The Secret to Beautiful Drop Coat
Understanding the structure of a drop coat is the first step in perfecting the art of grooming with a breed that has this type of coat. Without knowing the details of what makes up the coat, how do you know if you are making the right choices when deciding on what products to use or what diet to feed? Everything you do to your dog both internally and externally will determine the out come of your dog coat. The following information is provided to help you make educated choices in your decisions pertaining to your dogs coat.
Hair grows at different rates, depending on the amount of natural light the hair receives. This natural light will vary according to the time of the year it is. Coats tend to grow more quickly in the winter because the dogs instincts let their bodies know this is when the coats need to be heavier. The winter days tend to be shorter and the dogs instinctually know this.
The drop coat’s hair follicles generally cycle independently of one another, with each follicle having an internal clock, the nature of which remains unknown. This why a drop coated dogs do not have a shedding season. Hair will only grow a certain length and then fall out when reaching the end of a growth cycle. The length of a coat is predetermined by genetics. If the genetic lines show a dog’s coat to grow to the floor the chances are you will be able to grow the coat to the floor, with proper care. If you are having trouble growing coat to the floor on the parents, there is a chance you will not be able to in its’ offspring.
What Makes Up The Hair?
The hair shaft consists of three major layers; the medulla that is surrounded by the cortex which in turn is then surrounded by the cuticle.
• The medulla is the center of the hair shaft.
• The cortex retains the color pigmentation and the moisture of the hair shaft. This layer is not effective without proper protection.
• The cuticle is transparent and allows you to see the color of the hair. The cuticle consist of layers upon layers that are arranged one upon another, like a pine cone.
Holding the layers together is a cement substance that provides the bond to insure the layers stick together so there is protection from external influences. The condition of the outer layers determines the suppleness, resistance and the shine.
When hair is in optimal condition these layers lay together tightly allowing greater reflection of light and more shine. When hair is dry and or damaged the layers stick out and scale thus more light will be absorbed and less shine will be noticed. In the care of a drop coat it is important that any damage to these important outer layers is avoided.
How Does Skin Affect The Coat?
Hair does not grow through the epidermis, hair is part of the epidermis. This is why it is important to choose grooming products that provide nutrition for the skin as well as the coat. Grooming products should not only protect the skin and coat but provide vital nutrients and vitamins that are essential in maintaining your dogs skin and coat to be healthy and shiny. The care and products used on the skin is reflected in the quality of coat that is produced. Pure Paws has done extensive research in producing products that do not harm the skin. For example none of our products contain "Alcohol" that causes drying to the skin and the coat ultimately damaging your dogs skin and coat. Pure Paws products will not destroy a coat, like alcohol based products do.
Below The Surface Of The Skin
Below the surface of the skin, the hair consist of the root. Here is where the internal nutrient you give your dog are reflected in the type of coat produced. The blood supply to the hair follicles supply nutrients that will give a coat the beautiful shine provided by a well maintained diet. Nutrition is provide from the excellent quality foods provided to your dog. There is a direct connection between the nutrition in your dogs diet and how they affect the condition of their coat. When choosing your dogs food select a diet that provides the proper nutrition necessary for your breed to help provide a beautiful healthy dog with a fantastic quality of coat.
Exterior Factors That Cause Damage
Healthy hair grows out of healthy skin. What happens past that point is up to you. There are several external factors that can cause damage to the coat.
Any form of friction will negatively influence the condition of the outer layers, because friction results in wear. As the health of the coat diminishes, the hair has less protection. This will result in split ends and eventually, if finally breaks off. All forms of friction can cause damage. After bathing the dog, do not rub the coat to dry; simply wrap the dog into a towel and gently squeeze out the water. Microfiber towels are great for sucking out the water in a wet coat.
Soaked and saturated hair is very fragile and susceptible to breakage. Try and absorb as much water from the coat as possible before you start to dry the coat. Then start by drying the coat on a low heat setting, with no brushing or combing until half dry. After the coat is half dry you can use your brush to help dry the coat. Blow dry in the direction of the coat growth. As the hair dries, the more protection the outer layers have.
Do not use your straightening iron until the coat is completely dry. When dealing with this high of heat it is very important that the outer layers have maximum protection. Ideally you would want to use products that provide thermal properties and can help protect the hair shafts by sealing the cuticles.
For the brushes & combs test them on the inside of your forearm. Do they hurt the outer layer of your skin? If the answer is yes, the same will happen to the skin and coat of your dog over time. Harsh grooming products will damage the coat creating split ends and damaging the cuticle of the hair shafts.
Once The Damage Is Done
Split ends do not repair themselves. They must be cut off so the damage does not continue up the hair shafts. Split ends are the result of mechanical damage from friction.
• Walking in grass, carpet or even rubbing on their pens can cause considerable damage.
• Dry brushing a coat! Always dampen the coat before combing or brushing.
• Aggressively drying a coat— Do not rub when drying & Use low heat
Pure Paws Ultra Conditioning Shine Spray
provides moisture and conditioners to protect the coat while grooming. The Pure Paws Ultra Finishing Show Spray
is ideal when grooming for show, it is a great hydrating spray.
How Long Does It Take To Grown A Full Coat
A coat that is grown all the way to the floor such as a Yorkshire Terrier or a Maltese is approximately 2 years old. During this time the coat is washed, combed and brushed hundreds of times. This why it is very important to consider the materials you are working with, and determine whether they are gentle to the coat.
No one wants to spend more money than needed, but in the case of brushes, combs and grooming products, sometimes the extra quality is worth the extra expense.
Proper Coat Care
The purpose of shampoo is to rid the skin and coat of debris and products. Unavoidably, shampoos also remove substances which we actually need on the coat. It is important to use products that "give back" to the coat what the shampoo "unintentionally" had removed. It is important to be very careful in the choice of your shampoos. A shampoo can destroy years of coat growth. Spending a little more on shampoo and conditioning products can make a big difference.
A conditioner should be used to put back in the loss of vitamins and oils through everyday wear and tear. A Conditioner should be left on for about 1—2 minutes for optimal results even if the conditioner is not a leave-in product. The coat needs a little time to absorb the conditioners into the hair shafts. Conditioners smooth the outer layers of the hair helping keep the cuticle layers closed. This will give the coat a more defined shine that helps show the coat off in the best condition possible.
Pure Paws recommends that you shampoo twice when you bathe your dog. The first shampoo should be with the Ultra Purifying Shampoo or the Ultra Brightening Shampoo
to get a really good base cleaning that helps cleanse the skin and coat of unwanted debris. Note: These are not harsh clarifying shampoos that can strip the coat of oils. The second shampoo, should be with the Ultra Reconstructing Shampoo
which will not only clean the coat, but will put back the needed vitamins and nutrients into the coat. Every coat is different so different dogs may need to modify formulas and products slightly to achieve desired results.
Pure Paws has three conditioners: the Ultra Deep Conditioner
, the Ultra Moisturizing Conditioner
and the Ultra Silk Cream
. Each has its own special purpose. Each dog will require its own type of conditioners depending on the type of coat the dog has and what it is you are trying to achieve.
| The Ultra Silk Cream is useful for maintenance. This product contains a special blend of moisturizers and vitamins that are necessary in developing a strong healthy coat. Depending on the coat you have, you may also find this the ideal conditioner to use in showing your dog. The Ultra Deep Conditioner is a heavier product and will help add some weight to the coat, helping the coat lay flatter against the body. This is a great product for dogs with soft fly-away hair.
|| The Ultra Moisturizing Conditioner is great to use as a lighter conditioner. This is an ideal conditioner for most dogs that are in great condition and simply need to protect the coat. The conditioner has silk proteins that give the coat a soft silky feel. This moisturizing conditioner also contains thermal heat activators that work to seal the hair shafts protecting them from external elements that cause damage to the coat.
Restructuring conditioners are usually left in 10 minutes and rinsed out or left in. If the hair is damaged or very stressed; a cream conditioner can help add vitamins and nutrients to the hair helping repair and regenerate the hair shafts. They work on the hair by going deep inside the hair shafts that are opened due to agitation from the shampooing and water. The Ultra Cream Conditioner
conditioner is a versatile product that can be used in many ways. For an intense treatment, mix the cream conditioner in with very warm water and blend well. Work the product thoroughly through the coat. The product can be rinsed out, but it works better to leave the product in and dry. The product can also be applied directly and worked in with your hands. Contact Pure Paws for more ways to use the Ultra Cream conditioner.
The hair of the drop coat requires great care and knowledge to develop the beautiful coats worn by Champions all over the world. With education and proper tools a shiny healthy coat can be grown to beautiful lengths and maintained in fabulous condition. We hope that the information we have provided will help you in your quest for a glamorous, healthy coat.