Having lived with a Peke firsthand, the quest was on to find the perfect way to groom this adorable little breed. The general consensus back then was that one did not bath the Peke - rather one just talked and brushed with the occasional spray of men’s hair tonic (Pinaud) and water. Where this notice came from is anyone’s guess but I have since found it is less likely these days. There is no need to have a cloud of powder greet you every time you lift or place the Peke. Nor is there any reason to have matted wads of undercoat with a smooth overlay.
Whatever philosophy one subscribes to, one should never, ever take a dirty Peke to a show. Now just how often to wash depends on the coat and of course if it is beginning to shed, then one would tread likely. The Peke has a double coat with a soft under coat which does come out easily - so gently Bentley! Best to allow a day or so before the show if the coat tends to softness as I am told by “higher authority” that Peke coat textures vary, though a harsh outer coat is correct and more desirable. (Note - a quick fix to a soft coat is on show day to add a tiny bit of Plush Puppy Powder Puff Terrier – that will instantly harden the texture. Just a light lick with a little powder and leave in. Don’t go overboard – it REALLY works.)
Thus for a coat that is shedding, a judicious cleanse on the nether regions before the show and if necessary, bath again after the show. That’s the routine advice of one of the best Peke kennels in the U.S. However one would normally bath all over very gently and just squish the same diluted shampoo, Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo at 5 to 1 i.e. 5 parts water to one part shampoo, through the coat or if more coat is needed, Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo diluted 3:1. Don’t rub! Then rinse and condition with Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner diluted down 10:1 and apply to skirts and tail only – not at the root area as you want lift. Dry gently and spray if needed with Plush Puppy Revivacoat - a tablespoon full to 300mls warm water in a water spray to prevent tangling. At this point I often add Plush Puppy Volumising Cream 1 tspn to ½ lt/1 pt water, whisked well and saturated through the coat areas needing lift and volume –leave in, do not rinse and then blow dry.
I do substitute Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil diluted ½ tspn to 1 litre/2pts warm water for in between show moisturising. Apply by saturating the coat and leave in – do not rinse. Use instead of conditioner. It will retain texture and you can if you must, add 1 tspn of SP conditioner into the mix for the skirts once you have applied the SB Oil. Again leave in as it is so diluted it will be perfect to leave in.
Now the grooming regime - train your Peke to lie on it’s back. Then, a little judicious trimming, under pads, keeping toe fringes neat not chopped and boys get a trim around the “willy”. Brush if you must with powder through I never saw a skerrick of powder on top U.S. Pekes. Preferably spray lightly with Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner and water (3 squirts to 500ml) or the Revivacoat mixture. Brush with a soft pin cushioned brush Plush Puppy Pin Brush Regular or Long Pins upwards towards the head - if matted use a Collie comb and for detangling use Plush Puppy OMG Concentrate diluted 35:1 .e. 35 parts water to one part OMG or OMG Ready to Use diluted with 2/3 OMG R2U and 1/3 water. This cuts through the tangles wonderfully and helps prevent static.
Attention please to the underarms and where legs join. Turn over and do front. Work head to tail with upward motion till completed. Then switch to a Mason & Pearson brush or use a ½ bristle ½ nylon oval cushion brush (available from Plush Puppy). Delicately work on tail, pants and ears.
Never poke or prod a Peke’s ear. Wipe gently inside with metho on cotton wool and apply 5 drops Leo’s Ear Cleaner and then massage. For the face, use a warm damp washer & wipe under eye and in wrinkle. Add Eye Brite drops, 1 drop per eye if powder has been used in the grooming. Then for the tricky bit. Lift the fold of the wrinkle upwards and open fold - use tiny blunt end scissors and remove all unwanted hair in the wrinkle. Any unwanted hair over nostrils, use thinning shears to tidy - not a blunt look, please. Place the dog on all fours and rebrush upwards and outwards around the head. Use a small knitting needle and make a small part base of the tail 2 inches up the back & part the hair. Spray with Revivacoat for moisture or Silk Protein mix and “throw” the tail into the part. You can also part the tail if it tends to fall too much to one side. Part with the weight of the tail to the other side and lightly mist, wait a minute and then throw the tail.
You are striving to achieve a lion shape or pear body so proceed to flare the tail to the head in a fan shape over the body. Now the controversial part. To trim or not to trim - is there a question? I saw trimmed skirts in the U.S. and they did look good and the dogs were not tripping over absurdly long trailing wisps of skirt. It’s up to you.
Next is to seriously look at your dog. No apple heads please. You need to achieve a nice flat rectangle shape, thank with width at the sides. This can be achieved with a touch of Plush Puppy Puffy Dog at the root area around neck and base of hair at ears. Brush up and lift and allow to dry. You can gently back comb with a wide toothed comb or brush at the root area to get extra lift. Finally spray with something nice - Plush Puppy Odour Muncher (smells divine) & lightly mist over the coat just before going in the ring with the Revivacoat or Silk Protein mix.
For last minute emergencies or those who need to refresh a coat OR are in dire straits to get that extra texture, apply a touch of Powder Puff Regular to your brush and flick lightly through the coat where needed. Can be substituted as an all over cleaner for those who powder brush/clean instead of bathing. Gives light texture as opposed to the Terrier harsher powder and leaves the coat clean and fragrantly evocative of lemon and ginger.
What a grand little breed the Pekingese is – stubborn, cheeky, loyal, and not to be under estimated in any show ring. His beautiful rolling sailor gait is to be admired ad his stunning head is a picture. Beautifully presented, the Pekingese is stunning.
- Cheryl Le Court