Shampoo (This article, written by Anne Katona, was first published in the AKC Gazette breed column in May 2005. We are grateful to the author and to the AKC for their permission to publish all the Kerry Blue Terrier Breed Columns on the USKBTC website.)
AKC Gazette Breed Column
An exhibitor asked why her Kerry’s coat looked so different. In what way? “Well, the coat doesn’t look as smooth and finished.” Humm, in 1973, I had the same question. A Kerry breeder, Carol Dickenson, she still breeds and shows, provided an answer. Hint – get the DOG shampoo ready – to 8 ozs of shampoo add three tablespoons of Glycerin USP. (“Brite-Life” Brand name, purchased from any Drug Store.) This will rinse easily from any coat and the glycerin high lights the blue coloring. Use any well known brand of dog shampoo. Do not use a human shampoo as the PH is not correct. To give the dog footing put a rubber mat on the tub floor. Use a hand-held shower unit; however, remove the actually “shower head.” To get good water pressure when using the hose section, pinch the end of the hose together to make it spray “harder” this will force water into the coat wetting it completely. Apply shampoo and give the hair and skin a good massage while working the shampoo into the coat. Rinse and shampoo again being sure to clean the beard, and feet. Apply the shampoo and work into the beard using a “down direction”…careful to keep shampoo out of the eyes and to keep the ear canal dry.
When the second shampoo is complete, RINSE, RINSE, RINSE, RINSE, using the pressure technique described except on the head and beard. When the shampoo is removed, rinse more. The secret to a good trim – a well rinsed coat with NO shampoo residue!! If the coat is hard to comb after it is blown dry . . .it is not well rinsed. A hard lesson to learn; but well worth knowing. After the coat is well rinsed of shampoo NOW using a conditioning rinse that has moistureizers added to keep the hair shaft strong is essential. This will help to keep the coat from drying out and make it easier to comb. Work the conditioner well into the coat on the body and neck. Leg furnishings will get enough conditioner while rinsing. Work conditioner into coat for at least three minutes. Rinse, rinse, rinse, can not stress rinsing enough. IF not rinsed well, the coat will attract dirt, break and look untidy!!
Towel dry: don’t let the dog get chilled during winter months. The Quick-Dry Hair Towel sold at Sport stores used by hikers, campers, soaks up water like a sponge, removing twice as much dampness than a regular towel. It is a lightweight polyester and nylon fabric. Pat the coat, and gently squeeze the hair with the towel to remove as much water as possible before using the hair dryer.
Hint – keep some of the warm rinse water in the tub while rinsing. Keep warm water only deep enough to cover the feet and toenails. The warm water will help to “soften” the nails making them easier to trim after the bath.
Other breed tips are available on the official club website.