The Wheaten Terrier Pet Trim

While it maintains some of the traits of a show cut, a relatively short pet trim can be a great easy-maintenance option for a grooming salon’s Wheaten Terrier clients.


Awhile back, I was asked to write an article on the Wheaten Terrier. However, I don’t groom many of the Wheatens that come into our shop—my coworker Mellissa grooms almost all of them.  With this in mind, I asked Mellissa if I could photograph her while grooming Riley, a five-year-old Wheaten Terrier. I chose Riley because even though he is kept significantly shorter than the Wheaten Terrier’s show cut, he still keeps some of the key traits, like an abbreviated fall and skirt. This cut can be done shorter or longer, depending on a pet’s needs. 




Step 1: Pre-Bath Brush Through
Mellissa uses a conditioning spray to help brush through Riley before bathing him.


Step 2: Trim Nails
Trim the nails to the quick and file, if desired. Trimming the nails before the bath is a good idea, in case you should happen to cut a nail too short and cause it to bleed.


Step 3: Pluck & Clean Ears
Apply ear powder to the ear canal and pluck the dead hair. Using a cotton ball and ear cleaner, remove any debris.


Step 4: Bathe
We bathe Riley in a deep-cleansing shampoo and a heavy conditioner.


Step 5: Drying
Usually, we would use a force dryer to blow out the excess water from Riley’s coat. However, he is adamantly against this, so we towel-dry him well and place him under a cage dryer. It is important to note that we only use cool air on all of our cage dryers.


Step 6: Remove Tangles
Using a slicker brush and stand dryer, methodically move through the hair, drying and removing any tangles. Check your work by combing through the coat with a steel comb.


Step 7: Clip Sanitary Areas
Using a #10 blade, clip the sanitary areas.


Step 8: Clip Pads
Clip the pads with a #30 blade. Mellissa chooses to use a 5/8 toe blade.


Step 9: Clip Body
Using a size-A snap-on comb, start behind the skull and clip to the end of the tail. Clip from the neck to the elbow, fanning off at the elbow. Clip down the sides of the body, leaving a skirt. The line should run from the elbow to the tuck-up. Clip from the chin to the breastbone, leaving an inverted V on the chest.


Step 10: Clip Rear Leg
Still using the size-A snap-on comb, clip the top half of the rear leg. Clip the entire half of the leg, inside and outside, rump and knee.


Step 11: Clip Ears
Use a 4f on the outside of the ear. Hold the ear flat in the palm of your hand to avoid cutting the ear. I like to use a #10 blade on the inside of the ear leather. Be cautious of the folds on the inner ear flap.


Step 12: Clip Head
Using a #1 snap-on comb in reverse, clip the cheeks and throat. Using the #1 snap-on with the grain, clip the top of the head from just behind the brows back, leaving hair for the fall.


Step 13: Shape Fall & Beard
Using thinning shears, blend the line from the outer corner of the eye to the outer corner of the mouth. Riley’s owner prefers an abbreviated fall. Mellissa uses her thinning shears to set the line for the fall from the outer corner angling towards the nose. She leaves the hair from the brows and in between the eyes to form the fall, exposing more of the eye than normal. Mellissa then sharpens the line with shears. Combing down the hair on the face, she shapes the beard, with the shortest point closest to the dog’s face. Use thinning shears to blend the head and neck into the body.


Step 14: Edge Ears
Using shears, edge the ears while holding the ear and using your fingers as a guide.


Step 15: Shape Tail
Comb the tail and use shears to tidy it into a carrot shape.


Step 16: Finish Rear Feet & Legs
With the dog standing on the table, trim the feet round. Pick up each foot, and trim any hair hanging below the pads. Comb out the rear legs, and trim any hair sticking out. The bottom part of the legs should be scissored into a column shape, from the foot to the ankle.


Step 17: Blend & Trim Skirt
Blend the skirt into the body, and trim the skirt to a desired length.


Step 18: Finish Front Feet & Legs
Trim the front feet round while the dog is standing on the table. Pick up each foot, and trim any hair hanging over the pads. Comb the hair on the front legs, and trim into columns. The length of the front legs should be in proportion the rear. Blend at the elbows into the body.


Step 19: Blend Body
Blend the inverted V into the body.




Professional groomer Anne Francis is a grooming competitor and speaker. She works at The Village Groomer in Walpole, Mass.

Is there a breed or cut that you’d like to see featured in the Grooming Table? Send your suggestions to jboncy@petbusiness.com.

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