With a fearless demeanor in a compact body, the sprightly Welsh terrier is game for anything. If you were to put the Welsh terrier next to an Airedale terrier, you might mistake him for a mini Airedale, although the smaller dog was around first. The Welsh terrier's wiry, coarse coat is tan on his legs, head and abdomen with a black "jacket" on his back and sides. If you're the owner of a Welsh terrier, be prepared to groom him every six to eight weeks. Although his coat is hypoallergenic, he can quickly grow to a matted, wooly bear if not cared for regularly.
Begin routine care, such as regular brushing, the first day you bring your Welsh terrier puppy home. Lay a thick towel on a table, then place your puppy on the towel. Brush the puppy with a stiff pin-type brush to remove dead hair. Work through the entire coat. Use a moist washcloth around his eyes and ears. Do this for a few minutes every day. When you begin grooming at a young age, the interaction with your puppy makes him more confident, and he will become accustomed to being groomed. This is especially important because the process becomes more extensive as the dog reaches adulthood.
Comb through the dog's jacket with a fine metal comb, then move to whiskers and longer hair with a wide tooth comb.
Check the dog's hair for twigs or burrs after brushing. Examine his ears and eyes, and ensure the hair around his anus is free from feces. Brush his teeth with a toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Brush vigorously along the gum line to ensure tartar is removed.
Bathe your dog as infrequently as possible to preserve the oils in the coat. A good rule of thumb is to bathe if the dog has rolled in something, or if the coat is odorous or greasy. Test this by smelling your hands after stroking his coat. Use a shampoo made especially for dogs. Apply with a firm hand to distribute the treatment deep into the coat. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Apply a canine coat conditioner as needed, especially when your Welsh terrier is transitioning from soft puppy coat to a mature, wiry coat. The frequency of bathing your Welsh terrier is subjective, and usually depends upon how much time he stays outside or if he is a show dog. Breeders sometimes advise that bathing a terrier's wiry coat makes him too soft for show.
Strip or pluck the dog's coat with your hands, a blade or a stripping tool. Begin this procedure when your pup is 5 months old, according to expert groomer Eileen Geeson. Work along the grain or lay of the coat. Hand-strip the hair down the neck to the shoulder area, leaving a skirt or fringe at the lower ribcage. Use a coarse knife to strip the dog's hair down to the tail and the hip area. Strip the top side of the tail, while leaving the underside a bit longer. Use scissors or shears to thin down the contour of the legs. The Welsh terrier has a double coat, and as the finer undercoat grows, it must be manually plucked or stripped out. Perform this grooming process every two to four months. Welsh terriers owners with little experience may want to leave this process to professional groomers.
Long nails can impede the dog's gait, especially if he must walk on slick surfaces. Take your pet to a professional to have his nails clipped since it is a delicate procedure that can easily result in injury.
Items You Will Need
- Pin-type stiff brush
- Fine metal comb
- Wide tooth comb
- Canine toothpaste
- Stripper blade
- American Kennel Club: Meets the Breeds: Welsh Terrier
- Ultimate Dog Grooming; Eileen Geeson et al.
- The Terrier Handbook; Kerry V. Kern