Bull Terrier

Grooming Advice

Born of a time when gentlemen bred for gentlemen with a great sense of fair play, the Bull Terrier harks back to around 1835 and thought to come from the Bulldog and the White English Terrier and gained size with the Spanish Pointer.

Though shown most everywhere but the USA as the one variety, the Bull Terrier is recognised as a White or White with some head markings or a Coloured with white but predominantly Coloured and preferably Brindle. The Whites were known as the White Cavalier, able to defend self and master but “never seek or provoke”.

The Bull Terrier with his characteristic egg shaped head, is an exceedingly friendly dog and well balanced. He can answer the call to arms from times when life was more rugged and dog fights were allowed but he is a good family friend and fellow for today’s times too.

This little Gladiator may appear no nonsense to prepare for a show presentation but my aim is to show you how to gain the best from this short, harsh coated dog. My fingers itch to get the best from everything and reasoning being, if that there is very little froo froo’ing to be done, then the better of what you do have, should be done.

A good coat doesn’t happen overnight - it is the result of weeks and indeed months of dedicated work. Repetition is the answer and I don’t ascribe to the hit and miss routine. My routine is always just that - a routine! We here at Plush Puppy, never miss the call to do what is necessary with any of the dogs, no matter what it takes or when it has to happen. You are preparing a little Olympic athlete here and I wonder if any of the Olympians miss out on training or fitness sessions? Bet they don’t and not if they want to win!

If I share with you any one winning technique for longevity and perfection in your Bull Terrier coat, then it is to bath, oil and blow dry every week. Sounds crazy? Well, most don’t bath weekly as they worry about stripping natural oils and rightly so, thus we use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil weekly as a final rinse after bathing I.e 1 tbspn to 1 gal/4 lt water and saturate the coat and leave in - do not rinse out. Now you have the opportunity to bath this dog every week and at the same time rehydrate the coat with wonderful sheen and also keep the texture.

I insist on blow drying - this is a special part of the grooming that most don’t even think of. I use a turbo dryer that is medium cool to warm - never really warm or hot. The one we use looks like a reverse vacuum cleaner and blasts the water from the coat. I do this to get all the dead hair out, fast and thoroughly. This way you are constantly rejuvenating and rolling the coat so as not to get the “moth eaten” appearance that many coats get when doing a seasonal shed. If you are doing a weekly blow dry then you are regenerating all the time and shedding time will be minimal and certainly not patchy. You also get a more even, smoother and flatter lying coat too with weekly blowing out. That ruffling or lifting up of some of the coats is also reduced.

During the week, hydration without greasiness is important to keep the texture looking good and we use Plush Puppy Revivacoat - a handful a day throughout the coat and left in without rinsing off. Never greasy it penetrates into the coat and is just wonderful. Also by keeping the moisture content up in the hair, you are enhancing the depth and colour of the coat. A sunbleached or dehydrated coat is not going to give you reflection of light or sheen.

Selection of shampoo is according to what is required on that coat on that day I.e for shine use the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo diluted 5 parts water to one part shampoo; for a pearly white sheen on a white dog or to reduce sunburnt effects on a brindle or black coat, use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo at again 5:1 as it doesn’t lighten or bleach but instead tones unwanted warm tones; for itchy sensitive or scurfy skins, use Plush Puppy Sensitive Skin Shampoo at 3 parts water to one part shampoo and dilute further each time till using at 10:1 for maintenance. All the shampoos are gentle but the Sensitive Skin shampoo is specific to reducing itch and scurf or for those that are intolerant of most shampoos. Follow with the Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil as your final rinse. This is your basic weekly routine. Use the Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil also anywhere the skin is rough, such as the elbows, hocks, chest etc. Use it undiluted and worked with your hand down into the skin. This will put not only moisture back into the coat but soften the skin and allow regeneration of hair in those calloused areas.

The fun part is the grooming for the show. Brushing is a cinch with the Plush Puppy OMG Grooming Spray purchased either as concentrate and diluted up to 40:1 or the Ready To Use diluted up to a further half water half product. This reduces static in the coat. Brilliant. For a harsher texture use the Plush Puppy Ruffy Tuffy Coat Spray spraying lightly and then adding further layers of spray if required to achieve the level of harshness desired. Alternatively for a really harsh coat and a good product to have on hand for a quick clean up at the same time, use Plush Puppy Powder Puff for Terriers. This is an excellent coat hardener and a good quick cleanser - just work through the coat and blow out or brush out for texture or apply heavier and work well through the coat and then brush or blow out for cleaning. Can use Plush Puppy Wonder Wash which is a wet instant cleanser - spray on, foam up with hands and then towel off.

You too can be part of the glamour brigade and believe me, a glamorous Bull Terrier is absolute! Dogs can and do wear makeup and Plush Puppy Coverup Cream is a wonder for Bullies. I know that pigmentation or lack of it is not to be discounted in assessment of this breed, but it does look better on the muzzle if it is white and not blotchy pigment. This white paste is fairly opaque and applied with a barely damp sponge so as not to dilute it but just damp enough to spread easily. Use a piece of kitchen sponge and dab lightly in thin layers, not cake it on, to the area and allow to semi dry about 5 seconds and reapply another light layer etc till you have achieved full coverage. Apply some loose chalk or chalk block over the top to thoroughly dry it. Bingo! Should last all day till you wash it off.

So, now you have gone this far, let’s go all the way. Remember, you are competing with those flashy Afghans, snazzy Kerry Blues and puffed up Poodles for the judges eye. What is going to look a million bucks in the BIS shot? Your dog or the one that has done the hard work. Just because your coat is not a trimmed, clippered or fluffed up coat, does not mean it is of no import. It is, that texture and sheen is paramount. It must be perfect! Grab the judge’s eye with a sprinkle and I mean just a sprinkle, of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust which is a shimmering white powder applied to the top line either by sifting through your fingers or flicked through the top layer of the topline with the powder applied to the brush. Brush well into the coat. This can be used on the darker coats too - just brush well to work the white powder further down into the coat which leaves the shimmer on the top. This will really pick up the sunlight or spotlights adding a gleam to catch the eye. You could apply the Pixie Dust (a small amount) in with your loose chalk. This will give dimension rather than a matt finish that one tends to get when using chalk.

Last minute touches, which are always good for not only glamour but to focus your mind and nerves, is to spray with Plush Puppy Shine & Comb. Gives great effect to the sheen of the coat - as if you need more - but then more is always good! Spray lightly and run your hand over the area to spread evenly. Spray with a light squirt of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher which is a light non offensive deodorising spray. Judges do judge with eyes, hands and nose! This is a terrific product for giving that clean fresh smell to the dog which can sometimes be lost in transit!

Your little fellow with his strongly built body, powering around the ring with smooth reach and drive and exhibiting his typical jaunty air is quite the charmer. His presentation wrought by you over the preceding weeks is enough to gain the attention of all. He is keen and determined and if it is true that people grow like their dog then this dog will have an owner who is amenable to discipline and keenly determined to win!

- Cheryl Le Court