Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grooming part 1: What is all this stuff?

I mentioned a while ago that one of my goals for the National Specialty was to learn more about grooming Cardigans for the conformation ring.  In case I haven’t mentioned it before (though I know I have), it mystifies me that a “wash and wear” dog like a Cardi can take so much grooming.  One of the things that attracted me to Cardigans is that they are a breed that looks good naturally – no weird trimming involved.

You can imagine my surprise when kind folks like Cindy and Dawn started to open my eyes to the world of Cardi show grooming.

The first eye-opening thing was all of the equipment, supplies, and stuff required to groom a show Cardi.  Prior to selling my soul to dark side of conformation, here is the size of my grooming bag:

A nice, small bag.
I've included the brush to provide some perspective.

What did the bag contain?
A pin brush
A metal comb (that I never really used, but had because Mandy told me to get one when I first got Maggie)
A pair of hair trimming scissors
A curry comb (Denzil liked this one best)
A Furminator (don’t judge me – it’s much quicker!)
Nail trimmers
Apple scented dog shampoo & coat spray

That list seems pretty long, no? 

These supplies served me well to prep my dogs for everyday life, and performance events. 

THEN I saw Cindy’s grooming equipment and I realized I was out of my league.  I didn’t even know a table and dryer were necessary (oh, how silly I used to be…)!

After visiting Cindy, I bought a grooming table and dryer -- the “big ticket” items.  I sold most of my herd of Breyer Appaloosas on eBay to pay for them.  (Also, I used the sale of the Breyers to support the "see I'm getting rid of stuff" argument in preparation for the arrival of a sea of boxes filled with grooming gear.)

What a pretty dryer!
It still  looks new because it's only been used a few times.

My new grooming area in the basement.
Note that I even have an apron.  
That makes me official.

Grooming with Dawn convinced me that I also needed some chalk, a chalk brush, a nail grinder, and whitening shampoo.  Now I’m ready to show! Right?!?

The National Specialty highlighted how woefully inadequate even my “beefed up” grooming kit was.  Based on what Mandy and Carolyn used on Rip at the Specialty (with some extra tips from Jeri) - here’s what I’ve got now:

Look at all the lovely supplies!
Most of them are still unused....

And I get the impression that this is just “the basics.”  Where did I get his impression?  From the lift trucks lined up to haul people's grooming boxes into the hall at the Specialty.  (Some of those boxes were bigger than some of my furniture!)

I also bought a cool grooming bag from Doggone good.  That was the best part of this whole shopping scheme – a lovely new bag to organize all my new necessities.

I love this bag.  See, it's big enough for all my current gear.
And more!  It also has an insulated compartment for bait.

So now I’ve got the stuff.  Where do I go from here?  

More about that in Grooming Part Two:  Now what do I do with all this stuff?


  1. If you build it up slowly, its not so terrifying.

  2. Now you have to remember that my grooming chaos must have enough "stuff" to groom just about anything that Alec walks in with-GSP, tibetan mastiff, beezers, boxer, collie, pom, etc. Oh and it doubles for clydesdale show grooming too.

    And yes, like Dawn said, you collect as you go--unfortunately, mine's grown into a monster!

  3. Congratulations on enrolling in the Mandy/Carolyn/Jeri school of grooming. As a graduate of many years past, I'm pleased to see others completing the program. You've almost got enough stuff! ;-) Jenn

  4. LOL, I remember when I had a dog, a leash, some bait and a chair. Of course the dog was a GSP so I thought I really didn't need to groom just bathe. Now I have a 15 passenger van, an Motorhome a $400 dryer and a gazillon other things. Oh and 6 Cardigans too. I also bathed dogs every day in OKC last weekend. I used to bath a couple of days before the show. Welcome to the dark side!


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