Trust the Italians to have a breed of dog that is useful for finding truffles! They are a gastronomic race of people and as they like the finer things of life with their food, as they do with their dogs. This is an engaging and beautiful breed, doubling in his spare time when not locating truffles, as a companion and watchdog. Originally a water dog from marshlands of Ravenna he has all the hallmarks of coat and needs of a good water dog though not called upon to do this in his new guise as master truffle locater around the plains of Romagna. His dense curly coat of woolly texture is one that requires good hydration but without flattening or softening.
As such an advocate of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil– what would we do without this wonderful plant oil that just adds such healthy vigor to all those coats needing to retain texture as well as hydration? Waterdogs, gun dogs, arctic breeds and many herding dogs, etc. all need that water retention to the coat without rendering it greasy or lank. Use Seabreeze Oil 1tablespoon to 4 liters/1 gal water and saturate the coat working well into the coat and skin if necessary, with a large sponge. Leave in – do not rinse out. There is nothing quite like it anywhere and an extra bonus is the depth of color you get from prolonged usage with great retention of natural color pigment in the coat. The Lagotto’s coat being a curly one tends to not reflect light as showily as a smoother coated breed so encouraging as much moisture and color retention will give the appearance of a much healthier, almost shinier coat. Hate to see this coat with leeched out color and drab appearance.
For show grooming, your standard calls for the coat to be of woolly texture, and somewhat rough in surface forming tightly curled, ring-shaped curls with undercoat shining through. Curls are to be even over the body, except on the head where the curls are less tight, forming well-furnished eyebrows, whiskers, and beard. Cheeks also are covered with dense hair. As his heritage of a waterdog suggests, the topcoat and especially undercoat, are waterproof. A good complete clipping at least once a year will prevent the coat felting with any felted coat removed regularly. Keep on top of this coat between times and your job for the show will be easy.
Colors for this breed are off-white solid color, white with brown or orange patches, brown roan, brown solid color (in different shades) or orange solid color. A brown to dark brown mask is acceptable. Now, which shampoo is recommended for the various situations. You certainly individualize your routine with this breed according to the various needs. You have the opportunity to tweak your dog to his personal perfection. He is not a generic average everyday dog – he is his own person with the wonderful variety of his many colors. Treat them differently.
The head and expression created by their distinctive coat is an important part of the breed. Use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It – is what 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 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. Best used first and left on whilst using all other shampoos and rinsing off with the final shampoo rinse.
If shine is the primary requirement and for all the warmer toned coats you need to keep up the depth of color, use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna (henna extracts not the old dreaded henna powders). This does not change the coat color but enhances the moisture content and adds shine. Use 3:1 (3 parts water to one part shampoo). For white areas, use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo well diluted 5:1 (5 parts water to one part shampoo). This balances the tonal qualities of the coat offsetting any unwanted warm tones which can be yellowing or unwanted rusty tones on even a brown coat. This shampoo is a great tool and unlike a number of other Whitening Shampoos available on the market, it does not lighten or bleach thus keeping the condition and hydration to the coat. Check if your dog has a regrowth band if using a suspected “lightening” Whitening Shampoo. You would have to not use the offending shampoo for a period of a few weeks to see the new hair growth band.
For light colored 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 overly greasy coats that can be part of the gun dog heritage, use the Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo at 3:1. Great for cleaning up the coat which has absorbed more than its fair share of product build-up or just plain greasy skin.
For out of coat or not enough coat situations, use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo at 3:1. Follow with Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner diluted at 5:1. Try to avoid conditioning the head and face too much as this will soften the texture and make it hard to achieve the characteristic face and head of the Lagotto.
For show baths, include a small amount of the Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil but use just 1 teaspoon to 4 liters/1 gal water as opposed to the one tablespoon for maintenance baths. To save time mix 1 tablespoon Seabreeze Oil and ¼ cup Silk Protein Conditioner to 4 liters/1 gal water and slosh thoroughly over the coat saturating all of the coat to the skin. Leave in, don’t rinse. Now you have correct texture and hydration with loads of healthy vigor happening. If you are using the 5:1 Conditioner dilution mix, rinse the conditioner out of the coat and apply Seabreeze Oil after that.
Plush Puppy Reviva Coat is an excellent conditioner after bathing as it doesn’t soften, also perfect for increasing curl to the coat after drying. Apply golf ball sized amounts to the coat by hand and either rinse out or leave-in.
When drying use a Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush you don’t want to rip the coat by using a bristle brush on a wet coat. When ¾ dry switch to a large wide-toothed comb. Allow the coat top dry but still maintaining the natural curls. We are after a polished, professional look that once mastered is just breathtaking.
Now for show day itself, the new Plush Puppy OMG is a fabulous grooming spray. Not called OMG for nothing, because, “Oh My Goodness, it works”. As a concentrate, it can be diluted to suit every coat type or individual situation. OMG reduces static and allows for easy show day prep and won’t build up on the coat. This stuff just sells itself! It allows grooming without breaking up the curls. Or more curls, just make the mix stronger (less dilution) and comb dry. Spray the coat and pat dry using the palm of the hand to achieve the curls and shape desired.
Show day spray with Plush Puppy Odour Muncher and Plush Puppy Shine and Comb for that final glamour. Lightly spray the Shine and Comb, at approx. 12 – 18 inches (30 – 45 cms) and allow the mist to fall.
The secret is to make it all look as if nothing has been done & thus the Lagotto is now ready to compete, showing himself as a retriever of the gun dog group in both form and function. Those Italians sure knew what they were doing when they perfected this breed knowing a dog can look beautiful and be useful as well – Italians are so stylish as is your Lagotto!
Article courtesy of Plush Puppy Australia