#2 Westie clip

26 Jan

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Here’s an example of my personal favorite length for a West Highland White Terrier pet-style breed clip. Traditionally, this style is handstripped using a stripping blade, but for pets I like a #2 clipper comb on the back, which is longer than most groomers preference (usually a 5). Using a laube metal comb has the added benefits of:

1. Maintaining the integrity of the coat, which will lose its hard, terrier texture if cut close to the skin with a blade.

2. Blends beautifully with the skirt, with absolutely zero unattractive “track marks”, and no obvious line separating the skirt from back.

When doing a westie, I was taught to actually scissor-shape their head into the very round shape BEFORE the bath. Normally i’d never scissor a dirty dog but that’s the only time when you’ll be able to fluff the face and have the hair stand straight up. If you opt to do his head after the bath, the clean hair will just lay flat, and your westie head will look more teddybear head like.

Never clippercomb the top of the head! There is nothing less attractive than a rectangulur westie head!  Sometimes, after years of flat, rectangle heads, the hair will stubbornly try to fall back into that shape despite your best efforts to round it out. It’ll take several grooms to grow it and shape it round, but as you can see here, this former-rectangle has started rounding out.

I’ll post a show westie later for comparison.

Oh, and after you’re done clippering the back, no matter what length you chose, gently run a Furminator over the back. This will serve as a “poor man’s strip” and may help maintain some of the breed-standard texture.

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