Bernese Mountain Dog
An old and proud breed, the Bernese were originally brought to Switzerland by the Romans and worked the farms of midland Switzerland as draft & droving dogs.
The standard mentions a lot of words portraying a dog of substance with a full body. The quest for the groomer/exhibitor is to maintain that silhouette and image of strength.
The coat is required to be thick, moderately long with either slight wave or straight, but never too curly. It should also have a bright, natural sheen, never-ever dull, and must be black.
The key to an excellent Bernese coat is to use the very best products that are formulated to achieve the results and the correct breed silhouette. A good coat is made several weeks/months before the show and it’s best to put the work in long beforehand, rather than chase the sheen and try to cover a rusty black!
Shampooing any dog should start with the head. For this use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. Another one of the famous Plush Puppy products with the latest technology and the highest amounts of naturally sourced ingredients has developed a product that is a must! This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed for faces. It’s no tear formula with the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro-Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean soothes, adds moisture, aids healing, and anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amounts directly to the face and eye area allows you to thoroughly clean without causing irritation. Can be used in and around ears also with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows easy of rinsing yet complete cleaning.
To build the bulk in the coat, use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo on the body (if your dog has a fuller look to the coat over the croup then simply don’t apply Body Building Shampoo on that part) then with Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo on the topline for shine (as before with a fuller croup/rump look apply All Purpose to this area). Creating the silhouette, you want is key, by using the right shampoo in the right areas. The days of when we believed that one shampoo could do anything are over. Dilute both shampoos 5:1 i.e. 5 parts water to 1 part shampoo.
Use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo on the whites at the same dilution. You can use the Whitening Shampoo which is a toning shampoo and not a lightening shampoo, on any rusty, brownish areas of the black part of the coat too. This will cosmetically neutralize the unwanted warm tones. For white areas needing extra whitening try Plush Puppy Wonder Blok this product is one of our proudest achievements in helping to maintain a white stain free coat. It’s not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals but with the use of modern technology and high amounts of naturally sourced vegetable surfactants and glycerin, This product is designed to remove gently unwanted warm/red tones to the coat. Best used on a damp/wet coat. Gently rub into the areas required allowing time (5-10 minutes) and rinse. For maximum effects repeat or allow a longer time for this amazing product to work. As with all products take care around eyes. For greater effect leave on longer before rinsing.
When your black areas need intensive rejuvenation, use Plush Puppy Black Opal Shampoo as a second shampoo after cleansing firstly with the All Purpose Shampoo. Leave Black Opal on for 5-10 minutes and rinse being careful not to get it on the white areas. Easiest way to remove Black Opal without getting it everywhere is to use a dry old towel and wipe the bulk of it off and then a damp towel and finally rinse the remainder off. This shampoo is best used whilst the whitening shampoo is still on any white areas. Black Opal should not be your regular shampoo as the All Purpose will give you that beautiful sheen that is required. That is paramount. The coat should not get to the stage of needing a neutralizing shampoo to get rid of brownish hues!
Next step is to moisturize and add healthy vigor to the coat without flattening the bulk of the coat. Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil 1-2 teaspoons (depending on coat amount and density) to 1 gal/4 liters water and saturate this whole mix through the coat to the skin. Leave in and do not rinse. Now if you desire MORE bulk to the coat, add 1 tablespoon Plush Puppy Volumising Cream in with the Seabreeze Oil mix and of course, it is left in and not rinsed off. This will give that extra hair look without stickiness or feeling of foreign substances. Great for out of coat situations or where you just want more bulk and who doesn’t? Alternatively use Plush Puppy Volumising Spray is a ‘Ready to Use’ for quicker, easier and fuller coat results. Perfect either before blow-drying or used to ‘fluff’ up the coat at the show. A light even spray, brush in until dry or use a dryer. Produced for easy use and scientifically balanced for all coat types. This is a hair thickener to add volume – not a hair stiffener and not easily detectable as it leaves the coat with a natural fuller look and feel.
Drying the coat quickly saves time and effort. A revolutionary innovative Plush Puppy Fast Blow Dry Spray that combines the latest active ingredients together to dramatically reduce drying time, adds moisture and conditions while protecting the coat. FAST is probably the most technically advanced formula in the Plush Puppy Range to date. A light even spray over the dog before drying.
Now blow dry using a strong cool turbo dryer to blast the water from the coat using the nozzle to lift at the root against the growth of the coat. If the coat is a touch too wavy, then use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush and brush on the diagonal against the growth till about 75% dry, working from rear to front of the dog. If needing to really relax that movement, then finish the dry with the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush. This will add more pull on the coat to smooth it. Always use the Pin brush till mostly dry so as not to overstretch the hair as it is in a weakened state when wet. Otherwise, finish drying with the air of the dryer till 100% dry.
To further bulk legs, add Plush Puppy Puffy Dog+, a stronghold mousse that never goes sticky in humidity. Dry the legs up and as full as possible.
Once a month give the coat a full treatment with Plush Puppy Coat Rescue worked to a watery slurry by adding one cup warm water to approx. 1/4 cup Coat Rescue. Leave on for as long as possible. You can, if they are outdoors dogs, leave this on the topline area for a few days and then wash off. At a minimum, leave on for at least 10 minutes and wash off. Follow with the Seabreeze Oil mix.
Maintain coat hydration by application of Plush Puppy Reviva Coat throughout the coat. Leave in all week, topping up the applications of Reviva Coat at least every second day. This is a fabulous leave-in moisturizer and gives amazing elasticity and hydration to the hair. Just the best – who can live without this?
For show preparation, follow the shampoo/oil/blow dry routine and Volumising Cream if required, and Puffy Dog on the legs. Next day, show day, give the feet a quick touch up clean with Plush Puppy Wonder Wash and wipe/towel dry, followed by a light application of Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream applied with a barely damp sponge to the white feet. Dust liberally with your favorite white powder working well into the hair and leave till dry and then brush to remove excess powder/chalk.
Brush up the main body of the coat with Plush Puppy O.M.G. Concentrate Grooming Spray diluted 30:1 i.e. 30 parts water to one part OMG Concentrate. Use in the Plush Puppy 250 ml Spray Bottle. This amazing product is also available in the “Ready to Use” formula. With both apply a fine mist to the hair – don’t wet it, just spritz it and brush again using the Pin Brush against the growth of the coat fluffing the coat with the dryer if available, for a few seconds. The OMG will reduce any static in the coat and allow the brush to glide through without undue stress to the hair. Finish the legs, feet, and topline with the Plush Puppy Soft Ultimate Slicker Brush.
A final light spray of Plush Puppy Shine and Comb to the topline and head will finish this off to perfection. You have effectively sculptured your dog without having to carve a shape with scissors. As undue trimming is discouraged, your ability to shape this dog without noticeable product and still get the silhouette is something to behold. You have achieved the correct shape to his outline and the desired sheen and vigor to the hair.
Your intelligent and loving Bernese can now look his best and show off his working gait, exhibiting good reach and drive. His wondrous strength and sturdy body gives confidence and trust to those that depend on his power and devotion to his duty and your quest is to show his full magnificence to all. Always a breed to watch in the group!
Article courtesy of Plush Puppy Australia