Grooming a Border Terrier Dog

Whether your Border Terrier is a pet dog or a show dog, this double-coated dog breed needs regular brushing and other coat care.

By Muriel P. Lee | June 13, 2012

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Whether your Border Terrier is a dog for the show ring or a household pet dog, this dog breed’s coat needs regular maintenance. The Border Terrier is a double-coated dog with a harsh outercoat and a dense, thick undercoat that protects him in all kinds of weather. The Border Terrier’s coat does shed some, like most dogs’ coats, but can be easily controlled with regular grooming. Coat care for the pet Border Terrier can be much easier than the coat care for a show Border Terrier.

• If you are going to groom your Border Terrier yourself, you will need a:
• grooming table with a rubber mat covering the top.
• grooming arm, or a “hanger,” to which you can secure the dog’s leash.
• metal comb
• slicker brush
• good sharp pair of scissors
• toenail trimmer

To start, set your Border Terrier on the table and put the leash around his neck. Have the leash up behind your dog’s ears and have the leash taut when you fasten it to the eye hook. Do not walk away and leave your dog unattended, as he can jump off the table and be left dangling from the leash with his feet scrambling around in the air. Such an accident obviously can lead to strangulation—so don’t be careless!

With your slicker brush, brush out your Border Terrier’s entire coat. Brush the whiskers toward the nose, the body hair toward the tail, the tail up toward the tip of the tail. Brush the leg furnishings up toward the body and brush the chest hair down toward the table. Hold your Border Terrier up by the front legs and gently brush the stomach hair, first toward the head and then back toward the rear.

Now that your Border Terrier is brushed out, comb through the dog’s coat with your metal comb. By now you will have removed a fair amount of dead hair and your Border Terrier will already be looking better. Brushing and combing will also remove any debris caught in the coat. If you brush your Border Terrier out every week or so, you will not have too much of a problem with debris and dead hair.

When you find that the dog’s coat is separating, you should be prepared to do some hand stripping; this is a method in which the dead long coat is pulled out manually in the direction in which it lies. Stripping is done on harsh-coated dogs like the Border Terrier to maintain proper coat texture. It is best to have a stripping knife for this process and it is by far better if your Border Terrier breeder or someone else with experience can show you how to do it. It is not recommended that you clip down the Border Terrier’s body coat. Regular brushing, with or without stripping for the pet dog, is better for the coat.

If this is your first attempt to hand-strip a dog’s coat, you may be a bit clumsy and the finished product may not be quite what you had expected. But your Border Terrier’s hair will grow back and expertise will come with experience, and you will soon be very proud of your efforts.

Your Border Terrier only needs a few baths yearly unless he gets dirty or is being shown. When it’s bath time, put your Border Terrier in the bathtub or a large basin and give him a good bath and thorough rinsing. Use a shampoo for dogs, not humans. After toweling him down, return your dog to the grooming table. At this point, you can dry your Border Terrier with a blow dryer (one for dogs or your own on low heat) and brush him out again. You can also let your dog dry naturally and then brush him out.

If you have grooming problems, you can take your Border Terrier to a professional dog groomer for the first few times. Of course, you can eliminate all of the grooming for yourself, except for the weekly brushing, if you take your Border Terrier to the groomer every three months. Just remember, grooming time is a great time to bond with your Border Terrier.

If you are planning to show your Border Terrier, get your puppy from a reputable dog breeder who grooms and shows his dogs. This Border Terrier breeder is the one to see for grooming lessons to learn how to get your dog ready for the show ring. Grooming your dog for the show is an art, and an art that cannot be learned in a few months.

Excerpt from Border Terrier, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Border Terrier here.

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