Westie Haircut Guide: The Right Time to Cut His Hair?

When was the last time you groomed your West Highland White Terrier? Please don’t say a while back because grooming is one of the most important things you need to do. Dogs need to develop good grooming habits from the beginning.

We actually put together probably the most comprehensive guide to grooming your Westie you can find online. See it here.

Today, I am going to tell you the grooming process I follow for Sami. You’ve to follow these practices to the tee if you want your Westie to look extraordinary. I mean have you seen Sami? He looks handsome, right? Let me tell you all about it then.

When Should You Begin Grooming Your Westie?

I started grooming Sami when he was a puppy. If you’re getting an adult Westie, groom him as soon as you bring him home. You groom them young because you need to get them used to the grooming routine. In doing so, you’re making the grooming process easier, quicker, and more effective.

How Often Do I Groom Sami?

I groom Sami once a week. I clip the hairs that are out of place and check his ears. I brush his beautiful, white coat each day for 2 to 3 minutes, and he absolutely enjoys it. To make Sami love the grooming sessions, I had to make him feel like the king he is…I still do. The trick is to praise him to get him to enjoy grooming time with me.

If your Westie behaves well during the grooming session, tell him and if he’s not, be firm and corrective with him, so he knows that’s not acceptable behavior. Most importantly, don’t lose your cool! Be patient and calm.

Dogs can sense stress and if you feel stressed, they’ll feel stressed, resulting in an unsuccessful grooming session. Don’t forcefully handle your Westie either and never yell or scare your Westie while you’re grooming him. If you don’t want to groom him yourself, go to the experts.

What to Do Before You Visit Your Groomer?

Before I take Sami to the groomer, I untangle all his fur using a comb recommended to me by my groomer. You can ask your groomer to recommend you a comb to use on your Westie or look up what is the best brush for Westies.

Before sending him to a professional groomer, I groomed Sami at home because I wanted him to get used to clippers, blow dryers, and other grooming products. Something that I still do is I bathe Sami a week before I send him to his grooming appointment.

I do this because then the groomer doesn’t have to bathe them before they can cut or shave them. To reduce the risk of any accidents, I got Sami used to standing on the table and behaving like a good boy as the groomer groomed him. When you visit the groomer, you can either opt for stripping or clipping, but it’s important to know the difference, so you know which one to choose for your Westie.

The Difference between Stripping and Clipping

Sami is not a show dog, so I don’t go for stripping. Most owners who put their dogs in dog shows opt for stripping because it makes their coat more hard and coarse. I always opt for clipping. Clipping makes Sami’s coat wavier and softer.

However, you can still choose stripping even if your dog isn’t a show dog. When you visit your groomer, ask them about both services and their experience using those two methods on dogs. You should also make sure they sterilize the tools they use before they groom a new dog.

Do You Need to Know Any Grooming Tips?

Here is a list of grooming tips you need to know:

  • Brush his white fur each day to prevent matting and to remove excess grime and dirt.
  • Use a comb or brush that suits your dog (If a comb or brush suits Sami, it doesn’t mean it’ll suit your Westie).
  • Buy good detangling spray.
  • Do not go longer than 4 to 6 weeks between grooming sessions when your Westie is an adult.
  • Do not wash your Westie’s fur with human shampoo.
  • Do not go with the first groomer you come across but interview several and ask for recommendations from other dog owners before sending your Westie to one.
  • Do not switch to another groomer unless you really have to because it takes dogs time to adjust to a different groomer.
  • Learn to groom your Westie yourself because it is a good bonding experience.
  • When you send your Westie to the groomer for the fist time, stay there from the start to end. Your presence there will make your Westie more comfortable and at ease and he’ll likely be on his best behavior with the groomer.
  • Give your Westie a treat throughout grooming session because when he’s getting treats for being a good dog, he’ll continue being a good dog.

Some Quick Grooming Tips

Some quick grooming tips include:

  • Dampen the cotton ball with an ear cleaning product or mineral oil to clean your Westie’s ears. Don’t go too deep inside his ears or put anything in his ear canal.
  • Cut your Westie’s nails after bathing him, so you can see the quick. The quick is a delicate part of the nail because that’s where the blood vessel is.
  • Use your finger, gauze pad, or toothbrush for pets. Get pet toothpaste containing safe and nontoxic ingredients to brush his teeth. Use the amount of toothpaste as directed on the package or by your vet.

You won’t master grooming your Westie overnight, but it’ll take some practice, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few times you groom your dog at home. I asked my vet about the proper grooming process to follow and, researched it online as well as asked other Westie owners on the best method to groom Sami. I hope my guide can be of some help to you.

And don’t forget: if you need more advice and details, along with the tools we use, read our guide on how to groom a Westie.

Best luck grooming your Westie!

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