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The Boston Terrier is a short-coated dog. The tighter his coat fits to his body and the more like velvet it is — so much the better for the dog. A good coat on a Boston Terrier is one of his greatest assets. Too often do we see otherwise handsome dogs marred by a bad coat.
Coat is sometimes a matter of condition. A dog with a bad stomach rarely has a good coat. Feeding plays a part in setting that matter straight – avoiding a heavy meat diet often times helps immensely.
Climatic conditions also pay a part in determining the texture of a dog’s coat. Dogs in a very cold climate have heavier coats naturally, while those in a very warm climate have a tendency to bleach out and become dry.
Keep That Satin Coat
Some dogs naturally have coats that nothing seems to bother – they are like satin from the tip of their nose to the extreme toe-nails on hindfeet. These dogs are few and far between.
The satin-like condition can be accomplished on any healthy Boston terrier by constant grooming and careful treatment. A coat that appears rough is usually rough from old hair that has not been properly shed and can be removed by either stiff brushing or combing with a fine steel comb. Hand rubs on a Boston terrier are even more effective than brushing.
Resin Brings Out Dead Hair
Powdered resin on the hands will bring out all of the dead hair. Resin, however, has a hardening effect on the hair and after its use the dog should be well oiled to counteract that.
The use of raw cod liver oil after the resin, hand rubbing will bring the best results. Oil the dog thoroughly and then blanket him and keep the blanket on for a week. At the end of the week give the dog a bath, using any good dog soap or plain raw castile soap – rinse him thoroughly and dry him carefully first with a towel and then hand rub him until every hair is down in place. The result will be well worth the work. I have seen dogs with coats that look extremely poor come out after this treatment with beautiful, tight fitting, glossy coats.
An excellent dog dressing can be made from equal parts of bay rum and olive oil. This rubbed into the coat a day or two before the show and even just before the dog is judged aids immensely, though care should be taken not to make the dog too greasy.
This preparation on a very dark dog should be used with care, as a very dark dog that is wet with this preparation appears black and the brindle is hard to find, even though it is there in sufficient quantities.
As mentioned before, there is nothing better than good hand rubbing. The hair should never be rubbed against the grain and he dog should always be dried with the grain of his coat. Russian oil is also a coat aid used by many. If one desired to keep a dog oiled constantly it would be well to use this oil about once every two weeks.
Bathe Before the Show
A dog that has been oiled should be bathed at least twenty-four hours before the show, as the coat needs that time to take on its gloss.
A coat that is too long can be shortened considerably by the use of sand paper. Sandpaper the coat gently, as you would a piece of fine wood. Don’t attempt to accomplish the result with one sandpapering, but do it every day over a period of days until you have the coat just as you want it. Care should be taken not to irritate the dog’s skin.
Many of the fanciers keep their dogs blanketed constantly. A heavy blanket has the tendency to ruffle the coat, so a cotton or some other light material blanket is best for house wear. The blanket should be one that fits snugly and does not interfere with the dog’s freedom in any way. This use of a blanket has the tendency to keep a dog’s coat in condition.
Excerpted from Dog World magazine, April 1927. For back issues of Dog World, click here.