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Out of Africa, and barkless, the Basenji is one of the oldest breeds, used for hunting, pointing and retrieving. Approximately the size of a Fox Terrier, one should have the first impression of a proud little dog. A Hound with beauty, grace and intelligence, he is also fastidiously clean, making an ideal house dog as well as a good working dog.

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The Basenji

His coat is often described as one of his most beautiful features, exhibiting brilliant lustre. It ought to be short and fine. Colours must be predominant to any white areas and stated as either Chestnut Red, Pure Black, Tri Colour, or Brindle. White should be on tip of tail, white feet and chest with optional white on legs, blaze or collar.

The main characteristic of the coat is of that brilliant shine. So, your quest is always one of protection and enhancement of these. Remember coats are not made overnight, so your job begins long before any show season or special show. Just because it is a short coat, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to do much to it. Whilst your job is not one of long hours of hand stripping, trimming or blow drying, you still have to spend time to keep it in A1 radiant condition.

The long term plan is to always protect from the sun. He may be out of Africa, but you are showing a dog in the show ring – not out on the veld. Plan ahead with coat care, presentation and training and you will always be doing the utmost for your chances in the ring.

To prevent sun damage and fading of the coat, spend the time during the preceding weeks to pack the hair with slathers of Plush Puppy Reviva Coat, a leave in, easily applied moisturiser. It is non greasy and helps protect. For dire situations, mix Plush Puppy Coat Rescue with equal quantities of water to a runny slurry, then slather this through the coat and leave on for as long as you can. Doesn’t matter if the dog runs around the yard all day with it on. The longer the better. Then rinse off. Coat Rescue adds plant protein to the hair and helps restore structure lost in wear and tear. You can then follow up with Reviva Coat each or every second day. Neither are greasy and both readily applied and absorbed into the hair.

If you find the reds or blacks tend to fade out with a rusty overtone as the coat ages, then bath with Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo, diluted 1:3. or up tp 1:10. It won’t lighten but will tone, adding back the lost cool tones to the coat and enhance the whites with a pearly sheen. All coat colours are made of the full spectrum of the colours of the rainbow and first tones to fade are always the blues and purples leaving a reddish, orange overtone to the coat. This is a quick and effective way to give depth back to your blacks and reds without damaging the coat nor violating rules for artificial colouring of a coat.

For stained areas or wanting extra whites use Plush Puppy Wonder Blok. Brilliant in helping to maintain a white stain free coat. It’s not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals but high amounts of naturally sourced vegetable surfactants and glycerin. This product is designed to gently remove unwanted warm or red tones to the coat. Using on a wet coat, gently rub into the areas requiring whitening or brightening. Allow approximately 5-10 minutes, then rinse. For maximum effects repeat, or allow a longer time for this amazing product to work. As with all products take care around eyes.

For bathing when the coat is in normal, or good condition, use either the Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo or Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo diluted 5:1. All Purpose is ‘the’ shampoo for ultimate shine. It features natural henna stalk extracts that impart a beautiful gloss and shine to the coat.

You can still use the Herbal Whitening Shampoo on the white areas if you wish. Just use the All Purpose Shampoo on the areas where shine is important such as topline and main body coat.

For faces use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed just for faces. It’s a nil fragrance, no tear formula with the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean, sooth, add moisture, aid healing and have anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amounts 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 rinsing yet complete cleaning. Best used first and left on whilst using all other shampoos and rinsing off with the final shampoo rinse.

Do not use conditioners on this coat as they overly soften the hair. Instead use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. This will not soften but retains the correct coat texture. Seabreeze Oil is excellent for maintaining the healthy vigour to the skin and coat and is all plant sourced from Evening Primrose and Calendula Oils. It is non greasy and totally water soluble making it easy to apply and remove each time without build-up. Dilute 1 tablespoon in 4 Litres (1 Gal) of water and work well through the coat with a large sponge. Leave in and don’t rinse off. It gives incredible sheen and finish to the hair. We cannot stress enough the wonderful attributes of this product.

When drying use the innovative Plush Puppy FAST Blow Dry Spray that combines clever ingredients to dramatically reduce drying time. It adds moisture and conditions while protecting the coat. It contains Australian Native Flame Tree extracts known for their hydrating properties that help make a dry or old coat feel and look perfect. It also protects the coat from damage from sun and heat. It contains a slight hold ingredient for better coat management and a special active ingredient that eliminates static electricity and stops the fly-away’s. A brilliant blow drying spray that halves the drying time.

Follow with a blow dry to remove excess water and dislodge any dead hair. Grooming mitts and brushes will never get the amount of dead hair out that a good forced dryer will remove. The quicker the dead hair is dislodged, the faster it will regrow. I find that bathing, oiling and blow drying each and every week, gives a better all over finish to the hair and you don’t suffer those horrid times of coat shedding where the coat appears as if moth eaten. The oil allows you to bath and dry each week without damage or dehydration thus getting the best of both worlds.

Follow this routine and your Basenji coat will gleam and not cause worries for show day. Do the bath, oil and dry the night before the show and most of your work is done allowing you to relax for the important day.

Show day just needs a quick tidy up and mini clean. Use Plush Puppy Wonder Wash, a no rinse, fast cleaner on legs, feet and under belly area. Spray and foam with your hands and wipe off with a clean towel.

Then add Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream (a whiter than white paste) onto a barely damp, almost dry piece of sponge, and dab a small amount onto the feet and any white areas that need white cover. Don’t pile on a large blob, just a light one. Then add a good dusting of chalk or corn starch or your preferred powder. This will dry and set the Cover Up Cream and leave till firmly dry. Finally give a light brush a few minutes prior to show time to remove excess.

When brushing use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pure Black Boar Bristle Brush. This brush consists of 100% pure black boar bristle from the chest of the boar – the highest quality bristle available! It is ergonomically designed to offer groomers and their dogs the ultimate brushing comfort. The finest quality aeroelastic flexible rubber base houses the boar bristles. This ensures optimum brushed results on all short coated breeds and longevity of use. The handle is of ergonomic design and crafted from high-quality Beechwood. This design allows maximum brush contact for efficient brushing for dog groomers. Exclusive to Plush Puppy and uses the very finest quality bristles to polish the beautiful coat.

A good spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher to eliminate any dog trailer odours acquired overnight or in transit, and a light spray of Plush Puppy Shine and Comb sprayed into the air above the topline and allowed to fall mist like onto the dog. Finish with a smoothing of your hand along the topline. Bingo! All done.

Your Basenji is an elegant, graceful breed. An intelligent sight and scent hound, he moves with effortless and swift gait covering the ring with ease and agility. His wonderfully deeply furrowed forehead, pricked ears and intelligent, far seeing eyes, house a dog with great affection and alertness. Let him hit that effortless trot with long striding smooth gait and watch the rest of the competitors take notice. A great dog of ancient lineage and always a tough one to beat.

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