The wavy, light coat of the soft-coated wheaten terrier consists of humanlike hair; it grows and grows, and requires regular trimming and frequent brushing to prevent tangles. Luckily, the desired haircut for the wheaten is basically a trimmed version of the natural pattern in which it grows. Therefore, minimal trimming is necessary to keep the wheaten looking his best.
Use a pin brush when brushing the wheaten's soft coat. Start at the back of his head and brush small sections at a time in the direction the hair grows by using the line-brushing method. Continue until you brush his entire coat. Next, go over his coat with a slicker brush to help remove any remaining mats or tangles. If you locate a tangle, use your fingers and a greyhound comb to work it out from the end back toward the skin.
Cleaning the Coat
Wet your wheaten’s freshly brushed coat with warm water. Add a line of shampoo for sensitive skin, such as oatmeal and aloe, on your pup’s back. Wheatens have sensitive skin and the wrong shampoo may cause itching and irritation. Rinse your pup’s coat until the water coming off him is clear. Add a leave-in spray conditioner to his coat. Either allow his coat to dry naturally or finish drying him with the setting on low heat.
You'll let a groomer trim around the face and genitals, but you can do some of a wheaten's coat clipping yourself. Keep the natural square look of the wheaten when trimming the coat. Have your wheaten terrier stand on a table. Pick up each foot and trim the hair between his pads. Hold your scissor in your dominant hand and comb the wheaten’s hair straight down on each side with your free hand. Trim about 1/4 inch off the ends of the hair. Point your scissors down, or horizontally, and trim the hair down each hock, keeping the natural shape. Repeat this process on each front leg as well, only removing a small amount of hair. Hold the tail straight up and trim the end of the tail short and keep the base longer closer to the body. It should look like a Christmas tree. Never clip or pluck the wheaten’s coat; it may never grow back properly.
Teach your wheaten to stand for grooming at an early age. Always remove all mats before washing your terrier -- removing them from a wet coat is nearly impossible. Before bathing him, place a cotton ball in each ear to keep the water out, since wheatens are susceptible to ear infections. Have a professional groomer clip your terrier’s toenails and cut the hair around his genitals. Also, have the groomer to clip his face and ears, keeping the sharp, square haircut of the wheaten terrier. Pluck the hair out of the wheaten terrier’s ears using tweezers and an over-the counter ear powder monthly.
Amanda Maddox began writing professionally in 2007. Her work appears on various websites focusing on topics about medical billing, coding, real estate, insurance, accounting and business. Maddox has her insurance and real estate licenses and holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting and business administration from Wallace State Community College.