The Battle Against Corgi
by Kay Jackson, Houston, Texas
I can not remember who on Corgi-L posted last year with the tip about using 1/2 cup fabric softener mixed with a gallon of water to remove excess coat. She said to give them their bath as usual. Then soak their coat with the fabric softener solution then wait 5 minutes and rinse.
I have only been "in" corgis since 1989 so I am a newbie when it comes to grooming these fur producers. I have tried everything when they do their big twice a year blow of coat so I thought I would give it a try.
I don't have a place to wash my furkids at home (except for the Jack Russell Terrier who fits in the kitchen sink nicely). I use a dog washing facility in a groom shop near my home. For $10 they provide shampoo, towels, ear cleaners, cotton balls, blow dryers, grooming tables and tubs that are at waist level.
I trotted off yesterday morning to give Zippity a bath. He has been blowing coat and getting his adult summer coat. (Can't believe he will be a year old in June) I mentioned to the shop owner's helper that I was going to try something new to remove his old coat. She laughed and said "let me know if it works". She was not impressed with the plan.
Zippity at 8 weeks
I soaped Zip up and rinsed him off as usual. Then I worked the fabric softener solution in his coat until it was saturated, waited 5 minutes and proceeded to rinse. The undercoat and smooth top layer came out in handfuls. I had to clean out the wire drain protector every minute to keep the tub water draining. I rinsed until I was sure all the solution was out and the hair stopped coming out. I carefully wiped all the hair out of the tub. By now I had half way filled up a large waste basket with wet undercoat and regular hair.
I started blowing Zippity's coat out thinking all the loose hair was out. Silly me - I should never do my own thinking. I soon was surrounded ankle deep in corgi hair and undercoat fluff. It was flying every where in the shop. Looked like a regular blizzard - I was wishing I had used one of their face masks as I was sneezing, coughing and gasping for air minus dog hair. It was about that time I remembered reading in the tip that you should dry the dog OUTSIDE after using the fabric softener solution.
After I got Zip dried, I proceeded to pick up the fluff that was on the customer side of the shop with my hands filling another large trash basket. I got as much up as possible. It still looked like a fur bomb had exploded in the wash tub area. I offered to pay extra because of the mess but the shop owner's helper just said no that was fine - that's what they were there for.
I didn't realize until I was half way home she didn't say "bye till we see you next month" when I left the shop. I hope they will let me back in the shop.
Zippity Doo Dah after his bath
But on the bright side, Zippity looks fantastic and his coat is incredibly soft and glistens in the sun. Everyone in his class yesterday evening commented on how great his coat looked. I just smiled. I was still sneezing and coughing to say much.
P.S. Instead of fabric softener (choose a mild and unscented brand) you can, of course, also use a conditioner for dogs, but don't give your Corgi a bath just before a show as it will make his coat too soft. It is best to bathe him a few days before the show to allow the coat to settle.