Bred as a trained bird dog for over 400 years, the English Setter’s origins lie in evidence pointing to crosses of Spanish Pointer, large Water spaniel and Springer Spaniel combining to produce a superb bird dog with a high degree of proficiency in finding & pointing game in open country.
Apart from his rather boisterous nature as a youngster, the English Setter is defined as being of medium height, clean in outline and elegant in appearance & movement with a keen game sense. He is nonetheless, intensely friendly & good-natured. Thus, being an outdoors dog, one needs to keep in mind the secret to a good coat and that is to keep it oiled and even shaded if in a hot climate to prevent damage.
Between shows oil this coat with Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 1 gal/4 L of water. Work well into the coat with a large sponge or carefully pour over and squish through well. Then use the oil undiluted direct from the spray to the areas around where they pee. This is a bad area for breakage. Keeping it oiled will help prevent the hair from getting brittle or tangled and will deter the accumulation of debris from the yard. This is a super oil, all organic and primarily top-quality Evening Primrose & Calendula Oils. It is water-soluble & won’t build up or be greasy. There simply is nothing quite like it & it is the best secret on the planet! We love the depth of color it tends to add to the coat & the wonderful healthy vigor that goes with continued use.
The head and expression is an important part of the breed. Use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It Shampoo, a product the dog showing world has needed for way too long. Another one of the famous Plush Puppy products with the latest technology and the highest amounts of naturally sourced ingredients has developed into a product that is a must! This is a hypoallergenic sulfate-free, low foaming shampoo designed for faces. It’s a nil fragrance, no tear formula with the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro-Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean soothes, add moisture, aids healing and has anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball-sized amount 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 rinsing yet complete cleaning. Best used first and left on whilst using all other shampoos and rinsing off with the final shampoo rinse.
The standard calls for the coat & feathering to be a long silky coat, flat without curl or woolliness. Use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo which is a great toning shampoo for whites and indeed any faded colors too and best suited to the English Setter, at a ratio of 5:1, i.e. 5 parts water to one part shampoo. This allows for easier and even dispersion. Another amazing product for white areas is 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.
Follow after rinsing with Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner diluted at the same ratio as the shampoo to keep the silkiness and required texture on the furnishings & featherings – not on the topline. Your topline will already be hydrated with the Seabreeze Oil routine.
Now here’s where the hard stuff begins. In order to get that soft, draping fall to the lengths without wave, use Plush Puppy Swishy Coat. There are those who like to apply it undiluted but I always recommend dilution as you have a large dog & not only is it easier to work through the coat but also it ensures even application. Dilute at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 750 ml of water depending on the texture – you can dilute further or less but this is a good rule of thumb for most English Setter coats. Sponge or pour thoroughly through the coat ensuring even distribution. Squeeze out excess & blow-dry.
A little hint for show baths is to include a small amount of the Seabreeze Oil into this final rinse. I suggest 1-2 teaspoons only (depending on the amount of coat and texture) which can be included to save time with the 1 tablespoon Swishy into a 4 L/1 gal bucket of warm water and left in.
I always use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush for blow drying as you never want to overstretch or rip the coat at this point. When 3/4 dry, switch to the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush which is an oval 1/2 bristle 1/2 dialon brush. This will give that smoother, straighter and glossier finish to your drying that the Pin Brush cannot do. I also like to get in under the lengths with the brush and gently bend the ends around the curve of the brush. Never entirely dry with a top brushing action only. This just flicks the short pieces in the coat outwards and gives a flyaway look to the coat. We are after all wanting a polished professional look that once you have mastered, is just breathtaking. Should you have a coat that is too curly or wavy, add 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream softens and flattens and will add weight to tame a boofy or unruly coat. Mix and apply just as per the Swishy Coat. If you have a coat that needs straightening and de-boofing you can mix Swishy Coat and Blow Dry Cream in the same bottle and mix with water if you like.
The very best grooming spray is Plush Puppy OMG is a revolutionary grooming spray that lives up to its name. OMG is the perfect product for this coat type. A light spray of OMG and brushing in allows this product to refresh the coat leaving it feeling wonderful it separates the coat and leaves the most amazing finish. Using at an approximate mixture of 1-part OMG to 20-40 parts water using this break down from the OMG concentrate or OMG ready to use. The stronger the mix the stronger there effects. Different dogs at different coat stages means different mixtures. Higher the amount of OMG to greater effects. Using OMG can be a one-off at shows or during the drying process after bathing. An amazing product for regular brushing also as it hydrates the coat and reduces stress and coat loss. OMG and as its active ingredients smooth the cuticle and protect the coat. For this coat type that you still wish to retain the texture at a higher breakdown will still allow you to brush the dog and refresh to coat without over softening. If you need more softening and hydration to a fuller or larger coat then a higher mixture is needed. OMG can also be used on topcoats and brush/polished in for that wonderful smooth and flatness to the coat. OMG never builds up, never goes stringy. A product that took years to develop using the latest technology for maximum effects. A true necessity for the tool kit. Also available in OMG Ready to Use Spray at 20:1 which can also be further diluted if required.
The trimming is relatively easy but does need attention & time. Stripping topcoat, trimming throat and ears. All excess feathering is to be removed from the feet but I am advised by an expert that the rear hock looks just wonderful if when trimmed, you angle the line slightly outwards as you go upwards & then angle downwards from the top of the hock to meet the upward line already created. This gives the illusion of a really long line from the hip to the hock enforcing the requirements of the standard.
Show day, spray with Plush Puppy Odour Muncher & Plush Puppy Shine and Comb for that final glamour. I do like a light dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust applied to strategic areas with your brush. The secret is just a dusting and not to turn the dog into the glitter fairy!
Your English Setter is now ready to compete. You have not sold your soul to the devil in the process & the dog is showing himself as a true part of the gundog group in both form & function. Your dog is also groomed to perfection able to vie with all those glamour queens of the dog world and is second to none.
Article courtesy of Plush Puppy Australia