Showing and Grooming Your Cardigan Welsh
Corgi For AKC
*Please note that these are our
personal equipment recommendations and basic grooming routines.
It's just something to help those who are just starting out in the
great sport of purebred dogs and don't have a clue where to even begin.
Equipment You Will Need
to Get You Started
C. Miscellaneous Things You Will Need to
Take To The Show
D. Grooming Routine at Home Before
Heading To The Show
E. Grooming Routine at The
Basic Equipment You Will Want to Purchase –
There are many show
equipment/products suppliers such as Cherrybrook, but you won't normally be able
to find all of the show equipment that you will need at the average pet supply
store at the mall. - Check out several websites by doing a search for your
equipment and compare prices. There are also vendors at almost all show sites
that will carry most or possibly all of the items you will need or want.
+ crate pads…..actually
three for each dog is good. You can then leave one at the show site, one in
your vehicle, and one for the motel room so you won’t have to lug one crate
around….but one crate can work to get started. A wire crate is best for shows
because sometimes the grooming areas aren’t air-conditioned and they provide
for better air-flow. Sometimes you might need to take a fan along to position
in front of your dog’s crate to keep him comfortable.
Grooming table, arm,
clamp, and grooming loop……
You will eventually need a table that has a surface that is about 36 -
long if you show an adult Cardigan. I like the larger tables.
Actually, I have one of both. You’ll use this table at home and at the
shows so it’s a good investment. There are all sorts of tables. They all
fold, which is a must, but some have bells and whistles like casters on the
bottom of the table which enable you to wheel in the folded down table, and even put
a crate on top and kill two birds with one stone. Sometimes the arm and clamp
are sold with the table, but often they are purchased separately. The fold
down type grooming arm is really nice for packing your vehicle, but a bit pricey. If your
arm doesn’t come with a grooming loop, you’ll need one of those too. That’s
the cloth loop that you clamp to the top of the arm and place around the dog’s
head to keep him on the table.
– this is
really optional, but oh so convenient when it comes to lugging your equipment
from your vehicle into the show site. If you can afford to buy a dolly with
brakes, do it. You will need a supply of bungee cords to secure crates
and equipment to your dolly.
Portable Dremel tool
– for grinding nails – do
this at home about two days before the show….don’t want your dog limping
because you quicked him on the day of the show. You can buy these at home
Hair Cutting Scissors
– to remove fur from under
pads of feet and to remove excess fur from inside the ear at the base to make
the ear appear larger. We want those Cardi ears to look as large as
or box for your grooming supplies, leads, etc.
– You can purchase boxes made especially for grooming supplies, but a good
plastic tool box can often work as well. After you get all of your supplies
together you might want to go down to the home improvement store and decide on
the size tool box you will need.
eventually want one of the commercial dryers used for dogs, but a good quality
human blow dryer will work at first. Some pro-handlers actually prefer them.
You may need to use it on cool if it gets too hot. Don’t burn your dog!
duty extension cord to plug in your blow dryer and other equipment such as a
fan. It may be 20
feet to the nearest outlet so keep this in mind.
– so you can get off of
your feet for a while
Snap show lead
like a medium 48 inch nylon snap lead. If you can only afford one, I
recommend black. Remember you want the judge to see your dog and not your lead
so keep it as small as possible…..probably about 3/8 inch is the max you would want to use for a
Cardigan. You may want to go for a longer lead when you get adept at folding
it up in your hand. When you are first starting it’s better to have it looped
around one finger, using all of the lead rather than having the excess lead
dangling from your hand because you failed to get it folded correctly.
Remember that you will be a tad nervous when you first start showing and it’s
hard to handle the longer leads when you’re nervous.
Show Choke chain
– I use a chain martingale
for young pups and a regular show choke chain when they start to get the
martingale controls from the back of the neck and the regular choke chain
gives control from the side of the neck near the ear. If you get a chain martingale you need to
measure your dog’s neck and subtract two inches to determine the size you
British Style Slip
you’ll use this when you take your dog
from the vehicle to the grooming site and when you take him out to potty.
This is better than having a collar on him which will flatten the coat.
Feed container, Feed
bowls and Water buckets –
You may want to bring a
supply of water as well. You can purchase a small plastic gas container and
fill it with water from home or buy a couple of gallons of bottled water. You
will want to fill a small spray bottle with water to take ringside
so you can spray it in your dog’s mouth to keep it from getting dry.
Remember….dogs don’t sweat so keep him hydrated. You can purchase water
buckets that you can clip to the wire of your crate.
A small cooler bag
that can hold a six-pack and has a shoulder strap –
you can pick this up at
Wal-Mart. You’ll need this to take ringside with you. Things to
put in it: bait, extra lead just in case you have an equipment
failure, a small brush or comb for ringside touch-ups, peppermints for you
(this is to mask the smell of fear…your dog will know if you are nervous), and
a squeaky. This bag is a good place to put your ribbons when you win.
Write your name and cell number on the inside of the flap. You can leave
this bag on the floor or in a chair near ringside while you're in the ring.
A groomers smock
– you can order these
online or from catalogs and you can buy them at beauty supply stores or from
vendors at the shows. You need this because you should be dressed in your
show clothes before grooming your dog. The smock will keep the chalk, etc.,
off of your clothes. It’s best to groom your dog and walk him to the show
ring without having to put him back in the crate if you can keep from it.
Don’t leave him on the grooming table to run to the bathroom or anywhere
without either putting him back in his crate or asking a reliable person to
watch him on the table. He could jump off and choke.
Books about handling
and dog show procedure…..order
some tapes too! Read and watch everything you can. Order the booklet from
the AKC website about getting started showing your dog.
Grooming Supplies to get you started. These are the products I use for
a Cardigan. There are many other good products available. These are
the basics. There are not suppose to be any foreign substances in the
coats of Cardigans in the showring.
Bio-Groom Extra Body Shampoo – at
home, use for bathing before show
Bio-Groom foam coat dressing - apply to
towel dried coat after bathing
rake and mat comb – use to take out extra undercoat over rear to level
out topline. It’s best to do this at home.
Cleaner – use at home after bathing dog for show going to show
Toothbrush & doggie tooth paste
– use at home weekly to keep teeth clean and free of plaque – If plaque
develops scrape it off with a scaler.
Winners Circle Wash and Dry Waterless Shampoo with
whiteners or Proline Self Rinse Plus –
last minute touch-ups for feet, etc. before going into the ring. These
product are also good for use on white areas of the dog that are stained.
A wire pin brush, a metal comb, and a slicker
– to arrange coat, fluff up fur on legs to enhance the look of bone, etc.
spray bottle, for plain water to
spray in your dog’s mouth ringside to keep him hydrated.
- A clothes
brush or something to get dog hair off of your show
Miscellaneous Things You Will Need to Take To The Show:
Bait for your dog
Water for your dog
If the grooming area has a
dirt floor, you will want to bring a tarp or a mat to put on the floor.
A box fan if the grooming
area is hot.
A collection of bungee
A shower curtain to put
under your crate(s) in the motel room to keep the floor clean - good way to keep
dog show exhibitors in a good light with the motel industry
A sheet to put over your
dog's crate at the show site if you leave your grooming area for any length of
time. Your dog will be quieter and passer-bys won't be tempted to stick
fingers through the crate. *you should do this at home when you crate your
dog to get him use to being in a covered crate.
Grooming Routine at Home Pre-Show: (go through all of the steps below
several times before getting your dog ready to leave for an actual show so they
will be use to the routine. The practice also helps you to get your
individual routine established)
- Dremel the dog’s
nails 2 or three days before the show. It’s best to grind the nails at least
once a week while showing a dog. Take the nails down as low as you can. This
will eventually cause the nail-bed to recede. Short nails are a must for a
well-groomed show dog.
- Strip out
undercoat on top of butt if the rear of the dog looks high.
Clean inside the dog's ears and dry
- Trim the excess
fur from under the pads of the dog’s feet.
- Brush the dog’s
- Brush out any
- Bathe the dog.
Be sure to rinse the shampoo out completely.
Apply coat dressing if in your grooming trial runs your dog looked better
- Blow dry the
dog. Blow the fur over the rear down flat and blow the fur over the front
part of the back up so that it will stand.....this is for pups who tend to be
high in the rear because of growth patterns. *Sometimes I just towel dry
my dog and put him/her in a crate for the night. This usually works well
if I'm not dealing with any coat problems.
- Crate the dog
and take outside on a lead for potty times so you can keep the dog clean. (It's
not a bad idea to set up an x-pen with pine shavings on the floor of your
garage and teach your Cardigan to use it at home. This trains your
dog to go in public x-pens that are often set up at shows when access to
outside areas is limited.)
A Typical Grooming Routine at the Show Site:
- Take your dog
out for one last potty walk.
- Spot clean the
feet with the Self Rinse or the Wash & Dry Waterless Shampoo.
- Use a baby wipe
to clean the dog’s anal area.
If the dog's coat needs to appear fuller, mist it with water and blow dry. Blow dry the
coat like you did at home. Blow dry the tail fur backwards to enhance the fox
- Brush/comb and
arrange any fur to make it look as neat as possible. Use the slicker to
rough up the fur on the legs to make the bone appear to be heavier if needed.
- You can trim off
whiskers. I usually don’t unless there are dark hairs on light fur or if I
have a bitch that I want to look more feminine.
- Take your
grooming smock off and brush your clothes.
- Put your show
choke chain on the dog…..be sure to do this correctly so that the chain
loosens when you give it slack. If you put it on backwards it stays tight and
you’ve got a problem. Learn the proper way to use a choke chain.
It's covered in all "How To Show" books.
- If you’re
walking the dog to the ring (and not taking it in a crate…which is usually
done if you are showing more than one dog), snap the show lead onto the ring
of the choke chain . Make sure you’ve either picked up your arm
band earlier or that you have ample time to get it from the ring steward
before you need to go in. If you’re taking your dog ringside in a crate, hold
your lead or put it in a ringside bag. I've seen nice leather show leads
chewed up because the owner put the dog in the crate with the lead attached to
the choke chain....yes, it saves time, but dogs will be dogs.
- Pick up your
ringside bag and your spray bottle of water and head for the ring. I would
suggest that you give yourself 10 or 15 minutes at ringside before your time
to show. This will give you time to settle your dog and to watch the ring
procedure used by the judge…..They don’t all use the same procedure. If you
don’t have time to watch or you’re first, be sure that you listen very
carefully to the judge’s instructions.
- Don’t get into
any serious conversation at ringside. This is a time for zoning out and
concentrating on what you plan on doing in the ring. Some newbies may
think you are rude, but the old timers will know exactly what you are doing. Keep your eyes on the ring and the
judge. Don’t miss the call to go in for your class or you've done all of
this for nothing!
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Notzmo Cardigan Welsh Corgis