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Routine grooming for my puppy includes cleaning eyes, ears, etc and grinding his nails. In May, there is an AKC show nearby and he will be old enough to enter the 4-6 month class and I was asked if I wanted a grooming station. I said no, thinking that those stations are for the long haired and fru-fru dogs. Now I am curious (warning - noobie here) .. are there other things I should be doing to groom a show dog? I googled "doberman grooming" and the only other think I could come up with is anal expression and whisker trimming. Does anyone have a list of daily grooming / weekly grooming / monthly grooming / the day before a show grooming / day of a show grooming, etc?
 

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Yes, there is definitely light grooming involved for showing a Doberman, including several areas that were shaved to create a very smooth line. Can your breeder help you? I would not want to attempt the shaving without guidance first from someone who has experience.

It's been a couple years since my Dobe showed, but here is what comes to mind off top of my head. Note - I don't bathe my doberman often. Some people do, but in her 5 years of life, she has had about 1 bath a year. I wipe her down and brush her instead. She stays pretty clean and for me at least, I found over bathing can dry out the skin and make it flaky.

Here are the basic things I did:

Night before show:
Trim ears (excess fur inside ears and edge of ear so very clean line)
Trim whiskers
Trip underside and tip of tail
Trim stifle and back of thighs where cowlicks are
Some people also trim the cowlick on neck; I didn't have the skills for that and just let it go. :)
I think I am forgetting some of the trimming but that is what comes to mind.
Dremel nails (nails should be very short; start when your puppy is young so you can get them short and keep them that way)

Clean ears after trimming and clean eyes (i used gentle eye and ear wipes) (touch up again on day of show as needed - especially eyes)

Morning of show:
Brush with Chris Christensen brushes - I had two - one that got the dust and any flakes off; a second that was used more as a polishing brush. In the link below I have the "ionic" brush; the other one I have I don't see listed on their website.
Terrier Brush and Speciality Grooming Brushes for Pet Grooming, Show Dogs & Cats
Wipe down with damp cloth; sometimes I would use an herbal spray with sheen; my handler liked to spray Skin So Soft Bug spray - it also created a sheen and smelled really nice; not to mention keeping bugs off.
Dab vaseline on nose to make shiny.

I always kept a grooming kit with me at ringside including brushes, damp cloths, skin so soft spray, vaseline, etc to touch up as needed.

Those are the things I recall... It's pretty straightforward and I always enjoyed it as I think my dog did too. My breeder helped me formulate my grooming plan and taught me how to do the trimming so hopefully yours can too!

Good luck and have fun.
 

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In addition to the previous posts I also put a dab of Vaseline on toe nails just before going in the ring ... it gave them a shine...my breeder thought this was ridiculous...but Tavi won when I did it...so it became regular for us.
 

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Also, is there an AKC approved training facility near you? They would offer confirmation classes. A LOT goes into it! I just learned last night that my class is over 3 hours every Tues for 8 weeks plus HOMEWORK!

I would strongly encourage you to join your local DP club. The members, at least at mine, were very helpful at giving me all kinds of tips. Some maybe judges who can point out your dog's faults and help you to "hide" them. I would go to a local show and see how it works and get an understanding of the rules. Lastly, google "Doberman Pinscher Illustrated Standard" so you can see what's required of the Doberman. Obviously puppies are a bit different but I think that's a good place to start. There's much more but I don't want to overwhelm you with the makeup details (eye liner, coloring...) as well as shampoos and sprays that help shine the coat... Also the book called Raising a Champion is a good read.
 

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Also, someone told me not to anal express Dobermans because once you start you have to keep doing it. I'd be interested to hear others views on that because now I've heard do and don't.

Also, best of luck! So far I'm loving learning everything. I kind of went into it thinking "how hard can a beauty contest be?" And now I feel overwhelmed by everything you need to know but I love a good challenge!
 

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I totally agree with Gretchen about going to handling classes. If there is not something nearby, another option is the Fenzi Dog Sport Academy who offers a conformation skill building series with Sue Ailsby through their online dog academy. Here is a link to the Conformation 1, which is not being offered again until October.

I have heard pretty good things about the class.

Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - DS230: Conformation Skillbuilding 1
 

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There is no real reason to express anal sacs unless they are not being express normally by the dog (that would be with every bowel movement).

I've mostly had Dobes since 1959--I've had two in that time who ever had to have anything done to their anal sacs. One had an infected anal sac--he got that emptied and cleaned with a common cleaner used for open sores, rashes etc and then had an antibiotic/antifungal/pain controller injected every other day for 10 days and never had another problem. The other dog had full anal sacs which caused him to spend a lot of time licking the area--his got his emptied once and that was it.

People get crazy about show trimming. I routinely brush teeth, clean ears and trim toe nails (dremel) the night before a show I bathe the dog, clean his ears, brush his teeth and trim anything that sticks out. I shave the inside of his ears and down the edge and at the base so no hair sticks out. I trim whiskers with scissors and run the clippers over the edge of his lips to get the small whiskers there.

I shave the seams on each side of his neck, along the edge of his flank, the seam on his chest, the back of the hind leg above the hock and the underside of his tail and the end of the tail and usually shave the belly around his sheath.

And I do a final dremel on his nails.

On the days of the show I spray the dog with stuff that adds a little shine--my favorite is action a horse product which also contains an insecticide. And I wipe them down with either a dampened towel or a dampened chamois (a real one).

Dobes don't usually have problems.
 
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