The West Highland White Terrier is a smart, friendly and engaging dog who’s lineage dates back to the early 1900s.
Owners of this dog breed enjoy overwhelming intelligence but are faced with specific and often daunting challenges when it comes to keeping their Westie’s appearance up to par.Due to it’s particularly coarse double coat of white fur, specialized and routine care is required in order to keep this dog looking its best. This post provides tips and tools to help with grooming a Westie.
While Westies are well-known for their affection and overall intelligence, keeping their coat shiny and healthy is a big part of overall care and therefore should be taken in account when deciding to bring this cute little breed into your home.
Westie Grooming Guide
In order to groom a Westie successfully, grooming practices should begin at a very young age. The sooner the dog becomes accustomed to grooming procedures, the more comfortable he/she will be with being groomed and allowing the owner or professional groomer to attend to specific yet simple needs. The West Highland Terrier grooming guide, to the right, provides some great tips.
In addition, regular grooming beginning at the puppy stage will also keep the dog’s coat healthy and looking great in between regular grooming sessions and make the task of grooming in general much more pleasurable for the dog – and the person doing the grooming.
Grooming Westies correctly requires that the following tasks be scheduled on a regular basis.
Stripping Dog Hair
The main grooming practice for Westies involves a process that is called stripping which means you remove excess hair from the dog’s thick coat. This is usually accomplished by hand and doesn’t have to be completed in one session. Rather than setting time aside for a long, arduous process while juggling a busy schedule, simply pull excess hair gently and repeatedly from the coat a little bit every day. When the hair grows back naturally, this process insures that the coat is firm and straight. Complete stripping should be a bi-annual process.
How to Groom a Westie Face
After the stripping, the next step should be trimming the excess hair from the dog’s facial area.
Since dog skin is just as sensitive as their human counterparts, careful attention must be given to this process to avoid accidental cuts on the dog’s skin beneath their coat. This process should be completed every 3-4 months and if the dog’s fur grows back particularly quickly it can be done more often.
Be sure to remove the hair around the eyes, nose and mouth and cut it short to avoid impairment to the dog’s vision, eating or drinking. For best results, blunt-tipped scissors or clippers can be used for safety purposes.
Cutting Dog’s Nails
For the health, comfort and safety of the dog as well as any human lap they might jump up on, trimming the nails is also a vital part of overall grooming.A special dog nail trimmer can be employed for the task.
Since some dogs can be fearful and resistant when it comes to having their nails clipped, this also needs to be started at a very young age. Having properly trimmed nails is vital for the health and safety of the dog and avoids toenail overgrowth which can injure the dog over time.
So dog nail trimming is one task that is essential in the Westie’s grooming routine.
Bath time is often considered an arduous task for pet owners, one that is often put off to a another day, but Westie owners have a distinct advantage in this department. Because the Westie’s coat is so coarse and straight, not a lot of dirt is trapped among the fur. If other grooming practices described above, like stripping, are performed regularly on schedule, bathing is not needed quite as often. But when you do bath your Westie, make sure that all of the soap residue is completely removed in the rinsing phase; towel dry your dog to remove excess water once complete.
Westie Video – West Highland Terrier Grooming
This dog grooming DVD shows a groomer at work clipping a West Highland White Terrie.
In this video, the groomer uses some Wahl clippers, a brand of clipper that is proving to be very popular with pet stylists and dog owners alike:
Keeping a well-groomed, healthy Westie is a rewarding experience and is simple to accomplish with a few routine procedures throughout the year. Between all the other grooming tasks, keeping the dog regularly brushed will better facilitate the process and allow stripping, bathing and trimming to be completed with greater ease. Learning how to groom your own Westie can save you the cost and time involved in going to a professional grooming salon every month or so.