The West Highland White Terrier is a smart, friendly and engaging dog whose lineage dates back to the early 1900s. Owners of this dog breed enjoy impressive intelligence in their pet, but are faced with specific and often daunting challenges when it comes to keeping their Westie’s appearance up to par.
So let’s look at 4 easy Westie Grooming tips along with some advice on how to groom a Westie at home.
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 to help with keeping your Westie looking his best, along with some very useful Westie grooming tools.
The West Highland White Terrier Book (Affiliate Link)
Table of Contents
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 into account when deciding to bring this cute little breed into your home.
Westie Grooming & Clipping at Home?
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.
In addition, following a regular grooming regine from the puppy stage can prove to be very beneficial with respect to removing any groomer ansiety your dog might experience later on.
Grooming Westies correctly requires that the following tasks be scheduled on a regular basis.
1. 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.
Tools for Stripping Dog Hair (Affiliate Link)
2. Trimming the Westie Head – How to Groom a Westie Face
After the stripping routine, the next step should be trimming excess hair from the dog’s facial area. If you are not sure how to groom a Westie face, this video clip can guide you.
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.
West Highland White Terrier Spiral-bound Book
3. Cutting Dog 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 Westie 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.
4. Dog Bathing
Bath time is often considered an arduous task for pet owners, one that is often put off to a later date, 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. This is an essential part of your Westie grooming.
A Westie Grooming Video – West Highland Terrier Grooming
This Westie grooming DVD shows a groomer at work clipping a West Highland White Terrier. It provides a good guide on how to groom a Westie.
Grooming Tools and Clippers for Westies
In the 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:
Dog Grooming Clippers (Affiliate Link)
The very popular stainless steel scissors are also a must-have to arm yourself with suitable tools for the Westie grooming routine.
Scissors for Grooming Dogs (Affiliate Link)
What Is the Best Brush for a Westie?
Brushing will be a regular task in your Westie grooming routine. So having a suitable brush will definitely make the job a little easier, for you and your Westie.
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 Westie grooming tasks, keeping your 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.