Grooming Wire-Coated Dogs

by Jane Meggitt Google
Many terrier breeds, like the Airedale, sport wiry or "rough" coats.

Many terrier breeds, like the Airedale, sport wiry or "rough" coats.

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If you own a dog with a smooth coat, you probably have to brush or comb out his hair at least weekly to keep him looking spruce. Wire-haired breeds require grooming less frequently, but the sessions are more labor-intensive. One benefit of wire-coated dogs is that their shedding is minimal.

Rolling the Coat

For non-show dogs, rolling the coat is an easy option. Wiry coats contain long, short and medium-length hairs. Pulling out the long hairs on a regular basis makes the medium hairs grow longer and the short hairs become medium-length. This hair-plucking doesn't hurt the dog. Plucking the long hairs in short sessions every few weeks should be sufficient.

Hand-Stripping

If you show your dog, his coat should be hand-stripped several times a year. Strip the coat so it has time to grow in and look good for show season. Give yourself plenty of time for hand-stripping -- it takes two hours or more to do the entire dog. You'll need a grooming table to do the job right. Always strip hairs in the direction in which they grow.

Considerations

Never cut the coat of a wire-haired dog. While trimming whiskers and feet is permissible, cutting or shaving the coat causes it become softer, losing the wiriness over time. In some breeds, cutting the hair also causes color changes when the new, softer coat grows in.

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