Setter Dog Grooming

Crufts Dog Show - Love it or hate it

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Crufts The Biggest Dog Show

January 2019 – Rebecca Goutorbe
Love it or hate it Crufts is the biggest dog show in the world which is held at the NEC Birmingham and is fast approaching. The online entries close soon for dog show exhibitors.
Retail heaven for the doggy owner, with hundreds of stalls from designer dog gear, bling collars, to dog food all the grooming equipment you can image and anything else you haven’t even thought about buying your pet dog is at Crufts. If you are showing your dog you need another day there just to do your shopping.

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Over 28,000 dogs entered at the show

Over the four days which Crufts is held there is an estimated 28,000 dogs which take part that’s including the agility and other events and an estimated 160,000 human visitors attend the show too. That is a lot of people although if Gundog Day falls on the Sunday it does feel like there is that many people if you try and venture from your bench to go and look around the stalls.
I love Crufts it is always either on or around my Birthday, the atmosphere around the breed rings is like no other show. If you are lucky enough to win a class with your dog it is just amazing and makes all the hard work and effort you have put into your dog worth while. 

Going to Crufts for the first time

The first time I attended Crufts was in the late 80’s when Crufts was held at Earls Court London, now that day was an experience I’ll never forget believe me!  I travelled all the way down there with my Mum and her friend Sylvia I must of been aged about 10 or 11 we had gone to watch the Irish Setters, so excited as I was going to Crufts for the first time ever.  We had to get the underground to Earls Court, I had never been on the underground before and never wanted to again after that day. A drunk old tramp fell from the top of the escalator and was moved as I got to the bottom, not a nice sight believe me. I felt Ill all day, but I’m sure the man who fell must of felt a lot worse. It’s a long time ago now but I remember meeting Chris Amoo and his Afghan which had won Best In Show the previous year or maybe that was the year later but I do remember getting the Pedigree Chum goodie bag and badge as it was in those days.

Grooming dogs for Crufts

When it comes to preparing dogs for Crufts or any show, it is not a case of a good bath with Wahl’s Dirty Beastie and trim the night before. Preparing a dog for a show takes weeks, weeks of regular coat maintenance (for the coated breeds) and its not just the grooming, correct diet, correct amount of food, exercise, all these factors play a huge part in the preparation of a dog for a competition. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to get your dog right for the ring.

Entering a dog for Crufts

 I had entered my dog Travis for Crufts 2018 he’s a Show Champion but hadn’t been shown for a while he was 7 years old so he was eligible for the Veteran class. His coat was in really good condition, he had been groomed regularly but not groomed to perfection ring ready standard in my book. 

Setter dog grooming

Grooming a Setter for Crufts

I decided December 2017 that I was going to enter Travis for Crufts and show preparation started then. General good coat maintenance was needed throughout that time, followed by cutting him into shape, enhancing his best features watching his weight and making sure he got his exercise through the winter, and through the mud and rain but keeping on top his coat all the time.

 I kept on top of Travis’s coat by regularly bathing Travis about every two weeks then down to ten days and then down to every week about a month before the show. I bathed Travis in Wahl’s brilliant Dirty Beastie shampoo my go to shampoo in the grooming salon, which is great for fetching the dirt and filth out of the coat. The great thing about Dirty Beastie is that it really cleans the dogs coat but doesn’t dry out the skin at the same time and also doesn’t cost fortune which is a bonus.  Also by combing through Wahl’s Easy Groom Conditioner on Travis’s back this helped to remove any dead coat, I would do this after the shampooing while he was still in the bath then rinse the conditioner off. Depending how much dead hair needs to come out I like to rinse the conditioner off and comb at through at the same time as rinsing the dog, there is a knack to it but it works well. I’ve used this method with the conditioner for removing the dead thick hair on every Show Champion when they need preparing for a show and have dead hair to remove. I find this a far better way than using a banded comb on a dry coat.

Setter dog grooming

Winning at Crufts Dog Show

The hard work paid off I had so many nice comments at Crufts on how well Travis looked on the day a lot of people hadn’t seen him in the ring for a good while and he really did look the part. Travis also won the Veteran Dog class and Best Overall Veteran in English Setters, a great result.

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It was an extra special day too because Travis’s Son Frankie won Best Of Breed was shortlisted in the Gundog Group, his Daughter Pebbles won the Bitch CC (Best bitch),  his Granddaughter won Best Puppy, and it was my Birthday. 

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