Advice on grooming for show - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on grooming for show

Hi, I am new to the show ring. One time only so far! My girl has a good build and a pretty face but her hair wasn't nearly at puffy as the others in the ring that day. In fact, the winner had a coat that reminded me of a Pomeranian. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit but i need to fluff up my girls hair. She is just about to turn 8 months and she has a show in one month, so i have some time. I've added some seaweed supplements to her diet and added one raw egg daily. Any recommendations for product? or anything else?
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:42 AM
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What is your current show routine?

I hedge a little about "fluffing up" because technically you don't want the coat blown open, even though there are some out there who do this.... it doesn't look good... you want the jacket to lie smooth.

There are products which do give the coat more body without blowing it open.

Bottom line is if you want to have a plush coat that looks good - you have to do a bath/blow dry minutes before showing.

You do need a pretty good dryer that does the job without drying out the coat or having you dry for ten million hours trying to get the coat perfect dry so your dog doesn't come off the table, shake, and get flips all over. Damp undercoats cause the flips....

You can practice by weekly baths at home until you are comfortable and confident about the whole routine. Everyone has a different routine which they follow like clockwork - and can time down to the barest second - because most do not want to have too much wait time between pre-show prep and entering the ring.... <= I started out giving myself 2 hours to groom. Having a dog with a fairly "trained coat" + experience + good dryer, I don't always start the bath/blowdry part of grooming until 1/2 hour before I head out to the ring. I would give yourself as much time as you need.

Pre show prep, you have a choice between using a spray bottle to spritz the dog wet to the skin so you can blow dry... or you can give a full bath the day of the show and blow dry.

CC has a couple different spray bottles which do the job at getting the dog soaked to the skin with the least amount of pumps. They just came out with a newer bottle which is even better than their double-pump spray bottle! o_O

How people blow dry + the products used = builds body.

You don't want to use hairsprays or other products which will make the coat feel tacky or stiff. You don't want the judge feeling it in the coat. And there are a few judges out there who will ABSOLUTELY zero in on whether there are products in the coat. So whatever products you use, you don't want to feel it in the coat.

A lot of the bodifier products feel fair natural if you have diluted them with water. Locally, a lot of people use CC Bottoms Up. Sort of because a local vendor has been pushing it quite a bit. Chris Christensen and Crown Royale both have other products which do the same thing.


Last edited by Megora; 04-20-2017 at 09:50 AM.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:43 AM
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I have never done confirmation so not much help. It sounds like you could use an experienced mentor... have you discussed this with the breeder, maybe they would be willing to help?
Are you a member of a GR club? Maybe someone there could give some hands on advice.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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GR Club? you mean in my area? I would think they wouldn't want to help since its so competitive out here. The breeder has been a lot of help, however, what the judges look for in her state is different from mine. She was very surprised at the winner in our first show.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:54 AM
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Other thing... set up near the handlers who win and see what they do.

Some handlers out there... be careful asking them for advice. I heard about one big handler out there who might deliberately give poor advice to a competitor. He's been known to do so.

Other people are going to be really great at helping. Having a local mentor is a big deal.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:44 AM
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You need to find some buddies who will help you. Offer to pay for pre-show and day-of-show grooming. Watch and learn and your dog will be ready for the ring.
Having said all that 8 months is an age where they can either have big poofy puppy coat or absolutely no hair at all, or anywhere in between. Don't compare your pup to others at this age.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:17 AM
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This probably isn't helpful-- we are very new to the show world so this is more of an outsider's observation.

But I think it's important to remember to help your dog look her best vs. look like other dogs. I know exactly what you mean about the Pomeranian coat and I fear this is going to be a new trend where extremes dominate the ring. There is one puppy here who is so large-boned and such a huge coat that he doesn't look like a Golden puppy at all. But that puppy tends to win.

So if your girl is more moderate then look for judges who appreciate that type and show under them.

There is a local man who seems like he does very little grooming of his dog beyond basic trimming. He's an owner-handler and competes in Amateur OH. He doesn't even use food to bait his dog. He basically shows up and runs around the ring. I appreciate that-- he enjoys his time with his dog and he is asking the judge to evaluate his dog, as-is. It's refreshing!
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I'm not sure if I would waste my time showing my dog if I'm not doing anything to present my dog at his best. It would really suck the joy out of showing if your dog gets dumped every time because he's poorly presented (meaning more than the physical handling skills which is another layer of complication for owner handlers).

The O/H class has good things about it... and bad things. Among else, you don't 100% get a good evaluation of your dog because in most cases you do not have competition in your class. You literally have the whole ring to yourself and get passed on to the Winners ring where you'll generally get dumped. The judges don't see enough of the dogs against others to make them stand out or give them something to remember when the dog goes into the Winners ring.

The Open dogs have a certain advantage goes into Winners because they were they were the last thing the judge looked at before Winners...

BUT, that said, the judges are looking at all the other class winners in order and picking the best dog out there.

A lot of judges are looking for good movement and the complete package.

Sometimes grooming can help embellish what the dog has. It's not always creative fluff to cover flaws.

Baiting is another thing that if you have a dog trained to bait - it gets their ears forward and heads set so the judge can see what the dog has. <= Unless you have a particularly dominant dog, they aren't going to be trotting around the ring and stacking with the heads up and ears continually up and forward.

(I had the pleasure of watching Anele's daughter compete with their boy last year. He was very nicely groomed, had a very nice big puppy dog head, and was a nice boy in the ring)


Last edited by Megora; 04-20-2017 at 02:00 PM.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:27 PM
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I should have prefaced my last post with... this is not what I would do or recommend but I like that someone out there is doing it, just to balance things out.

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Originally Posted by Megora View Post
I'm not sure if I would waste my time showing my dog if I'm not doing anything to present my dog at his best. It would really suck the joy out of showing if your dog gets dumped every time because he's poorly presented (meaning more than the physical handling skills which is another layer of complication for owner handlers).
I agree. It's too great of an investment of time and money for us to do it that way. But I'm glad that this owner is getting to participate in a way that works for him. It would be interesting to see how his dog would do with more grooming and better handling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
The O/H class has good things about it... and bad things. Among else, you don't 100% get a good evaluation of your dog because in most cases you do not have competition in your class. You literally have the whole ring to yourself and get passed on to the Winners ring where you'll generally get dumped. The judges don't see enough of the dogs against others to make them stand out or give them something to remember when the dog goes into the Winners ring.
Yes. We made this mistake the first show we entered (where you saw our dog). It was a good lesson in what not to do!

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Baiting is another thing that if you have a dog trained to bait - it gets their ears forward and heads set so the judge can see what the dog has.
Yes-- I completely agree. Again, not baiting our dog would not be an option for us, but some part of me still admires the man for trying to do it as naturally as possible. Either he doesn't know or doesn't care, but I appreciate that he's making an effort to participate in an activity with his dog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
I had the pleasure of watching Anele's daughter compete with their boy last year. He was very nicely groomed, had a very nice big puppy dog head, and was a nice boy in the ring.
Thank you!!! We were so happy to meet you. It was his first show and we had/have so much to learn.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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I do not have a show routine...yet! I should have spoken to the breeder before the show, instead I asked lots of questions after. Now I have ideas of what I need to do. I am going to watch this weekend to see if i can see what others are doing. Thank you for your suggestions of product. I think i just need to buy a few and see what works the best for her coat.
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