Gilberts' K-9 Seminars News & Review
Copyright (c) 2004-2010 Gilberts' K-9 Seminars

The above Article is Copyrighted (c) 2004-2010 Gilberts' K-9 Seminars.
Permission to reprint can be obtained from Gilberts' K-9 Seminars -
By Pat Gilbert

Pat was asked how to clean up and chalk an Irish Wolfhound so that it looks good for the ring but does not have so much product that you will be excused by the judge.

Pat responded:  While I was answering for the Irish Wolfhound, this routine applies to other breeds, such as Miniature Schnauzers, the hard coated Terrier Breeds with leg furnishings and many other breeds.

The day of the show we get to the easy part because you have done all your routine maintenance religiously. Your dog should be dirt and flake free because of your consistent brushing.

Make sure ears and teeth are clean and toe nails are done.

You will need to put in your tack box and carry the following:

Brushes, pin and slicker
Greyhound Comb
Chalk Mate and Hard Coat Chalk
Plastic Box and Fingernail Brush to Apply Chalk
Dog Dish or Plastic Tub/Bin with Lid for a Beard and Facial Bath
Self Rinse Shampoo and Sponge
Bottle or Spray Bottle for Water

Hair Dryer and Electrical Cord
Face Cloth to Hook in Your Waistband for Lougies and Drools

Chalk Mate is a brand name paste in a jar. Apply the paste to your dog's leggings in the same massaging action as you do routine cholesterol. Put a dab in your clean hands and rub your palms together. Then apply it to the leggings.

Partially fill the plastic box with your chalk. Put your dog's foot in the box. Brush in the chalk onto the foot and leg against the growth. Really pack it in. Continue on to the other three legs using the same techniques.

Let it set up while you do the face.

Fill your dog dish or plastic tub with cool water. I like the plastic tubs because I can pack them with supplies for travel and use them empty for bathing at the show. I have dunked Toy and smaller dogs in the tubs for quick baths.

Spray the beard and facial furnishings with Self Rinse. Make sure you don't get any in the eyes. I cover the eyes with my free hand and spray downward and away. Massage it into the furnishings. Then take your cool water dish and sponge. Sponge off the Self Rinse on the eyebrows with a damp sponge moving away from the eyes towards the backskull. Check for eye goobers and gently remove any.

Hold the dish up and dunk the mustache and beard swishing it around in the water. Use the sponge in the more delicate areas.

You do not have to rinse out Self Rinse if you are in a crunch for time. I always try to rinse it out. It leaves a residue and I really don't like cleaning products left on a dog.

BLOT the facial furnishings with a towel. Do not rub or you will break hair. Now apply the cholesterol as you usually do but with a much lighter amount. Comb it through and into place. Let the face finish air drying. Or if you are lucky to have electricity, blow dry on low heat in the direction you want it to lay.

Back to the leggings which have now set up with Chalk Mate and chalk. Brush each leg down with your slicker brush. Brush each leg up and then down again.

Take a DARK towel and gently rub the legs up and down to check for any powder residue. Do not rub too hard or you will remove everything. You will definitely feel a difference in the texture. Be very diligent on this aspect or you will be booted out of the ring for foreign substances in the coat.

Now take your pin brush and go through the leggings in a downward motion. Then lift the hair with your pin brush to fluff out the leggings. You can use your dryer on low heat to blow out the rest of the powder.

Comb facial hair down and forward. Comb the jacket with the growth of the hair. Comb and lift the leggings to fluff and stand away from the body. If it is a breed that permits trimming, then I would cut the ends off or any bits that stick out from the lines you want. That is called tipping the coat.

The only thing you need take ringside is your comb for quick touch ups, water or spray bottle with water, and a slobber cloth for drooling breeds.

I don't recommend a water pail as dogs tend to dunk their entire beards and mustaches and that negates all your work. A judge may want to go back to your dog’s head and it is never pleasant to get a hand full of wet and dripping beard. Just spray or squirt the water into your dog’s mouth to keep him hydrated and comfortable. You can also spray the bottoms of his feet to keep him cool or prevent slipping. It plumps up the feet for better traction.

Practice with the spray bottle at home so your dog is used to the action and feeling of it. Never use a spray bottle for discipline especially if you have a show dog. You want good things associated with the sprays you need to use.

Very Important to Know - Brush and Comb Maintenance. You will need to remove residues routinely. I use boiling water from a kettle I have on for hot tea in my set up. Or go to the washroom and use the hottest water available. Otherwise, clean them at home after and before every show or once a week. Then blow them dry or lay them out on a towel to air dry. Do not pack them wet or they will rust. You will find your equipment will last twice as long. Also do not ever lay your brushes down pin side down. That will kill them and bend them. Bent brushes and combs break coat. Throw the brush or comb out if it becomes pitted or bent.

You now know more than 95% of the exhibitors about day of show grooming.

All you need now is to polish your showring presentation and that BOB will be yours.