Pug

Grooming Advice

This delightful little breed has been around since ever and has a marvellous history of being loved and owned through the centuries by many noted people from Empresses to Kings.

His motto of “Multum in Parvo” a lot of dog in a small space is so very indicative of this breed if you have ever shared time or home with one of them. A compact, square breed he exhibits all the power and fire of a dynamic little rogue.

My life has been constantly bombarded with this dog through my sister’s ownership of many of them over the years and is the reason I started showing in the first place. What ever did they get me into?

Being a short coated little fellow he is often presented as a no nonsense dog and thus not needing special attention to grooming. One should never discount a dog’s need for special grooming just because he is not a traditional “hairdo” breed. You may not be able to snip this little guy into shape but you sure can do a whole bunch with the descriptions as outlined in your standard.

The coat is described as “fine, smooth, soft, short and glossy, neither hard nor woolly.” Well, that’s pretty easy and very direct. No misinterpretations can be made of that. Thus the quest is to keep the coat as true to this as possible and maintain the condition, feel and shine.

The Pug has a tendency to feel the heat and most are prone to wallowing in water and ending up quite smelly little critters. They snuffle, snort and generally make themselves a bit pongey. Plush Puppy Odour Muncher is a must for the warm months of the year. It will help get rid of the odour and leave a nice light fragrance.

Remember to appeal to as many of a judges senses as possible. The feel of the coat, the look of the coat and the smell of the coat are all important even if some are subliminal.

The Pug’s grooming regime ought to consist of a shampoo that will leave the coat in it’s correct state with lots of shine and the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna is a wonderful naturally sourced shampoo that doesn’t alter texture and leaves a fabulous shine. It contains a very good extract of Henna that does not build up on the coat and won’t make the coat brittle after prolonged use. Use at the rate of 5:1 i.e. 5 parts water to one part shampoo.

If your coat is a little on the harsh side due to the elements then use the Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner at a ratio of 5:1 as this will help soften the texture. If the coat is just right then skip the conditioner. In both cases you then use as a final rinse Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil at a rate of 1 dspn to 1 gallon/4 litres warm water. Either hydrobath through the coat or sponge through the coat or dunk the dog in the mix. Whatever technique suits you, and leave in the coat - do not rinse again.

The Seabreeze Oil is just the most magical product. It contains Evening Primrose Oil, Calendula Oil and lots of calming and healing type goodies that help to repair, sooth and generally give a good pickup to a dull or tired coat. Long term it will give an overall good health and vitality to the coat. You can use this in between shows or when preparing for a show. It is neither greasy or sticky nor will it build up on the coat. It is water soluble and helps to repel dirt.

Now I am an advocate of blow drying just about everything as it helps rid the coat of dead and loose hairs and keeps the coat “rolling” all the time without the holes and gaps one gets with regular shedding. Nothing removes dead hair like this. It also saves on wrists and arms that over the years end up with RSI and arthritis from all the grooming that dog exhibitors seem to have. Who needs to stand there brushing and using mitts and stuff when a good blow with a cool dryer does a great deal of the work for you? Just watch your Pug’s eyes when flinging the dryer around. You don’t need ulcers in these guy’s eyes.

For the Puglets that have itchy skin, then use the Plush Puppy Itchy Skin Shampoo at a ratio of 3:1 till it starts to clear and then dilute as much as up to 10:1 for further use.

Itchy scratching with Pugs is more prevalent in those kept indoors where they tend to overheat. Heating and air conditioning can all play havoc except in extreme conditions when it is necessary. This dog is often better suited to outdoors.

Now show day you can give a light “go over” with the mitt and then an oval cushion brush that has a fair amount of bristle to plastic - I prefer 2/3 bristle to 1/3 plastic Plush Puppy Anti- Static Brush.

Some Pugs have some longer tufts of hair around the rear end and these can be shortened and neatened with a pair of thinning shears. Don’t go gung ho with a regular pair of shears unless you are Vidal Sassoon. Whiskers are optional but I tend to like the character they give to the face.

For final shine - the black points such as face and ears can have a light application of Vaseline and don’t forget to keep the wrinkles clean. A light “go over” with a face washer morning and night keeps these trouble free. Now for the final glam. Sprinkle a tiny amount of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust onto the oval cushion brush and brush against the coat growth to settle the powder down lower and leave the shimmer on top. Discretion is the key word when using this. It is a fabulous effect and applied judiciously, gives pin pricks of light to the coat. Finish with a light spray of Plush Puppy Shine & Comb just prior to going in the ring. The old girls of years gone by would use a piece of silk rubbed backwards and forwards over the coat for shine. That’s not really good for those arthritic wrists either!

So, now you have a star. Your cheeky little Pug will still have the power pack look all barely contained within his little square body but will be bursting with sheer “joie de vivre” and exuding glamour. He is hard to go past with his playful little nature and with all the grooming presentation to enhance his standard requirements he will be a hard contender to beat.

- Cheryl Le Court