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Spanish Water Dog

A dog with a rich history and a distinctive coat. The coat is always curly and woolly this when it grows to a length can also form cords. The minimum coat length should be 3cm up to 12cm to show the correct curl. If the coat is in a curled state this is easier, if the coat is corded this adds a new dimension to correct method of bathing.

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The Spanish Water Dog

A dog with a rich history and a distinctive coat. The coat is always curly and woolly this when it grows to a length can also form cords. The minimum coat length should be 3cm up to 12cm to show the correct curl. If the coat is in a curled state this is easier, if the coat is corded this adds a new dimension to correct method of bathing.

This is a breed that has a hairy face and the best product for this is Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. When shampooing your dog always use this first to provide protection to eyes. It has special natural ingredients to ‘clean and sooth’ the dogs face plus the Blue Cypress Extracts are particularly effective on keeping the face extra clean. Simply apply a golf ball size amounts of the foam to the face and lather, best to leave on the face until the final rinsing of all the shampoo/s off.

Let’s address the curl coat first. A curl is a natural twist and ringlet to the hair follicle. It’s normally a very natural coat development. This coat type is generally a rather porous one as it is not regularly trimmed coat with a woolly texture and therefore it’s inclined to absorb toners. It is important to dilute shampoos on this breed for that reason.

On a dog with white use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo. A shampoo derived from organic sources with ginseng extracts, protein and violet tone combined in a concentrated and rich formula of ingredients. For white coats or white areas plus suitable for black and dark colours to reduce yellowing or warm tones and impart a sparkling clear sheen. It also tones and intensifies darker colours. Use at 1:5 (1 part shampoo to 5 parts water). This can be increased to up to 10 parts if needed. Use these same ratios to tone and intensify dark coats also.

For dogs that are chestnut use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo. This features natural henna extracts that add richness to colour, and gloss and shine to the coat. Excellent for normal to slightly dehydrated coats. All Purpose can be used on coats of all colours and has a minimum effect on coat texture. Use diluted at 1:5.

For dehydrated coats use Plush Puppy Natural Conditioning Shampoo. The active ingredients add much needed moisture to the coat and slightly soften it. Use again at 1:5.

Remember these shampoos can be used on just the areas requiring it or the whole dog, therefore it is possible to need more than 1 shampoo on any one dog.

For white stained areas that require greater stain reduction use Plush Puppy Wonder Blok. It helps to maintain a white stain free coat. It is not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals but high amounts of naturally sourced vegetable surfactants and glycerin. This product is designed to remove gently unwanted warm or red tones to the coat. Best used on a damp or wet coat. Gently rub into the areas required allowing 5-10 minutes and rinse. For maximum effects repeat or allow a longer time for this amazing product to work. As with all products take care around eyes.

Now corded coats are rather different. A cord is a greatly denser amount of coat and due to the tightness of these cords, it requires a different type of care in bathing and a slightly different process.

Firstly, the shampoo must be diluted, this is of extreme importance. The dilution rate is higher to enable the shampoo to be able to be rinsed out much easier. The best way is to use a baby bath so the dog can stand in the shampoo dilution and using a sponge, the shampoo solution is to be worked into each cord. No rubbing, just gently worked into the cord by squashing the cord between the shampoo dilution filled sponge.

Care must be taken, each cord worked through one by one. This is a slow process but very effective. The greatest secret is to then rinse the coat thoroughly by using the exact same process of rinsing each with the cord using the sponge, changing the water in the baby bath regularly. Ensure you keep rinsing until no trace of shampoo is left. Again no rubbing, just gently squashing the cords one by one to rinse all the shampoo out with fresh water. All the previously detailed shampoos can be used for their benefits just at this higher dilution rate of double the water amount.

Once thoroughly rinsed it’s important to add hydration to both the curl or corded coats. Use Plush Puppy SeaBreeze Oil which is a product that truly has “star” quality. It deeply hydrates the coat and skin while adding shine. and really helps to make a coat and skin feel healthy.

As such an advocate of Seabreeze Oil what would we do without this wonderful plant oil that just adds such healthy vigour to all those coats needing to retain texture as well as hydration? Water dogs, gun dogs, arctic breeds and many herding dogs all need that water retention to the coat without rendering it greasy or lank.

Seabreeze Oil is blended from essential plant oils for calming and healing qualities. It is a truly beneficial blend using extracts of Calendula oil, Wheat germ oil, and Evening Primrose.

Dilute 1 teaspoon in 4 Litres of water and mix well. This is the basic dilution rate but can be adjusted to suit the coat and coat length. Apply again using a sponge for a good even coverage. DO NOT RINSE OUT. The essential oils provide protection and hydration to the coat. This doesn’t soften the coat and therefore allows the natural curl to form and provides the same protection to the cords. Again, LEAVE IN. DO NOT RINSE. We cannot stress enough the wonderful attributes of this product.

Drying a curl type coat requires some care. A good combing prior to drying makes sure any tangles are removed. The coat is to be dried using a cool to warm lower air volume dryer as too much heat or air velocity increases the straightness of the coat. Brushing is to be minimal and only when the coat is wet, it’s to simply to assist drying. Excess brushing when the coat starts to dry only stretches the coat and makes it straighter. Using your fingers is best to allow the dryer to work through the coat. Maintaining the curl is of extreme importance.

Drying a corded coat requires the principle of less and more. Less contact with the coat and more air around the coat. Ideally using a crate drying method is best. A crate with cool/slightly warm dryers placed around the dog. A towel on the bottom to absorb any water drips and changed regularly. It’s a slower air type drying, similar to placing clothes on a drying rack. This takes some time and care must be made to ensure the coat is 100% dry before stopping. The cords after must be inspected to made sure each is separated, and any matted areas are to be divided to create cords.

To increase the curl on a coat if not sufficiently curly there are 2 ways. First is Plush Puppy Reviva Coat. This is a remarkable “leave in” foam designed to moisturise all types of coats without leaving them greasy or feeling oily. This amazing formula really gets results. Brilliant for conditioning coats that cannot take a regular conditioner and coats that need a totally non greasy finish.

This can be added to the coat by applying golf ball sizes amounts to the coat by hand and then worked through and scrunching the coat. Then allowed to air dry. This added hydration allows more curl and a tighter curl to the coat.

The second method is to apply a mist of Plush Puppy O.M.G. OMG adds hydration and the mist of moisture will increase curl. Mist and then scrunch the coat in your hands and then allow to air dry. With both methods do not brush the dog, brushing will remove the characteristic rustic look and curls.

Bathing is more than possible on this breed with just a little effort, traditionally bathing was not encouraged as to not take away from the rustic appeal. Technology has vastly changed since then and now it is possible to have a clean dog with all its traditional rustic charm and curl or cords.

Don’t ignore the olfactory senses of your judge. Nothing pleases more than a good smelling dog and it tells your judge that you care about your dog and have made the effort to groom and present. No matter how much you bath some dogs they still smell doggy especially if you have to travel to get to the show. Use Plush Puppy Odour Muncher. It literally munches the odour and works well for smelly problems such as emergencies in transit. It leaves a light fragrance, certainly not too much and definitely not too little.

The Spanish Water Dog is a unique and stylish breed. The coat combined with their balanced outline and easy gait makes them a strong competitor in the ring.

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