Show dogs certainly take the title in the grooming department. Like a shiny new sports car, man's best friend, when properly nurtured, can turn heads and slack jaws. But how do you get a coat that shiny? Everyone knows the importance of diet when considering a dog's coat, but here are 3 secrets for a dog show-worthy coat from handler Matt Stelter. Matt looked after the collie that won the 2002 Best of Breed title, and has a few tips for a show ready coat.
Brush Before Bathing
Matt says the first and most important step of grooming is to fully brush the coat before bathing. This removes any mats and tangles, as well as loose undercoat that would otherwise tighten and become a nightmare to get out after bathing. This initial "brush out" is also a good time to clean your dog's ears and teeth.
From there, it's into the tub. It's important to choose a formula that suits your breed. Shampoos designed for short-haired breeds are different from those for long-haired. Speaking of long-haired breeds such as the collie, Matt suggests pouring two inches of shampoo into a rinsed out dishwater container, then filling to the top with warm water and shaking it up to mix. He says this helps the shampoo get down to the skin through the double coat, which makes for a more efficient bath.
Matt's final tip is to blow dry the fur completely. He says that dampness can cause irritation to the skin, which is not only uncomfortable for your pooch, but causes them to scratch and undermine the hard work you've done to make them look ready for the showing ring.
Keeping a dog looking their best is a lot of work, but it's worth it. Not only does regular and proper grooming help your dog look good, but it also ensures that irritation causing mats and dirt build up never becomes an issue. Hopefully you'll enjoy employing these three tips to keep your pup looking and feeling his absolute best.