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  • Terrier confusion

    I groom a Cairn every 4 - 6 months. I can't get the owner to come more often. This time his legs and neck were pelted. I've never seen a terrier with mats but I've also never seen a terrier with long soft hair. He has pink skin and it gets irritated just carding it. I stripped the topline, gave the dog a bath and tried to blow out the mats some and then shaved them. Then I used thinning shears on the rest of the body to take some length off. It took for ever. I never thought I'd tell someone to have their terrier clipped rather than striped but that's what I told the owner. I'll post a before picture. I didn't have time for an after because I had barely finished when the owner came to pick up. By the way, he looks just like the Norwich that I had trouble with grooming. Is this normal for pet terriers? What should I do with them?
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  • #2
    It looks like that dog has been clipped down a few times? Were they going somewhere else before they came to you? IMO every 4-6 months won't work for hand stripping dogs where you're trying to correct the coat back into the harsh/rough coat that can be stripped easier. Every 4-6 months *might* be ok for a dog in good coat.

    I'd try try try to explain that if they want their dog stripped/correctly groomed they must come every 6 weeks or so until the coat starts growing in right, then they can get by with every 3-4 months. If they don't agree put a pet cairn clip on the dog - clip the back with a #5 up to a #2 comb or so, then do the legs thinning shearing out the mats etc. Try to continue to pluck for a couple minutes on the face to keep some harsh hair coming in so the fine hair stands up better and thinning shear it too.

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    • #3
      In my experience, even w/ handstripping, if they wait that long, the fur will get very soft under there and mat up. You have to keep up on the stripping and even more important than the stripping is the undercoat removal. If not removed that undercoat just "chokes out" all the wiry growth. I would tell them if they can't afford the stripping at least every 8 weeks then you won't strip their dog anymore. On the wire coated terriers you can still use a coat king and pull out a lot of undercoat before you use the clippers. This keeps the texture wiry, the color more vibrant and is still easier than the stripping. I would think a dog who wasn't used to even a regular brushing would definitely get red skin from the rake, the skin toughens up the more you work w/ it. Work w/ it every 6 months and yeah, it is going to be irritated.
      I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
      -Michelangelo

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      • #4
        My Baggins is a Cairn that has a VERY soft coat and he never gets a mat. I had him before I became a groomer and he might have gotten combed out once every two or three months. That is weird.
        "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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        • #5
          Be kind - shave! lol

          That owner doesn't really care, so do what is best for the dog, which would be strip as in shave, not handstrip. Pelted/matted coat is not a deluxe groom candidate, the dog gets more irritated and it is a waste of your talented time.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gr8danlvr1 View Post
            In my experience, even w/ handstripping, if they wait that long, the fur will get very soft under there and mat up. You have to keep up on the stripping and even more important than the stripping is the undercoat removal. If not removed that undercoat just "chokes out" all the wiry growth. I would tell them if they can't afford the stripping at least every 8 weeks then you won't strip their dog anymore. On the wire coated terriers you can still use a coat king and pull out a lot of undercoat before you use the clippers. This keeps the texture wiry, the color more vibrant and is still easier than the stripping. I would think a dog who wasn't used to even a regular brushing would definitely get red skin from the rake, the skin toughens up the more you work w/ it. Work w/ it every 6 months and yeah, it is going to be irritated.
            I would never go so far as to give an ultimatum because you can strip out mats fairly easy on terriers using a good pointed knife and a coat king- they get the matts from wet coats- bathing or rain and no brushing.
            Instead of discouraging them to continue plucking ENCOURAGE them to brush their dog more and bathe it only when it has been brushed out first. Some cairns have soft coats but still better plucked than than clipped if you can figure it out. I till think Cairns are one of the easiest breeds to pluck. Don't give up. I do some once a month - every 8 weeks and a few 3 times a year. They all look better plucked any which way you cut it.

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            • #7
              What Beth said...

              I have never seen a harsh coated terrier that was so bad it needs to be shaved! I had a Lakie in a few months ago that had never been groomed and was 2 1/2 years old , solid matts. owner said her husband cut some of it "last summer" . I even took a video of me doing her. She got done and a gorgeous new coat came in and I was able to give one of GT's top competitors a hand stripping lesson on her.
              Mind you, she was not a very happy camper, but it is healthier for the skin! She was much better to start the roll.
              For a dog that seems matted, try using a coat king to "comb out" it pulls the hair out and cuts some as well. It's a good tool to start a coat with!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by epilady View Post
                I have never seen a harsh coated terrier that was so bad it needs to be shaved
                I have...a westie & I was VERY surprised because usually they DO brush out. But his coat was just NOT co-operating....

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                • #9
                  Sorry, guys, I have seen it...and bad.

                  You can tell they've been clipped. The words "harsh coated" don't apply anymore, it's like shih tzu hair! They mat like shih tzus, and de-mat like shih tzus.

                  On the other hand, when their hair has been more on the coarse side, I totally have the same experience as you. This dogs legs were PELTED, no way am I going to demat that!

                  Tammy in Utah
                  Groomers Helper Affiliate

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