Giving Your Dog That Westminster Look
The dogs competing in next week’s Westminster Dog Show will be putting their best face forward, and these tips from the March 2015 issue of Dog Fancy can help your dog achieve that championship look, too.
The process begins with a bath. The article offers these tips:
- Use an empty bottle to premix shampoo and conditioner using the dilution rate recommended on the label.
- Wash the body first. Use a curry brush to loosen dead hair and work shampoo into the coat.
- If you have a terrier whose hair is hand-stripped, wash only the eyebrows and beard. Dogs that are hand-stripped need to maintain oil in their skin so stripping knives can adequately grasp the fur.
- Use your hands only when cleaning your dog’s face, using extra caution around the eyes.
- Rinse thoroughly, starting with the face and working back toward the tail.
When drying your dog, use either a fluff dryer or a high velocity dryer depending on the breed of your dog.
Fluff dryers sit on a stand and gives you the ability to use both hands to comb or brush your dog’s coat while drying. These dryers are quiet and safe to use around your dog’s face, although using this type of dryer is quite time consuming. This dryer type adds volume to medium and long haired breeds.
High velocity dryers are more powerful than fluff dryers, but one hand is required to direct the dryer’s nozzle. These dryers are also extremely loud and cannot be used around a dog’s head, since they may cause eardrum perforation or corneal damage. This type dryer loosens the undercoat on double coated dogs and helps loosen mats on long-haired breeds such as Bichons and Poodles.
Picking out the right tools for grooming your dog depends largely on the breed’s type of coat. It’s important to have the right tools and know the correct way to use them to prevent damage or injury to your dog.
Before attempting to do a grooming on your dog, take lessons from a breed-certified groomer in your area. There are also various videos available from professionals such as Jodi Murphy and Jay Scruggs that can also provide valuable information.
Having the right tools and knowledge on using them correctly will help your dog look his best, even between grooming appointments.