Once upon a time, terriers were trimmed every six months. Nowadays it is much more respected to keep terriers looking smart at all times. Follow our helpful guide in How to Groom a Westie (West Highland White).
The Westie's coat consists of two layers, the outer coat is about 5 cm of harsh hair which is curl free, where the undercoat resembles fur that is short and close.
Westies are stripped by hand or knife, thinned or clipped depending on their coat. For the comfort of the dog it is best to use a set of clippers to trim the hair.
Westies are not clipped short; if using a professional clipper it is best to use a #4 or #5 length blade to achieve the right length across the body. The face is never clipped, but is rounded into a chrysanthemum shape with scissors.
Brush the entire coat, removing the knots and tangles.
With the stripping knife *(coarse), trim from about 5 cm behind the ears and downwards over the shoulder.
With the required length of blade on the clipper, run the clipper from the back of the neck towards the tail, down the sides to a level line from the elbow to the pelvis, leaving a skirt.
Trim the tail. The hair is shortened by using the stripping knife, hand plucking or using thinning scissors.
Trim the hair from under the tail and around the anal area. Clip or scissor these parts, going in the direction of the growth of hair.
Bath your Westie in a mild shampoo and apply a conditioner where necessary.
Bow the coat dry with a slicker brush.
Check the Westie's nails, ears and teeth.
Blend the skirt into the body with the stripping knife or thinning scissors to ensure a smooth appearance.
Ears: Strip the stray hairs with a knife or thinning scissors and neaten the edges with scissors.
Indent the stop: Trim the area between the eyes with thinning scissors to remove enough hair to reveal the eyes.
Some pet owners usually have their dog's legs scissored to about 10cm in a downward blend, and the skirt shortened at the bottom. Some Westies have their underneath clipped with a #10 blade through the chest to the stomach, incorporating the genital area.
The finished dog.