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Bitwit & Between

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 and getting the stress levels up. There's enough to do getting to a show without having to fix dramas.

It must be so much easier living where climatic conditions are not as harsh though I believe no-one can afford to ignore condition and moisture in a coat. Some breeds get dry and scratchy towards the time to shed or "blow" coat and others which have coats for life, need oodles of extra assistance just to keep it there and looking great.

Some people wrap their dog's coat and other breed owners condition and moisturise throughout the week without wrapping. Speak to your breeder/expert or email me if uncertain what to do with your particular breed. Nontheless all of this is in the goal of keeping the moisture in the coat and stopping dehydration, burning, brittleness and fading colour.

Sun is the enemy. It will leach moisture and fade coat. Red coats pale to orange, blacks turn reddish brown and toplines will frazzle with flipped ends. If your dog plays in his water bowl or you haven't dried him sufficiently, then that water combined with sun and oxygen, turn to hydrogen peroxide and we all know what bleach does to hair.

You need to get into a canine routine of "under cover and moisturiser". Shade cloth is great or only exercise your dog in the great outdoors early morning or very late evening in summer. Moisture is essential. On a clean coat, and for those who use hairpsrays and stuff and like to bath after the show this is normal routine anyway, slather on masses of moisturiser. Some breeds need more intensity than others but a good safe and effective one is Plush Puppy Revivacoat. You can never use too much of this. A nice easy to apply moisturiser in mousse form, apply it liberally every day.

For those who like to oil, then Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil is a fine natural oil - apply and leave in the coat all week. This is good for fine coats (apply sparingly), corded coats and thick coarse coats. Still use Revivacoat too. If you like to leave conditioner in the coat all week, then mix a watered down version of 1 part Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner to 3 parts Water and work through the coat with a squeeze bottle. Apply Plush Puppy Revivacoat to the topline area each day.

Revivacoat is excellent for Terriers. The first thing you want is to keep the moisture in the coat but the last thing you want is to soften the coat. Revivacoat will not alter the texture of the coat - conditioner will.

Some exhibitors mix Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil and Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner together for a conditioning treatment/mask and leave in all week. That's a great recipe for certain coats. You can also use this as a quick treatment pack for 10 minutes and rinse with warm/hot water. Try using a good squirt of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil into the warm bath water for a final rinse instead.

Lastly don't let your dog's trailing coat become a compost heap. Wrap it or cover it with a cut down children's T-shirt tied in a couple of knots under the belly. Slip this on each time the dog goes outdoors. Terrific in autumn!

Once you have maintained a good degree of moisture in the coat then it's a simple matter of maintenance and judging the stage of the coat to choose the particular shampoo needed at the time and always, absolutely always, apply Plush Puppy Revivacoat every single day. Life will be a breeze and dog shows a simple routine. Champions need to be in training and conditioning all the time and so does your Champion Dog.

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