General Grooming Articles

A Lot of Froth & Bubble - Natural Quality in Shampoos
Posted on 29 Jan 2013

One hears so much around the traps about the necessity to use or not use a good quality shampoo that it is time to put the record straight. Just because a friend of a friend says so, doesn't make it so, believe me. I never use detergent based products on people or dogs.

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A Natural Progression
Posted on 29 Jan 2013

Siberian Huskies may have been the breed of choice but there is something satisfying in appreciating a good example of any breed of dog. Understanding the function, breeding and development behind all breeds is fundamental to assessing the presentation of that particular animal in the showring.
Beautifully groomed and maintained, a good dog will stand head and shoulders above the rest with a definable look of quality and showmanship. Let's never forget, it is a DOG SHOW. The dog must be good, but the quest is to ensure he is presented even better than the opposition and to constantly seek ways to improve.
Showing Siberian Huskies is an easy way to start in the ring as they are pretty much a wash and wear breed compared to the intricacies of coat care practised by many other breed owners. Nontheless, even the "tub 'em and towel 'em" breeds can benefit from extra knowledge and effort and a beautifully groomed coat on a Rottie can look just as sensational as a swinging coated Afghan

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A Perspective on Grooming
Posted on 14 Sep 2018

Grooming I think comes under the heading of evolution. Like all things, it must change as our lifestyles and affluence change. Do you wear the same hairstyle you wore 15 years or 30 years ago or wear the same clothes? Well, maybe you do and perhaps you live in a time warp and not where the rest of us do.

Many years ago when I was rocking around the ring with some of the first Siberians in Queensland, it was the norm to run a dog under a hose and let him shake and dry overnight. Just a quick brush and he'd be right Jack. There are some that still do just that and still some breeds where the purists don't believe in bathing at all.

A couple of years ago in Denmark I had occasion to chat to a man with a rather good looking dog whose coat could have done with some attention. He assured me that this dog had never been bathed and I thought at first he hadn't understood my query. He took great pains to tell me it had never ever been bathed since it came from it's mother. Oh dear! I know it gets cold up there and maybe dogs don't smell as bad, but I was horrified.

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A Question of Attitude
Posted on 30 Jan 2013

Over the years I've heard countless comments about a dog's "winning attitude". People talk about a dog having a fabulous "ring personality" and how a certain dog will just love to show his heart out and indeed, you do see dogs who have this magical sparkling air that just stand them out from the crowd.

Is a show dog born or is it made into a show dog? There hangs the 64 thousand dollar question. I guess not all dogs are born to sparkle and some dogs need time and patience to develop. Some handlers just have a special ability to bring out the best in a dog and others just need lots of training time with their dog.

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All Burnt Out?
Posted on 23 Nov 2018

How to Handle and Prevent a Sunburnt Coat. Summer sun is the bane of all dog show people who have their dogs running outdoors. You can restrict your dog to only allow them to run outdoors at night in the summer, but then you may have the neighbours complaining of someone howling at the moon.

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Big Dogs - Bigger Job
Posted on 13 May 2013

Most of the giant breeds shown here in Australia are from Group 6, the Utility Group, so I get to see most of them at some stage up close and personal. This is particularly so when I show at Erskine Park down in Sydney where you can't bring your vehicle right up to the ring and instead set up with brollies, tents etc. As a dog person I am always consumed by curiosity about other breeds. I cannot help but be awed by a good example of any breed. It would be nice to play Noah and have two of every kind as they all have beauty and attributes that are appealing. Still one wonders just how you lift a Saint Bernard into a hydrobath or even haul it through the doorway of a hydrobath big enough to take it.

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Bitwixt & Between
Posted on 13 May 2013


‘Prevention is better than cure’

The job of grooming for that all important event really starts before and between shows. Preparation, preparation and preparation are the 3 keys to successful coats. No point running around at the last minute in damage mode! Prevention is better than cure. Using the right products to protect and moisturise the coat is the key.

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Flat Smooth & Swinging
Posted on 19 Feb 2016


The most often questions asked were how to get a flowing coat to sit - smooth and straight, from a vast number of breeds ranging from Yorkies and Maltese to Am Cockers, English Cockers, Springers, Setters, Beardies & Afghans and lots in between.

It's always gratifying to be able to offer direct help and engage in problem solving. The people we gave advice to early in the show, got great results and passed on the info to others who then flocked to the Plush Puppy stand and asked for help themselves.

If Winning Is The Target
Posted on 13 May 2013

Whilst most of us enjoy the social aspects of showing, ultimately we go to a show to see how worthy our dog is of the various awards on offer. The competitive streak is within us all to some degree and reflects in how much work we are willing to put in to the preparation and exhibition of our dogs.

I know that there are many things we need to do to get that dog to perfection - the 100 little things as I refer to them, that add up to the whole. The fine tuning and tweaking of the dog to present the best silhouette, performence and presentation to the ultimate standard according to your written standard.

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Long Hot Summer - Protection from the sun
Posted on 13 May 2013

Here in Queensland, in the great “Down Under”, we have just experienced the hottest summer they say since the 1920’s. This weekend we have had 40C one day and 42C the next, which was unbelievably hot for us and the dogs. We can all tapdance around the problems with aircon and sprinklers on the dogs etc but once the worst is over and the cooler days arrive, we are left with dry coats which are often sunburnt.

Some of us have indoor dogs and the rest, outdoorsy types. For the indoor dogs that are lounge lizards, this is not a problem but for the sun bunnies, the split, frazzled coats can wipe them right out of the show ring till next season’s coat. It is often enough in extreme weather to keep from looking frazzled let alone worry about the dogs coats. Comfort for us and the dogs is first and foremost.

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