Taming the Tibetan Terrier
While its breed standard calls for the Tibetan Terrier to be impressively full-coated, pet owners will find that a shorter, more manageable cut is far more practical to maintain and will help avoid matting.
When Tibetan Terriers are in the show ring, they are shown as naturally as possible. Their breed standard calls for profusely coated dogs. This makes for an impressive sight, but it is not very practical for the pet Tibetan owner.
Typically, pet owners prefer the fuller coat when the dog is a puppy and the coat is easy to brush and maintain. We try to ease the owner into cutting down the hair. First, we offer an all-over scissor shaping. Then, we move on to a large snap-on comb. Finally, we end in an easy, maintainable haircut as shown here on five-year-old Zoey.
Finding a happy medium with the owner breaks the cycle of growing out the coat and shaving them down when they get too matted.
Step 1: Trim Nails
Cut nails to quick and file if desired.
Step 2: Clean Ears
Swab ears clean of debris.
Step 3: Bathe
Wash with a deep-cleansing shampoo and light conditioner.
Step 4: Force Dry
Use a force dryer to get as much water out of the coat that the dog will allow—ideally getting the dog 90 percent dry.
Step 5: Remove Tangles
Using a slicker brush and stand dryer, move methodically through the coat, drying and removing any tangles.
Step 6: Clip Pads
Using a #40 blade, clip the pads.
Step 7: Sanitary Trim
Using a #10 blade, clip the sanitary areas.
Step 8: Clip Body
The snap-on comb length can be adjusted to suit the client’s needs. For Zoey, we chose a size-0 snap-on comb. Using the snap-on comb, clip the entire body. Start at the back of the head, taper off at the elbows and hips. Make sure to clip up to the jaw line.
Step 9: Clip Legs
Use a size-A snap-on comb for the legs. Cip the entire top of the rear leg down to the ankle. Use the same size-A snap-on comb to clip the entire front leg.
Step 10: Clip Head
Using the A snap-on comb, go against the grain on the top of the head, and go with the grain on the cheeks.
Step 11: Trim Eye Area
Using either thinning shears or a #10 blade, clear the inner corners of the eyes.
Step 12: Finish Head
Comb the hair on top of the head forward and trim a visor. Pull the ears back, and comb the cheeks and chin down. Trim from the ears forward to the chin. Comb the chin down and connect the jaw line, trimming the chin to desired length. Comb the top of the head up, and trim any stray hairs. Use thinning shears on the entire head to blend any sharp lines.
Step 13 : Trim Ears
Trim the ears to desired length. I like to bell the bottoms.
Step 14: Finish Rear Feet & Legs
Pick up the rear foot and comb the hair toward the pads of the foot. Then trim hair hanging over the pads. Place the foot back on the table and scissor the foot round. Comb the hair on the rear leg up and out, and trim any hairs out of place. The A snap-on comb used earlier has set the length, and minimal scissoring is needed to the leg. Trim around the bottom part of the leg, blending the foot into the leg. Use thinning shears to blend into the hip.
Step 15: Finish Front Feet & Legs
Pick up the front foot and comb hair toward the pads. Trim any hair hanging over the pads. Place the foot back on the table and trim round. Comb the hair on the front leg up and out, and trim into a column shape. Again, the A snap-on comb has set the length, and minimal scissoring is needed for the front leg as well. Chunkers can be used to scissor legs. Use thinning shears to blend into the body.
Step 16: Finish Tail
Neaten the base of the tail and trim the tail to the desired length.
Professional groomer Anne Francis is a grooming competitor and speaker. She works at The Village Groomer in Walpole, Mass.
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