The Boston Terrier

Grooming Advice

Known as “the American gentleman” this sturdy little dog with his alert and gentle expression, was recognised by the AKC in the early 1890’s. Bred down from English Bulldogs and white English Terriers, he is lively and friendly, yet can well take care of himself, though not inclined to be a scrapper.

A well balanced compact dog with body more terrier than bulldog, he is a short coated breed of either brindle, seal or black colour with specific white markings.

Coat is smooth and fine in texture and his whites described as “snowy white”.

As with all short coated breeds, the work of maintenance is just as paramount as the long haired or double coated breeds. Whilst one can be forgiven for thinking it is a rather wash and wear coat, there is much care to be taken keeping this coat showable at all times. Nothing worse than the coat exhibiting patchy holes as if the moths had chewn it from shedding.

The secrets to this coat are in advance work and long term preparation. Protect, condition and maintain at all times.

Firstly, whether show time or not, it’s best to weekly bath, oil and blow dry. Yes blow dry!!! Blow drying with a cool dryer ensures all dead hair is removed allowing the new coat to regenerate and oiling allows you to wash and dry every week without fear of dehydration. This prevents that “moth eaten” appearance.

So, dilute all shampoos at least 5:1 i.e. 5 parts water to one part shampoo as this allows even dispersion of all the extracts which are the hallmark of Plush Puppy shampoos. They really do achieve a definite outcome.

Choose your major requirement for the correct shampoo using Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo for those snowy whites, preparing the whites firstly with a good application onto the wet coat with Plush Puppy Wonder Blok. Rinse well. This is gentle, organic and is a great stain reducer. Used weekly you will have perfect snowy whites and the Whitening Shampoo will ensure the tone of the white coat is crisp and sharp.

You can also use the Whitening Shampoo on the body of the coat. It will deepen the coloured parts of the coat.

If shine is paramount, then use the Whitening Shampoo on the white areas and Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo (for shine) on the coloured areas ensuring you dilute 5:1 as advised above.

For between shows, use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil diluted well in warm water, 1/2 teaspoon to 500 ml water. Saturate the coat and leave in - do not rinse out. This will protect the skin and coat and allow you to constantly wash and dry without fear of over doing the coat. It is comprised of Evening Primrose and Calendula oils and is magnificent for giving great hydration and healthy vigour. Terrific if you have a dog that is inclined to have a scurfy skin.

You would then apply Plush Puppy Revivacoat onto the dry coat during the week, approx every second day. This is a leave in moisturiser without being greasy. Just a walnut sized amount smeared all over the head and topline especially. Wonderful for all coats and colours.

A good deep treatment once a month, is a mix of 2 teaspoons Plush Puppy Coat Rescue, 1/2 tspn Seabreeze Oil and 2 tspns Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner. Add enough warm water to make a sloppy slurry and smear it by hand, all over the dog. Leave for as long as possible and then rinse off.

If you are at all worried about sun fading to the coat in your climate, use Plush Puppy Sunshade sprayed or smeared on, once a week onto the topline.

For show presentation, use the shampoos as described above but do not use the Seabreeze Oil. Instead mix 1/2 tspn Silk Protein Conditioner with 500 mls warm water and using a large sponge, saturate the coat with the conditioner mix and leave in - do not rinse out. This is better than applying non diluted conditioner to the coat and ensures even softness and application. It is so well diluted there is no need to rinse out but it is enough to keep the coat feeling soft and fine in texture. Now blow dry using a coolish dryer and keeping the coat lying flat and smooth.

If the coat is at all prone to fluffiness, then add a 1/4 tspn of Plush Puppy Swishy Coat in with the Silk Protein Conditioner and water mix but instead of 500 mls warm water, add 1 litre warm water and again saturate and leave in. The Swishy is anti static and will help keep the coat really flat and smooth. It’s not often needed but I mention it as I have been requested for a recipe for this.

On show day apply a tiny bit of Plush Puppy Chalkestral with your finger tips to the white areas to assist holding the white powder you apply. You need something to help grip and to protect the coat from abrasion. Best of all is Plush Puppy Fairy Frost Regular, an ultra fine, super white, really clingy powder. It won’t go clumpy when wet on those rainy days at outdoor shows either. Plus, it stays on well, really clinging, unlike chalks and powder. You can sneak in a tiny amount of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust. I do say a tiny amount and add it into the Fairy Frost Regular. This will pick up glints of light especially in the sun but you don’t overdo it. It’s meant to be subtle.

Yes you need Plush Puppy Wonder Wash to clean off the Fairy Frost Regular or chalk or powder after the show if you are not rebathing for the next day. It just freshens up the coat and stops the whites from looking artificial. Apply, foam with your hands and towel dry off. Next day for the show, redo the Chalkestral and then the Fairy Frost Regular applying always with a brush such as a shaving brush or a fine bristle brush. (Don’t forget to turn off the nozzle on the Wonder Wash when you have finished using it).

Just prior to ring time, give the dog a light brush over with a soft brush such as Plush Puppy Pure Bristle Brush or a grooming mitt and a light mist of Plush Puppy Shine & Comb. With the Boston it’s best not to spray directly onto this fine coat but preferably spray onto the brush or well above the coat approx 30 cms and let the mist fall onto the coat, This will give a final boost to the shine and lustre of the coat.

See, there is a lot one can do for a Boston coat! It may seem arduous and over the top, but the discipline of doing this all the time becomes easier and the coats benefit greatly. Besides, the dogs seem to enjoy all the attention and it is quite relaxing and therapeutic for the owner too.

Now let’s see the same determination from your Boston, exhibiting his strength and graceful carriage as he sure footedly works his way around the ring all with a lively expression, moving with a style of high order. High order indeed! This breed really is a knockout in the ring and pound for pound, can stand out as surely as if he were a big dog. He is one smart dog in all ways.

- Cheryl Le Court