It’s always interesting to talk to exhibitors and find out their problems and the things they avoid doing. Blow drying seems to be a big avoidance and if it is done it is usually minimal. It can and ought to be easy.
The main negative for those with long flowing coated dogs is the tangles they get into. Some breeds have massive length on their coats and the question is how to tackle this with less fuss.
Understand that the blow dryer has to blow in the direction that the coat grows - in other words, away from the skin so the dryer has to be pointed away from the skin towards the end tips of the coat. It’s the same with people hair. Blow it in the correct direction and no more fuzz and tangle.
You can use a stationary dryer on a stand or as I do with a hose and nozzle style dryer. You can adjust the speeds and heat for the coat that you are drying but once adept can usually manage most things with a strong blasting cool dryer. The quicker I get my dogs coats dry the better. I have run out of patience as I have got older. I like to do things that are quick and no wasted time.
My friend who is a great groomer likes to sit in front of the dog and with the air from her stand dryer coming over the back of the dog towards her. She then brushes the coat towards her body using various mixes of styling products to ease the brush through the various textures of coat.
I prefer to stand and hold the dryer nozzle in one hand and brush with the other away from my body. Maybe it’s all the years of hairdressing and working to a mirror for the client? I just find this easier. You decide what you feel is most comfortable for you but it isn’t that pleasant having a dryer coming at your face if you work the former method.
I like to use my fingers for the first part of the drying whilst it is really wet. Once the coat starts to dry a bit then I revert to using an appropriate brush for the coat I am working on. For the longer coats I like to use a half bristle and half plastic oval pin cushion brush. For the softer single coats I like an all bristle brush. Plush Puppy has two brushes available at the moment. The Porcupine Brush which is a 1/2 and 1/2 oval pin cushion and the all bristle Silver Bullet. Neither are expensive and the Porcupine is really cheap for it’s type. A Mason Pearson it is not but at this price you can have a few get eaten by the dog and a few borrowed from your grooming trolley. I tend to mix my styling products with water at the strength that will suit the various coats. Some coats I can use products neat but the infinite variety of the coats necessitates a tailored to the individual approach to get the best from all of them. Plush Puppy makes a dinky Water Spray Bottle that holds approx 1 cup water or 250 mls with graduated marked levels on the side. They fit just right into the tack box and are just right for most things.
For tangle free coats I use a variety of things but mostly one of 3. For the lighter less likely to tangle coats I use Reviva Coat plus water at a rate of 1 tablespoon to 1 cup/250 ml water. For coats that require more and where I want it to hang flatter I use Blow Dry Cream at the same dilution rate and for the coats where I want more lift and volume I use Volumising Cream and water again at the same dilution rate.
If you want to achieve a straighter coat, you can combine Swishy Coat and Blow Dry Cream - a dessertspoon of each to 1 cup/250 ml water. Make it warm water for easy dissolving. The Swishy Coat is a wonderful product and though a silicone product is totally water soluble and will not attract dirt and dust nor build up on the coat. It is not a single molecule silicone but one of the newer, expensive, multiple molecule silicones. Chemistry has progressed.
You can break down/dilute these products as much or as little as your dog’s coat requires. These are a guide line only, however they serve to satisfy the requirements of the majority of coats that I see. In one scenario that we recently had to solve the rate of dilution was 1 tablespoon Swishy Coat to a gallon or roughly 5 litres of warm water. This was for a young puppy Shih Tzu changing coat.
I just love Blow Dry Cream for most tangling situations. I use it and trust it. It works just fine and I never get nasty snarling tangles on my Eurasiers pants anymore. An Eurasier is a rare breed rather like a coloured Samoyed to look at though that is a simplistic description. He has long coated pants and ruff and long heavily tufted coat rear of his front legs. His tail is a long plume. These coats can be a nightmare if not handled correctly especially whilst changing to adult coat. Thank Heavens for Blow Dry Cream. I have just had a litter with a nice black Eurasier boy in it. This will be fun to roadtest my grooming skills on. There is officially no grooming regime for the Eurasier so I have invented one and present them much to the interest of the many FCI judges we get here in Australia, this being a German breed. Most of the products we have developed have been developed out of direct need. We show dogs just like you and our quest is to find newer and better ways of achieving a good presentation. All dogs need attention to coat and being able to achieve what you want the coat to do makes that time in grooming worth while.