Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Grooming Advice

Lately there seem to be a cast of thousands of these wonderful little dogs at the shows I have been to - almost a Cecile B DeMille production at times. Indeed I think there were around 120 Staffies at a recent weekend and I got a terrific chance to check a lot of them over whilst manning the Plush Puppy stand.

What nice little people they are too. I really can’t hear a bad word about a Staffy since one surrogate mothered my litter of “Seven Little Siberians” some years ago when the mother rejected them after a C section. The value of that litter was incalculable and it was a testament to the Staffy breed that the good nature of this little surrogate bitch allowed her to take on board such a monumental task and do it so willingly.

Naturally my grooming fingers just itch to try what is possible on every dog I get my hands on and I love the challenges this little breed present. Such a no nonsense, courageous little fellow he has oft been labelled as a “macho/butch” dog and owners have tended to present him accordingly with little fuss and ado about his grooming.

So, his standard calls for his coat to be smooth, short and close. That’s fairly no nonsense and concise. However I subscribe to the theory that if it says you can you can, if it says you can’t you can’t and if it doesn’t say anything, then it’s open slather. Oh, I love the Staffy standard because it says so little. You all have open slather to do as you will.

Everyone I speak to with a Staffy has been astounded as to what can be achieved to make their dog a glamorous star. Tradition has ordered that you just give him a wash and that is good enough. Owners are gobsmacked that for very little effort, you can do so much more. We can’t have those flashy Afghans and glamour Poodles having all the glitter and razzamatazz to themselves, now can we?

Now though your standard doesn’t say this, the Am Staff and Bull Terrier standards do call for the coat to be glossy and frankly, I am partial to shine on a Staffy. It looks fabulous and just gives that extra something to stand out from the crowd. So, how to achieve it? Apart from the good diet and conditioning you do with your dog, this little outdoorsy person does need assistance.

Every day you ought to put a handful of the Plush Puppy Revivacoat, a wonderful moisturising mousse through his coat. This keeps the moisture content up and prevents sunburning and brittle dry coats. By keeping the condition in this coat, you will also help to retain colour. Absolutely wonderful for reds and black coats. For extra strong sun protection use the Plush Puppy Sunshade Coat Sunscreen. Just spray this over the coat and smooth over with your hand. A light and non greasy affair this product contains proteins that will help to moisturise the coat.

Now which shampoo to use? Depending on your coat colour and the state of the coat I would suggest you use the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna at a ratio of 5:1 (i.e. 5 sparts water to 1 part shampoo) - all Plush Puppy shampoos are quite concentrated. That is good for most coats and most situations and really brings up the coat colour. Should the coat be black or blue and exhibiting colour fade, I would use the Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo with Ginseng. This is a a purple shampoo and kills all unwanted red/orange reflects in the coat plus will enrich a blue coat.

The fun part is the grooming. You can use makeup on your dog. Plush Puppy makes a terrific product for white areas called Coverup Cream. This is a white paste that is applied with a damp sponge (any piece of kitchen sponge will do). Just dabbed onto the area that needs to be covered such as an unevenly pigmented muzzle area etc and then some loose white chalk or chalk block applied over the top to thoroughly dry it. Bingo! Boy, is he beginning to look glam? You can even mix a small amount of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust which is a shimmery white powder in with the chalk and then a small sprinkle of the Pixie Dust along the dog’s topline. Brush into the coat well. This really adds some gleam and picks up all the sunlight or indoor lights. Works well even on black dogs as long as you don’t overdo it - we don’t need to turn them into the glitter fairy!

For the final flourish, you spray with Plush Puppy Shine & Comb, a magical shine spray that is non greasy and water soluble. This is the piece de resistance. A light burst onto the coat or onto your hands and smoothed over the top and flanks just works like a charm. Try spraying just one side first and see the difference. It’s amazing. Your black dog especially will just glisten with glowing good health.

Don’t ignore the olfactory senses of your judge. They all have a nose! Nothing pleases more than a good smelling dog. It tells your judge that you care about your dog and have made the effort to groom and present. No matter how much you bath some dogs they still smell doggy especially if you have to travel to get to the show. Mine seem to have peeing competitions on each other and it was from my own problem solving we developed Plush Puppy Odour Muncher a fab product that literally munches the odour - works great in smelly shoes too- and leaves a light fragrance in it’s place - Not too much and not too little.

Stacked up on the three quarter stance in the show lineup, the indomitable Staffy has character and class. Groomed and presented properly he is a formidable opponent to any breed exuding his courageous, real dog personality with all the glitz and showiness required to win the most prestigious of shows. Let’s hear it for the Staffies!

- Cheryl Le Court