What’s the best type of brush to use on my scruffy-looking wirehaired terrier? Do you have any tips on keeping her coat under control?
Stuart Simons advises…
Wirehaired terriers have such great coats and are pretty easy to look after. The hair goes through stages of growth and without bamboozling you with science, the coat grows, matures and sheds. It doesn’t really get the chance to mat or knot, provided it’s groomed correctly. Ideally, the coat should be harsh and wiry to the touch. This helps it to stay weatherproof and keep its colour. A quick once-over with a regular slicker brush or a comb should keep the coat under control.
To keep a wiry weatherproof coat, regular trips to the groomer to ‘roll the coat’ are essential. Once the guard hair dies, a new hair will be coming through, getting ready to take over from the dead hair. Dead hair should be plucked to allow the new hair to grow and to take over. If the dead guard hair is removed at different times – and from different places on the dog as it grows naturally – then the dog will always have a lovely bright and weatherproof coat because it will have been effectively rolled. This means that the dog should always look pretty much the same, even after a groom. Most rolled coats should be in a salon every six weeks at the very least.
A dog that is handstripped and not rolled will have to go back to the undercoat all at once. This will leave the dog feeling soft until the guard hair comes through and matures again. You see this a lot in pet Border Terriers. Most pet owners wait for the Border Terrier to blow its coat (there is no mistaking a Border Terrier blown coat – it is literally everywhere). Once blown, they are stripped back to what we affectionally call ‘the pyjamas’ and they are good for another few months.