Use it all the time even when just doing maintenance baths to protect the coat mid-week. It allows you to bath weekly without dehydrating the coat and gives incredible gleam and vigour to the coat.
For out of coat situations, use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo at a stronger break-down of 3:1 for extra body or on those areas needing more fullness and lift. For a dry, old coat that is felting/clumping and needs resurrection, use Plush Puppy Conditioning Shampoo with Evening Primrose at the same ratio. If the coat is burnt, faded or has rusty tones, use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo at 5:1 to tone and reduce the unwanted warm tones. Rinse and follow with Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil as instructed above. Next step is to blow dry. Mix 1 tbsp. Plush Puppy Volumising Cream to 4 cups/1 litre of water and apply thoroughly to the coat, saturating it and don’t rinse then dry. This gives the illusion of 3 hairs looking like 3,000. It doesn’t feel foreign in the coat and will give oomph and extra fullness without feeling sticky. You can add this in with the Seabreeze Oil/water mix to save time. Alternatively try the Plush Puppy Volumising Spray. A ready to use formula; simply spray on, brush and dry. Use after bathing or at shows.
Blow dry with a force dryer with a Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush and with your hands push the coat forwards towards the head for maximum lift. It will settle down over night and follow the outline of the dog as required. You can finish the drying for a smoother effect with the Plush Puppy Ultimate Slicker Brush for the coat when perfectly dry and for fluffing up on show day.
For those that have multiple dogs to get ready or those dogs in full coat try Plush Puppy Fast. A revolutionary innovative Fast Dry Blow Dry Spray that combines the latest active ingredients together to dramatically reduce drying time, adds moisture and conditions while protecting the coat. FAST is probably the most technically advanced formula in the Plush Puppy Range to date.
Brush up the main body of the coat using Plush Puppy O.M.G, one of the best overall grooming sprays available. Use at anywhere from 25:1 to 40:1. This will separate each hair and give you a wonderful finish.
For a good, regular well maintained finish, snip off the shaggy hair around the underneath of the feet and trim whiskers if you wish – I don’t. I prefer the character the whiskers give to the overall face. A good spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher for that extra attack on the judge’s senses and a dash of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust sprinkled judiciously onto the pants and topline for that hint of a shimmer and finish with a light spray of Plush Puppy Shine & Comb for a final bit of gloss and glamour.
There is one little other hint I will share for those coats that are too soft, and you don’t want “too soft” with an arctic dog coat, add a light dusting, and I mean light, of Plush Puppy Powder Puff for Terriers and Harsh Coats. This gives instant harshness and texture to any coat and is a really handy product. Just a light sprinkle or a quick flick with a small amount on the brush through the softer areas of the coat till correct level of texture is achieved.
Now it’s up to the handler and judge on the day. Your dog looks good & hopefully knows what is expected of him and you have attended to all the 100 little things that make a winning dog. It’s hard work to groom a dog to this level each and every week.
This is becoming a keen competitor in the groups with this breed rightly so gaining strength world-wide. A smart looking breed that beauty and brains combines. Happy showing
Written by Simon Briggs – Director of grooming, Plush Puppy Australia.