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Before commencement of trimming it is important that the dog should have been regularly groomed to remove all the loose dead undercoat, combing to the skin. Brushing alone will not do this.



Electric clippers with No10 and No7 bladed, serrated Stripping knife, Spratts Duplex knife,Thinning Scissors, Nail Clippers

Fine Comb No6 and Chalk block.


A  The topcoat should be hand stripped about 8-10 weeks prior to the show. This is done by removing the long hair from the coat using the forefinger and thumb after rubbing a  little chalk into coat. This will make the hair easier to grip.The hair should be taken out at weekly intervals so as to promote a continuous growth of new wiry hair.

About five days before the show, depending on the thickness of the coat, the top-coat should be trimmed from the back of the head to the tail, the hair on the neck made as short as possible using finger and thumb, and blended into the longer hair over hair over the withers and along the back where the hair should be 1" to 1 1/2" long. (Run the fingers through the coat in the opposite direction to the hair growth, and the hair should  come up to the first joint of the middle finger).A fine comb No6  run through the coat once a week will remove any unwanted undercoat.

B  The ears should be clipped inside and outside the ear flap with either an electric clipper with No 10 blade or a hand clipper. The edges of the ear can then be trimmed with a pair of scissors.

C   A line should be taken from half way along the bottom of the eye, under the jaw to the same position under the opposite eye. All hair front of this is left.

Take a line from the outer corner of each eye to the top of each ear with the clippers  and No7 blade. Do not clip up any further than this line.

Clip up from the breastbone to the back of each ear fold and to the point of each shoulder, do not clip too far back.

If hand clippers are used this must be done about 7-10 days before the show , oterwise at about 5 days with electric clippers depending on the rate of growth.

D  The top of the head should be trimmed as close as possible using a serrated- stripping knife. The long hair over the eyebrows and whiskers can then be combed forward, then, standing behind the dogs head, the eyebrows can be cut into shape by trimming them along the line of the head with scissors so that the dogs eye can be seen from the side. Avoid cutting them too short and so giving the dog a a Scottie expression.Facing the dog, any excess hair over the eyebrows can now be blended using a duplex knife.

E  The hair behind the forelegs, at the point of the shoulder and elbows should shortened using thinning scissors to about half way down the legs and on the inside of the leg from the pastel joint to the foot. The forelegs should appear straight from the front and the side. Level off any long hairs on the feathering with a duplex knife and trim carefully round the feet with scissors obtaining a neat round appearance. The long hair on breastbone can now be blended in.

F  The hair at the side of the ribs should be blended in with the topcoat.

G  The hair on the hind legs should be thinned out overall to give a round appearance to the hindquarters. Trim any long hair from the hocks and cut around the feet with scissors.

H The area under the tail should be clipped using No10 blade and slightly up the back of the tail.The hair on the front of the tail should be kept short.

The day before the show the dog should be bathed everywhere except the coat. Towel dry the dog and when it is still damp, comb out, then dry thoroughly. The nails can now be cut  also any long hair growing between the pads. The art of successful trimming lies in bringing about apparent merging of the long into the short coat without showing any lines of demarcation.Study the type of dog you are trimming and try to minimise his faults and bring out his good points.

Please note: This article has been reproduced by kind permission of
Mrs Biddy Horn and Mrs Jean Young

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