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Show Grooming the Boxer - by Amber Gates


Grooming on show day


Baths should be done each week - this helps loosen the old fur and gets the oils going.

I recommend using a high quality shampoo and conditioner. Once bathed, spray the dog with the Show Sheen - while the dog is still damp - rub in with hands. Spray the  Show Sheen once more when the dog is nearly dry -buff lightly with a towel to enhance the shine.

I suggest shaving the dog a few days before the show...for practice as well as ensuring you don't zig and the dog zags while you are in the clipping mode!  You can always do touch ups at the show site or the morning of the show.


The "stuff" you need....

1) Good quality dog shampoo- I have had great success with different products- find something you and your dog can live with- remember- not ALL shampoos are made to work for YOUR dog... be prepared to try different types. I have found good success with shampoos that work well with horses.

2) Clippers- I prefer the rechargeable or battery operated mustache clippers. They run between $15-25 at most WalMarts- they are quiet and I don't feel bad when I have to chuck them in the garbage.

3) Slick 'N Easy bar- these are mostly found in Horse tack shops. A great tool for helping to shed out winter coats, puppy coats, or just thin the fur if you have a particularly furry friend!

4) Thinning shears- sharper the better.

This is Mark...my very willing and lovable grooming model- he loves being groomed!

For this tutorial- I have made it so you can click on each picture and see a larger image...hope this helps you out!

Using the Slick 'n Easy bar- going the direction of the fur. I have left the majority of the wrapper on my bar- I don't care for the feel of the bar- so this keeps me from having to feel it.

The neck is the most common place of "need" on dogs- the fur often is a bit thicker here-

Be sure NOT to focus on any one part of the dog for too long. You can in fact strip the coat off of the dog right down to the skin if you are NOT paying attention. Only do two or three pulls in any one place- then move on.

shaving the face... go against and with the fur... the good thing about these clippers- you are likely NOT going to cut too close.

Finished face.. (ears to come!)

Be sure to get the whiskers on the face, the whisker bumps (2 on each side of the face), the whisker bump under the jaw, AND the whiskers bumps on top of the eyes.

Of course - go slowly and carefully when shaving your dogs face. Be sure they understand you aren't hurting them, but that you are also going to complete the task. IF they win once...they will fight you every time...

Ears... start by shaving from the tip down on the inside of the ear.

Then- move to the outer part of the ear-between my index finger to my thumb. Going from tip to base- you are shaving the longer hairs that tend to overextend the ear.

finished ear... heck... you have finished the whole head now!

The furry underbelly... looking for clean lines. No hairs standing out of place.

I shave with and against the fur...CAREFULLY. Go along the belly line, cleaning around nipples and the sheath (on the males), and the skin flap that goes from chest to rear leg.

The furry rear....

Shave from the tip of the tale down.

Be sure to clean up the tip of the tail- Mark was NOT blessed with the nicest of docks, so I paid particular attention on this- to make it look a bit nicer.

More of furry rear...  I often will use the thinning shears to clean up the "zipper line" that runs down the back of the leg.

With some skill- you can shave the "zipper line" with the same clippers you have used throughout. I will also shave the inside of the thigh- IF you do this- and you are shaving a fawn- shave at least 4 days before the show.

The final shave... the often seen long hairs on the back of the front legs...

Okay - there you go - no saying your dog will become a champion by following my directions...I am sure you will find some shortcuts and even some better products.

Best of luck!


If your dog has a big cowlick- you can also use the thinning shears to help smooth that out a bit. I DON'T suggest using the clippers... it can get a bit out of hand.



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