Expert Grooming Article
Expert Grooming Article
One of the oldest of the Arctic sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute has a long history dating back to the Innuit tribe of the Mahlemuts of Kotzebue Sound in northwest Alaska and used as a draft dog for hauling sledges for heavy arctic freighting; he is a powerful and substantially built dog with an overall appearance of strength with a proud carriage. Their overall silhouette on presentation in the show ring is one of strength and balance with good substance. Thus the picture we need to present in the ring in that key 3 minute window of opportunity that we get if we’re lucky!
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This coat is characterised by a dense, woolly undercoat and coarse guard hair, requiring products that do not soften the coat – it is an arctic coat after all. Firstly, for the major part of the coat use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo diluted 3:1 (3 parts shampoo to 1 part water) for out of coat and 5:1 for a regular coat. This shampoo does have enormous lift and a bodifying effect to the coat without an artificial feel plus it is wonderful for the coat as it is primarily naturally derived and infused with beneficial plant extracts. Use this on the longer lengths and areas that need bulk and lift.
For the white areas, use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo diluted 5:1 and leave for a couple of minutes and then rinse. For those less than pristine whites, you can start with Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo. Dilute 3:1 and work well through the coat. Leave in for 5 minutes then rinse and follow with the Whitening Shampoo. This does not lighten but works as a toning shampoo to minimise and tone unwanted warm tones in the coat.
For stained white 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.
Now to maintain hydration and elasticity to the coat without softening and to keep that nice healthy vigour to that woolly undercoat with gleam and glam to the outercoat, use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil as a final rinse. 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. Seabreeze Oil gives a great gleam to the coat and keeps that waterproof, water resistant look to the coat which is the hallmark of all waterdogs or arctic breeds, without being greasy. 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.
For extra oomph to the coat, and everyone wants extra pizzazz and lift for that robust “I can do a hard day’s work” look to their Malamute, add Plush Puppy Volumising Cream to the Seabreeze Oil and water mix. Add 1 tablespoon of Volumising Cream to 250ml (8 oz) water and mix well (best using a stick blender). Then add this to the Seabreeze Oil and water mix. It is always left in and not rinsed when used this way. It is not greasy, trust me – it is just magnificent and Seabreeze Oil, frankly, the one thing we all cannot live without. Nothing works like this.
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 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.
Starting at the rear, dry using a force cool air type dryer. Dry everything up and forwards towards the head using the heel of your hand to push the coat against the growth of the hair for maximum lift as the air from the nozzle of the dryer parts the hair. Dry to 100% dry – that is a given. No short cuts on this if you want bulk and lift and magnificence to the coat. It’s not the ends of the coat that make the coat look full, it’s the lift at the root/skin area of the hair that determines the outline silhouette. You cannot spend enough time drying correctly. You have a show dog and one that is not to be trimmed except for neatening of the feet, so spend the time other breed owners spend on trimming and shaping on your drying instead.
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 or 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.
On Show day, give the legs a light freshen up with Plush Puppy Wonder Wash. Rub through to thoroughly cleanse any dirt or pee stains acquired overnight and towel dry.
Spritz up the body coat with a light spray of Plush Puppy OMG Concentrate diluted 30:1. Mix this in a 500ml Plush Puppy Spray Bottle that has a fine mist actuator for ease of use. This is your reworking, brushing, grooming spray for just about every occasion. It reduces static and allows the brush to glide through the coat without drag or stretching. Not called OMG for nothing! Can be used at 15:1 for dematting those “about to felt” areas – shouldn’t happen, but perhaps there are times it is needed – heaven forbid! And it works.
The icing on the cake is the texture, and how to tweak it to perfection on some of the softer results we end up with at times. Add just a tiny light sprinkle of Plush Puppy Powder Puff Terrier to your brush and flick lightly through the body coat. Yes, it is a white powder, but it disappears into the coat fast and without problem and leaves the most incredible texture. You can always add more, so don’t go overboard as it makes the coat really harsh very easily. Best of all its all natural.
You can also use other things to tweak the outcomes such as Plush Puppy Puffy Dog+ on the legs for extra bulk if required or lift to the hair if sparse. If any hocks or elbows need to be whitened use Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream. Lightly smear it onto a barely damp sponge and dab it on lightly layer upon layer, rather than smearing it on to white areas. Then hit it with a cover of loose chalk or Corn Starch to get a super white finish.
For legs apply 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. 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. 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.
A light spray to the topline of Plush Puppy Shine and Comb for extra shine and you are ready for any situation.
Your Malamute is one hard working yet beautiful breed. He is a glamorous dog and can work that ring like no other with great transmission of muscle power into a smooth and balanced gait that is surprisingly agile. A very regal member of the Arctic spitz breeds he has weathered time to bring us a window onto a disappearing world without any sacrifice or quarter to his breed type and ability. A tough competitor and one to always spend the time to watch.