Expert Grooming Article
Expert Grooming Article
When is an Aussie not a true Aussie? Well, when it actually is an Australian Shepherd as they did not originate in Australia at all. This glamorous dog was likely from the Basque region between Spain and France and adopted and adapted into the American ranch way of life. A lovely double-coated breed with a great variety of colours in a coat that is weather resistant. It stands out in any show ring. Best shampoo to use is to decide just where the coat is at in the ever-evolving process of a double-coated breed – it is either coming or going so it seems.
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Different stages of the coat necessitate a different shampoo to get the maximum benefit. Different colours also require different approaches too. When the coat is just right then use the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo for super shine. This works well on all colours. Dilute all the Plush Puppy shampoos at 5:1 (5 parts water to one part shampoo). For dry or older coat grooming, use the Plush Puppy Natural Conditioning Shampoo with Evening Primrose. This will give extra moisture when the coat gets dry and brittle prior to shedding or after long hot summer days.
Use the Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo when out of coat or for a coat that is not abundant enough. This works really well and helps to puff up the outward look of a dog that could use some bulking up. Use the Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo to tone or rid the coat of unwanted warm tones especially good on a blue merle, black that has turned rusty red or to tone down unwanted orange tones on a red coat. Brilliant in brightening any white areas.
For difficult stubborn stained white areas switch to 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.
So, to keep this abundant, full look and to enhance the picture of a solidly built dog, don’t use a conditioner. It will flatten and soften the coat. The instruction and focus is to keep a weather-resistant texture and the best way to do this, especially when shampooing and drying each week is to oil the coat using Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. This is just great and not at all oily or difficult to remove, nor does it collect dirt and grime. Sourced from Evening Primrose and Calendula Oils, it ahould be applied after shampooing and rinsing. Dilute 1 tablespoon into 1 gal/4 lt. water then either sponge on or sluice well through the coat and LEAVE IN. DO NOT RINSE OUT. At this dilution, you will not get a greasy coat but a well hydrated coat with healthy vigour to the hair. It really is quite special, and the results are instantaneous, and with continued use, the difference is outstanding. Your coats will be fabulous.
For really brittle and damaged coats or coats that have done their fair share of hard knocks, use the Plush Puppy Coat Rescue. Dilute 2 heaped tablespoons of Coat Rescue well into a squeeze bottle with 500ml (16oz) water. Apply to the dehydrated area of the coat with a large sponge and leave on for a minimum of 5 minutes. Try ro leave on for as long as possible up to 20 minutes. We tend to leave on for hours while we do other dogs. Then rinse clear. Coat Rescue helps to put some lost structure back into the hair.
Now the show presentation grooming starts with a good dose of Plush Puppy Volumising Cream. I am of the school that asserts a good bit of lift to the coat is good and more is better. By the time the dog rolls around in the crate or trailer, it is a lot flatter than when I started! Use 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water and spread evenly and liberally. Now blow dry with a force dryer with as much lift as possible to the coat lifting up and forwards towards the head to create a nice full ruff. We also have Plush Puppy Volumising Spray a ‘Ready To Use’ spray for quicker, easier and fuller coat results. Perfect either before blow-drying or used to ‘fluff’ up the coat at the show. Apply a light even spray, then brush in until dry or use a dryer. This is a hair thickener to add volume, not a hair stiffener and not easily detectable. It leaves the coat with a natural fuller look and feel.
For drying the Aussie use Plush Puppy FAST Blow Dry Spray. Fast 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.
The secret to a good double coat is to dry thoroughly. Its not ideal when people leave it half dry and it starts to mat at the skin after time. The dog can also get hot spots with this damp undercoat situation. A good weather-resistant coat doesn’t get wet naturally down to the skin, but we all push the envelope with jet forced bathing, and therefore you must ensure we do dry well.
If the coat is a tad dry on the ends or the ends are starting to flip a bit, then apply Plush Puppy OMG. OMG is a revolutionary grooming spray that lives up to its name. OMG is the perfect product for this coat type when used correctly. A light spray of OMG and brushing in allows this product to refresh the coat leaving it feeling wonderful. It separates the coat and leaves the most amazing finish. Use the concentrate form at 1:30/40 (1 part OMG to 30-40 parts water). The stronger the mix the stronger their effects. For this type of double-coated breed, a lighter concentration works best.
Using OMG can be a one-off at shows or during the drying process after bathing. This is also an amazing product for regular brushing as it hydrates the coat reducing stress and coat loss. Its active ingredients smooth the cuticle and protect the coat. OMG never builds up, never goes stringy. A product that took years to develop using incredible technology for maximum effects. A true necessity for the tool kit.
For dogs that coat is kicking up or wavy use Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream. Blow Dry Cream flattens and softens. Using it correctly and in the right place will tailor your dog to its best. Apply 1 dessertspoon to 250ml of water. Sponge into the area needed and dry.
On any stains use Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream with a light dab onto a barely damp sponge and pat lightly onto any stained or less than white areas that ought to be white. Add a flurry of chalk to dry and then brush.
For legs use Plush Puppy Chalkestral. 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. Alternatively, swipe a small amount into a damp sponge and evenly rub or wipe into the area. Appy chalk or white powder with a brush immediately. 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. This stays on the coat well and will last the day until it is washed off.
Last minute stuff is to brush the coat up and forwards with another light mist of the Volumising Spray using a Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush. This brush promotes durability and beautiful results. A fine quality aeroelastic rubber base houses strong polished pins, and the handle is ergonomically designed for the groomer with maximum brush contact for efficiency of brushing. The dog will give a good shake and the coat will settle into the outline or silhouette. Finish off with a Plush Puppy Anti-Static Porcupine Brush for a smoother look from the half bristle, half dialon cushioned action. I usually just use the Pin Brush, liking the lift and fullness.
Your wonderful smooth gaiting dog is now ready for action and ready to take on the flashiest of breeds in the ring. He is dressed to perfection and will draw gasps of pleasure and excitement as he uses that ground covering stride to his best. His quick and intelligent personality will endear him to all as he performs as you ask and you will have had that extra bonding that you have created during the quiet times of grooming, the laying of your hands on this magnificent dog is a treat and one to be enjoyed and never a chore.