West Highland White Terriers (Westies) are some of the most popular dog breeds out there which comes as no surprise given their out of this world cuteness. One of the best things about Westies is that grooming them is basically the grown-up version of playing dress-up with your dolls. This breed has a unique complex coat that’s hard and wiry on the outside but is soft and dense underneath which is why they require regular brushing and grooming.
Their distinguished coats make them well suited for a variety of hairstyles and we’ve gathered some of the most common ones for you to choose from. If you think it’s time to pamper your dog after a long day of chasing squirrels, take your pick from the following list and head to the groomer.
The importance of pet grooming
The health, happiness, and attractiveness of your pet depend on regular grooming. A neglected coat can grow lengthy, matted, and bothersome for your pet. While distributing natural oils, grooming helps remove dead skin cells and shed hair from the coat.
By trimming, you may maintain your pet’s coat at a comfortable length that will suit the seasons and keep them comfy. We advise you to include regular grooming in your pet’s care. Regular removal of dead coat hair is required. Your pet might begin licking their coat to eliminate dead hair if it isn’t done regularly.
Hot spots, a severe and itchy irritation that causes pets to bite, chew, and lick themselves a lot, can be brought on by overgrooming. Dogs generally enjoy being brushed. It might be one of the friendship’s most fulfilling moments with your dog bestie.
Starting point for grooming
When your pet is still a puppy, begin grooming it. You can take a course on basic dog grooming (like this one) to get started. Pick periods when they are drained of energy. Young pups have limited attention spans, so keep grooming sessions to a few minutes Check their ears, teeth, paws, and nails while speaking in a comforting manner. Your pet will eventually become adjusted to the grooming procedure and appreciate being handled and examined. After that, present them with a pleasant treat for a reward.
It’s important to know when to groom your Westie as part of proper pet care. For the best possible fur health, there is a set schedule for each step of the grooming procedure. Daily brushing, weekly nail trimming, and sporadic haircuts are all part of the grooming regimen.
Why do I need to cut my westie’s hair?
Westies have a distinctive, two-layered fur coat. The undercoat is thick and velvety, while the outside coat is shaggy and bristly. Because of their intricate fur structure, they require routine grooming to be healthy. Given that Westies don’t lose much fur, grooming typically only requires brushing.
By regularly brushing your Westie, you can ensure that their fur is clear of food from meals and dirt from outside play. Additionally, it will get rid of any pests that might attach to unkempt fur. Neglecting your Westie’s grooming requirements will obviously be bad for their health.
Even something as simple as matted fur, which is frequently disregarded, can be quite painful or even be a sign of more serious problems. Because of this, grooming should be seen as more than just an aesthetic necessity. Your Westie might benefit significantly from a stylish new haircut in several circumstances.
How to protect your westie while being groomed
Regular grooming is necessary, so make sure your Westie is secure and comfortable first. First of all, let your pet to participate in grooming sessions from the beginning. If your puppy feels at ease being groomed from an early age, it will be considerably happier.
Do not attempt pet grooming at home if you are inexperienced. If you want a certain haircut style for your Westie, take him to a professional groomer. Make it clear up front that the groomer is an expert in caring for West Highland terriers, not a novice.
Always bring reference images when getting a haircut, especially if you intend to compete in shows. Always check to make sure your groomer is using the proper equipment and that it has been sterilized. Your Westie should be safe to go and prepared for a new look if you keep all these measures in mind.
Brushing them daily
Every day, at least two to three minutes should be spent brushing. Make sure to train your Westie to behave during brushing each day to establish healthy routines.
Cutting Styles for Clipping and Stripping
Weekly cutting entails removing any protruding excess growth. Make sure to examine the fur on your Westie’s ears and cut them as needed. Because Westies have excessive amounts of fur, they are quite prone to ear infections, so checking their ears is an essential component of haircutting.
You might attempt stripping in addition to trimming, a type of haircutting that softens the fur. Show dogs typically like the stripping style. Fur becomes progressively coarser as a result of this process. Regardless of your personal preference, as long as your Westie is comfortable, you can use any style. However, clipping is a much quicker and easier operation in comparison.
Regular grooming of your Westie is beneficial to both of you
The advantages you as a dog owner receive from routinely grooming your dog are among the frequently disregarded benefits of owning a Westie. Regular grooming not only enhances your Westies’ circulation but also enhances their beauty and lessens shedding.
By giving your Westie appropriate grooming on a regular basis, you can use the time you’d otherwise spend removing dog hair from your furniture and clothes for much more pleasurable pursuits, like tossing that squeaky toy for your dog to chase after.
The Puppy-Style Cut
Puppy-style cuts are intended for little Westies but who’s to say you can’t make your grown Westie look younger. Lifelong Westie lovers at WestieVibes believes that the puppy cut is one of the easiest options when it comes to grooming your Westie. This cut mimics the more uniform, short coat of a Westie puppy which reduces the amount of time it takes to groom and strip your Westie’s coat.
For the puppy cut, the hair on the body, legs, and chest is trimmed to around 1-1.5 inches in length, keeping the hair tangle and mat-free. Your Westie’s face can be left as it is or it can be slightly trimmed to a round, even shape to match their short body. Trimming the hair around the mouth can prevent eating stains that usually stand out on the Westie’s super white coat.
The Show Cut
This is the go-to style for those fancy Westies competing in professional showings. For the official show cut, the American Kennel Club requires the coat to be hand-stripped for a straight, neat appearance to around 2 inches long on the back and sides and a little shorter on the neck and shoulders while the legs and stomach are left longer to (around 4 inches). The style of the face in this cut really stands out since it’s stripped by hand to an adorable round shape.
If you are considering this style for your Westie, keep in mind that it’s a high-maintenance cut that requires extra care and grooming.
The Standard Westie Cut
The standard Westie cut is probably the most popular for West Highland white terriers, it’s even accepted by the American Kennel Club for appropriate professional showing. This cut is similar to the show cut but it’s slightly shorter which makes it easier to maintain.
For the standard Westie cut, the undercoat is cleaned using a stripping comb or stripping knife to remove any loose parts and the hair on the back and shoulders is clipped with scissors to a short length (around 2 inches) to blend into the fur on the dog’s legs, sides, and stomach that’s trimmed to a longer standard length, usually around 4 inches long.
As for the face, it’s trimmed into a fluffy round shape by stripping any stray hairs while the rest of the coat is cut to follow the natural lines of the body. The hair around the tail and above the eyes is sometimes trimmed for neatness.
The Shaved Summer Cut
In warmer climates or during summer seasons, the shaved cut is often used to keep Westies cool during hot weather and eliminate the need for brushing, at least for a few weeks. The cut is also used to remove knots and tangles without causing the Westie distress in cases where the Westie’s coat becomes extremely tangled and matted.
The coat is shaved to half an inch or less all over the body, legs, chest, and feet while the face can be trimmed to your preference, most dog owners prefer to trim the face to the cute round shape that Westies are known for.
After shaving your Westie’s coat, keep in mind that dirt is likely to cling more to their skin which will require bathing more frequently than normal. Because bathing too often can strip your dog’s essential oils and dry out their sensitive skin, we recommend using a dry dog shampoo to remove stains and odors without water.
Additionally, Westies with a shaved coat may require protection from the elements, you can use sunscreen or clothing to protect their sensitive exposed skin. Consult with your vet if you feel the need to bathe them frequently or if you are unsure about which protective products to use.
The Natural Cut
If you love your Westie’s natural coat just the way it is and are prepared to brush them daily, then there’s no need to have their coat clipped, shaved, or stripped. However, the hair around the eyes will still need to be trimmed so as not to get in the way.
To prevent the fine undercoat from tangling and matting and avoid possible skin problems, daily thorough brushing is a must. If your pup gets dirty or muddy, it’s better to let the mud dry before you brush it out, bathing your dog too often can strip away the essential protective oils in their skin which is likely to cause skin and hair problems.
An added bonus to this cut is that it’s the easiest to care for and maintain at home, considering that all you’ll have to do is keep the coat neatly brushed.
It’s no wonder that Westies are so popular considering how charming, adorable, and fun they are, but while they’re a joy to be around, they do require a bit of work, especially when it comes to their grooming. While this breed doesn’t shed often, they do require regular brushing and stripping to prevent their coats from matting up.
If you think it’s time for your Westie to get a haircut, use this guide for inspiration and enjoy gawking at your incredibly cute pup in their fresh cut. Remember to choose the cut that really showcases your pup’s personality.
In particular, if you routinely groom your dog, maintaining your Westie’s grooming need not take much time. Set up an established time of day and day of the week when you can give your Westie your undivided attention and focus on regular maintenance. Your pet dog and you will soon be expecting your special time together with great anticipation.
If you think that maintaining the appearance is difficult, you can always see a professional groomer to make the process simpler for you. Do not forget to provide for your pet’s needs just as you would your own.