The largest and tallest of the galloping hounds, the Irish Wolfhound is an old soul dating back to the Romans and has been the inspiration for romantic adventure tales of poets to authors for their great majesty and strength. This gentle giant is commanding and beautiful with all the natural aspects of days gone by, yet able to fit today’s home and family.
His coat is interesting as the standard requires the hair to be rough and hard and long and wiry over the eyebrows and under the jaw. The question for harsh coated breed people is how to present the coat nicely and cleanly yet retain that harsh texture.
The coat is not to be clipped, or scissored, but it is permissible to hand pluck just to tidy whilst retaining the natural aspects of the dog.
It is a large dog to wash and dry especially if you are doing this weekly for shows but there are quick techniques which I will outline for you and still enable you to present a perfectly harsh texture at the same time.
The perfect shampoo for retaining texture is Plush Puppy Texture + Shampoo – another product formulated using the latest technology to retain and improve coat texture. Recommended to thoroughly yet gently cleanse and deodorize the coat of harsh or coarse coated breeds without softening or compromising texture. It’s ideal for boosting body and coarseness in coats of all colors and coat types. Formulated to be pH controlled, creates/ maintains texture, easy to rinse out and low irritant with a subtle apple fragrance. Incorporates Gentian Root Extract, Juniper Fruit Extract, St John’s Wort Leaf Extract, Norway Spruce Leaf Extract, Hayflower Extract, Lemon Balm Leaf Extract, Arnica Flower Extract. Use at 1:10 or apply undiluted directly to areas requiring cleansing. Rinse thoroughly.
Around the head and face use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It – an amazing product for faces using the very latest technology combined with natural holistic properties. Its tearless formula with anti-inflammatory benefits is hypoallergenic. Key ingredients are Blue Cypress extracts, panthenol and Pro Vit B. Apply a golf ball-sized amount directly to the face and eyes, massage in without causing any irritation In your final rinse water, add 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream and 1 tablespoon Plush Puppy Swishy Coat to a bucket of water and liberally apply, saturating the whole of the coat. This is a no-tear formula and cleans well without softening.
If you have grey, black or white Irish Wolfhounds, then use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo which won’t lighten, but will brighten, perfect to tone to those colors.
Now, do not use conditioner at all. Conditioner is the bane of all harsh coated breeds as it softens and flattens. However, you do need to hydrate this coat and keep it in great condition just the same. Use for a final rinse, Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. This is the singular most valuable product you will ever use on your breed. It hydrates, keeps the texture, and is great for skin and hair. The more you use it, the better the coat gets. Take a picture and evaluate that coat in 8 weeks’ time and you will be elated at the difference. You can see dramatic results immediately, but like all good naturally derived pure organic products, this just keeps on working to attain fabulous results. I could not do most breeds without this product. It is just magic in a bottle.
Dilute – yes I always dilute everything – especially important when doing a big dog. You need even dispersion, even results and why waste time and energy and product unnecessarily? Use at 1 Tablespoon to 4 L (1 gallon) of warm water. Squish this well through the dog with a large sponge if applying from a bucket. LEAVE IN – do not rinse out. Make sure you get the mix right through to the skin. It is calming and excellent for skin and hair growth.
Dry the dog. Yes, I like to use a force cool dryer. Just hit the coat with the dryer to get the shape you require using your hands to lift or flatten various areas to shape the silhouette to suit best. Drying also removes dead hair allowing the new hair to regenerate faster. No amount of brushing removes dead hair as well as a cool turbo dryer.
For weekly baths, once you have this coat under control with Seabreeze Oil routine, you don’t need to do an intensive bath unless the dog is a mud wrestler outside each day. Again, the fewer bubbles the better so use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo or Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo (diluted 15:1) – which will cleanse but is really low foaming. Work the mix through the coat. Then rinse. Follow with Seabreeze Oil as outlined above.
You should use Plush Puppy Wonder Blok for feet and hard to clean areas – this is a gentle stain reducing natural soap which is mild but extremely effective and good for stain reduction around mouth or feet and if reducing stains under the eye area, be sure not to get the soap into the eye. Don’t let this area get too wet and apply the soap from your finger to control it. Just do this whilst the shampoo is on the coat and prior to rinsing before applying Seabreeze Oil.
Now you need to apply as much texture as possible to the coat. Follow this whole routine as outlined and you will not need to bath this dog days or a week ahead. You will be able to do your Irish Wolfhound the night before the show if you wish and still have a fantastically correct coat.
To achieve that really harsh coat once the coat is washed and dried, then there is no going past Plush Puppy Powder Puff Terrier which is for all harsh coated breeds too. Instant harshness I tell you. Once the coat is dry, just dip the tip of the head of your brush – like the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush which is a 1/2 dialon and 1/2 bristle oval cushioned brush – into the powder and then tap the excess into the side of the container before taking the brush out, and then flick through each area of the coat to be harshened. You may need to do this a few times as it is a large dog, but remember, this is instantly harsh. It works! A little goes a long way so don’t overdo it. You can always add more. Just work your way around the coat feeling with your hands until you are satisfied. Work well in and you won’t see or feel the powder.
Take along to the shows, Plush Puppy Wonder Wash for quick, no-rinse cleaning of feet, etc for those dusty or muddy shows, to keep your dog pristine. This may not be a “hairdo” dog but it still has to present majestically.
I also apply a touch of Plush Puppy Shine and Comb to the topline and head – not too much – just hold the spray about 30cm (12 inches) from the dog and spray up into the air and allow the mist to fall. Tousle the coat with your hands to blend.
To finish off, and to attract all senses of the judge to your dog, apply a spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher, which is a deodorizer and a soft fragrance. This is light and pleasant without girly or sissy overtones. Kills all unpleasant smells as well. Very handy when on a circuit of shows.
Ringside just take along a spray bottle of Plush Puppy OMG Concentrate diluted approx. 40:1 (40 parts water to one-part Concentrate). Yes, it lasts a long time this Concentrate version but you have a large dog too! You don’t need to disentangle as a rule but this is a good grooming mix to use to prevent static and for brushing. Use with the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush.
This amazing giant breed is an impressive sight in the show ring. One can envision him in full stride chasing down the old gigantic Irish Elks and the wolves without a bother. Just because his quarry is no longer there to hunt, it does not diminish his relevance and your quest to maintain and preserve this wonderful breed.
Who could not be taken aback by a magnificent specimen in the ring, of great size and power, exhibiting great movement and all with beautiful symmetry!
Article courtesy of Plush Puppy Australia