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Golden Retriever

In the early 1800s game was plentiful in England and Scotland, and hunting was both a sport and a practical way of obtaining food. Retrievers came into prominence because of the desire for a medium-sized dog that would do well in wild-fowling, both waterfowl and upland game. During the 19th century, gamekeepers at the Guisachan estate of Lord Tweedmouth at Inverness-Shire, Scotland, kept records of the development of the Golden.

Your Golden is symmetrical, balanced, active, powerful, level mover; sound with kindly expression. Biddable, intelligent and possessing natural working ability. Kindly, friendly and confident.

His coat should be dense and water repellent with a good undercoat and neither coarse nor too silky. His outline should be natural and untrimmed. As this coat also needs to be a rich lustrous golden colour, whatever you use should enhance the shine of the coat without making it fluffy or soft.

Between the shows I recommend oiling the coat with Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil at a ratio of 1 tbspn to 1 gallon/4 litres water. Saturate the coat and work well into the coat with a sponge or carefully pour over and squish well through. Then use the oil straight from the spray, applied undiluted to the areas around where they pee. This is a bad area for breakage. Keeping it oiled will help to prevent the coat getting brittle or tangled and will dissuade the accumulation of debris from the yard. This is a super oil as it is water soluble and won’t build up or be nasty to live with. It is also all naturally derived and there is nothing quite like it. I like the depth of colour it tends to add to the coat and the wonderful healthy vigour that goes with continued use.

For a show routine, I recommend using Plush Puppy All Purpose shampoo for great shine and best suited to the Golden, (at a ratio of 3:1 i.e. 3 parts water to one part shampoo). At Times when the Golden’s coat gets a little greasy, use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo. Ideal for deep cleaning of the coat. If your Golden is out of coat, then I suggest Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo. Gives a bodified appearance to the silhouette. Dilute all shampoos for a show bath at the ratio of 3:1. After shampooing condition with Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner diluted at the same ratio as the shampoo. I only condition the feathers at this ratio. I prefer a much weaker ratio of 15:1 for the topline. You don’t want over softening of this area or to make it fluffy.

Okay here’s where the harder stuff begins. In order to get that soft draping fall to the lengths without wave, use Plush Puppy Swishy Coat. There are those who like to apply it undiluted but I always recommend dilution as you have a large dog and it is easier to get it evenly applied and just right this way. Dilute at a ratio of 1 tbspn to 3 cups water depending on the texture of the coat. You can dilute further or less. Sponge or pour thoroughly through the coat ensuring even distribution. Squeeze out excess and blow dry. I also, even for show baths, include a small amount of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil to this final rinse. I suggest 1 teaspoon which can included with the Swishy in 4 L or 1 gallon of water and left in.

Use a Plush Puppy Oval Pin Cushion Brush for this as you don’t want to rip the coat or overstretch at this point. When ¾ dry, switch to an oval ½ bristle ½ plastic brush such as the Plush Puppy Anti Stat Brush. This will give you that smoother, straighter and glossier finish to your drying that the pin brush won’t do. I also like to get in under the lengths with the brush and gently bend the ends around the curve of the brush. I never entirely dry with a top brushing action only. I find this just flicks the short pieces in the coat outwards and gives that fly away look to the coat. We are after a polished professional look that once you have mastered, is just breathtaking.

Should you have a coat that is too curly or wavy, you can add a tbspn of Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream to the Swishy Coat mix asthis will further flatten the coat.

On show days Plush Puppy OMG is a great grooming spray. The Concentrate can be diluted to suit each dogs coat type. As a general rule I would say a 1 part OMG to 15 parts water would be a great. This reduces static, allows for easy show day pre and won’t build up on the coats.

The trimming is relatively easy but does need attention and time. The Standard states feet may be trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of coat or outline should not be altered by cutting or clipping.

The featherings need perhaps just a gentle shaping with thinning scissors for a softer effect giving a fairly natural look to the curve. You are only removing the stray ends and the end result is still to shape the dog to his best without looking totally contrived. All excess feathering is to be removed from the feet.

On Show day, spray with Plush Puppy Odour Muncher and Plush Puppy Shine & Comb for that final glamour. I do like a dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust just lightly applied on strategic areas with your brush. The secret is just a dusting and not to turn it into the glitter fairy.

Your Golden with his kindly expression, all alert and full of confidence, is now ready to compete, showing himself with good reach and co-ordination as a retiever of the gundog group should be, all fit and in hard working condition. This loveable and trustworthy dog is always reliable and always a delight to behold.