This extrovert little member of the Toy Group, descended from sled dogs of the north, not only makes a wonderful pet and companion, but is a great show contender. He may be small and he may be compact, but this does not diminish his stature in the ring. I often think these little dogs appear to have bigger personalities than some of the larger breeds.
The double coat of the Pom is a fairly straightforward one to groom but it does take time, albeit on a small scale of dog. The crux of the matter is to keep the texture on the longer guard hair and maintain the overall shape of the dog, which I have always pictured as being a ball shape thus wanting to keep lift and fullness to the coat.
You are in an enviable position of being able to lightly trim this dog for neatness and a clean outline. So, starting with a good pair of thinning shears (you only get to make half a mistake at a time using thinning shears), trim the hair on the ear tips to make small and rounded to balance the head. Next, shape the feet to make small and cat-like. Trim right down at the base of the tail to give definition to the tail set and also to shorten the back. Trim the bib, the underline and pants maintaining at all times the round ball shape. A practised eye makes for a perfect shape, so do this gently to start with – you can always take more off if needed.
The next step is to get the lift and fullness to the coat so I never recommend anything that will flatten or soften the coat such as a conditioner. Your Pom’s harsher outer coat must have texture. Use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo at a dilution rate of 3 parts water to one part shampoo. I always like to dilute the shampoo to disperse it readily and evenly throughout the coat and to shorten the time of rinsing. This is a small dog thus an economical breed any way but they do hate to stand still – the quicker you get this done the better!
For the final rinse add approx ½ teaspoon of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil to approx 4 – 6 cups water working this mix well into the coat and down to the skin. It is all naturally sourced and gives a wonderful gleam and glow to the coat without flattening and softening. You can keep a small amount of this mix for spraying onto the dog between shows, behind the ears and on the males „pee“ feathers. Any disentangling, should it be needed on the longer areas of coat, can be done with a mix of a golf ball amount of Plush Puppy Revivacoat to one cup water – this will get the matts or tangles out without flattening the coat and is a fabulous moisturiser.
A great disentangler for dematting or just brushing generally is Plush Puppy OMG Concentrate or the Ready To Use version. If wanting for dematting purposes then the Ready To Use is ok but for brushing or for anti static use, dilute Ready To Use a further 50% with water. Best to use the Concentrate which can be diluted for very bad tangles at 15:1 (15 parts water to one part OMG) and up to 40:1 for light brushing use. The Ready To Use is an approximate 20:1 strength and ideal for a majority of breeds for general use but the Pom should have a lighter strength. It is just an amazing product and named aptly! Great anti- stat and not greasy or heavy.
I do believe in blow-drying with a cool to warm dryer – never hot. This serves to lift and aerate the coat whilst removing any dead undercoat. It is also prudent to do your bath and blow dry routine the morning before the show allowing at least 24 hours for the coat texture to harden a bit. Again I stress you should have texture with this coat. You can harden instantly once the coat is dry, with a LIGHT dusting of Plush Puppy Powder Puff for Harsh Coats. It is a white ultra fine powder that gives rock hard texture and thus some lift to the hair. So lightly for a little texture and a lot for barbed wire texture!!! Just sift or flick on with a brush and leave in. Bingo!
The best thing for volumising the coat when drying is Plush Puppy Volumising Cream. It is brilliant when the dog is out of coat after shedding and just as helpful when in coat to give that extra „oomph“ without being hard or sticky. Apply 1 tbspn to 1 cup water in a Plush Puppy Spray Bottle, which is marked with measurements on the side and has a nice spray to disperse evenly. Try adding instead to the final rinse water along with the Seabreeze Oil to save time and leave in. Diluted Volumising Cream on it’s own can also be used the day of the show to lift any flattened areas – just lightly spray and brush or if available use a dryer just to refresh the shape.
Another great spray for grooming on show day is Plush Puppy Quick Fix. This has slightly more hold factor than the Volumising Cream and can be used either diluted or undiluted – dilute ½ and ½ if you wish. However, the Volumising Cream will add more thickness to each hair. You can use both if you wish – the Volumising Cream firstly for a more coat appearance and the Quick Fix for more hold and lift. An even stronger grooming product for a lot of hold and lift is Plush Puppy Puffy Dog, used also straight after bathing and when the dog is approx 80% dry. Dilute one golf ball amount to 1 cup water and spray well into the coat and finish drying. This gives a lot of hold and texture. It is your choice to decide just how much is needed for which coat as with all double-coated breeds, they are constantly in various stages of shedding and regenerating.
Always keep in mind that ball shape and avoid anything that will flatten or soften. Your fluffing up on show day can be done readily using your light or harder hold grooming spray recipes outlined above and using an oval cushioned ½ bristle ½ nylon brush such as the Plush Puppy Anti Stat Brush. On larger breeds such as the Eurasier or Chow, I use the Plush Puppy Pin Brush Regular and you might prefer this instead. You do need to get into the coat to the skin and lift the coat and you do want bristles that do just that and not skate over the top of the coat leaving a felted undercoat. Always you are lifting and fluffing up.
The Pom doesn’t seem to get too many problems with tear staining though I have seen some on the lighter colours. Again I recommend using a simple remedy such as a whitening toothpaste applied with a toothbrush or Q Tip and worked into the area avoiding getting into the eye. Leave for 10 – 15 mins and wipe off and then rinse to avoid getting any surplus washing into the eye. You can use the Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo to keep on top of this problem.
For final touches on show day, a light dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust onto the edge of the Plush Puppy Anti Stat Brush and flicked lightly into the coat will add a hint of glamour and light when picked out by the sun. Don’t overdo it. Subtlety is the key word and it looks wonderful. Don’t forget a light spray also of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher to complete the overall sense of good grooming and presentation. It is so nice for a judge to not only touch a clean and beautiful dog but to have him smell fresh as well.
What a nice energetic little character you get to show! Full of vim and vigour he appears to dance along like a little ball of delight. I see them sometimes in the marshalling area spinning on the leash with sheer joy. Such a cheeky little fellow is your Pom. How could anyone not be cheered seeing his pixie antics and his cocky attitude? He is well worth the work that you put into him and a hard act to follow.