How to Keep My Show Dog's Legs Clean

This bassett hound's legs do not stay white without a little extra grooming.
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To the uninitiated, a dog show may seem like a canine beauty pageant. This observation, while not entirely accurate, does hold some merit. Dogs shown in conformation are shown against an ideal written standard that explains what the perfect dog of each recognized breed should be, and cleanliness is part of this equation. Keeping a show dog’s legs clean can be a challenge, but leaving the show grounds with a win is worth the effort.

Stay Clean

The simplest way to keep your show dog’s legs clean is to avoid extremely messy situations in the first place. Steer clear of mudholes and puddles, and rinse your dog’s legs off as soon as possible if he does get messy. If your dog has light-colored or white legs, limit his access to grassy areas to prevent stubborn green stains.

Careful Containment

Show dogs are often crated during travel and on the show grounds, and dirty crates equal dirty legs. Wash the crate thoroughly and allow it to dry before kenneling your dog. Pad the bottom of the crate with a towel or washable blanket to soak up liquids in the event of an accident. If your dog is not fully crate-trained, look for a crate with a raised wire floor to allow urine and feces to fall through to the bottom tray.

Wash and Dry

Baths are a routine habit for show dogs, and weekly leg washing will help keep his legs clean. Brush each leg to remove caked-on dirt and tangles, and put the dog in a tub filled with a few inches of warm water. Wet each leg, and apply a palm full of dog shampoo, scrubbing it into the fur. Let the shampoo sit for 5 minutes, and rinse with fresh water. Towel or blow-dry each leg according to your breeds grooming specifications.