In the early 1800s game was plentiful in England and Scotland, and hunting was both a sport and a practical way of obtaining food. Retrievers came into prominence because of the desire for a medium-sized dog that would do well in wild-fowling, both waterfowl and upland game. During the 19th century, gamekeepers at the Guisachan Estate of Lord Tweedmouth at Inverness-Shire, Scotland, kept records of the development of the Golden.
Your Golden is symmetrical, balanced, active, powerful, level mover, sound with kindly expression. Biddable, intelligent and possessing natural working ability. Kind, friendly and confident.
His coat should be dense and water repellent with a good undercoat and neither coarse nor too silky. His outline should be natural and untrimmed. As this coat also needs to be a rich lustrous golden color, whatever you use should enhance the shine of the coat without making it fluffy or soft.
Between shows, I recommend oiling the coat with Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 1 gallon/4 liters water. Saturate the coat and work well into the coat with a sponge or carefully pour over and squish well through. Then use the oil straight from the spray, applied undiluted to the areas around where they pee. This is a bad area for breakage, keeping it oiled will help to prevent the coat getting brittle or tangled and will dissuade the accumulation of debris from the yard. This is a super oil as it is water-soluble and won’t build up or be nasty to live with. It is also all naturally derived and there is nothing quite like it. I like the depth of color it tends to add to the coat and the wonderful healthy vigor that goes with continued use.
For a show routine, I recommend using Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna for great shine and best suited to the Golden (at a ratio of 3:1 i.e. 3 parts water to 1 part shampoo). At times when the Goldens coat gets a little greasy, use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo on the areas needing a deep clarifying clean. If your Golden is out of coat, then I suggest Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo which gives a bodified appearance to the silhouette. Dilute all shampoos for a show bath at the ratio of 3:1. After shampooing, condition using Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner diluted up to 1:10, 1-part shampoo to 10 parts water. Only condition the feathers at this ratio. Then use a much weaker ratio of 1:15 for the top-line – you don’t want to over soften this area or to make it fluffy.
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, aid 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.
Okay here’s where the harder 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 and it is easier to get it evenly applied and just right this way. Dilute at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 750 ml of water depending on the texture of the coat. You can dilute further or less. Sponge or pour thoroughly through the coat ensuring even distribution. Squeeze out excess and blow-dry. Even for show baths, include a small amount of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil to this final rinse. Use 1-2 teaspoons which can include with the Swishy in 4L or 1 gallon of water and left in.
Use a Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush for this as you don’t want to rip the coat or overstretch at this point. When ¾ dry, switch to an oval ½ bristle ½ dialon brush such as the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush, this will give you that smoother, straighter and glossier finish to your drying that the pin brush won’t do. Never entirely dry with a top brushing action only, this just flicks the short pieces in the coat outwards and gives that fly away look to the coat. You are after a polished professional look that once you have mastered, is just breathtaking.
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 their 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 and time. The Standard states feet may be trimmed, and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of coat or outline should not be altered by cutting or clipping.
The featherings need perhaps just a gentle shaping with thinning scissors for a softer effect giving a fairly natural look to the curve. You are only removing the stray ends and the end result is still to shape the dog to his best without looking totally contrived. All excess feathering is to be removed from the feet.
On Show day, spray with Plush Puppy Odour Muncher and Plush Puppy Shine and Comb for that final glamour. I do like a dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust just lightly applied on strategic areas with your brush. The secret is just a dusting and not to turn it into the glitter fairy.
Your Golden with his kindly expression, all alert and full of confidence, is now ready to compete, showing himself with good reach and co-ordination as a retriever of the gundog group should be, all fit and in hard working condition. This loveable and trustworthy dog is always reliable and always a delight to behold.
Article courtesy of Plush Puppy Australia