GROOMING THE SILKY TERRIER
This will help your groom your Silky as a pet only. People have asked if he can have a haircut so I am including a pet trim similar to the West Highland White which their body type closely resembles.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: (MANDATORY)
- Wire slicker brush
- 2 pairs of good scissors one for finishing and a blunt nose pair for trimming around pads of feet and eyes
- Steel comb with medium teeth
- Andis or A-5 Oster clipper with a # 15 blade (professional clipper not pet clipper they easily burn your dog)
- Additional # 7 and # 10 blade
- Clipper cool lube
- Clipper oil
- Bio Groom or Nature’s Specialties shampoos and conditioners
- Nail clipper and quick stop
- Ear powder
- Ear cleaner
- OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT :
- Grooming bench with arm and noose. This is the best investment if you plan to do your own dog (you can get away with just a clamp on arm and a noose if you have a table to clamp it onto).
- High velocity dog dryer
Mats: Clumps of heavily tangled hair in which a comb cannot go through
Pads: Bottom of a dog’s foot
Anal Gland: Gland at the base of the dogs anus
Quick: Fleshy area of the nail which if cut into will bleed
Beard: Hair on the muzzle
Head fall: Long hair on the skull which hangs over the eyes
Roughing out: Clipping coat to form a pattern prior to bathing.Once the dog is bathed and dry you finish your trim to make you dog picture perfect.
Clipper burn: A rash or sore caused by clipping. Usually caused by forcing a clipper through the coat but can also occur on dogs with sensitive skin. They a easy to clear up by using an antibiotic cream or sulfadine. If you suspect you may have burned your pet bath him with a medicated shampoo. After shave lotion may also help
Before you bathe your dog thoroughly comb him. Make sure the coat is mat and tangle free. This is done both with a wire slicker brush and comb. Brush the hair out thoroughly. Don’t forget under the legs near the chest and back parts of the leg in the groin area and between the toes . Then use your comb. If the comb doesn’t easily go through the hair it is matted and the mats must be removed. There are sprays that will help break up the mat. You can use thinning shears also but you may leave a hole in the area of the mat. The best way is to use you fingers to break up the mat then brush the area until you comb goes through.If you brush you dog properly twice weekly this step should not be needed.
Next comb out the head and beard. Take a hold of the skin on under side of the lower jaw on the opposite side of the beard you are combing out then reverse and do the other side. This keeps his head still and if he objects to having his bead combed you will have control of the head.
Next step clean the ears. If there is hair in the ear canal puff some ear powder in and use your fingers to pull out the hair. The ear powder will make this very easy. If the ears appear swollen, red, pussy or very smelly take him to the Veterinarian . If the ears are just dirty an ear cleaner will remove excess wax and dirt. Squirt and massage the ear cleaner into the ear canal and wipe away excess wax and ear cleaner with cotton balls
Nails are next. The Silky must have black nails which makes it impossible to see the quick. ONLY CUT THE NAIL ABOVE THE CURVE OF THE NAIL. If you go past the curve you will cut the quick. Make sure you have your quick stop handy.
NORMAL GROOMING FOR A SILKY TERRIER
If your dog is not extremely dirty or flea ridden you may start to clipper him. If you don’t have a grooming table you may need the help of another person until your dog is trained to stand still on it’s own. The grooming arm would have acted as your third hand.
First trim the feet. Use a 10 or 15 blade. Clipper the front feet up to the wrist The wrist is where the foot bends. You will also see a black pad at the bend of the wrist. If you breeder did not remove the dew claw which will be located on the inside of the legs be careful not to cut that membrane and work around it. The rear feet are clipped up to the top of the hock. Don’t forget to trim between the pads. This is important as debris such as sand, small pebbles, burrs and foxtails can get in there and mat the fur At the very least this can cause foot discomfort but can also cause funguses to form, infected sores and foxtails to enter the leg and cause major problems. Always use a blunt end scissor and proceed with
Never push or force your clipper. Hold it lightly and it will glide through the coat. If you try to push it through it may cause it to leave clipper marks, jamb up or even clipper burn your dog. You can practice clipping on a piece of fake fur to get the feel of your clipper.
The best blade for the ears is a #15. Clip the entire ear inside and out to the base of the skull. Scissor around the ears to get rid of any stray hair.
Now trim the belly and inside of the legs in the groin area with your 10 blade. Don’t go past the start of the rib cage. With males shave their penis and with females be very careful not to clipper off a nipple. It can happen. If this area intimidates you leave it alone.
BATHING THE SILKY TERRIER
Next comes the bath. You may put cotton in the ear canal to keep water out. Use warm water and always lather and rinse the dog twice. The first lather removes excess dirt and the second brightens. Wet him down prior to soaping. At this time pump the anal glands.This is done by applying light pressure at the base of the anus and pump in an up and down motion. You should get a very smelly discharge come out. If it is really thick or pussy see your Veterinarian. You may want to skip this part of the bath and just have your Veterinarian pump them at your annual checkup. Use only top quality dog shampoos and conditioners . I recommend either Bio Groom or Nature’s Specialty products. Begin at the head and work to the rear. Be careful not to get soap in his eyes. If he has fleas use a flea shampoo and apply Bio Spot or Advantage when his grooming is complete. If he has skin problems (too oily, too dry) use a medicated shampoo designed for that problem.Always follow the product’s instructions. Always use a good conditioner. I highly recommend Nature’s Specialties Aloe Re-moisturizer. This will help keep the coat soft and easy to comb out. If the coat is extremely dry use a hot oil treatment.
Blow dying is best. It will straighten the coat and give a more finished look. Towel dry and use your hair dyer. If you have invested in a Force dog dryer and grooming bench you will be glad you did it will make you task 100 % easier and cut your drying time in half. Be very careful with a human dryer it can be too hot and burn the skin.
Now is the time to finish you trim. Start by trimming any excess hair with your finishing scissors still left on the feet.
Next trim excess hair on the tail with you scissors and use your clipper to remove excess hair around the rectum to keep fecal matter from sticking in the hair.
The final step is the head. When you trim the face clipper, pluck or scissor all the excess between the eyes and just under the eye. This will form a clean look and the head fall will fall naturally and not into the eyes. Use blunt nose scissors in this area and always clipper away from the eyes Scissor the ears around the out side to remove any excess hair and give them a smooth finished look. Finally part the head in the center of the skull and part the back down the middle. An anti static spray or coat oil will help keep it in place and make it shine.
WESTIE LOOK /AKA PUPPY TRIM
With this trim I groom the feet, ears and bottom as above. I then take a # 15 or 10 blade and shave from the base of the skull around the neck. I then shave down the back into the top 1/3 of the rib cage and shave the entire tail . Blend the long hair on the rib cage into the short back hair so it won’t look so abrupt. This will take practice. Use the # 7 blade. I the take the scissors and trim the excess hair on the leg where it falls below the trimmed area. This is not real necessary but will give a more finished look. The head can be trimmed as above or you can be trimmed more like a Westie by cutting the long hair to give the head are more circular look.
- When using your scissors (not your electric clipper), wet the edge of the ears and pull the hair away from the ear to make it easier to trim the edges (this will also work on feet)
- To clean your dog between bathing use cornstarch. It will remove excess oil and dirt. Sprinkle it in and brush it out. Then spray him with your favorite doggie cologne.
- If your dog has ticks, put them in a jar of vinegar as you pick them off. It kills them and isn’t toxic.
- Always check for foxtails between the toes, pads and under his front legs near the chest. These are overlooked hiding places for foxtails and the can injure and even kill your dog.
- Always use cool lube and clipper oil to maintain your blades. If the clipper blade is hot to the touch it is hot to the dog.
- If you use your hair dryer make sure it is not too hot. Hair dryer temperatures sometimes are too hot for canine skin.
- If you dog has sensitive eyes and they tear after bathing, ask your Vet for a non antibiotic ointment or eye drop to put in his eyes prior to bathing
My model for regular grooming is Bud son of my Australian import.
Wanda the Witch is 13 yrs old and trimmed like a Westie. She is one of my “official” greeters you must past muster with her to get one of my puppies
Elizabeth “Lizzie” is the bath model. You can see her looking more like a Silky on the Gallery She is owned by Sharon Confer
Amber has totally optional clothes and bow