hellemai2With this teaching DVD I intend to make it simple for the individual dog owner to groom his/her own dog.

I have no intention of stepping on professional groomers’ territory. I know there are many good groomers in Denmark, but the problem is that there are not enough of them. The parlours that specialize in terrier grooming have a long wait, and during the recent years more terriers have entered Danish homes.

From experience as well as from former colleagues I know that it is problematic, when dog owners must either wait for months for a grooming appointment or actually cannot find a groomer, who knows how to treat a terrier coat.

Therefore, I think it is time to publish a series of teaching material that step by step shows you how to groom your dog yourself and with some diligence and enthusiasm perhaps obtain a result that comes close to what a professional parlour has to offer.

A proper educated groomer has spent years to learn this special craft, so of course it will take time to obtain a result that is evenly good. By following this DVD you can get far and anyhow get an idea of and respect for what it takes to groom a Cairn Terrier.

There are many views on how to handle a terrier coat, and in particular there are many perceptions on how a Cairn Terrier should look. According to English standards the coat is described as “shaggy”. This means that the coat has to look as natural as possible. During time, many breeders have adapted a more “compact” shape where the coat gets more and more “dressed up”, and where the shape is accentuated even quite a lot. For instance, there is big difference between the American, the Swedish and the Danish terrier coats in both size and grooming.
hellemai4Description of a terrier coat:
More than 30 breeds of terriers exist. There are the ones with short, straight coats, e.g. Bull Terrier, German Jagdterrier and  Smooth Foxterrier. Then there are quite a few terrier breeds with a longer and softer coat, e.g. Kerry Blue Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier. They all have to be treated differently, but none of those breeds are suited for what we call grooming.

The breeds suited for grooming are breeds like West Highland White Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Irish Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Border Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Airdale Terrier, Norwich Terrier and Cairn Terrier just to mention the more well-known.

Normally, a wire-haired terrier breed has a double coat. I.e. a soft woollen coat beneath one – or sometimes several – layers of rough wire coat. The trick is to draw out the top layer of fur, so that new, fresh fur can grow out. When I specifically say draw out, is it because a wire coat must come out with the roots(!!), so there is room for new fur in the empty hair follicle. If you cut a wire coat, it loses its colour and structure and the entire function of the coat’s resistance is ruined.

That is one of the reasons that it is not a good idea to wash a wire coat. This will remove the natural grease that surrounds every hair and protects the fur from moisture and dirt. It is actually the same as when we waterproof a leather jacket or a leather bag, or we shine our shoes with a grease shoe polish.  You can also compare it to an Oriental carpet that is not to be washed as that will remove the grease from the treads, and it will have no resistance towards dirt.

A wire terrier coat that is treated correctly can be cleaned with a good grooming and a thorough combing, where the natural grease does its job and hence makes washing redundant.

Hellemai Christensen