Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Maintenance Grooming of the Young Senior English Angora - Part I

What do I mean by a "young senior"?  An English Angora from about 6-8 months has a coat that is different from a junior English Angora and a full coated senior.    Therefore, they have their own blog posting, and are what I often refer to as a "young senior". 

When an English Angora is no longer a junior, and is instead a young senior, their coat is developing into a longer coat, and you will need to stay on top of the coat more than you did before.  So, It is at this age that I begin to blow the rabbit more frequently, and will try to blow them 5-7 days a week.  This will allow the groomer to stay on top of the coat and prevent webbing.  As with  juniors, these blowing sessions should be short, and only a few minutes of total time. 

Once a week, the young senior has a grooming session in which I will focus on the problem areas. I will take the time to work on any webbing or matting that has developed during the week.  Often, I will spot a problem during the daily blowing sessions, but due to time constraints, I will usually leave the area until the once weekly grooming session (to be an "A" student, you would tackle the problem the moment it is spotted.) 

In the first part of the grooming session of the young senior, I will lay the rabbit on its back on my lap.  I will clip the wool around the rabbits private area to keep it clean.  Then, I lightly spritz the feet and legs with a leave in conditoner made for animals that is diluted with water by 50% (Dont use this the week before the show, it should be used for maintenance grooming only.)  I will use my steel comb that has very long and wide spaced teeth to groom through the feet and legs. 
 If the legs and feet are webbing I will often clip them as long as it is at least 3-4 weeks before a show.  They should grow back by then and it will look better than legs and feet with mats.  I will then use the blower on the belly, to find any belly trouble spots.  If there are any, I will lightly spritz with the diluted leave in conditoner, pull apart, and then blow until it is clean. 

Stay tuned for the second part of "Maintenance Grooming of the Young Senior English Angora" which will be posting on Friday.