The Brittany

Grooming Advice

Looking like a spaniel, working a lot like a setter, the Brittany is a compact, leggy medium sized dog and the smallest of the pointing dogs. With either short or non existent tail, he is vigorous, agile and a versatile gundog, suited to all terrains.

He is rugged without any clumsiness and able to do just about everything! This breed is quite an outstanding worker exhibiting great adaptability and is entirely sociable and balanced mentally. What’s not to like?

Requiring a fine coat but neither silky nor wiry - just in between, and must be dense for his outdoor work and never curly, though a slight hint of wave is allowed. The hind parts should exhibit abundant feathering tapering and diminishing down to the hocks or lower.

The Brittany is a no nonsense working gundog and as such his duties dictate that there is nothing extreme that would impede his progress in the field. Thus coats not too long in featherings, nothing extreme but should however, be able to withstand the rigours of the outdoor work he undertakes.

You can legitimately trim around the head, ears, neck and feet to remove excess and to thin or shorten excess feathering to enhance the overall functional appearance. It is best to wield the thinning shears at this point having ensured you have purchased a good quality pair that fits and suits your hand and eye. It does take skill to use a pair of straight shears/scissors without leaving “steps and stairs” in the coat and this is better left to the professionals. Far better and the most natural method is to hand strip or to strip the excess undercoat with a stripping knife. Ask a Terrier person experienced in these techniques to show you how.

When preparing black and whites and the white area for a show, use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo diluted (5:1) i.e. 5 parts water to 1 part shampoo for that nice pearly white finish to the whites and to tone the unwanted rusty tones of the darker colour of the coat. If shine is paramount, and indeed the AKC standard uses the word glossy, then use the Plush Puppy All Purpose with Henna (only pure extracts of henna and never the old type that would build up on coat causing brittleness) again diluting 5:1. This is great for your liver and orange even just to use on these parts and with the Whitening Shampoo for the rest. If the feathering is sparse and you require a just little more fullness, then use the Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo diluted 3:1 for extra oomph.

A light squish through the longer parts of the coat with a well diluted mix of up to 10:1 of Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner will serve to keep the featherings untangled and hydrated. I don’t advocate using any conditioner on the shorter body coat as conditioner tends to make the coat fluffy and your standard requires these areas to sit flat. Squish through some Plush Puppy Revivacoat if you must for hydration and moisture.

For show drying, use a Plush Puppy Blue Pin Brush Regular and a well diluted application of Plush Puppy Swishy Coat to the featherings - (1 tspn to 2 cups water) applied evenly, and left in. This helps to keep the coat disentangled, helps reduce static and serves to minimise excess wave. Should the coat featherings appear boofy, excessive or wavy, then add a tspn of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream to really flatten and soften. Leave in & dry to ¾ dry and finish for smoothest finish with the Plush Puppy Blue Anti Stat Brush. I recommend this 2 brush technique to minimise stretching of the coat.

To maintain the coat between shows, use Plush Puppy Revivacoat diluted for quick application (1 golfball amount to 1 cup water) sprayed onto the coat and used as a disentangler during the week. This wonderful product is excellent for moisturising and hydration, helping to maintain the elasticity in the hair. For damaged or brittle coats, use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue again diluted for even dispersion and speed of application at a ratio of 1 tbspn to 1 cup water and worked well into the damaged areas and left for as long as the dog will sit still! Then rinse.

Another necessary in between show remedy is Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. Sourced from Evening Primrose Oil and Calendula Oils etc this organic plant product will really protect and nourish. Spray the topline and featherings - can best be used as a final rinse 1 tbspn to 1 gal/4lt water and left in. This will not alter the texture but keep the coat hydrated and protected. A good spray around the pee feathers stops discolouration and breakage too. A real outdoors dog’s best friend.

For severe climates, add a dash of Plush Puppy Sunshade to the topline and head especially for the dark or orange areas which sun bleach easily.

On show day it is simple enough to fluff around bits and pieces to make this dog a star. A quick dab of several layers of Plush Puppy Coverup Cream applied with a damp sponge to the white areas such as the face, elbows, hocks, legs etc to even out any discolouration and finished with an application of corn starch will not only make the coat appear whiter but assist in holding the chalk/powder to the coat. This white cream stays well onto the coat all day mostly having to be washed off to remove.

The show day grooming spray I recommend is Plush Puppy OMG. This latest & greatest in grooming sprays is best in a concentrated form to dilute to suit your dog. Normal show spray mix is 1 part OMG to 30 parts water.

If you need a lighter or heavier mix, simply adjust according to your dog. It won’t build up and makes that last minute show grooming a pleasure.

Plush Puppy Wonder Wash is another show day mainstay. Having done all this preparation, it is soul destroying when your dog has an accident or gets muddied in foul weather. A quick spritz with the Wonder Wash and a light foaming up with your hands, wipe the area clean with a towel and the dog is as good as new. This product really foams well and doesn’t just lie there on the coat doing zip.

Now the last minute titivations are Plush Puppy Shine & Comb sparingly misted about 12 inches/30 cms above the topline and allowed to fall just onto the topline adding that last minute sheen and overall picture of healthy coat vigour. A very judicious dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust to the last two rows of the Blue Anti Stat Brush stroked through the bib, pants and lightly to the topline prior to the Shine & Comb, will add that extra sparkle without being overdone. Everyone loves this product and it’s sensational - used wisely.

You own a breed that is almost sanctified as of a class of dogs from the old school of esteemed dogs - the Gundogs. This is a dog for the purists at heart and those who like a dog who can do something worthwhile in the traditions of upholding the skills and arts of hunting. The Brittany is a remarkable dog covering ground well and with importance placed on his side gait in the show ring. With just a bit of added flash and dash, he can be lifted into the stratosphere of centre stage dog. Up against the glam hairdo dogs, the Brittany can surely hold his own and prove he well deserves his role as able to work all types of conditions to his advantage!

Good handling, good presentation and a good dog - what else can beat that?

- Cheryl Le Court