Grooming the poodle for a show is 100% proof that what you do during the week will determine what your Poodle will look like on the weekend at shows. The poodle is a product of care and a strict grooming regime.
Firstly I feel the most important part of looking after a poodle coat is the mid week care. I would suggest that you bath, depending on colour as to your routine. For example whites, creams, silvers and blues I would use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo.
This shampoo tones unwanted red tones from the coat thus making whites - whiter, creams - removing warm tones, silvers more silver and even in colour and the same with the blues. I recommend a mixture for mid week at 1 part shampoo : 10 parts water.
For your reds, browns and apricots I would use Plush Puppy All Purpose ( at a mixture for mid week at 1 part shampoo : 10 parts water). This shampoo will give you great shine and healthy vigour to the coat.
For your Blacks I would suggest Plush Puppy Black Opal Shampoo. This is the very latest in enhancing black coats and tones that brown/red overtone from the coat. The more you use it the better the coat looks. If a little bit of black is good, then a lot is even better - this is the blackest black in the business. I recommend applying the worst areas directly and massaging in - then mixing at 1 part shampoo : 1 part water (50/50) in a mixing bottle and work through the coat and leave for 10 mins before rinsing.
After shampooing, rinse clean and then apply as your final leave in rinse, a mixture of 1 dessertspoon Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil, 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Swishy Coat and 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner. All this is to 4 L (1 gallon) of warm water. The Seabreeze Oil will hydrate the coat and skin plus reduce matting; the Swishy Coat will reduce the amount of grooming midweek and also reduce matting and the conditioner will close the hair cuticle after the weekends punishment at the show from the Top Knot preparation. At times you may have a dog with a damaged coat. This could be either from lack of care, skin problem or sun damage. For damaged coats, I would add to the final rinse, 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Coat Rescue. As the name suggests, this will rescue that damaged hair and help rebuild the coat. Has everything known to man that is good for a coat in this recipe and all naturally sourced.
For dogs going through that “oh so fun” coat change period, increase the amount of Seabreeze Oil and Swishy.
Now show prep. My truly favourite shampoo for all Poodles (especially if you have done your mid week shampooing home work) is Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo. It gives you the profuse, dense coat that the breed standard requires. I would use at a 1 part shampoo : 5 parts water breakdown. After rinsing, ask your self a few simple questions (1) do I want more coat? (2) what is the condition of the coat?(i.e. too dry and brittle) (3) all is good?
For more coat I would rinse with a combination of 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Volumising Cream and 1 teaspoon of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil to( 4 L or 1 gallon of water). Apply liberally.
For Dry and Brittle coats I would use 1 teaspoon of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream and 1 teaspoon of Seabreeze Oil to (4L or 1 gallon of water).
If all is good, then I would just final rinse in 1 teaspoon of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil to (4L or 1 gallon water).
All these final rinses are to be left in and all based on 4L or 1 gallon of water, applied liberally i.e. saturated in the bath when the coat is wet. Remember that Plush Puppy products can be combined to suit your dog and coat.
Dry as normal. I always suggest using a Plush Puppy Pin Brush to start. This gets through the coat and has less drag on the hair. I always finish using a gentle slicker brush and long toothed comb. At this stage of the finishing process, one can also help to further improve the appearance of the coats. For instance I suggest using Plush Puppy Puffy Dog which is a firm hold styling mousse but is totally water soluble and doesn’t build up or get sticky in humidity. This is great for those poms that just don’t want to stand up. Same for those tails that lack that full and textured look. This can be applied directly to the area and worked in to a coat that is 75% dry. Then finish drying as normal. Also can be used on those sparse ears if needed. Poodles for shows must be 110% dried!
At the show it is important not to apply too much water / moisture to the coat, otherwise all those hours of drying will be to no avail. I use a grooming spray made up of one golf ball sized amount of Plush Puppy Reviva Coat to a large sized Plush Puppy spray bottle (500ml) of water. This will allow you to brush the coat without making it too wet. Reviva Coat hydrates the coat but does not change texture!
Now you can always reapply the Plush Puppy Puffy Dog to those areas of need (this time using 2 golf ball sized amounts of the mousse to a large Plush Puppy spray sized bottle/500 ml of water). Always best if you have access to a dryer but if not, a light spray and brush dry. After the show to break down the top knot, I use Plush Puppy OMG Grooming Spray! This is not called OMG for nothing - Oh My Goodness, it works!!! This is a concentrated grooming spray that can be made at any mixture strength or purchased as a 500ml spray Ready To Use. I use on knot knots at 1 part concentrate to 20 parts water. The great thing is it allows you to brush out the top knot without damaging the coat. A light spray and use the Plush Puppy Silver Bullet bristle brush. The bristle is much kinder on this delicate area. Remember lightly spray and lightly brush - repeat and repeat. Best results use a cool dryer as you brush.
Now the show has ended and you are home so don’t forget to start again with your mid week regime.
The work at home determines the finish you get at the shows and with Plush Puppy not only will you get the results you want but save valuable grooming time also.
With grateful thanks to Simon Briggs who lent his insight and experience to writing this article.
- Cheryl Le Court