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Cairn Terrier

His job of seeking out small mammals in rocky cairns typifies him as a good hardy helpmate amid the rugged landscape and I love the quote from the AKC narrative that states, “Preserve the best in its best old working type”. Surely that’s what all breeds should strive for, but this breed description states it outright – Bravo!

To survive and have good workability, this terrier must have a good harsh outer coat and a soft close undercoat. The coat should be water-resistant i.e. weatherproof. The standard specifies the word harsh a couple of times and in the AKC standard lists as faults – open coats, blousy coats, too short or dead coats and lack of undercoat or head furnishings.

Thus it is imperative that one has a correct coat as indeed coat is stated as “very important” in the ANKC/FCI standard.

The ANKC/FCI standard does not mention anything to do with trimming or tidying but the AKC standard is specific in allowing ears, tail, feet and general outline to be tidied and that the coat must be clean & brushed.

Now I have seen the old school exhibitors who don’t subscribe to bathing or fripperies and those of the other persuasion that endorse grooming to the hilt. There is a happy compromise in all of this and to meet the letter of the law in the standard.

As one must adhere to a harsh coat and no dead coat as requested, bathing is, in fact, a great start to achieve the correct outcome as long as one knows how and what to do.

I am an advocate of bath/oil/dry routines for all show dogs. You do not soften a coat by regular bathing as long as one doesn’t have froth and bubbles up to the ceiling and uses a well-diluted shampoo to suit. The regular bathing allows you to rid the coat of that specified unwanted dead hair and oiling puts back the natural oil goodness that coats require. We never use a conditioner on a harsh coated breed as it softens and flattens.

For a breed that needs texture or added texture use Plush Puppy Texture + Shampoo – another product formulated using the latest technology to retain and improve coat texture. Recommended to thoroughly yet gently cleanse and deodorise the coat of Terriers and other wire, harsh or coarse coated breeds without softening or compromising texture. It’s ideal for boosting body and coarseness in coats of all colours and coat types. Formulated to be pH controlled, creates/ maintains texture, easy to rinse out and low irritant with a subtle apple fragrance. Incorporates Gentian Root Extract, Juniper Fruit Extract, St John’s Wort Leaf Extract, Norway Spruce Leaf Extract, Hayflower Extract, Lemon Balm Leaf Extract, Arnica Flower Extract. Use at 1:10 or apply undiluted directly to areas requiring cleansing. Rinse thoroughly.

For a shine shampoo on an excellent textured coat use  Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo which is a good shine shampoo or use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo if the dog has less hair or bodily substance than one would like.
I prefer this breed to be bathed with the All Purpose and the head which has to have “plenty” of furnishings, to be done with the Body Building shampoo. Dilute All Purpose at 10:1 i.e. 10 parts water to one-part shampoo and the Body Building Shampoo at 5:1. In fact if you are bathing every week then dilute even further to around 15:1 to a barely foaming application. Keep the Body Building shampoo at 5:1 because we want that head to be full. Body Building can be used with Texture + if you need that “more” look, i.e. head.

The face and expression are a hallmark of this breed. Cleaning the face without causing any irritation is so important, for this use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It – what the dog showing world has needed for way too long. Another one of the famous Plush Puppy products 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 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 rinse off all shampoo thoroughly and add a mix of 1 teaspoon Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil to 2 lt. / 0.5 gal. warm water and saturate the dog with this mix and LEAVE IN. Do not rinse. This wonderful blend of Evening Primrose Oil and Calendula Oil gives a fabulous reinforcement to the healthy vigour of the skin and coat with a natural sheen. It also puts back any removal of natural oils and allows you to continue on a weekly bath/oil/blow dry routine and thus present that requirement of a clean coat.

We do suggest some blow-drying – even just to remove the dead hair. No brushing or combing will ever rid the coat of ALL the dead hair as does a good bath and a blow-dry. Watch that dead hair fly.

By doing this weekly bath/oil/blow dry regime you will not get that moth-eaten, undercoat dumping that is so usual in double-coated breeds. The weekly dead hair removal allows the new hair to continually regenerate. You need to have that dog out in the ring constantly as after all, who would want to miss out on our weekly activity? This is the best way to ensure continuity in the ring and keep that coat looking its best.

Once the coat is tidied and dry, you need now to have a texture, harsh coat check. I know there are those who bath days ahead allowing the coat to re-harden before the show but for those who like pristine presentation and like to bath the night before, then there is a simple answer. Plush Puppy Powder Puff Terrier is a must-have. This will instantly harden and whilst I prescribe just a light dusting on the edge of the brush and flicked through the coat for perfection, there are those who like a really rock-hard coat so just add a touch more. This can when used more heavily, give you a wire hard coat. Also, perfect to use beforehand stripping and carding undercoat. If you are anti powders and I do emphasise that you brush the powder well into the coat and with such a small amount it ought not to be discernible, then use straight after the bath and applying when the coat is half dry, Plush Puppy Ruffy Tuffy Coat Spray. This is a softer feel to the coat and you again use just how much or little you like.

For those that require some extra hold use Plush Puppy HOLD is a strong sculpting spray scientifically formulated for shaping all types of coats on Show Dogs. The quick-drying formulation won’t become sticky and will not build-up. HOLD can be removed with ease by simply shampooing the coat. Contains Pro-Vitamin B5 to improve elasticity, moisture retention, and flexibility in their coat hair. We recommend using and storing at normal room temperature for a perfect mist spray. Optimum spray distance is approximately 30cm (12 inches).

If the head is not sufficiently well furnished, add a small amount of Plush Puppy Puffy Dog+ which is a stronghold mousse to the root area of the hair and blow-dry up with a Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush till almost dry and finish with a Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush which is an oval cushioned half dialon/half bristle brush. For legs try the amazing Plush Puppy Ultimate Slicker Brush. All these brushes are exclusive to Plush Puppy and made to last using the very best materials available.

I like that rugged bitsy look to the head when finished so am not adverse to rubbing a bit of Plush Puppy Sit N Stay between my fingers till the wet sticky feeling crosses over to a dry tacky feel and applying it to the root area of the hair around the head and pulling up with my fingers to the tips creating that tossed about style.

A good spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher for that added freshness to the dog as judges do use their nose as well as their eyes when they judge, it will deodorise and leave a pleasant non-offensive soft fragrance.

Now this fearless and active little terrier is ready for action in the show ring. He is a cheeky little individual full of gameness and assertiveness. He will work till he drops and get about that ring with their true terrier shape and style.

Plush Puppy Australia.