View Full Version : Building Coat - Any tips?

7th January 2008, 03:05 PM
I have plans to get Amber started in the showring this spring/summer mostly for fun and experience since I eventually want to get a really nice show cavalier, I think after talking to other cavalier people that she's got a good chance of finishing, but if she doesn't it won't really matter to me, but I figure if I'm going to show her I need to start getting her ready. She had puppies about 6 months ago now before I got her, so her coat needs work still. Her one ear looks like the puppies chewed it off some, so one ear is longer then the other. She also doesn't have as heavy of a coat as she once did. Does anyone have some good tips for growing length and thickness into a coat? This is the first time I've owned a coated breed I've intended to show, so I really have no clue how to go about building coat.

Also, here's a few things I've heard, is there any truth to them?
1. If you bathe a cavalier every 7 to 10 days, the coat will stay thicker and longer because it won' break off when you brush it if it's clean
2. Putting salmon or other fish oils in their food helps the coat grow faster
3. Using a shampoo that contains emu oil will help with coat growth
4. Using a conditioner will help with coat growth

Also, what are some good brands/formulas of shampoos to use? I've been using Mr Groom Oatmeal Shampoo since that's what I use on most of my IGs, but I'm more then happy to go buy something else if it'd work better.

13th January 2008, 10:18 PM
Coat thickness is primarily due to genetics. Snake oil merchants will tell you otherwise.

Bitches often blow their coats after whelping and it can take some time for it to grow back. There is no magic ingredient to grow a luxurious coat, despite what all the bottles of pills & conditioners say.

The best way to enhance whatever kind of coat your dog has inherited from his parents, is good nutrition & sensible grooming. By sensible grooming, I mean not too much & not too little. A daily brushing is good because you will remove little knots before they become matts. Brushing will also remove dust & dirt before it can really build up. Your environment will determine who regular bathing should be. I live on a rural block with lots of dirt & clay around, so I need to bath my dogs about every 2-4 weeks. However, if you live in a unit, or where everything is paved & clean then you would not need to bath so often.

Good nutrition is important. If you are feeding kibble, then a quality product should contain most of the nutrients required. If you are feeding a wide variety of fresh foods, this too should contain all the vitamins, minerals & trace elements required. Fish oil is high in Omega 3 & 6 and this is claimed to enchange a nice glossy coat.

Getting back to the genetics.... Think about men and how some are hairy & some are not. This has nothing to do with what they eat or what they rub on their skin. This is genetics. :D

13th January 2008, 10:25 PM
couldn't have said it better caraline

lady and amber
13th January 2008, 10:39 PM
Is it true that if you use a piece of silk cloth to brush the coat, that it enhances the shine on a black coat.

14th January 2008, 01:35 AM
Think about men and how some are hairy & some are not.

I often do... :*nana:

14th January 2008, 07:17 AM
I have always believed that good regular daily grooming with the "correct" brushes and tools is important. Brushes, rakes, combs, shampoos and conditioners are all different and some suitable for some breeds only. A good groomer will be only to happy to share her knowledge with you and the best way to set about grooming your own breed.

I have Cavaliers and Shelties both needing differrent grooming needs and very different brushes and combs from each other.

Find a good groomer and share her knowledge!


14th January 2008, 12:09 PM
I often do... :*nana:

:rotfl: You are terribly naughty Karlin!

Barbara Nixon
14th January 2008, 12:55 PM
Since mine have been having fish skins, their coats are really glossy. well Teddy's and Monty's are. It's hard to tell with Joly as the white coat doesn't show up like the red.

I would imagine that too frequent baths would spoil the coat, as washing takes out oil. Mine are bathed as little as possible , as a good grooming session usually cleans them up.

17th January 2008, 02:21 PM
Thank you so much everyone for your advice! I do know one of Amber's litter mates, and has the thickest coat I've ever seen on a cavalier! But I also know that doesn't always mean that every pup in the litter will. Her coat has thickened some since I got her, so I'll just keep on top of what I'm already doing.

As far as grooming tools go, what do you recommend? Honestly - Groomers around here know nothing of proper tools!!! They don't know a cavalier from a cocker spaniel! Right now I'm using a metal comb on her ears and feathers, and a wire brush on her feet, body, and to finish up on the rest of her (ears, feathers, tail, etc). Are those the right tools for a cavalier?

17th January 2008, 03:06 PM
I'd recommend springing for Barbara Garnett-Wilson's Cavaliers in Fact and Fancy. It is probably the best book existing on basic care and information on all aspects of owning a cavalier and has a section on grooming for the pet owner and for show and specifies tools.


Or you really need to track down show breeders for this discussion for specific tips. I think most of us just buy whatever is at the pet shop or online. I don;t have anything special-- for example my best tool is a small cat brush that came with a litterbox set from Lidl.

18th January 2008, 02:43 PM
Don't forget to invest in a really good quality natural bristle brush as well, these are good to brush around the natural oils within the coat giving it a lovely shine. I use a Mason Pearson brand, they are expensive (roughly anything from £25-£50 depending on size) but will last forever.


18th January 2008, 03:38 PM
I'll have to search for that brand, I don't really care about cost that much :) I'll also buy that book and read that! It's alot different then my IGs, while honestly, I almost view them as higher maintenance, even though they're smooth coats, if I don't brush them at least 2-3 times a week, their coat gets very thin and their skin gets try, they also need more work keeping their nails at the right lengths, and they aren't naturally as social as a cavalier, and take alot more training and socializing and day to day care then my cavalier does, but for them, grooming takes 10-15 minutes with a rubber brush or a cameo cloth! I know those aren't the right tools for Amber!!!