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French Bulldog

Reputedly descended from the “toy” bulldogs of the lace makers of Nottingham who went to France in search of work during the Industrial Revolution, this engaging and intelligent little dog is known for his trademark “bat” ears. He is a sturdy chap, exhibiting a silhouette that is compact and sturdy with a short naturally undocked tail.

Quite the little clown, yet courageous and alert, he is essentially a lap warmer though not one either to allow strangers unheralded access to your door. He is a great watchdog and full of curiosity.

His coat is a fairly easy one to maintain, but for the show person where every advantage is sought, the perfection to coat is paramount. As this is not a “hairdo” dog, it is up to the exhibitor to ensure that what they do have is absolutely bang on the money. No excuses with a coat that is not up to the level on a Frenchie.

The standard basically calls for a coat of fine texture that is smooth and lustrous, short and close. Relatively a low maintenance coat, nonetheless, the work for this coat begins many weeks before the show. It takes weeks to grow a hair from the hair bulb till it sees light of day and then has to grow length. So, what you see now is what you did many weeks ago. Feed well and treat well and the results will be there.

We are an advocate of bath, oil, and blow-dry. It’s really as simple as that. However, it has to become a mantra. Repetition and repetition. The more you do the better it gets. We were always pushed away from bathing too much fearing that the coat would dehydrate and rightly so. However, we now have better products and techniques available and Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil allows you to rehydrate that coat so you can bath and blow-dry. Blow drying gets out all the dead hair and fast. Of course one must use a cool force dryer. Just watch that dead hair fly even after you think you have brushed this coat till there could not possibly be any dead hair.

First thing when bathing is to start with its most important feature the head, use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It Shampoo – is what the dog showing world has needed for way too long. Another one of the famous Plush Puppy products that with the latest 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 soothes, 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. Perfect for those eye safety and facial folds.

So, the routine should be, starting with the bath, the shampoo of choice is selected according to what outcome you want for that particular dog. Mostly for the French Bulldog, one would use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo which is the shine shampoo. However, for pied Frenchies, use the Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo for toning white areas and reducing unwanted warm, rusty tones even in the brindles. Use all the shampoos at a diluted ratio of 5:1 i.e. 5 parts water to one part shampoo.

For pieds that need extra whitening on stained areas such as feet and hocks 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 glycerine. This product is designed to remove gently unwanted warm/red tones to the coat. Best used on a damp/wet coat. Gently rub into the areas required allowing 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.

After rinsing then mix into a large container/bucket/jug (2 litres/ 1/2 gal) warm water and 1-2 teaspoons Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. Saturate the coat with this mix and leave-in, don’t rinse. This will give the coat that lovely healthy vigour and add protection. Now blow dry, using a cool force dryer. This removes all the dead hair with the theory being, that the quicker it comes out, the quicker it grows back. Thus one can minimise shedding. You can reduce that horrid stage of looking moth-eaten or patchy. You will tend to “roll” the coat rather than dump the coat and be able to extend the show season for your dog. I swear by this routine.

For those Frenchie that can have skin, issues use Plush Puppy Sensitive Skin Shampoo diluted 3:1 (i.e. 3 parts water to one part shampoo) until the condition begins to clear and then dilute further down to as much as 10:1. Repeat at the stronger concentration whenever the condition reappears This is a dog who has a few wrinkles here and there and humidity and environmental issues can be a bother to this dog. Keep on top of it before it becomes an issue.

You can mix a little Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil with water 500 ml warm water and 1 teaspoon Seabreeze Oil into a water spray for extra protection during the period when not showing the dog. It doesn’t take the place of the saturation routine after the bath but does assist between times. Shake before use.

Once every few weeks, it’s not a bad idea to give the coat an extra-deep treatment with Plush Puppy Coat Rescue especially for a bitch that has had a litter or if the coat has got away from you and looks dehydrated and in desperate need of moisture. Mix a good dessertspoon of Coat Rescue with a cup of warm water to disperse the treatment evenly and thoroughly and leave on for 10 minutes and then rinse off. This is wonderful.

For mid-week brushing and grooming, you can’t beat an application of a good leave-in moisturiser. Plush Puppy Reviva Coat is wonderful for rehydrating the hair, keeping the scurf at bay plus retaining texture but still adding moisture. You can’t slather too much of this product on. It never gets greasy and is great for your breed which is ostensibly an indoor dog who loves lounging all over the sofas. All the mixes I have given for this breed, are with the lifestyle of this breed in mind.

Thus your Frenchie is about routine and persistence. You don’t have to sculpt nor shape but you do have to work at the condition. Being an indoor dog can often lead to dry, scurfy skin from air conditioning or heating, etc and the above routine will minimise the problems.

On show day you can still do a bit of fluffing about. Use on whites of pieds Plush Puppy Cover up Cream applied in thin layers to white areas needing cover. Apply with a barely damp sponge and allow 5 seconds or so between applying the next layer. Then dust with chalk or powder and allow to finish drying and brush with a soft brush just prior to ring time.

Keep on hand, Plush Puppy Wonder Wash which is a no-rinse instant cleanser. With Wonder Wash, you spray the area then lather up with your hands and towel off for instant clean. Dogs do have accidents and for spot cleaning such as a mishap or for cleaning feet, this will really deodorise and cleanse. Wonder Wash does lather well.

Spray prior to ring time with Plush Puppy Odour Muncher which is also a deodoriser and a light fragrance. I love the dogs to smell beautiful. You can add a touch of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust sifted with the fingers sparingly to the topline or just a tiny bit onto a brush and flick the brush through the area you want to accent. This gives a lovely shimmer. Don’t overdo it – this dog is a dog, not a Christmas Fairy! Then, last but not least, spray with Plush Puppy Shine and Comb. Hold the bottle about 12″/30 cm away and lightly mist into the air and allow the mist to fall on the top line. Run your hands over the coat and look at that incredible sheen.

Thinking ahead and well ahead, is the answer for this coat. Your hard work is all done long before the show and is basically routine by the week of the show and for every show thereafter once the coat is at peak.

You have a darling dog. They are quite special, and they are well behaved, adaptable plus makes a very comfortable companion. In the ring, his free and vigorous gait and unrestrained action is a joy. His lovely even disposition shines like his coat as he presents on the stack. What an adorable breed! One finds it hard to go past a good one and even harder when it is presented to its best.

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