Pre-Show Grooming for White & Black Newfoundlands by Jacqueline Brellochs
Getting a Landseer ready for the ring is much the same as getting a solid colored Newfoundland ready. There are some specific things, however, that are done just for the white and blacks.
As prevention is most desirable, the kennel area for white and blacks should have good drainage to protect white hairs from urine stains and should avoid concrete sections that can impart a stubborn pinkish stain.
The black hairs and white hairs may differ in texture, the white hairs being of varying degrees between long/soft/silky and shorter/coarse. Thus, trimming of body areas is of greater or lesser ease and effectiveness depending upon coat texture. I have found this to be most pronounced in dealing with the now obligatory chest trim. On some, it is fairly easy to do a smooth job with first straight, and then thinning shears; on others, the same care seldom yields an unlayered result. On them, the cutting must be done further ahead of the show date to end up with the desired look.
If the Landseer is darker or more ticked than wished for, there are additional things you can do about a month beforehand. To increase white areas, some sections are amenable to trimming back the black hairs with thinning scissors. To reduce areas of ticking on the body, black hairs can be cut a little shorter so that the white hairs of a full coat cover and hide them. For ticking on the front of the legs, chalking the day of the show can render the black areas less noticeable. White and black patterns may create optical illusions such as longer or shorter neck or higher rear than is really the case; these can sometimes be modified with judicious use of a matbreaker.
To obtain the whitest coat possible, weekly bathing precedes showing by a month or two. One of the purple shampoos designed to aid stain removal is good, especially as show dates near. Also effective with repeated use, as well as being "kinder and gender" to the skin, is a shampoo with citrus oils. I have not tried all the purple and blue shampoos on the market, but of those I have, my preference is for Quic Silver, an equine shampoo available from KV Vet Supply (1-800-423-8211). Note: some Newfoundlands have suffered skin eruptions after repeated use of purple shampoos for dogs. The shampoo containing citrus oils is Natural Animal 100% Herbal Dog Shampoo + Dip Concentrate.
For particularly stubborn stains, such as those at elbows, between toes and under chin, make a paste and brush it on with an old toothbrush. Let it dry. As bleach can be harsh on the coat, it is advisable to bathe out within 24 hours max. The paste is composed of equal parts of white 20-volume peroxide (from beauty salon) and milk of magnesia, thickened with cornstarch and/or chalk.
On show days, we use the same no-rinse shampoos as for the solid colored Newfoundlands. One I particularly like is #1 All-Systems blue instant shampoo, which dilutes 1:5 and is available from Cherrybrook. Landseers are more adversely affected on rainy days because wet hairs appear less white than dry ones. To affect a "quick fix," a chalk and cornstarch mix applied to furnishings will hasten coat drying.