The Long And Short Of Terrier Grooming
As you may well know, there are many variations in the coat lengths, colors, and textures present in the terrier group, and your methods of terrier grooming will depend most heavily on the proper coat condition standards in your terrier’s description. Proper, professional, and precise terrier grooming can be all the difference between a best in show and a no-go, so skimping and improvisation are not recommended by any means. If your terrier is not of show quality, but you wish to keep his coat in good condition as per his standards for skin health and breed recognition, then you will be well educated by watching closely at your local grooming salon.
Though many of the modern, and time honored, grooming techniques were put into place for fashion alone, a great number of them were actually employed as to give the animal a more practical coat to suit their line of work. The Great Dane, for instance, was originally created for pack hunting of wild boars. Fatal injuries were sometimes unavoidable, but the masters of these massive, invaluable dogs soon tired of these pigs painfully tearing and piercing the Great Danes long, floppy ears. The triangular clipping of the hounds dangling ears, designed to bring them up and make them very hard to catch with a boars razor sharp tusk, is a great example of functional cropping and grooming techniques.
Terrier grooming of the wire haired breeds is usually a bit simpler than the grooming of those with silky, flowing overcoats. There are plenty of mistakes to be made, however, even on the smallest and most tufted dogs. Some wire haired terrier breeds call for visible separation of the body hairs in their registered description, whereas others, such as the Airedale, are intended to have a close cut but unified coat at the body.
Some terriers require facial work with a fine or course stripping knife, while the standard for other breeds strictly disallow the trimming or shaving of any area of the body. The Maltese, for instance, is not even allowed to have a bow or any other device to hold the ultra long strands away from her eyes. This breed must either wear her head of hair naked, or be fitted with a particular bun which is exclusive to this breeds standard.
Terrier grooming can also be learned under apprenticeship, or by some rather well written and easy to follow instruction manuals available to the public. Most of the tools you will need can also be purchased at major pet supplies stores, or ordered from specialty catalogs either online or through the mail. Go forth and learn all you can, but maybe you should practice on your neighbor’s annoying dog first.