Must-Have Items for Dog Show Grooming

August 3, 2012

Competition Events, Grooming

5 Basic Must-Haves: Dog Show grooming tools- spray bottle

  1. Squirt Bottles: One for water to cool off your dog, and others for coat products.
  2. Vitamin E oil: Put a drop on your dog’s nose about an hour before you go into the ring, and his nose will look bright and clean
  3. Round-tip scissors: Use these to trim around the paw pads- the judge will be better able to see your dog’s movement if he/she can see the pads. Trimming these hairs also gives the dog a bit more traction on clicker ground.
  4. Nail clippers or a Dremel tool: Long nails are ugly! Keep them trimmed short unless your breed standard says otherwise.
  5. Towel/rag: As Hitchhiker Guide says, “A towel… is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” Towels are incredibly useful, and adaptable- you can use them for cleaning and bathing, for coat products, for flattening unruly hairs, and bazillion other things.


A Few Coat-Specific Tools:

Double Coated Breeds:

Pin Brush Helps to stimulate the skin and spread natural oils

Greyhound Comb Absolutely necessary for line-combing. There’s a good video of line-combing here.

Coat Conditioner/”Dressing” This will help leave the coat shiny and brushable without any tacky or oily feeling

Blow Dryer A powerful blow dryer is a necessity for having a great-looking show coat in a double-coated breed.


Stripping blades– There are a ton of different styles available, just make sure you pull the coat rather than cut it.

Grooming Stone I LOVE these tools, and the dogs love it! It won’t take out a ton of coat, but it’s perfect for getting out scraggly, blown hairs.


Hound glove These work great for working in a bit of shine, or just straightening and cleaning off the hair. Plus- dogs usually love them!

Sharpies- Okay, this is an odd suggestion, but it’s helped me before. Just get whichever color you need, and then cover up any random hairs in your dog’s coat. This is especially effective with black coats that tend to get a few white hairs, like Dobermans and tri-colored Bassenjis.


Chalk and/or Grooming Powder This will really help ensure that the more easily-stained areas (legs, butt end) look bright and clear.


Sunblock- (only needed on pink areas) Sunburns make everyone look and feel cruddy. Make sure to protect the sensitive light-skinned areas.

Moisturizer Put just a little bit on, about an hour before you go in the ring. Just like with our skin, theirs is a lot nicer if properly moisturized. (Thanks to Jan Poe of Xcel’s Xolos for that tip!)


What grooming tools or products do you consider essential?

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About BredByBitch

Hello! My name is Dani, and I've been in the "dog world" since I was 8 years old. My mother raises and breeds Irish Wolfhounds, which was my introduction to the show ring. I showed in Junior Showmanship for many years before aging out and getting my first German Wirehaired Pointer. I live in Tucson, AZ with my German Wirehaired Pointer, Luke. Luke is my man, from my first home-bred litter of wires.

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