If you have a beautiful Shiba that you would like the world to see in a show you need to know how to prepare it properly. This article will list the essentials you need to cover before you take your Shiba to a show, as you gain more practice you’ll find out for yourself what works best for your dog and what makes it most presentable, this is just a list of basic things you need to think about.
When kept purely as pets, Shiba’s don’t like to, and don’t need to be washed too thoroughly. However, if you are preparing the dog for show you’ll have to disregard its protests, get it into a tub and start scrubbing. The coat can be quite thick, so sometimes you need to put in a little effort to get them wet to the skin, once you have accomplished that start applying shampoo, try to find a shampoo that is gentle and wont irritate the dog and cause itching or discomfort. Once you have applied the shampoo leave it in for a couple of minutes and then rinse it out. Be sure to do this thoroughly, any shampoo that is left might cause irritation.
Once this part is done, dry your Shiba with a towel, and if your surrounding allows it, leave the dog running around for 15 minutes as it is an effective drying method. Once the dog is dry you can start working on its nails. If the dog is not accustomed to it, this can be a daunting task indeed. Even the best trained dogs object to having their nails clipped, the ones that didn’t get used to it when they were young will keep squirming and will make it impossible for you to do anything. Don’t do this yourself if you don’t have at least some experience, or else you risk hurting your dog’s quick – a thin dark line going along the nail, sometimes down to its very end. If you carelessly nick this line while clipping your dog’s nails it will start bleeding and you need to be prepared for that. If you don’t have a clotting agent handy you can use flour in a pinch. Needles to say you should take great care not to let this happen in the first place.
Next, you should check the dog’s teeth and ears. Just like with the nails, don’t do this yourself if you are not already experienced, if you try to scrape your dog’s teeth, a momentary lack of attention could make you scrape of the protective enamel that keeps the dog’s teeth from rotting. It is the same with ears, they are sensitive, and if you don’t know what you are doing you can hurt your dog.
Once you are done with this, all that is left is to slowly and carefully comb your dog, you don’t want to rush through this stage or make sudden jerking motions, Shibas shed a lot and their coat is very thick, if you are not careful you might pull out a lot more hair than you intended. Comb the dog’s fur in gentle, flowing motions following the grain. Feel free to make this part of the process last longer, because it is the only part that dog might actually enjoy. Once you are done with combing all that is left is to blow dry you pet and enjoy the sight.