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Grooming the Poodle for a show is 100% proof that what you do during the week will determine what your Poodle will look like on the weekend at shows. The poodle is a product of care and a strict grooming regime.

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The Poodle

Grooming the Poodle for a show is 100% proof that what you do during the week will determine what your Poodle will look like on the weekend at shows. The poodle is a product of care and a strict grooming regime.

Firstly I feel the most important part of looking after a poodle coat is the mid-week care. I would suggest that you bath, depending on colour as to your routine. For example whites, creams, silvers, blues and blacks I would use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo.

This shampoo tones unwanted red tones from the coat thus making whites whiter, removes warm tones from creams, makes silvers more silver and even in colour.  It is exactly the same for  blues and blacks. I recommend a diluted mix for midweek at 1:10 (1 part shampoo to 10 parts water).

For your reds, browns, and apricots I would use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo diluted 1:10. We call this the ‘Shine’ shampoo as it features natural Henna stalk extracts that impart a beautiful gloss and shine to your dog’s coat.

For your Blacks that need intensifying in depth of colour I would suggest Plush Puppy Black Opal Shampoo. This is a black coloured shampoo for toning black coats, giving depth to faded coats and enhancing natural colour.  It is not a dye but a strong stain that contains organic sources with herbal extracts and intense black tone. The more you use it the better the coat looks. If a little bit of black is good, then a lot is even better.  This is the blackest black in the business!

I recommend applying the worst areas directly and massaging in.  Then use a 50:50 mix of shampoo to water in a mixing bottle and work through the coat and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing. This works best by repeating the process over a few weeks.

When the dog has been busy getting extra dirty and needing a clarifying shampoo use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo diluted 1:5. This deep clarifying shampoo cleans extremely well and great for that restart process.

After shampooing, rinse clean and then apply the following mixture as your final leave-in rinse. Mix 1 tablespoon of each Plush Puppy Seabreeze OilPlush Puppy Swishy Coat and Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner into 4 Litres of warm water.

The Seabreeze Oil will hydrate the coat and skin plus reduce matting. This is quite a unique product in that it is not greasy and totally water-soluble. It gives an outstanding healthy vigour to the skin and coat.  It will maintain the texture and moisture in the coat. It is a truly beneficial blend of using extracts of Calendula oil, Wheat germ oil, and Evening Primrose.

The Swishy Coat will reduce the amount of grooming midweek and also reduce matting.  The conditioner will close the hair cuticle after the weekend’s punishment at the show from the Top Knot preparation.

At times you may have a dog with a damaged coat. This could be either from lack of care, skin problem or sun damage. For damaged coats, I would add to the final rinse, 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Coat Rescue. As the name suggests, this will rescue that damaged hair and help rebuild the coat. Has everything known to man that is good for a coat in this recipe and all naturally sourced.

For dogs going through that “oh so fun” coat change period, increase the amount of Seabreeze Oil and Swishy.

Now for Show preparation.

Always bath the face area first.  For this 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 eyes and expression of a poodle are extremely important and after been freshly clipped care must be taken. Apply a few pumps of the foam shampoo to the face and lather. I don’t rinse until after I have finished shampooing the dog to provide continued protection.

The staple shampoo for the Poodle is Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo diluted 1:5. It gives you the profuse, dense coat that the breed standard requires. After rinsing, ask your self a few simple questions:
(1) Do I need more whitening or texture?
(2) Do I want more volume to the coat?
(3) What is the condition of the coat? Is it dry or brittle?

TIP: For the different coloured coats you can combine the Shampoos, for example add Herbal Whitening to the Body Building Shampoo.

For dogs with a coat that is too soft and requires more texture use Plush Puppy Texture + Shampoo. This is formulated to retain and improve coat 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. You can also mix this with the Body Building Shampoo for a milder result on body and texture.

For you whites, you can use Plush Puppy Wonder Blok. It helps to maintain a white stain free coat. It is not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals but high amounts of naturally sourced vegetable surfactants and glycerin This product is designed to remove gently unwanted warm or red tones to the coat. Best used on a damp or wet coat. Gently rub into the areas required allowing 5-10 minutes and 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 more coat, I would use Plush Puppy Volumising Spray once 75% dry.  Spray lightly on the area and brush in and dry as normal. The area is normally the poms and tail.

For dry and brittle coats I would use 1 teaspoon of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream to 4 Litres of Water.

The negative for a normal poodle coat is to over or unnecessarily soften the coat. The body, top knot and neck hair is best unconditioned. The crispness to the coat is what is desired. It can be beneficial to lightly condition the ears to maintain the best look. Remember that it’s during the week you provide protection and maintain a healthy coat.

Dry as normal.  Always use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush to start. This gets through the coat and has less drag on the hair. You do not want to over stretch a wet coat when drying, this causes stress to the coat. Finish using a Plush Puppy Ultimate Slicker Brush, the very best of slickers. It’s design and quality of materials provides the ultimate finish to the coat.

Finish with a Plush Puppy Professional Grooming Comb, built for absolute ergonomic comfort in various sizes. The lightweight oval shaped spine combining fine and coarse pins made of hardened stainless steel with anodic oxide finish that reduces drag and static to the coat. Perfect for use for this breed of dog and coat type. Use a comb during and after drying makes sure each section is perfectly straight and tangle free. Drying is a process, the better you dry the better the finish.

At this stage of the finishing process, one can also help to further improve the appearance of the coats. For instance, I suggest using Plush Puppy Puffy Dog+ which is a firm hold styling mousse but is totally water-soluble and doesn’t build up or get sticky in humidity. This is great for those poms that just don’t want to stand up. Same for those tails that lack that full and textured look. This can be applied directly to the area and worked in to a coat that is 75% dry. Then finish drying as normal. Poodles for shows must be 110% dried! Remember to dry gently as this may cause drag to the coat.  You are best to apply to a single area and dry before moving to the next area. Great product on those softer coats.

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.  It includes a UV filter to stop sun damage and protect against heat damage. It works excellent as a mist when scissoring allowing the comb to glide through the coat and reduce static.

At the show the best grooming spray is Plush Puppy OMGThis is not called OMG for nothing – Oh My Goodness, it works!!! This is a concentrated grooming spray that can be made at any mixture strength or purchased as a 500ml spray Ready To Use. It can be used on knots at the end of the day to help remove hair spray.  Dilute the Concentrate to 1:20, but remember all coats are slightly different, so adjust your concentration level to best suit the dogs coat.

The great thing with OMG is it allows you to brush out the top knot without damaging the coat. A light spray and brush it in using the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pure Boar Bristle Brush. The bristle is much kinder on this delicate area. Remember lightly spray and lightly brush, repeat and repeat. To get the best results use a warm dryer as you brush. Don’t over wet the coat as you are drying.

For those that wish to bath out top knots and neck hair after a show use a light spray of Plush Puppy TLC. This is a spray-on ‘rinse out’ or ‘leave-in’ coat conditioner specially formulated with a lower viscosity to be sprayed without compromising concentration or richness of ingredients. Plush Puppy TLC has the unique ability to dissolve hair spray allowing it to be washed out easily. A light spray over the area and leave.

The best hair spray is Plush Puppy HOLD.  A strong sculpting spray for shaping all types of coats on Show Dogs. The quick-drying formulation won’t become sticky and will not build-up. HOLD can be removed with ease by simply shampooing the coat. HOLD contains Pro-Vitamin B5 to improve elasticity, moisture retention, and flexibility in their coat hair. We recommend using and storing at normal room temperature for a perfect mist spray. Optimum spray distance is approximately 30cm. It can cause a slight dulling effect on darker coats if overused or worked once dry so take it lightly.

Now the show has ended and you are home so don’t forget to start again with your mid-week regime. The work at home determines the finish you get at the shows and with Plush Puppy not only will you get the results you want, but save valuable grooming time also.

Recommended Products

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Volumising Spray


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HOLD Coat Shaper


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Swishy Coat


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Seabreeze Oil


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