Expert Grooming Article
Expert Grooming Article
TO THE TIP OF HIS NOSE – The Beagle, this tireless, little hunter is a very work-oriented breed. One can be forgiven for thinking that function is enough to carry him through in a show ring. He is often seen as a no-nonsense breed and the brevity of the coat paragraph of the standard can be deceptive. The show ring surely is more than just the presentation of a dog that can do his job. It has been suggested that the show ring is the forum partly for the evaluation of the parts of the dog and most importantly for the whole of the dog – the type – the visual picture that fills your eye of the dog as expected from the reading and hands-on experience of the breed.
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So, it is expected that one attempts to fill the eye with all the glory and majesty of the breed when presenting at showtime. Your breed may be small and he may be a short-coated fellow, but he is a terrific little dog and ought to have all the assets of his breed highlighted and showcased in that brief moment of spotlight time when the judge turns his head to focus on him. There isn’t any mention of clipping, trimming or otherwise – some people do, and some people don’t. If you do or wish to do, then it is still minimal – just to sharpen the outline rather than change it. After all, there isn’t enough hair to change it. A light neatening of the tuck-up with the thinning shears – same with the ridge of hair on the back of the stifle. The tail may need some neatening too.
A cigar-shaped, well-covered tail is the visual appearance to strive for and you may need to snip the strays and round off the tip. The coat ought to have some weatherproof attributes and not be soft. He is, after all, a working hound. You need to be selective in what to use and what not to use so as not to artificially soften the coat yet give lots of moisture to maintain health and vigour. I recommend you select a shampoo that does not alter texture but gives good cleansing and tone to the white areas.
Use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo which does not contain bleaching agents but has good tonal qualities for that pearly white finish. Dilute 5:1 (5 parts water to 1 part shampoo). This is a wonderful product for giving rich depth to the darker colours and great shine to the lighter colours and whites.
Should the coat be dry and dull and shine of paramount importance, then use the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna at 5:1. You make the decision on which to use based on whether toning for pearly whites is of greater importance at the time than shine.
If you need extra heavy duty cleansing on the feet then use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo at 3:1.
For extra white or stained areas 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 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 breed as they overly soften the hair. You do need moisture in the coat and yet cannot use anything conditioning. So, the alternative approach is to use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. This is the best stuff for that healthy coat bloom. Wonderful also for dry scratchy skin. 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.
Now you have your well hydrated and oiled coat without the greasiness one associates with coat oils. Now blow dry. I know – you think this is a wash and wear dog. Well, the reasons for blow drying are that it gets ALL the dead hair out. The coat always is regenerating, and you don’t seem to get those holes or patchiness with the coat when shedding.
For brushing and drying use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pure Black Boar Bristle Brush. This amazing brush allows to remove unwanted loose coat and the pure boar bristles polish the coat for that perfect finish. 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.
At times due to various reasons including the weather static electricity can create flyaways. If this occurs use Plush Puppy Anti-Static Coat Control. This is a lightweight spray infused with organic extracts of Witch Hazel Leaf, Linden Flower, Birch Bark and Nettle. I know it sounds strange to use an anti-static on short coats but it adds to the protection, include a UV filter to stop sun damage. It will also protect against heat for the perfect finished look of the coat. This amazing product is idea for this breed and a must for your tack box.
Now for Show day. Plush Puppy Chalkestral is an excellent pre chalk cream. Chalkestral is a unique product that conditions the coat to minimise chalk dry out, plus adheres chalk to coat. It is also totally water soluble. Apply evenly to areas before chalking. Either put a small amount into your hands and rub together to “warm up” and then rub into the area. Or swipe a small amount into a damp sponge and evenly rub or wipe into the area. Appy the chalk or white powder with brush immediately.
Should you need any extra whitening to any area, apply Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream with a barely damp sponge – not too damp as it will then take forever to dry. Use kitchen sponges as they are readily available and cheap, just chop them up into workable pieces about 4” x 4”. On damp days delay the drying too. Apply a little loose chalk on top and let it dry, usually a few minutes and then brush to remove excess chalk. If it takes too long to dry, you have applied too thickly, or the sponge is too wet. I like to layer this product when applying. A light application and allow it to dry and then another on top. It will last all day and will wash off with water and shampoo.
I also keep Plush Puppy Wonder Wash handy with this breed. They are busy little people and prone to oops moments, usually just prior to ring time. This self-rinse shampoo foams and doesn’t stay there looking at you hoping your elbow grease will make it work. This really does the trick. Spray and foam up with your fingers and then towel dry off. Leaves whites really white.
Okay so it’s now your turn for the ring and your supermodel is ready to strut his stuff. A light spray over with Plush Puppy Shine and Comb which is a water-soluble shine-just bliss -non-greasy and a good low-level shine that appears natural but very effective. Run your hand over the top line to even out the application. Last but not least is the fragrance. I like a dog to smell good.
Plush Puppy Odour Muncher does more than just smell good. It is a deodoriser as well as a fragrance, eating up the nasty odour and leaving a good fresh smell that won’t asphyxiate the dog or the judge.
Want to stretch it and go the whole hog? In for a penny and in for a pound? I just love a sprinkle of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust. Used judiciously this stuff is wonderful. Apply a light dusting to your Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Brush for this dog. Touch lightly along the top-line and pants and up under the tail to the tip to work the powder down under the top layers of the coat and leaving the shimmer behind. Apply this before a spritz of Plush Puppy Shine and Comb for the final touch.
So, what have we got now? You have one of the showiest breeds in the dog-ring on that leash. His little white-tipped tail standing up like a beacon for all to see that he is here and frankly, here he is, gleaming in all his glory for everyone to envy and admire. This is such a tempting breed.