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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Over the years it seems the most requests for assistance with coat grooming are from the Cavalier exhibitors. This delightful breed seems to elicit all sorts of questions from all over the world and the recent Crufts was no exception. As the standard calls for a longish silky coat that is free from curl with plenty of feathering, there is a lot of scope for advice. Whilst wave is permitted, curl is not. You will want to have volume on the ears but keep the body of the coat lying closer and the featherings dried smoothly. The different coat colours allowed for also generate different techniques to keep in optimum condition. Colours must be kept rich and not allowed to fade. You can’t beat the Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo for coat shine. The Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo is great for the white areas and the Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo brilliant for more intense cleansing or to remove unwanted build-up of products. Use all shampoos at a ratio of 5 parts water to one part shampoo.

The Whitening Shampoo is a toning shampoo so is effective for minimising unwanted warm tones in the coat e.g. yellow, rusty tones and to generally cool down reddening on a black coat. For greater whitening use.

Plush Puppy Wonder Blok; this product is one of our proudest achievements in helping to maintain a white stain free coat. It’s not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals but with the use of modern technology and high amounts of naturally sourced vegetable surfactants and glycerin. This product is designed to gently remove unwanted warm/red tones to the coat. Best used on a damp/wet coat. Gently rub into the areas requiring allow time (5-10 minutes) and rinse. For maximum effects repeat or allow a longer time for this amazing product to work. As with all products take care around eyes.

With this head type and eye use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It Shampoo; 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 of technology and the highest amounts of naturally sourced ingredients has developed into a product that is a must! This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed for faces. It’s a nil fragrance, no tear formula with the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean, sooth, add 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 rinsing yet complete cleaning.

Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner at a ratio of 10:1 (10 parts water to one part conditioner can be used up to 20:1). Apply to the dog, massage in and then rinse. Plush Puppy T.L.C. Coat Conditioner can also be used for this. An amazing product in a spray form where you can control the amount and area sprayed.

For brushing this coat, make sure you are using a moisturiser first rather than attacking a dry coat. Plush Puppy O.M.G. is a revolutionary grooming spray that lives up to it’s name. OMG is the perfect product for this coat type. A light spray of OMG and brushing in allows this product to refresh the coat leaving it feeling wonderful it separates the coat and leaves the most amazing finish. Using at an approximate mixture of 1 part OMG to 20-40 parts water using this break down from the OMG concentrate or OMG ready to use. The stronger the mix the stronger there effects. Different dogs at different coat stages means different mixtures. Higher the amount of OMG to greater effects. Using OMG can be a one off at shows or during the drying process after bathing. An amazing product for regular brushing also as it hydrates the coat and reduces stress and coat loss. OMG and as its active ingredients smooth the cuticle and protect the coat. For this coat type that you still wish to retain the texture at a higher breakdown will still allow you to brush the dog and refresh to coat without over softening. If you need more softening and hydration to a fuller or larger coat then a higher mixture is needed. OMG can also be used on top coats and brush/polished in for that wonderful smooth and flatness to the coat. OMG never builds up, never goes stringy. A product that took years to develop using the latest of technology for maximum effects. A true necessity for the tool kit.

It is a constant discipline to remember to do the rituals of good maintenance. We can all tap-dance and fly into panic trying to remedy a coat that is less than wonderful prior to a show but it sure is easier to have a good coat condition to start with.

Should the coat need salvage techniques just prior to a show then Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream - 1 tablespoon to 1 cup/250 mls water - will instantly soften and flatten an overly dry coat but unfortunately won’t grow the length on those featherings for you. For show time grooming, you will need to do two techniques - one for the body and featherings and one for the ears where you want more lift and fullness. The featherings should not be curly so apply Plush Puppy Swishy Coat at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 500mls of water. Saturate the featherings with a liberal spray or sponge through.

You can dilute further or less but this is a good starting point for the average coat. Variations will occur with coats so you will need to adjust this dilution rate to suit. Using a cushioned oval Plush Puppy Pin Brush, dry till ¾ dry as this won’t stretch the featherings then switch to the Plush Puppy Porcupine Brush which is an oval cushioned half bristle/half nylon brush to finish by smoothing the featherings. I use the two brushes as it is detrimental to the coat to overly stretch hair when wet hence the use of the Pin brush first till almost dry. The Swishy Coat will help to keep the coat smooth and straight and shiny. Now apply the Plush Puppy Volumising Cream at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 1 cup water and spray well onto the ear featherings or sponge on liberally. For easier use Plush Puppy Volumising Spray is a ‘Ready To Use’ for quicker, easier and fuller coat results. Perfect either before blow-drying or used to ‘fluff’ up the coat at the show. A light even spray, brush in until dry or use a dryer. Produced for easy use and scientifically balanced for all coat types. This is a hair thickener to add volume - not a hair stiffener and not easily detectable as it leaves the coat with a natural fuller look and feel.

Use the Pin Brush to ¾ dry and either finish with the air from the dryer and your fingers for a more tousled finish or lightly complete with the Pin Brush for a more regulated but still loose but full finish. The picture you are trying to achieve with this breed is for a wider look to the ears so that they appear to fan forward to frame the face when alert. Now the hardest part is done and out of the way. The rest is a roll down the hill to the show. It’s a good feeling to have the hard work done and the fluffing only to do on the day. Just keep those ears dry with a snood and keep the Plush Puppy Wonder Wash and a dryer handy for the featherings underneath when the dog pees indiscreetly.

The show ring beckons and for the fidgety exhibitors such as myself

you will have no problems finding things to do so let’s make it

effective. A light sprinkle of

Plush Puppy Pixie Dust

onto the brush and tapped lightly through the coat just catches the

glints of sunlight or spotlight. Not too much. Your little pixie is not

the glitter fairy so don’t turn him into one. If you can see it when you

put this on, then you have gone overboard. It does look sensational but

needs a wise hand. Finally, a very light spray of

Plush Puppy Shine & Comb

onto the topline and sprayed from a distance to keep it spread lightly

and effectively and you are ready to hit the stage. The Cavalier was a

favourite of the royal courts and is a favourite of yours and many

others today. He is a happy little chappy and shown to perfection with a

great grooming routine, he is just something else again. He has a lot

of natural ability in his appearance that just needs tender loving care.

Such a wonderful breed.

CHERYL LECOURT