Friday, February 19, 2010

Corgi Curl-Wrestling: The next Olympic Event

Tuesday evening, I brought Ian home from his two-week exile at Grammie's house. Lest he and Elli have too much fun being reunited, I ground toenails and then gave them each a bath. This was not a popular move with the corgwyn. Here is Ian, pre-bath. It's hard to pick out with the bookcase in the background (sidenote: we WILL put that addition with the dog room on the house. SOME day.), but he's got a lovely set of alfalfa sprout curls over his loin:

Also, the hair on the back of his neck was sporting some lovely waves:

I hadn't experimented with conditioners in the past, but wanted to give it a try, and figured this was the time since he wasn't being bathed and groomed for show. I picked up some Mane N Tail conditioner. So: here he is post-bath with an oatmeal shampoo, the conditioner, and a blow-dry with some Royal Crown spritz:

See the difference (other than in the background)? Yeah, me neither. >:-/

The conditioner didn't seem to soften the wiry texture of the curls, and made his coat feel a little harder to comb through. First foray into conditioner: epic fail. What has Dawn learned from this? Don't buy a big cheap bottle of Mane N Tail conditioner at effing Walmart. Go to the Plush Puppy site and order the good stuff that Joanna so helpfully blogged about over the summer.

At the other end of the spectrum, Elli has, if not a lot of coat, a nice flat, straight one:

"I'm gorgeous!!!"

Not the world's best stack, but considering there was no one there to bait her, it's not bad. I had her facing the windows, and apparently her own reflection was enthralling enough to keep her ears up and at attention while I snapped some pictures.

Meanwhile, Ian reacted to my obvious angst with the chagrin and embarassment I might have expected after the Victory of the Accursed Curls:

"Mwahaha!! Ze curls, zey will not be denied!"

And yes, he has the "Samily" tongue!

Sigh. Plush Puppy, here we come.


  1. Plush Puppy All-Purpose shampoo- Crown Royal Formula 3; spritz into the coat after towel drying (no conditioner during bath) Let the dog air dry for about 30 minutes; Blow dry with cool dryer and use the FAMOUS and INCOMPERABLE Plush Puppy Silver Bullet Brush to brush down the duck butt curls and the fairy saddle and neck frizzies...

    Remember that 95% of Cardigan coats look infinitly better 48 hours after their bath... so we bathe entire dog 2 days before a show weekend, and just wash whites the night before. A correct cardi coat needs time to settle down after a bath!

    Good Luck! (the dogs look good, BTW!)

  2. I used to bathe Ian's grandpa, Sam, a full week before shows to give his waves a chance to relax. I used Rio Vista Rough Coat shampoo. It's made for terrier coats and doesn't strip the oils from the coat. Oh, and never blow dry against the growth. Think of it like trying to straighten your own hair when you are blowing it dry. Other thing I did was pop him on the table pretty much every night, lightly spritz w/water and comb, comb, comb. To this day, Sam loves to hear the words, "Do you want to be handsome?" Then he knows he's going to get on the table and be fussed over.

  3. The above... plus Chris Christensen After Bath (I love this stuff) and HEAT. Heat relaxes curls. You can use a bullet brush or a slicker (CAREFULLY!) and set the hair straight with a normal human hairdryer. Make sure you're keeping your hands in air stream so you're monitoring the heat on their skin (should be hot but not at all painful) and pull the hair straight and lay it down. It's just like blowing your own hair straight.

    Kate bought a teeny little hair straightener (the plate kind) and LOVES it for the back curls; I haven't needed to go that far because all I ever have are the duck-butt curls. Those I can iron out with drying.

    Kathy turned me on to PP stuff and it IS great. The only thing they don't do well is an after-bath conditioner; the seabreeze oil is REALLY oily. I have used Crown Royale but the CC After Bath is my favorite because it rinses out and leaves no "conditioned" feel. Just coat that behaves itself.

  4. I love Plush Puppy. I use a mixture of PP blowdry cream and swishy coat + water to tame waves. My Henry was super wavey so I learned a lot about taming the waves.

  5. Henry and Ian are related too - as I recall!