This week, we are introducing a new contributor and fresh new column Road Trip Reviews. Thea Martin Robinson will be writing product reviews that are truly road tested in her real-world life of assisting and showing dogs. Her first column was created while logging over 3685 miles with two Malamute specialties, one Spinoni Specialty, and eight all breed shows. Twenty-eight dogs in total, a true stress test of product performance.
Over the last 15 years of breeding and showing Alaskan Malamutes, I have tried many grooming products in order to prepare my dogs for shows. Malamutes have an uncanny way of deciding to “blow” coat immediately after one has spent money on entries, arranging for time off work, booking travel plans and a handler so I’ve learned how to groom “naked” dogs to give them the appearance of coat.
There are several of the #1 All Systems products that are always in my grooming room or tack box, so when BIS Daily asked me to review their products, I immediately jumped at the chance. A few friends, my handler and I recently took a three week trip where we showed 20+ dogs at two specialties, and eight all-breed shows.
I help my handler groom his dogs, so this trip was a great opportunity to test products on different breeds with different coat types and with coats in different stages of growth and condition.
Before I go into the specific product descriptions and my take on the products tested, it is important to note that before you try any product of any brand on your dog, read the directions for the product and if you have questions, call the manufacturer or seek advice from the vendor or store where you purchased the product. It is also important to try the products at home in advance of the show as to avoid coat emergencies, skin irritations or allergic reactions! Dogs may react to products in different ways. The last thing you want is an issue day before or the day of a show.
In my opinion, the best “self-rinse” on the market today, is the #1 All Systems Self-Rinse Conditioning Shampoo & Coat Refresher. Described by the company as: “The perfect shampoo for touch-ups, when a complete bath is not practical or necessary. [It] will clean, condition and deodorize, all in one step.” This product is that and more. The concentrated product indicates that it should be diluted at a 10:1 ratio. For quick clean-up of the whites on Malamutes and Siberians, I usually dilute this down even more.
On the trip, we table bathed Saint Bernards at the recommended ratio and their coats came out clean and fresh. This product removes product build up nicely as well as “dirty puppy” smells. During one of the all-breed days, I helped my friend get three German Wirehairs ready for the ring, I pulled out the puppy bitch from her crate and you could tell she had been playing quite a bit in the ex-pens. I put her on the table, sprayed down her coat with the self-rinse and prayed that it wouldn’t soften the coat. Not only did the product keep the proper coat texture, but she came out clean and I was able to finish her up with the Pure Cosmetic Skin & Coat Conditioner on her legs, beard, eye furnishings and topline. On this day, this six month puppy won winner’s bitch and nearly won the breed over the special! Now I can’t attribute this all to the products, but I can say that it helped get her ready for the ring.
The Pure Cosmetic Skin & Coat Conditioner is not only great on wirehair legs, beards and eye furnishings, but it is also great as a pre-chalk. As the company states, it does not contain alcohol, so it will not yellow or break coat. We used this product as a pre-chalk on the Saints, the Mals and this last weekend on the Sibes. As with all of their products, a little bit goes a long way! Along with the 3-D Volumizing Spray, I used this product to build volume on the coat of a lanky, 18-month old Saint Bernard. He decided to blow coat right before we left on the trip, and he needed to get the cross-over in order to get points! I sprayed him down liberally with water, back brushed him with a pin brush and then applied the coat conditioner on his coat, back brushed again and then sprayed him with the 3D Volumizing spray. I back brushed him as I dried him with a force dryer. This young dog was able to win the breed from the classes one of the days and was able to get the cross-over points on several occasions. Building volume helped his profile on the line and allowed judges to visualize what he may look like when in coat. The 3D volumizing spray also added volume to my malamute, and on one day, maybe a little too much as he is in full coat. Once I tweaked how I used it on him, his coat looked fabulous.
My handler was sent a Labrador Retriever from out-of-country a few weeks before the trip. I think that the flight and the changes in weather, food and water dried his skin. I chose to bathe him in a mix of Crisp Coat, a darkening shampoo and the Product Stabilizer, Coat rettexturizer & Skin Refresher. The company recommends the Product Stabilizer as a way to rebalance a dog’s coat. This dog had a lot of dander and the product helped alleviate this issue. I also used it on the young Saint Bernard who was having skin issues and I could tell he was trying to get hot-spots. We were able to avoid hot spots on these two dogs with the addition of this product to their shampoo “mix.”
Crisp Coat has been a staple product in my grooming room for nearly as long as I’ve had Alaskan Malamutes. I have changed my shampoo “mix” several times over the years depending on the coat (and color) of the malamute that I’m showing. The one part of the mix that never changes is Crisp Coat. I have found that some shampoos will soften the guard coat of a malamute and Crisp Coat helps keep the texture of the guard coat in place. The product is also described by the company to remove chlorine and heavy minerals from the skin and coat. Since I am on well-water, this is an important element to the shampoo.
Another new addition to my handler’s string of dogs is a lovely Open Saint Bernard bitch from Atlanta. This bitch and the specials bitch both drool quite a bit (they are saints after all!) and the drool stains the coat on the legs and chest. The way that we usually clean up the stains is with bleach. When we got to Wyoming, we decided to try the Professional Formula Whitening Shampoo on the Open bitch and bleach the special. The whitening shampoo worked great on the open bitch, we thought that we may still need to bleach her, but it worked so well that she did not have to be bleached! This girl was able to win the breed over the special two of the four days in Wyoming!
#1 All Systems has products available for nearly all coat types and grooming situations. Check out their website www.1allsystems.com for product listings as well as a Grooming Guidelines Manual. Be sure and check out #1 All Systems YouTube Channel here https://www.youtube.com/user/1allsystems/videos While genetics and diet are important in getting a good coat on a show dog, the #1 All Systems products can help enhance the coat for improved results in the show ring! Maybe even help you achieve a Best In Show!
Thank you #1 All Systems and Roberta Lombardi for providing the products for this Road Trip Review.
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Thea uses every product recommended in real-world situations. Best In Show Daily & Thea are not compensated for the review, however products are contributed for story development. If you would like your products to be considered for Road Trip Reviews, drop us a note at email@example.com