Long-time breeders, exhibitors, professional handlers and groomers make it look easy. They walk into the show ring with their perfectly coiffed dogs, and the observing novice thinks, “I want one of those!”
Few people realize that the Afghan Hound, Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frise, Norwich Terrier, Poodle or Puli they admire doesn’t wake up in the morning looking the way it does in the show ring, any more than a human model wakes up ready to pose for a magazine cover.
It takes talent and elbow grease to make any coated breed look the way it appears in a show ring. If you’ve chosen one of the breeds mentioned above (among others) you will face the daunting prospect of learning to scissor and sculpt (it requires more skill than you might think), cord (no, coats don’t just grow that way), clipper and even use a blow dryer effectively (it’s more than just point and shoot).
To give your dog the proper look, learn to use a wide array of grooming tools appropriately. If you plan to show your dog, you have to memorize your breed’s standard before you can use any of your knowledge or tools to your dog’s best advantage.
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