If Winning Is the Target
Whilst most of us enjoy the social aspects of showing ultimately, we go to a show to see how worthy our dog is of the various awards on offer. The competitive streak is within us all to some degree and reflects in how much work we are willing to put in to the preparation and exhibition of our dogs.
We all know that there are many things we need to do to get that dog to perfection – the 100 little things, that add up to the whole. The fine tuning and tweaking of the dog to present the best silhouette, performance and presentation to the ultimate standard according to your written standard.
If you have a good dog then that’s a good start and if you have a great dog, then that’s a good start too. We have all seen a few great dogs never achieve potential as the owner did not do the 100 little things to show the world how great that dog really was. Some people can just consign a dog to oblivion and others can turn a pedestrian dog into greatness. What is the secret?
If you watch any Olympic gold medal winner, it is clear that they have put lots of time into themselves and trained to hone the performance to stand out from the crowd. None of this comes without effort and hard work. Each and every aspect of their quest is fine tuned to gain just that little bit more over the competitors. The same is true for you and your dog if you wish to maximise your wins and not live in hope that the dog just might look good and work well on the day and the competition won’t.
So, for some absolutes, know this dog will be the product of not just good breeding, but from many months prior, of attention to food, training, attitude, socialisation, condition and of course their coat. This dog will be the outcome of much hard work on your part. What you did in the weeks and months before, will be what everyone sees and what the judge will measure your success by on the day. That’s tough but it is very true.
Now truly successful exhibitors have more than done than their fair share of winning and this is because we have done the 100 little things most are not prepared to do. If we can but share some of the things that will guide you, it is up to you to do them. It is blood, sweat and tears and pushing through the barriers when you have tried to get everything done but ultimately, knowing you have worked hard to get there by your own efforts with the dog, it is magical when it all comes together in that much coveted win.
One thing is always said to be the secret to success that is Preparation, Preparation and Preparation. You can never prepare too much. It not only ensures everything is done to your maximum best, but it calms you and gives you confidence knowing you have done all you could. If the judge couldn’t find your dog on the day, then there was likely a better dog or the judge liked a different style of that breed.
Coats are not grown overnight – weeks and months of preparation are responsible for all truly great coats! Correct texture is paramount also. So, if we can impart even just one bit of wisdom, it is to ensure your dog’s coat is constantly regenerating. The best way is to bath, and blow dry every week, even when not showing in fact more importantly when you’re not showing. No amount of brushing, however judiciously, will get all the dead hair out to allow the new hair to grow. If you are showing short coated breeds, then you can stop the moth-eaten holes that seem to appear when the dog sheds. Presenting a double coated breed with all the challenges of undercoat shedding, will be greatly enhanced by weekly bathing and blow drying allowing the coat to „roll“ by just fluffing out rather than a big dump. Long coated and non-shedding breeds will benefit also from this same routine ensuring healthy and matt free coats. Key is to bath all your dogs every week, showing them or not. If a big show is coming up, then twice weekly baths and blow drying is on the agenda.
Plush Puppy doesn’t wish to sound repetitive with the mantra of the importance of bathing and blow drying. However, some people need to hear this constant reinforcement to appreciate its importance. Whilst many others are truly converted to the benefits and reaping the rewards.
To maximize the results and most importantly hydrate the coat use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. It is Calendula Oil and Evening Primrose Oil and no cheap mundane carrier oils added. All coat types and breeds can have this in their bath routine. This is any experienced exhibitors must have in the tool kit.
Please don’t spray it on. Yes we know it has a spray nozzle but that is for the expediency of spraying onto long pee feathers for some breeds requiring urine stain protection. Also used for breed specific applications. ALWAYS dilute otherwise. This ensures even dispersion and good penetration through to the skin over ALL the coat and skin. A good rule of thumb for dilution is 1 teaspoon per 1 litre (adjust this to best suit each individual dog, breed and coat stage). Then saturate the dog using a sponge and use all the mix. LEAVE IT ON and DO NOT RINSE. Do this as your final application after bathing.
This is the basic core of your routine with the coats. It is the single most important part. The coats will be even and not scraggly, the skin will be good, the coats will retain texture as the Seabreeze Oil does not soften but protects and adds lustre and hydration thus retaining moisture.
The Herding Dogs, the Terriers and Arctic Breeds, especially need to retain texture and a conditioner is not an option as they simply cosmetically soften and flatten. Seabreeze Oil will compensate, and some, as a final rinse instead of conditioner and retain all the texture you need. Yes, this is a discipline to do this each and every week, but it truly works. All coat types can use Seabreeze Oil.
For coats that need saving from damage, neglect and age use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue. This is a brilliant blend of an innovative organic formula where old knowhow meets new technology with wheat germ oil, calendula oil and evening primrose oil. This is a thick cream and best used by mixing with water to make easier to apply evenly. This is a treatment and should be left on for a minimum of 5 mins before rinsing however you can leave it on for days. Adds protein and wheatgerm and everything else that you need to be rebuild such as shattered ends or mid lengths of the coat. Add some Seabreeze Oil at the same time.
Selecting the right shampoo for the right coat and then tweaking that again by using a separate shampoo for different parts of the coat. For example, the Sheltie coat needs to be lifted and full in the front but flatter in the rear. Use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo in the front and the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo for the topline and rear as that doesn’t bodify but gives great shine. Then use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo on the white areas.
Never think one shampoo can do everything. Plush Puppy shampoos are formulated to give distinctive results you can actually see and feel. A true artist or a painter doesn’t use just one colour. Allow Plush Puppy shampoos to paint the picture you desire. By using the right shampoo on the right areas, you can improve your dog’s silhouette to be closer to the standard than you thought possible. Plush Puppy has a huge range of shampoos, on our website each has a description and results achievable by using them.
Take a picture of your dog on a side stack. Now fit the silhouette of the ideal standard dog or one that you know is the dream of your heart and see if your dog fits that. If not, then you have some work to do by tweaking the outline.
Plush Puppy has many specific breed grooming articles and this database is constantly growing. These are written by our team of specialist. We do not allow generic breed articles made from assumptions; our team has decades of international knowledge. If your breed is not currently available, then email us. Give our team as much information as possible to understand the coat issue problems and ideally what you would like the coat to be. Tell us breed, age, sex, colour and any relevant info. You can also include a clear picture of the dog and the area you require help with. Some issues we prefer to discuss with our team to give you the very best answer and it may take slightly longer to respond. Other issues are much simpler to our highly experienced team and the response will be quicker. Plush Puppy has a team of consultants in each state, feel free to discuss with them and information about products you require also.
Plush Puppy products are designed to achieve the results and silhouette you desire. As with all truly great achievements in life, effort = reward. Plush Puppy allows you to correctly use products and with your effort we are certain you will see the rewards.
To view our range of professional grooming products visit www.plushpuppy.com.au
Plush Puppy Australia