Originally a barge dog from Holland, this medium sized, handsome dog is quite a lively and smart participant at dog shows. Now we are one’s to harp on the importance of that ‘silhouette’ of every breed – that figure the dog cuts out in the line-up on both the stack and the move.
Your quest is to make your dog fit that ideal silhouette of the breed and not the other way around. It is the job of Plush Puppy to help you get there! Do be objective and evaluate your dog to see what needs to be done to present him/her at their best, understanding if they are not compact enough or the tail is not sitting well etc. You can maximise and minimise areas by your coat presentation.
Good presentation starts many months ahead with a coat not made in one bathing session, though a better general outline can be achieved quickly. Hair takes many weeks to grow, so good coat hair is a long process.
Now to achieve the ideal outline you will need for that outer coat to be harsh and stand well out from his undercoat. This correct texture and then technique in grooming for the show will give you a lot to work with. We never and certainly mean ever, condition this type of coat. You do not want to soften or flatten this coat and conditioners will indeed do just that. Best is to oil this coat, having said that, you need one that is water soluble and never greasy. Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil dilute 1 tbsp. to 1 gal/4 litres warm water and apply liberally saturating the coat using a large sponge and work well through the coat to the skin. Leave-in and DO NOT RINSE. For maintenance or to promote coat growth use a stronger dilution i.e. 1 tbsp. to 2 litres/1/2 gal. warm water. We cannot stress the magic of this product enough – this is the secret to all great coats.
Your coat colour is varying shades of grey, black and cream with the ruff and trousers lighter than the rest. Ideally one should use a toning shampoo that is violet in colour such as Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo which is a lightening shampoo that tones and reduces unwanted warm tones in the coat thus minimising tawny tones and will therefore deepen the colour lost in a dehydrated coat. Always dilute 5:1 i.e. 5 parts water to 1 part shampoo. You can leave on an area that needs extra toning for 10 minutes if you wish to add that extra tone before rinsing. Great on the lighter areas like the harness markings too.
For extra oomph and lift to the coat, especially when the dog has been shedding and not quite back to normal, use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo diluted 3:1 i.e. 3 parts water to 1 part shampoo. This shampoo is packed with high quality wheatgerm extract to add texture and body and enhance shine. If you like the toning of the Whitening Shampoo and want the body attributes of the Body Building Shampoo, mix 1/2 and 1/2 and dilute 3:1. Then of course, follow through with your final rinse of the Seabreeze Oil. Now that is the heart and soul of your bathing routine.
The head and expression is hugely important in this breed. Try Plush Puppy Let’s Face It, a product which the Dog Showing World has needed for way too long. Another famous Plush Puppy product that combines the latest of technology with high levels of naturally sourced ingredients to develop a product that is a must! Hypoallergenic, sulfate-free and low foaming this shampoo is uniquely designed for faces. Its no tear formula and highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts with Panthenol, Pro Vitamin B and SugaNate will 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 with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows easy of rinsing yet complete cleaning.
For extra hydration and moisture, especially when the coat is beginning to look like it is heading towards shedding, use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue diluted in a large jug 1/4 cup to a watery slurry with 1 cup warm water and work well through the coat after the shampoo and before the final rinse of Seabreeze Oil. Leave Coat Rescue in for 5 minutes and then rinse off. There is everything known to man in this formula. Stick with that and you won’t go wrong. Your texture will be bang on the money and you will maximise the condition without sacrificing the lift.
Now for the tweaking to get that perfect silhouette. I just happen to like lots of lift and to maximise the sturdiness of this breed by lots of body in the coat so like to add Plush Puppy Volumising Cream for a show grooming bath. This is a non-sticky, no residue, can’t feel or find it type of product that just makes each hair look much thicker and bigger – kind of like 3 hairs looking like 3,000 as I always say. No point just plonking it on the top layers as it is under the top layers that gives the support to the coat and that’s where you want to put it PLUS evenly throughout the coat. Even dispersion is the reason I always advocate diluting the products and applying them in quantity by sloshing well throughout the whole of the coat OR the area I need to have doing what it is I am doing to it. So for the Volumising Cream add 1 tbsp. to the Seabreeze Oil Mix i.e. add 1 tbsp. to the 4 litre/1 gal warm water SB Oil mix and saturate the coat during the final rinse and leave in – do not rinse and dry as normal. For extra lift at shows try the Plush Puppy Volumising Spray a ready to use formula simply spray lightly and either brush or blow dry.
You will need to blow dry – we all know it takes time and for those not inclined to enjoy this process, too bad! The coat does need to be blown 100% dry, using a force dryer. For those that wish to speed up the process try our Plush Puppy Fast Spray, a revolutionary innovative Fast Dry Blow Dry Spray that combines the latest active ingredients together to dramatically reduce drying time in some cases by up to 50%. Adding moisture and condition while protecting the coat, FAST is probably the most technically advanced formula in the Plush Puppy range to date.
A double coat should be so good that a wide toothed metal comb can run through it without a hitch with no matting or felting anywhere on the dog! When brushing up use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush, an oval cushioned brush that works.
For final show day presentation you can now go to the show with little to do.
The main basics and outline is there for you and you for the past few months have done your homework regularly and that means weekly, to perfect this little Olympian. Your eye has retrained to divorce yourself of the beloved perfection of your dog to know what needs to be tweaked to really make it perfect. You have bathed, oiled and blow-dried your heart out each week and now the final touches need to be added.
The tail area is important, this is an intrinsic part of the hallmark silhouette of your breed. It must not look like an added appendage but be part of the whole. I use an old trick for this, using Plush Puppy OMG Grooming Spray mist the tail area and brush forwards towards the head. Now take a tail comb the edge of a large metal comb and part the tail making the part either centre or to one side if the tail has a tendency to swing towards one side.
Brush up with OMG for the whole of the coat on show – using a very weak breakdown of 40:1 dilution of the OMG Concentrate – this is just right for the Keeshond. Add a mist of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher for that absolute 100 of the little things it takes to make a winner most of the time, remembering that most people want to do just one thing, if only it were that easy! There are so many other things such as a hint of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust, a light mist of Plush Puppy Shine & Comb and maybe some Plush Puppy Puffy Dog+ to bodify the legs. You now know how it is done and it is up to you to make it happen.
Your distinctive breed with his characteristic spectacles is going to look a million bucks out there in the show ring. He is really a very beautiful dog and given all things that he is a good specimen of his breed, you can make this dog something really special. His typical spitz personality is a bubbly happy and energetic one and it is always delightful to see this personality combined with great presentation.