Some Tips on Coat Care
by Dorothy Kendall, Orlane Lhasa Apsos
I’ve included an article on grooming on this
homepage, and I recommend you read that before you look at these tips.
Nothing takes the place of regular, disciplined grooming - but having
said that, all the grooming in the world won’t help if you’re
using the wrong products and the dog isn’t healthy and free of
internal and external parasites.
Too much brushing is as bad as not enough …
urine will damage coat, or stain it … so just rinsing with warm
water, patting dry and shaking in a little cornstarch will clean it
easily. You can also use the Absolutely Natural Groomaid … just
spray on urine on hair, and wipe off with soft absorbent paper towel;
it will neutralize the urine completely.
But the less brushing between baths, the better. Lhasas
don’t do well wrapped, their harsher coat texture tends to cause
breakage where the coat is folded over … rubber banding is better.
If you’re going to band the hair back, be sure to change the bands
every day - otherwise banding will cut the hair like little scissors!
For the Yorkshires, I make up a rinse of Absolutely Natural Conditioner
(2 tbsp.), Nutragena Bath and Body Oil (2 tbsp.) in a 16 oz. bottle,
and fill it up with distilled water. After a bath and rinse, I shake
the mixture well, put about 2 oz. in a large bowl of warm water, and
pour over the dog. I then brush this through the coat well with a large
pin brush before I start drying.
A word about dryers. I know “fast” is
good most of the time, but I would be hesitant to use a blower with
a lot of force, it tends to whip the ends about, and can result in split
ends. Hot is not good, unless you keep the nozzle well away from the
dog, and dry him quickly. Place your hand on the dog where the blower
is blowing, and if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s WAY
to hot for the dog! So, medium speed and heat, dry the tummy and show
side first, then the other side.
Ironing is great to press down the hair cuticle, but
too hot of an iron will destroy the cuticle and seriously damage the
coat. Section the coat horizontally when you iron, don’t take
great bunches of hair at a time, and I fold white newsprint around the
hair before I iron a section. This protects the hair from direct heat,
and gives a smoother finish. If you need to, you can dampen the paper
with a fine mist of distilled water before you iron, this will take
a little longer, but the finish is spectacular. Remember how carefully
you iron a silk blouse? Same principle!
For anti-static, I use Absolutely Natural Glossifier
… works like a charm! Now about those sticky gels, gummy ointments
so many of you use on parts, and to keep hair out of eyes … if
this junk isn’t washed completely out after every show, you will
get a buildup that makes the hair brittle and subject to breakage. If
you’re showing outside, and it’s windy … may I suggest
that every other dog in the ring will be in the same condition? Some
Lhasas have wonderful hard, straight coats that the wind won’t
budge, but if you have a flyaway coat, just add a little more conditioner,
and use the Glossifier heavily … don’t resort to hair spray,
please. If you really feel you must, however, use the Groomaid and spray
those areas you’ve put junk on after showing - at least it will
neutralize the effect of the other chemicals!
For topknots, a slippery, slidy clean coat is hard
to work with … try the Absolutely Natural Coat Texturizer brushed
into the head hair, and let dry … you’ll find it so much
easier to “blouse” the hair, and it will stay where you
put it when the rubber bands go on.
If you’re showing a Toy Dog with lots of hair,
don’t leave the show grounds without re-wrapping or re-banding
… those few extra minutes mean better coat condition over the
months ahead. A bath when you get home, or the next morning will pay
off more than you can imagine - your competition is doing it, you can
I remember Peggy Hogg showing Maya Dancer in the Midwest
years ago … first thing in the breed ring, he was freshly bathed
and sparkling. Another bath before the Group, and if he won the Group,
and BIS wasn’t for a while, a third bath brought him into the
BIS ring as fresh and clean as he could possibly be! Lot of work? You
bet! Was it worth it? Just take a look at his record!