10 Show Dog Grooming Tips

While grooming a dog for the show ring can be quite a challenge, you'll find it much easier if you follow these ten show dog grooming tips. Many aspiring new dog breeders fail to realize the kind of work that goes into prepping a dog for the show ring. Some breed standards will allow a little trimming, while others will come after you with a rolled-up newspaper if you take scissors near your dog. Avoid a Fido faux-pas by following these simple show dog grooming tips.

  1. Learn about your dog breed. It's essential to learn all about your dog breed before you even start to think about going to a show. Different dog breeds require different grooming techniques and have standards they have to adhere to. Learning about your breed of dog is the first step in show dog grooming.
  2. Bathe the night before. It may seem tempting to get up extra early, so you can give your dog a bath and have them clean for the dog show, but this should actually be avoided in most cases. Your newly-bathed dog may be clean and soft, but her hair is likely to lack body. Most dog breeders will tell you one of the best show dog grooming tips (and the easiest) is to wash your dog the night before.
  3. Save the baby powder for babies. It's tempting to make white show dogs whiter by sprinkling them down with baby powder, chalk or talcum powder, but it's not a good practice to get into. Talcum powder can cause dangerous respiratory problems with your dog and should never be used, while baby powder and chalks could get your dog disqualified. When in doubt, bypass the cover-ups and just go with the clean and au natural show dog grooming style.
  4. When it comes to gloss, less is more. Not only is it a good makeup tip for the ladies, it's also one of the best show dog grooming tips to remember. Gloss is great for making your show dog's coat nice and shiny, but too much will leave a residue that will transfer to the judge's hands. No one likes a greasy dog.
  5. Prevention is best, when it comes to tear stains on light colored show dogs. Mix a little hydrogen peroxide in with some warm water and, careful to avoid the eyes, use a dampened cloth to clean the stained area. Doing this regularly will help to avoid staining and will keep your show dog looking her best.
  6. Avoid doggie dragon breath. Keeping your dog's teeth clean is important, whether you're looking for show dog grooming tips or if you just want to take care of your household pet. Pet owners often invest in doggie toothbrushes and liver-flavored toothpaste, but you can also clean your dog's teeth with a soft towel, making a paste of baking soda and some water.
  7. Don't neglect the other end either. Emptying the anal glands are an essential part of show dog grooming, whether we like it or not, and impacted glands can cause health problems in your dog. If you're not familiar with how to do this (or if you're squeamish), take your dog to a professional dog groomer to have the anal glands emptied properly.
  8. Pedigreed pooches need pedicures, too. Trimming the toenails is an essential pet or show dog grooming tip. In order to achieve the proper look, use your nail nippers to cut once, straight across the bottom (avoid cutting too far up or you'll hurt your dog), then angle your toenail clippers slightly to take the sharp point off the top of the nail.
  9. Remove hair from the inner ears. Don’t use scissors, but simply grasp the long hair from the inner ear and gently pull it out. Keeping the inner ears cleaned out will reduce wax buildup and avoid foul odors or discharge.
  10. Invest in a pair of trimming shears. One of the best show dog grooming tips you can get is to invest in a pair of quality trimming shears for your dog. Mind you, it’s important to follow your breed standards, but many breeds will allow you to carefully remove long whiskers, shape the tail and blend in cowlicks.
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