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I guess that I find my dogs' dirt attractive or something, since I pretty much never bathe them and don't regularly brush them ... and they do come into the house (but thank God for the Neato robo-vac)!
Honestly, my 6 year old male has had maybe 2 baths in his life, and one was after a skunking; the two 8 month old puppies have never had a bath and been brushed maybe 4 - 6 times. Our adult female is a children's hospital therapy dog, so she gets brushed and dry-bathed every two weeks, but only because she visits the hospital and often jumps in bed with the patients.
And these dogs are trained for field trials relatively hard somewhere from 2 to 4 days a week. Notably, we don't have cockle burs or beggar's lice on our training properties, or any known "mean seeds," so we're lucky in that regard ... we do, however, have water and mud; admittedly, if the mud is dripping off of them, they get to spend the night in the kennel.
So I cannot say that "coat care" has a place in my routine.

One related story (and I apologize for this being something of a brag, but it is related to the topic) ... I was running a dog in an all age stake; out of an entry of 79 dogs, only 4 had made it to the last series water marks and my pooch was one of them (said dog was the only dog that, according to the judges, had properly done the water blind); the water triple was being run at a lake surrounded by cockle burs; after each mark, said dog came back LOADED with cockle burs, to the extent that the judges allowed me to pull them out of the pads and armpits between the marks (at one point, there were 4 people attending to this dog and the cockle burs). That dog had more guts, desire, courage, strength, intelligence, and determination than any other that I've ever seen, whether gold, black, yellow or brown. We got the blue.
 

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FT

This past Sunday I was asked to work a dog at a tower shoot. It was on a farm. There were three pigsties on the farm and of course the mud extended beyond the fencing. Well Buffy decided it was time to roll in the mud. YUCK! OK, back at the cars there was a pond. Six retrieves with a bumper and she was all cleaned up. BIG PLUS---Bath for the year!
 

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Am sharing the attached for fun (plus, I'd just been looking at the pictures because yesterday would have been the blondie's birthday)....

Three different dogs.

And all three generally only got 1 bath a year, if that.

Note though - they almost practically never went swimming. For reasons.

The darkest redhead - was about 2 years old in the picture. By age 3, he began showing symptoms of renal failure, including him losing most of his undercoat and coat on his belly. Right up to the end of his life when he was 6, he still looked shiny and beautiful in the sun though. I think most redheads have that lustrous gleam to their coats like that....

The reddish gold boy had a silky coat that was more like a spaniel's coat. This got worse after he was neutered. That silky coat was prone to matting.

The blondie was the only one who sometimes (2-3 times a summer?) was taken to lakes for swimming and that was MISERABLE because it was too much time spent letting him dry when he was younger and then he had an old dog's coat by the time he was a 9+ year old senior (very thick and like a sponge, sort of like the spay coat shown earlier in this thread) and I wish I had a dog dryer back then for him because his quality of life would have gone way up, especially with me being able to let him swim all he wanted multiple times a week like my guys do... and not having to worry about him having that "post flood wet basement" smell for weeks afterwards.

Funny thing about the blondie is that he didn't shed like a normal dog. His coat was so dense that he shed in tufts of fur. Probably made worse because we didn't really brush him too often (I still do not brush my dogs that often). Those tufts of fur would become mats on his butt and neck too....

^^^ All 3 dogs for the reasons given are reasons why I'm completely nutso about making sure that when I go hunting for the next puppy, that he will have the internal health + external health + coat quality that my current 2 boys have. It's also why I have to speak up every time that people shouldn't just dumb down quality of coat to not having to bathe the dogs. Or look at a dog with a show coat and assume it's a nightmare to keep nice.

There's a lot of people out there kibitzing about coats as though it's all about length and based on sufficient amount of field titled dogs in pedigree, but there's a lot more to having a very easy to care for coat on your dog. Health matters + texture also matters. You can have a full show coat on your dog and not really have to put too much effort into keeping that coat clean and well groomed.

I'm speaking honestly here, the worst part about taking my current 2 boys swimming has nothing to do with them at all. It's the fact my car doesn't have leather seats. Getting through summer with the dogs swimming, it ends up stinking to high heaven because of the moisture soaking into the seats. <= My next car WILL have leather or vinyl seats.
 

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I did not get a chance to read thru all the comments but out of a bunch of labs to choose from at a pheasant shoot I was asked if I could bring Rose on the upland hunt afterwards. She has already worked two turns that day. She was phenomenal! Went into burrs and under cover and brought those pheasants out. She even brought home a nice tip!

The "clean up" was not as extensive as people think. By the time we got home the mud was dry on all three, a quick brush and a comb to get the burrs and they were all done. I would have done the comb any way to get the ticks. So I would have done the same work regardless of dog breed.
 

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Many people are surprised at how well a well bred Golden can work.
 

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One related story (and I apologize for this being something of a brag, but it is related to the topic) ... I was running a dog in an all age stake; out of an entry of 79 dogs, only 4 had made it to the last series water marks and my pooch was one of them (said dog was the only dog that, according to the judges, had properly done the water blind); the water triple was being run at a lake surrounded by cockle burs; after each mark, said dog came back LOADED with cockle burs, to the extent that the judges allowed me to pull them out of the pads and armpits between the marks (at one point, there were 4 people attending to this dog and the cockle burs). That dog had more guts, desire, courage, strength, intelligence, and determination than any other that I've ever seen, whether gold, black, yellow or brown. We got the blue.
To put this into perspective for anyone not running field trials, the memory of this dog was incredible! Can you imagine your own dog watching 3 birds thrown out in a field with brush at distances of between 80 to 400 yards and remember where all 3 fell to pick them up individually and bring them back? Each bird may fall hundreds of yards apart too! Then add in the time in between each retrieve to get burrs pulled off. I'm going to guess the total time from watching all 3 birds fall to retrieving all 3 birds had to be 15 to 25+ minutes total time. Can you imagine your own dog remembering all that information and completing the series accurately? Then winning that day! That is one incredible dog!

Thanks for sharing FT!
 
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