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. They are a 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 and must be dense for his outdoor work and never curly, though a slight hint of a 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 rigors 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 Herbal Whitening Shampoo diluted (5:1) i.e. 5 parts water to 1 part shampoo for that nice white finish to the whites and to tone the unwanted rusty tones of the darker cooler of the coat. For extra whitening use Plush Puppy Wonder Blok this product is one of our proudest achievements in helping to maintain a white stain free coat. It is 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.
If shine is paramount, and indeed the standard uses the word glossy, then use the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna (only pure extracts from the stalk of the Henna stalk 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.
For the face and head use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It – what the dog showing world has needed for way too long. Another one of the famous Plush Puppy products that, 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.
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. Apply through some Plush Puppy Reviva Coat if you must for hydration and moisture.
For show drying, use a Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush and a well-diluted application of Plush Puppy Swishy Coat to the featherings – (1 tablespoon to 500 ml (16oz) water) applied evenly, and left in. This helps to keep the coat disentangled, helps reduce static and serves to minimize excess wave. Should the coat featherings appear boofy, excessive or wavy, then add 1 tablespoon 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 Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush. I recommend this 2-brush technique to minimize stretching of the coat.
To maintain the coat between shows, use Plush Puppy Reviva Coat diluted for quick application (1 golf ball amount to 1 cup water) sprayed onto the coat and used as a disentangler during the week. This wonderful product is excellent for moisturizing 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 tablespoon to 250 ml (8oz) 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 shows is Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. Sourced from Evening Primrose Oil and Calendula Oils etc. this organic plant product will really protect and nourish. Can be sprayed on the topline and featherings neat – but is best used as a final rinse 1 teaspoon 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 discoloration and breakage too. A real outdoors dog’s best friend.
On show day apply Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream A great cover for stains or discolouration. Excellent on “red” area on worn elbows and to the white on the muzzle. When you really need to cover stains your whites or intensify white areas. Apply with a barely damp sponge using a small amount. Build up coverage as required layer by layer. Then use powder or chalk as required whilst cream is drying. Brush off excess when dry. Add a tiny bit of Plush Puppy Chalkestral with your fingertips to the white legs to assist holding the white powder you apply. You need something to help grip and to protect the coat from abrasion. Best of all is Plush Puppy Fairy Frost is a better & innovative approach to the usual methods of white chalking/adding powder to coats. Clings well and doesn’t clump. Adds crisp white tone and cover to all coats without creating harshness. Clings – all day, and is a fine mix, easy to use. A little goes a long way. Nothing so performant anywhere. Naturally sourced – no chalk or talc, use instead of chalk. Can mix with your usual white powder. Never gets clumpy, even when wet. Apply with the Plush Puppy Ultimate Powder Application Brush. Work well into the area where required for enhancing whites and cover. Plush Puppy Wonder Wash for “those show day” last-minute emergencies too as this will clean up the whites, pronto. Just spray foam with the fingers and towel off.
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.
Now the last-minute titivations are Plush Puppy Shine and 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 Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine 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 center 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!
Article courtesy of Plush Puppy Australia