How to keep your Welsh Terrier, tidy and healthy.
Your essential tools for grooming.
Scissors: Straight edged, Thinning Scissors, teeth on one side. Small scissors with rounded blade bottoms. A metal comb with wide and narrow teeth. Stripping knives coarse and fine. Nail clippers. Terrier pad. Ear hair removal appliance, tick remover, hand shears and chalk.
Over the years we have laid on trimming sessions, to teach Weltos members how to trim their dogs. Now that we are in Lockdown, you may find your once smart looking Welsh, is turning into a very hairy bear.
I am going to try and give you some tips and help to keep your dog's coat clean and healthy.
So first here is the Golden Rule: Never try to groom your dog on the ground,
because if you do, he'll simply mess you around!
This is because the ground is their territory. So you must always groom on a table. If you have a dog that fidgets, you will need a post with a hoop on your table. You will need it positioned high so your dog cannot turn around. You need to get your dog to understand STAND. Try and make it fun.
To maintain a good coat, you should brush regularly. A terrier pad held in your palm is a good tool for getting right through the coat and particularly good for the furnishings, beard and moustache. You need to get all the matts out of the furnishings. Until you do, don't even think of bathing or trimming the rest of your dog.
Once all the tangles are gone, use your terrier pad in a circular motion on the legs, then release without pulling any furnishings out. This encourages growth.
Using only the wide teeth in your comb, comb the hair upwards starting at the toes and working your way right up to the elbow. Then lightly comb the hair back down and you will immediately see the difference. You are aiming for a straight line either side and not going out like a cone shape at the bottom.
Note: Whenever you use the comb for furnishings you must only use the wide teeth. The small teeth will spoil the effect.
Before After combing in the correct way
Now you can see the leg has to be in a straight line. If you can see any fresh air through the hair simply tweak it out with finger and thumb. Cut around the base of foot so it looks nice and tight.
CJ has a plethora of furnishings. After dematting, take the paw and shake it so you have a parting in the middle. With wide tooth comb comb each side so you can then trim a straight line , each side of the leg. I would use thinning scissors for this. Tidy up any scrappy hairs by tweaking out with finger and thumb.
CJ showing off his newly combed furnishings !
I've just been looking at some videos and have taken note that they now use a slicker brush on the legs .
So see below how to remove the matting from your dog's furnishings.
To get rid of all the tangles, they recommend that you spray the furnishings, lightly, with conditioner. Isabella Bennett recommends Palmers coconut oil, leave in conditioner ,which is for humans but does the job and is far cheaper than the dog preparations.
Starting at the bottom. comb a line across the leg and use the slicker brush in a "pat and pull" technique. Do not hold the brush so it drags harshly through the hair. Continue until all knots are gone.
Continue to comb a line and then remove matting with the slicker brush until you reach the top of the leg. Then use the comb to find any knots. if you do find your comb won't pull through the hair, then go back to your slicker brush to remove these, spraying conditioner lightly as you go. Look out for matting under the armpits.
If you don't have a slicker brush use whatever you do have. As with any tools, it's great to have the right ones but you can always improvise.
Conditioner for furnishings above. Brush with metal prongs below.
I'm pretty sure you'll all have something like this bush pictured above.
Isabella recommends that you comb the eyebrows to the side and the cut straight forward to get the shape. I've always felt for the bone where the eyebrow should start and comb the hair forward. separate the brow at the centre of the eye. Using straight edged scissors start from the outside corner of the eye and trim diagonally, following the line of the eye
Using your terrier pad brush back beard and moustache towards the tail, making sure all tangles are gone. Then lightly comb them forward. You can use the slicker brush to remove tangles.
Once thoroughly brushed, using one hand on the withers, use the small teeth of the comb at an angle and pull comb through coat from head to tail. This should get rid of loose hairs.
Regularly check between the pads to make sure there is no mud. This can dry up and cause sores. You can use the small scissors with rounded blades to remove the hair between the pads or a small trimmer.
Try to keep the ear canals free from hair. You can use a very small pinch of chalk powder to dry the hair, which can then be pulled out, using your finger and thumb, by a levering motion rather than a yank.
Keep ears clean with Vetruus Otodine. Can be bought online. You can use a cotton wool bud to clean in the crevices of the ear.
Don't throw your used teabags away. These can be used to clean dirty eyes. Squeeze excess moisture out first then gently clean corners of eyes.
The best way to keep teeth clean is brushing them. Use dog toothpaste. Squirt on brush and press the paste down between the bristles. Get brush right to the back of the teeth each side and work forward.
Other suggestions can be found on Newsletter
Either file them or clip off the ends being careful not to cut the quick. I tuck the paws under before clipping so I can try to see where the quick ends.
Because the nails are black, it makes it harder to see where the quick ends. So my tips would be, to firstly soak your dogs paw in tepid water for a bit. Just like us, water softens nails so they are easier to cut. If you've never done it before do not be gung ho as you could make your dog's nails bleed and it will hurt him. So just snip the end bit off and then get a metal file and file the nail, which is actually good as it pushes the quick further up. OR you can buy a nail grinder so you don't have to cut your dog's nails at all.
An Extract from Isabella Bennett.
Brush beard and tache outwards/upwards so he looks like a dandelion, use his chin beard as a griphandle for you to hold his head from underneath, and scissor with the other hand, gentle thin snips to cut down the dandelion fluff at the top and sides to whatever size you want it to be. Clipper top of head to where you want his eyebrow to start, clipper side of head from outer corner of eye backwards to ear and down neck. Beard starts at canine teeth so you can clipper neck to that start of beard line. Comb eyebrows out to the side, cut straight forward to get the shape right.
I recommend cordless trimmers. The ones I use are Heineger Saphir: They are fairly expensive.
So a cheaper option would be these. Made in China though! You should be able to get them from a British outlet. They work and they are very reasonable.
Diamond Edge is an excellent place to buy grooming equipment:
You can buy stripping knives from various places. The main thing is to make sure your knife is not sharp as it will completely ruin the coat. If your knife appears to be sharp, you can blunt it by dragging it along a paving stone.
Carding is simply a method of removing any dead hair from your dog's coat. Don't be afraid of the name. I have made a little video, showing you how and why it's done. This is one of the simpler things to do, but very important. Keep raking your dog's coat through after his groom. This goes for all types of groom eg stripping, scissoring or clipping.
My thanks to David (hubby) for managing to keep my phone in the air for so long!! The sound in the background is from the Koi ponds!
Work in a straight line from the withers to the tail. Hold your dog's skin firmly with one hand. Hold the stripping knife as if you were thumbing through pages of a book. Trap between the blade and your thumb and pull coat with a firm plucking motion, in the same direction as the growth. Do not cut the coat with the blade. Try not to exaggerate the movement. If your dogs hair is quite long, start with a coarse stripping knife, replacing it with a finer stripping knife to finish off.