Akita

Grooming Advice

Intriguingly recognised as a National Monument in his native Japan, the Akita developed to much of his modern appearance somewhere in the 17th Century as a versatile hunting dog in the northern part of the country. Used to hunt bear, deer etc, and hold at bay whilst the hunter killed the prey with spear or arrow.

Nontheless, the Akita is also a wonderful family dog, loyal and protective and is said to have spiritual signifi cance for health and happiness. Japanese give small statues of Akitas for the birth of a child or for speedy recovery from ill health.

Known for his prowess to work in deep snows, the Akita coat must be resistant to the cold and elements. His bio mentions that he has a soft mouth to be able to retrieve waterfowl so his coat must have some water proofi ng ability too. His is the typical arctic/snow country coat that is a double coat with thick undercoat and straight harsh outer coat.

His appearance is one of strength and substance with heavy bone thus his presentation within the show ring should typify and enhance all those requirements exemplifying his ability to work well in his native environment His silhouette is one of a slightly longer body with a strong blunt triangle head and full high set tail carried over the back to be in a harmony of balance with his broad head.

The Akita IA a majorly glamorous dog! He is an extremely pleasing dog for his size and prowess. His vast array of colours and colour combinations has tremendous appeal with the opportunity to present this coat in great health and condition.

Start your show grooming routine with Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo for maximum lift to the coat or even when out of coat, to enhance that strength and substance to his silhouette. For more shine, use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo or combine the Body Building Shampoo and All Purpose for both outcomes. Use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo for toning the white areas and minimising any unwanted warm or yellow refl ects. Dilute all shampoos at least 5 parts water to one part shampoo ( 5:1)and up to as much as 10:1 for maintenance. I tend to recommend the All Purpose for the topline area and the Body Building for the main body of the coat and a 1/2 and 1/2 of Body Building Shampoo and Whitening Shampoo to the legs.

Arctic coats look best when not fl attened or softened with conditioner. When one is after lift and for a coat to stand “somewhat off the body”, the last thing you want is to fl atten it or alter texture, for the arctic coat should be somewhat water repellant. As we like to bath and blow dry each week during show season, the coat must be rehydrated each week. Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil diluted 1 tbspn to 1 gal/4 lt water for easier and even dispersion through this dense coat. Do not rinse out/leave in. At this dilution, you will not get a greasy coat but a well hydrated coat with healthy vigour to the hair. It really is quite special and the results are instantaneous, though with continued use, the difference is outstanding. Your coats will be fabulous.

Any area that you wish to fl atten such as maybe the topline perhaps or for when the coat is ready to shed and can get a bit cloddy looking, add 1 dessertspoon (dspn) of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream into any remaining Seabreeze Oil/ water mix and apply to that area and leave in/do not rinse. Any area that needs extra body, such as on a coat that is not fully renewed after shedding, add 1 tbpsn Plush Puppy Volumising Cream to the full mix of Seabreeze Oil and water mix (prior to normal use application) and again leave in/do not rinse. The Blow Dry Cream will instantly fl atten without making the coat fl uffy and reduce any harshness or cloddiness and the Volumising Cream will, without stickiness, add that “more coat” look to the hair by making 3 hairs look like 3,000!!! Whilst Volumising Cream of course does not grow hair, it is sometimes the difference between staying home and going to a show. This is your basic show routine to be done each and every week for the show.

Now the tweaking and fi nessing - If the legs are stained, use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo prior to using Whitening Shampoo for a good clarifi ying effect to the coat. Nice to get that crisp clean look back as these dogs are pretty active and not ones to loll about indoors. You can also use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue as an “in between shows” treatment should the coat need that bit extra. Dilute the Coat Rescue well into a large measuring cup or empty ice-cream container approx 2 cups water to 1/4 cup Coat Rescue and apply with a sponge to the dehydrated area and leave on for minimum 5 minutes and preferably as long as possible - we tend to leave on for hours whilst we do other dogs - and then rinse clear. Just helps to put some lost structure back into the hair.

For show day routine follow the shampoo procedure as above, selecting which shampoo you need for the various areas of the coat for maximum enhancement to the silhouette and use the Seabreeze Oil with any additives such as Volumising Cream if required as also described above. Then blow dry. Use a turbo cool dryer and start at the rear/bottom area and work towards the head section by section with the nozzle of the dryer close enough to the coat to part the hair so you can check the skin all the way along and pushing the coat slightly forwards against the natural growth for maximum lift. Now make sure you dry 100%. With dense coats, the surest way to promote “hot spots” is to leave moisture close to the skin. It does take time to dry correctly and properly but the results are worth it, especially when every hair may count such as a coat that is not fully regrown after shedding. Dry the legs with the hair pushing upwards for maximum volume to the legs. At the front, dry upwards again for a “big” look.

So, now you have correct texture, the various areas of the dog fl attened or lifted and plenty of substance to the overall silhouette. For fi nal presentation on show day, use Plush Puppy Puffy Dog a strong hold but totally water soluble mousse on the legs for extra oomph. Spritz the coat with Plush Puppy OMG with either the Ready To Use version or the Concentrate diluted at 25:1 (i.e) 25 parts water to one part OMG. This is a great grooming spray that is not sticky or tacky and gets through the coat quickly. (Can be diluted at 15:1 for heavier use at home when the coat is shedding or cloddy.) If you need extra lift to the coat on show day mix 1 tbspn

Volumising Cream with 1 cup (250mls) water) and use that as your grooming spray. Now blow dry the legs and body up for a quick fi nal fi nish. The coat should not be sprayed too wet - this is just for a quick fi nal glamorous fi nish. The hard work on the blow dry ought to have been done at home straight after the bathing etc.

Using Plush Puppy Coverup Cream, a white makeup for dogs, dab a small amount onto a barely damp sponge and apply up and down the legs and any other areas that need coverage. Use this in light layers of application rather than one heavy application. Finish and dry with a light application of P.P. Fairy Frost which is a strongly textured white powder used in place of chalk. There is no talc or chalk in this preparation and is all natural. A light spritz over the head and topline with Plush Puppy Shine & Comb for fi nal sheen and a spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher to deodorise and leave a faint fragrance is all that is needed 5 minutes or so before ringtime.

Keep on hand the Plush Puppy Powder Puff Regular which is an all natural dry cleaning powder for last minute mishaps - just toss on and brush or blow dry off for instant clean and deodorising the longer areas of the coat. For the feet you can use Plush Puppy Wonder Wash which is a no rinse wet instant shampoo. Spray and foam up and towel off. I use this also to remove any cream and powder off the legs after the show so as to be clean and ready for the following day’s show.

Your Akita is one stunning animal! With his brisk and powerful stride around the ring and his masterful presence, he cuts a dignifi ed yet alert silhouette in any show lineup. His innate good nature to his owners and man in general, makes him an engaging breed to own and show. There is no reason why even as a strong working type dog he cannot still be a beautiful and glamorous breed too. The answer to that lies within your hands.

- Cheryl Le Court