Expert Grooming Article
Expert Grooming Article
The Airedale Terrier. Known as the King of Terriers, the Airedale’s origins appear to be from old lines from the Aire Valley in England and is generally known as a good all-rounder used not only for hunting game and birds but as a police dog and a wartime guard dog. Owned by many of the famous and the discerning, the Airedale is the largest and hardiest of the Terriers. He is faithful and protective of his family and a good companion.
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His coat is required to be hard, dense and wiry with a softer undercoat and lying straight and close with some of hardest coats being crinkly or slightly waved. Therein lies the dilemma for most exhibitors as to how to present a clean and pleasant-smelling coat AND maintain the texture with harsh texture being such a hallmark of most terrier breeds.
The usual routine has been to bath well ahead of show day and wait until the coat hardens again or leave the coat and not bath at all. That assuredly will maintain texture. But is not ideal today with all the progression in beautiful presentation due to better products and equipment to achieve what you want instantly.
Plush Puppy Texture + Shampoo is formulated to retain and improve coat texture. This shampoo thoroughly yet gently cleanses and deodorises the coat of Terriers and other wire, harsh or coarse coated breeds without softening or compromising texture. It’s ideal for boosting body and coarseness in coats of all colours and coat types. Formulated to be pH controlled, it can create or maintain texture, is low irritant with a subtle apple fragrance and is easy to rinse out. It is full of beneficial and powerful extracts from the Gentian Root, Juniper Fruit, St John’s Wart Leaf, Hay Flower, Lemon Balm Leaf and Arnica Flower that combine to nourish and vitalise the skin. Use diluted up to 1:10 or apply undiluted directly to areas requiring intensive cleansing. Rinse thoroughly.
When washing faces use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed just for faces. It’s no tear formula features the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean, soothe, 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. It can also be used in and around the ears with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows ease of rinsing, yet complete cleaning.
The other conundrum for the Airedale exhibitor is the issue of how to maintain hydration in the coat without softening. The last thing you would use on a terrier such as the Airedale would be a conditioner. You need to utilise a moisturising product that adds all the strengthening properties and hydration and not leave the coat too soft or greasy. Apply a liberal application of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil is perfect. Add 1 teaspoon to half a bucket of water (2L), then either sponge on or sluice well through the coat and LEAVE IN. DO NOT RINSE. This is quite a unique product in that it is not greasy and totally water-soluble. It just adds all the goodness of Evening Primrose and Calendula Oils for an outstanding healthy vigour to the skin and coat. Use after a wet shampoo routine, or between baths during the week for maintenance to the coat and furnishings. This is one product you cannot be without.
For those wanting to add instant texture to the coat, use Plush Puppy Ruffy Tuffy Coat Spray. Apply layer upon layer. That is, spray lightly at least 30cms/12” away from the coat, allow a few seconds, and then keep re-spraying the same way until the level of harsh texture you desire is achieved. Build up the level of harshness to that which suits each particular dog. This is a great product to use the day after a wet bath routine to ensure that ‘so desired’ harshness is there.
Another great product for adding texture and perfect for stripping coats is a light sprinkle of Plush Puppy Powder Puff Terrier. This remarkable loose chalk adds that harshness needed. It is a naturally sourced formula and perfect for this purpose. Just a light sprinkle and pat in. The white chalk disappears without a trace leaving a crisp coat.
The Terrier is a no nonsense group of dogs owned usually by no nonsense people! The very things most exhibitors need for their non-terrier breeds is not what is required by the terrier people. It is thus challenging to work to finesse the coats whilst maintaining integrity to the breed. Having to think outside the square for real outcomes is great fun.
For the arts of shaping an Airedale Terrier with hand or knife stripping, we suggest you watch one of the masters at work as this is a skill that has to be learned and not described on paper. The quest to achieve that sense of short back, strong, straight and level, showing no slackness with muscular loin, well-sprung ribs, short coupled and well ribbed-up dogs with little space between ribs and hips is one that you must pursue no matter what it takes. Beg, bribe or whatever you must do to acquire the skills for great presentation. Some of the groomers are geniuses at presentation and with perfection simply the masters at work. This ideal silhouette or outline is what it takes to achieve the lofty heights of a true Airedale presenter.
To groom that “just so” Airedale Terrier head, use Plush Puppy Sit N Stay. Apply a small amount rubbed into the hands till the product crosses over from ‘wet sticky’ to what I term ‘dry sticky’, then work down at the sides of the face furnishings.
Plush Puppy Stuk Up is a non-aerosol ‘Cement Strength’ styling and coat finishing hold spray. It offers extreme hold when sculpting and fixing your dog’s coat into show-ready shape. A light spray approximately 25cm away from the area, allow a second to dry, then repeat as needed. Great at creating a strong long-lasting hold. The product is water soluble which allows easy washing out.
I will share a good tip for the legs also. Use Plush Puppy Reviva Coat which is a great moisturiser to use without overly softening the coat. Hard to find things that will do just that. It is perfect for after show bathing out of the furnishings to protect and moisturise. Easy and quick to apply. Just foam a small amount to the hands and work through the legs. This is perfect for mid-week protection of furnishings; it keeps up hydration and allows for coat growth.
Plush Puppy Volumising Spray is 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 and 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. Perfect for legs that need that added density.
Not to forget for show day, that final flourish for a great smelling dog with 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.
Plush Puppy 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.
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. For this coat type where you still wish to retain texture, use at a higher breakdown. It will still allow you to brush the dog and refresh to coat without over softening. OMG never builds up and never goes stringy. A product that took years to develop using amazing technology for maximum effects. A true necessity for the tool kit.
For brushing the body use the Plush Puppy Ultimate 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.
For the legs use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Slicker Brush. This brush promises durability and flawless brushed results every time. This dog brush is of ergonomic design to lessen strain on the groomer’s hands while at the same time offering maximum brush contact. A soft, flexible rubber air-cushion houses the strong pins. These pins penetrate through the dogs coat without excessive pulling on the hair or scratching the skin. The Ultimate Soft Slicker Brush ensures a gentler, more comfortable brushing experience. Both these brushes are exclusive to Plush Puppy and made using the highest quality materials.
So, what is it about the Airedale Terrier that is so arresting out there in the ring? What is it that stirs the soul and brings the hairs up on the necks of the watchers in the crowd? Why do we all think this is the dog to watch for out here in the ring? Perhaps it’s because your Airedale Terrier cuts such a fine picture with his keen expression, quick movement, and his on the tiptoe of expectation at any movement. His confident dignity, friendly, courageous and intelligent temperament makes such an eye-catching entry. Is it any wonder that so many of the high profile handlers choose Airedales as the dog of choice on the end of their leash?
Make way for the King of Terriers!