Expert Grooming Article
Expert Grooming Article
The Akita developed much of his modern appearance somewhere in the 17th Century as a versatile hunter. He is the typical arctic snow country coat, that is a double coat with a thick undercoat and straight harsh outer coat. Their appearance is one of strength and substance with heavy bone thus his presentation within the show ring should typify and enhance all those requirements, exemplifying his ability to work well in his native environment. His vast array of colours and colour combinations has tremendous appeal with the opportunity to present this coat in great health and condition.
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Start your show grooming routine with Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo for maximum lift to the coat or even when out of coat, to enhance that strength and substance to his silhouette. For more shine, use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna. Use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo with Ginseng for toning the white areas and minimising any unwanted warm or yellow reflects. Dilute all shampoos at least 5:1 (5 parts water to 1 part shampoo) and up to as much as 10:1 for maintenance. I tend to recommend All Purpose Shampoo for the topline area and Body Building Shampoo for the main body of the coat. The a mix of 1/2 and 1/2 of Body Building Shampoo and Whitening Shampoo to the legs.
The Akita’s head and face are very important so 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.
For extra whitening of 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.
Arctic coats look best when not flattened or softened with conditioner. When one is after lift and for a coat to stand “somewhat off the body”, the last thing you want is to flatten it or alter texture. The arctic coat should be somewhat water repellent. As we like to bath and blow dry each week during show season, the coat must be rehydrated each week. Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil diluted 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 any areas that you wish to flatten such as the topline, or for when the coat is ready to shed and can get a bit cloddy and puffy looking, use the following mix. Add 1 dessertspoon of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream to 500mls (16oz) of water, mix well and apply to the area and LEAVE IN. DO NOT RINSE OUT.
For areas that need extra body, such as on a coat that is not fully renewed after shedding, add 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Volumising Cream to the full mix of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil and water mix (prior to normal use application) and again LEAVE IN. DO NOT RINSE OUT. The Blow Dry Cream will instantly flatten without making the coat fluffy and reduce any harshness or cloddiness. The Volumising Cream will, without stickiness, add that “more coat” look to the hair by making 3 hairs look like 3,000!!! While Volumising Cream of course does not grow hair, it is sometimes the difference between staying home and going to a show.
Plush Puppy Volumising Spray is a ‘Ready to Use’ volumiser 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.
Now the tweaking and finessing. If the legs are stained, use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo prior to using Whitening Shampoo for a good clarifying effect to the coat. Nice to get back that crisp clean look as these dogs are pretty active and not ones to loll about indoors. You can also use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue as an “in between shows” treatment should the coat need that bit extra.
Dilute 2 heaped dessertspoons 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 to leave on for as long as possible. 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.
So, now you have correct texture, the various areas of the dog flattened or lifted and plenty of substance to the overall silhouette. For dogs totally out of coat you can use Plush Puppy Puffy Dog+, a strong hold but totally water-soluble mousse on the legs, neck and head for extra oomph. Spritz the coat with Plush Puppy OMG with either the Ready to Use version or the Concentrate diluted at 25:1. This is a great grooming spray that is not sticky or tacky and gets through the coat quickly. It can be diluted at 15:1 for heavier use at home when the coat is shedding or cloddy. If you need extra lift to the coat on show day use Plush Puppy Volumising Spray, a light spray where needed and brush dry.
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 know 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 dryig time.
For brushing use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush for the pants. 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/silhouette.
Finish off the ends of the coat with a light go over with the Plush Puppy Ultimate Slicker Brush. This brush promises durability and flawless brushed results every time. This brush is designed to lessen the 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.
Using Plush Puppy Coverup Cream, a white makeup for dogs, dab a small amount onto a barely damp sponge and apply up and down the legs and any other areas that need coverage. Use this in light layers of application rather than one heavy application.
For legs use Plush Puppy Chalkestral. Apply evenly to areas before chalking. You can do this in two ways. 1. Put a small amount into your hands and rub together to “warm up” and then rub into the area. Or 2. Swipe a small amount into a damp sponge and evenly rub or wipe into the area. Appy chalk or white powder with brush immediately. Chalkestral is a unique product that conditions the coat to minimise chalk dry out plus adheres chalk to coat. It is totally water soluble.
Finish and dry with a light application of 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Powder Puff Terrier mixed into your chalk mix. There is no talc or chalk in this preparation and it is all natural. A light spritz over the head and topline with Plush Puppy Shine and Comb for final sheen and a spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher to leave a faint fragrance is all that is needed 5 minutes or so before ring time.
Keep on hand the Plush Puppy Powder Puff Regular which is an all natural dry cleaning powder for last minute mishaps. Just toss on and brush or blow dry off for instant clean and deodorising the longer areas of the coat.
For the feet you can use Plush Puppy Wonder Wash which is a no rinse wet instant shampoo. Spray and foam up and towel off. I use this also to remove any cream and powder off the legs after the show so as to be clean and ready for the following day’s show.
Your Akita is one stunning animal! With his brisk and powerful stride around the ring and his masterful presence, he cuts a dignified yet alert silhouette in any show line-up. His innate good nature to his owners and man in general, makes him an engaging breed to own and show.There is no reason why even as a strong working type dog he cannot still be a beautiful and glamorous breed too. The answer to that lies within your hands.