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Everyone, no matter how long they have been grooming, has a question on how to do it better.:-)
We can't tell you everything, 
but we do have some tips we can offer from some of the people on ShowCockers.
If you have any tips or tricks, 
PLEASE send them in and we'll put them up here.

From Becki Buss, Dazlin Cockers:
On a Parti Coat:

Don't over-do it with the shampoos & conditioners.If you have:
 First thing I would do is strip all that stuff out of his coat - DAWN dishwashing liquid - NO conditioner, brush wet with PIN brush (no dryer) - let him airdry in x-pen (or crate), brush again when dry. 
Do him out with this about once every 4-6 weeks.  IN THE BETWEEN groomings, I would suggest that you get #1 All Systems Whitening Shampoo & dilute it 3 pts water to 1 pt shampoo PLUS add white vinegar (about 1 cup per gallon of mixed
The All Systems shampoo will NOT color the coat blue, purple OR gray (you can "spot" apply undiluted to heavily stained
 areas).  You don't need a lot of the shampoo to work up a good lather - let it sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse THOROUGHLY .... then rinse AGAIN!  I would use a VERY light application of a conditioner such as Unicoat (available at Sally's Beauty Supply) .... just small amount in your hand, work into coat, and rinse well.  For general maintenance, do not use any sprays, etc., while blowing him out. 

      Now blowing & brushing:  RULE #1 .... NEVER brush a dirty coat (meaning pee-area, muddy feet, ears, etc.) 
                 RULE #2 .... NEVER use a slicker brush as your "primary" tool. 

                 BEFORE bath, run a PIN BRUSH through the front & side coat.  You aren't trying to have all tangles, etc., out - the goal is to find any mats & work them loose before the bath.  Don't even bother with the pee-areas before bathing. 

                 DURING bath, if there's heavily matted areas (like under armpits, underneath the belly, inside back legs, etc.) - while "soaking" the dog in the shampoo, take advantage of the slippery lather to loosen these areas up.  (For right-handed people)  Holding the mat in your left hand, use a "gentle" slicker (like the Warner's) to "spread" the mat apart, working from the outside in (again, just loosening it up is the goal). 

                 AFTER bath, towel dry thoroughly then use the pin brush to brush through the coat (use slicker down back and topknot). 

                 DRYing coat, again work top down, get one area completely done (like one leg) before moving to the next.  Do not dry from underneath up. 
                 Use pin brush ... use slicker on a mat if you can't work it out with the pin brush (you can still use the pin to loosen it up, usually though). 
                 Before moving to the next area, brush through (down - never against) the coat with the slicker to make sure you got all the little "tags" (if you feel ANY pull, you've got a mat-in-the-making).  Use the slicker and comb to get between the toes (very important to get this area dry, also). 

                 I bathe the dogs in show coat an average of once a week (the pigs get it more frequently - the really clean ones slightly less).  Each dog is different .... if his coat starts to look "flat", feels oily or limp, smells, or otherwise dirty, then it's time for a bath. 
Keeping the coat clean & in good condition will stimulate the hair growth. 



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