One of the oldest of breeds originating in Scotland and Northern England, the Collie was seen and sponsored by Queen Victoria and thus went from being just the Shepherd’s Dog to a loving family dog to even the royal and rich.
Known for his elegant and beautiful appearance, the Collie in both coat forms is true to many of the Scottish and northern English breeds requiring a harsh outer coat allowing him to withstand the bitter winters and outdoor working life. His dense undercoat protected and kept him warm and dry.
To present this dog for the show ring, it is a joy to be able to work with such a magnificent and abundant coat and allow it to display all the glory of the silhouette of this magnificent breed. The secret being always, to retain texture to the coat to exhibit the hallmarks of his working ancestry. He is an outdoor dog and worked in damp, harsh and rough terrain. Like the sheep, he herded, his coat also had to be impervious to the elements.
For best fullness to the coat, shampoo the main body of the coat with Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo diluted 5:1 (i.e. 5 parts water to one part shampoo) for even dispersion and economy of use. Nothing gets volume to the coat like this shampoo. It is fabulous. For the white areas, use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo diluted again 5:1. For the Blue Merles and the Tri’s, you can mix 1/2 Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo and 1/2 Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo to get lift and tone all at once on the main part of the coat and then use the Whitening Shampoo only on any white areas. The Whitening does not lighten but rather tones, reducing any unwanted warm tones. Thus, a rusty reddish tone to some of the black-coated areas can be deepened and the reddish hues reduced using the Whitening Shampoo. Plush Puppy Black Opal Shampoo diluted 50/50 can be used on badly faded black areas of the coat being mindful not to get it on the white areas. I am a great one for using different shampoos in different areas of the coat to get maximum effect rather than using one overall shampoo. Plush Puppy shampoos do more than just clean – they really do something. They are outcome-oriented for direct results.
For the Smooth Collies, choose Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo for shine, diluted 5:1 and you can also mix 1/2 this and 1/2 Whitening Shampoo for reducing unwanted reddish tones or for Blue Merle coats to gain shine and tone.
For faces and the head use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It is what the dog showing world has needed for way too long. Another one of the famous Plush Puppy products that with the latest technology and the highest amounts of naturally sourced ingredients has developed a product that is a must! This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed for faces. It’s no tear formula with the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro-Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean soothes, adds moisture, aids healing, and has anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amounts directly to the face and eye area allows you to thoroughly clean without causing irritation. Can be used in and around ears also with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows easy of rinsing yet complete cleaning.
Now to maintain that texture, don’t use conditioner on the main body of the coat. Conditioner will flatten and soften. Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil diluted 1 tablespoon to 4 L /1gal warm water and saturate the coat to the skin using a large sponge. Leave in and do not rinse. This will give tremendous healthy vigour to the coat and yet keep all that harshness to the coat. Just what is needed for a herding dog’s coat! If you are requiring a lot of coat, then add 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Volumising Cream in with the oil and water mix to save time. Great for out of coat situations or when you just want more coat and who doesn’t?
For the hips and pants where you have greater lengths of coat and want the coat to hang, you need to add a very weak application of conditioner remembering this flattens and softens, so you will then have to do something after that to keep texture. Ok, so mix 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner to 1 litre/1quart warm water and saturate the pants and hips. You can eave in or rinse – this is a weak application so saves time doing it this way, gets even dispersion and ensures you can repeat the routine every time. (The Collie Smooth does not need this.)
So now you have the Rough Collie, oiled on his main body coat and conditioned on his hips and pants and perhaps the featherings to keep from tangling. Already you are building the silhouette rather than just cleaning only. Now blow dry using a force dryer hose working the hair of the coat against the growth to get maximum lift at the roots. This also removes any dead undercoat keeping the coat rolling most of the time without the usual heavy seasonal shedding. Do this often enough, and we do this weekly, you can keep an adult male in showable coat for a few years. As the dead coat is removed, the new is allowed to grow. It also helps prevent hot spots by never allowing the coat to felt underneath keeping the skin clear.
For between show maintenance to the coat and slather Plush Puppy Reviva Coat all throughout the coat for an easy leave-in moisturiser. Spray a mix of Seabreeze Oil – 1 teaspoon to 500 ml of water all underneath and around the pee feathers – to protect. Apply a good dose of the same mix to the ends of the lengths of the coat. Leave in all week. Once a month, mix up an application Plush Puppy Coat Rescue – 2 heaped tablespoons to 1 cup water and work through the coat after you have shampooed. Leave in for 15 minutes or for as long as the dog will stay still and then rinse. Apply the Seabreeze Oil as for the show preparation and leave in.
For brushing during the week and for show day, mix Plush Puppy OMG Concentrate 30:1 i.e. 30 parts water to one part OMG. Just brilliant for dematting, static-free brushing, keeping the lengths of the pants from tangling and giving a great finish to the coat.
On show day apply Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream is a great cover for stains or discolouration. Excellent on “red” area on worn elbows and to the white on the muzzle. When you really need to cover stains your whites or intensify white areas. Apply with a barely damp sponge using a small amount. Build up coverage as required layer by layer. Then use powder or chalk as required whilst cream is drying. Brush off excess when dry. Add a tiny bit of Plush Puppy Chalkestral with your fingertips to the white legs to assist holding the white powder you apply. You need something to help grip and to protect the coat from abrasion. Best of all is Plush Puppy Fairy Frost, a better & innovative approach to the usual methods of white chalking/adding powder to coats. Clings well and doesn’t clump. Adds crisp white tone and cover to all coats without creating harshness. The whitest, brightest powder around. Clings – all day. Fine & Easy to use. A little goes a long way. Naturally sourced – no chalk or talc. Use instead of chalk. Can mix with your usual white powder. Best for glamorous perfect whites. Never gets clumpy, even when wet. Apply with the Plush Puppy Ultimate Powder Application Brush. Work well into the area where required for enhancing whites and cover.
Plush Puppy Wonder Wash for “those show day” last-minute emergencies too as this will clean up the whites, pronto. Just spray foam with the fingers and towel off.
Spray again just before ring-time. I also like a spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher for a nice clean smelling dog. It literally deodorises and gives a pleasant fragrance to the dog negating most odours with ease. I also use it on the dog’s mats if I am being flamboyant and frivolous. I can be very frivolous when I am away for a cluster of shows and cannot find time nor facilities for another bathing.
Your beautifully presented Collie is quite a sensation in the show ring. He is one of those wonderful dogs who has a working heart but a movie star appearance. He is all dog and can earn his keep, but, is a really pretty face at the same time. His lovely single tracking gait at speed, with good long-reaching stride, shows a well-balanced and capable dog. He is all loyalty and all action. Your job is to ensure he looks at his peak and whilst not a traditional “hairdo” dog, can with that superb coat, take them all on in the glamour stakes. What a magnificent dog!
Plush Puppy Australia