English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel is a wonderful medium-sized Sporting Dog used originally for springing game is mostly used today to find or flush and retrieve game. Tallest of the ancient order of land Spaniels, the English Springer must present an overall appearance of power and endurance with a clean but natural outline, enhancing the quest for a dog that is able to work and keep going, even under difficult conditions.
His coat standard calls for one that is virtually waterproof, weatherproof and thornproof. It must have a glossy and clean appearance, indicative of good health. Some trimming is allowed but not to the extent of artificiality that comes with heavy barbering or amateurish chopping of the coat. 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. As the head is meant to be the approximate length of the neck and the top of the skull to be flat on top with a slight rounding at sides and back, your shape is fairly designated for you. Sometimes a picture of your dog will serve to step you back to having a good objective view of the dog that you can sometimes get too close to with eye and heart when shaping.
When preparing this coat for a show, use the Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo diluted 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 color of the coat.
For extra whitening and best for stained areas use 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 gently remove 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 maximum effect try applying the day prior to bath day. Apply and simply leave on.
If shine is paramount, then use the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna again diluting 5:1. If the feathering is sparse and you require a little more fullness, then use the Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo diluted 3:1 for extra oomph. 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 advise using any conditioner on the shorter body coat as conditioner can make the coat fluffy and you want these areas to sit flat.
With this head type use, Plush Puppy Let’s Face It Shampoo – This is 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 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 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 rinsing yet complete cleaning.
For show drying, use the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush and a well-diluted application of Plush Puppy Swishy Coat to the featherings. Dilute at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 3 cups water depending on the texture – you can dilute further or less but this is a good rule of thumb for most Springers coats. Sponge or pour thoroughly through the coat ensuring even distribution. Squeeze out excess & blow-dry.
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 with 250 ml (8 oz) of water of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream to really flatten and soften. Leave in & dry to ¾ dry with 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. For damaged or brittle coats, use the Plush Puppy Coat Rescue again diluted for ease and speed of application at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 1 cup water and worked well into the damaged areas and left for as long as the dog will sit still! Then rinse.
Another good in-between show remedy is the Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. Sourced from Evening Primrose Oil and Calendula Oils etc. this organic plant product will really protect and nourish. Spray the topline and featherings – can also be used as a final rinse 1 tablespoon 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! Show day – well your work has been primarily done.
On show days Plush Puppy OMG is a revolutionary grooming spray that lives up to its name. A light spray of OMG and brushing in allows this product to refresh the coat leaving it feeling wonderful. Using at an approximate mixture of 1 part OMG to 30-40 parts water using this breakdown form the OMG concentrate. The stronger the mix the stronger their effects. For this type of double-coated breed, a lighter concentration works best. Using OMG can be a one-off at shows or during the drying process after bathing. An amazing product for regular brushing also. The perfect product to allow all the benefits of putting a moisturizing product into the coat without over softening 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. Perfect for mid-week brushing.
On show day apply Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream is a great cover for stains or discoloration. 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 apply Plush Puppy Fairy Frost, a better & innovative approach to the usual methods of white chalking/adding powder to coats. Clings well and doesn’t clump. Adds a crisp white tone and cover to all coats without creating harshness. The whitest, brightest powder around. Clings – all day. Fine & Easy to use. A little goes a long way. Naturally sourced – no chalk or talc. Use instead of chalk. Can mix with your usual white powder. Best for glamorous perfect whites. 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.
Having done all this preparation, it is soul-destroying when your dog has an accident or gets muddied in foul weather. A quick spritz with Plush Puppy Wonder Wash is a great standby for a waterless/no-rinse shampoo when dramas occur last minute. Spray, lightly foam up with hands and towel dry and a light foaming up with your hands, and then wipe clean with a towel and the dog is as good as new. This product really foams well and doesn’t just lie there on the coat doing nothing. Add also a light mist of Plush Puppy Shine and Comb just to the topline held at a distance of 12 inches/30 cms for a last-minute sheen and a very light dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust
His value as a good working dog has produced a hard, muscular animal with great pride of carriage and enthusiasm for his job. It is a dog owned and shown throughout the century by gentlemen and men of distinction. Shown today in the conformation ring, he has flash and dash and class. Well presented, he is just breathtaking – a true force to be reckoned with.
Article courtesy of Plush Puppy Australia