Beagle

Grooming Advice

This tireless, little hunter is a very work oriented breed. One can be forgiven for thinking that function is enough to carry him through in a show ring. He is often seen as a no nonsense breed and the brevity of the coat paragraph of the standard can be deceptive.

The show ring surely is more than just presentation of a dog that can do his job. It has been suggested that the show ring is the forum partly for the evaluation of the parts of the dog and most importantly for the whole of the dog - the type - the visual picture that fi lls your eye of the dog as expected from the reading and hands on experience of the breed.

So, it is expected that one attempts to fi ll the eye with all the glory and majesty of the breed when presenting at show time. Your breed may be small and he may be a short coated fellow, but he is a terrifi c little dog and ought to have all the assets of his breed highlighted and showcased in that brief moment of spotlight time when the judge turns his head to focus on him.

There isn’t any mention of clipping, trimming or otherwise - some people do and some people don’t.

If you do or wish to do, then it is still minimal - just to sharpen the outline rather than change it. After all, there isn’t enough hair to change it.

A light neatening of the tuckup with the thinning shears - same with the ridge of hair on the back of the stifl e. Just a light prune. The tail may need some neatening too. A cigar shaped, well covered tail is the visual appearance to strive for and you may need to snip the strays and round off the tip.

The coat ought to have some weatherproof attributes and not be soft. He is after all a working hound. You need to be selective in what to use and what not to use so as not to artifi cially soften the coat yet give lots of moisture to maintain health and vigour.

I recommend you select a shampoo that does not alter texture but gives good cleansing and tone to the white areas. Use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo which does not contain bleaching agents but has good tonal qualities for that pearly white fi nish. Dilute 5:1 ie 5 parts water to 1 part shampoo. If you need extra heavy duty cleansing on the feet then use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo at 3:1.

Should the coat be dry and dull and shine of paramount importance, then use the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna at 5:1. This is a wonderful product for giving rich depth to the darker colours and great shine to the lighter colours and whites. You make the decision on which to use based on whether toning for pearly whites is of greater importance at the time than shine.

I do not like using conditioner on this breed. It tends to make the coat soft and fl uffy. You do need moisture in the coat and yet cannot use anything conditioning. So, the alternative approach is to use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. This is the best stuff for that healthy coat bloom. Wonderful also for dry scratchy skin. Use at the rate of 1 tbspn to 1 gal/4lt water. Mix either in a hydrobath tank or in a bucket. Pour over the coat or work well in with a sponge till saturated thoroughly. LEAVE IN! DO NOT RINSE OUT. Now you have your well hydrated and oiled coat without the greasiness one associates with coat oils.

Now blow dry. I know - you think this is a wash and wear dog. Well, the reasons for blow drying are that it gets All the dead hair out. The coat always is regenerating and you don’t seem to get those holes or patchiness with the coat when shedding. If the coat is a little sparse due to shedding, after oiling try Plush Puppy Volumising Cream 1 tbspn to 1 cup water and work that all into the coat and then blow dry. This will coat each hair and give the illusion of more hair. It does not have any hold factor so won’t stick the coat up in the air - just helps fi ll in the gaps.

Of course protection during the week does not go astray either. Plush Puppy Sunshade used across the topline and head every couple of days helps to keep the depth of colour to the coat and keep the bleaching aspects of the sun at bay. No pun intended! This has a dual action dispensing nozzle - will spray or dispense as a lotion depending on how far you depress the nozzle. Clever little gadget.

On show day should you need any extra whitening to any area, apply Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream with a barely damp sponge. I use kitchen sponges as they are readily available and cheap. I just chop them up into workable pieces about 4” x 4” - not too damp as it will then take forever to dry. Damp days delay the drying too, so apply a little loose chalk on top and let it dry - usually a few minutes and then brush to remove excess chalk. If it takes too long to dry, you have applied too thickly or the sponge is too wet. I like to layer this product when applying. A light application and allow it to dry and then another on top etc. It will last all day and will wash off with water and shampoo.

I also keep Plush Puppy Wonder Wash handy with this breed - they are busy little people and prone to oops moments, usually just prior to ring time. This self rinse shampoo foams and doesn’t stay there looking at you hoping your elbow grease will make it work. This really does the trick. Spray, foam up with fi ngers and then towel dry off. Leaves whites really white.

Okay so it’s now your turn for the ring and your supermodel is ready to strut his stuff. A light spray over with Plush Puppy Shine & Comb which is a water soluble shine - just bliss - non greasy and a good low level shine that appears natural but very effective. Run your hand over the topline to even out the application.

Last but not least is the fragrance. I like a dog to smell good. I like all my men to smell good! Well, I do mean the girls too. Plush Puppy Odour Muncher does more than just smell good. It is a deodoriser as well as a fragrance, eating up the nasty odour and leaving a good fresh smell that won’t asphyxiate the dog or the judge.

Want to stretch it and go the whole hog? In for a penny and in for a pound? I just love a sprinkle of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust. Used judiciously this stuff is wonderful. Apply a light dusting to your brush - usually an oval cushion ½ bristle ½ plastic Plush Puppy Porcupine Brush for this dog - and touch lightly along the topline and pants and up under the tail to the tip to work the powder down under the top layers of the coat and leaving the shimmer behind. You would apply this BEFORE the shine spray.

So, what have we got now? You have one of the showiest breeds in the dog ring on that leash. His little white tipped tail standing up like a beacon for all to see that he is here and frankly, here he is, gleaming in all his glory for everyone to envy and admire. This is such a tempting breed.

- Cheryl Le Court