From the Editor

Groom from the top

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Whether you find grooming therapeutic or a necessary chore, it’s part and parcel of raising dogs. The newbie who spots a Smooth Fox Terrier and thinks “low maintenance” has never seen a skilled exhibitor fill a large green garbage bag with coat from that so-called low-maintenance canine. And the skin care required by the hairless breeds demands no small commitment. But for now, set down your grooming tools and let the writers in this issue inform you, entertain you, and share a few time-saving tips with you.
Melissa Verplank knows that maximizing your work space is half the battle. It’s all too tempting to procrastinate when your grooming area is cluttered, cramped and poorly lit. Be it a professional salon or the basement of your house, make your space work for you in the best possible way. Read “Room to Groom” (page 26) and benefit from Verplank’s expert advice.

Durable grooming tools that meet your needs will pay for themselves long after gimmicky, cheaply made products have fallen apart and been tossed out in frustration. The trick is to recognize the difference, and to clean and care for these essential tools of the trade in an appropriate manner. Groomer and writer Babs Land shares her knowledge of the marketplace in “Shear Genius” (page 36). If you’ve ever bought an expensive, uncomfortable pair of shoes determined to “break them in,” only to have them break you, you’ll appreciate Land’s mantra to try before you buy. Just because the ad copy claims a product is ergonomically kind doesn’t mean your hands and wrists will agree.

Even within the same breed and among littermates, coats can vary from fragile to indestructible, depending upon the color. Grooming is not a one-size-fits-all matter. Daryl Conner tackles this fascinating subject in “Grooming By Coat Color” (page 32). A talented writer, professional groomer and instructor, this article is her first for Dog World.

Conformation judges have their issues when it comes to grooming as well. What does a judge do when he is faced with a typey, clearly superior dog that has been trimmed in defiance of its breed standard and another that has little to offer but an untrimmed coat? What if the parent club is adamant that judges show no tolerance for scissored exhibits? Should the judge be concerned that, by giving the trimmed exhibit the points or the breed, he might well be encouraging other exhibitors to follow suit and similarly thumb their noses at the standard? Read Jeff Pepper’s take on the situation in “Judge’s Perspective” (page 14).

In her “Breeder’s Notebook” column this month (page 10), Caroline Coile discusses some of the health issues associated with dilute colors in dog breeds. The conditions vary from bothersome to deadly; forewarned is forearmed.

Finally, Dr. T.J. Dunn’s “The Doctor Is In” column (page 8) addresses skin and coat problems. These can be both persistent and nasty, so it’s an article you’ll want to read now and file for later reference.

We hope this issue is useful to you. As always, your comments and experiences are most welcome.


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