Safely Removing Mats From a Cairn Terrier
Although with some other dog breeds you may remove mats by cutting them even with the body, you should not do this when grooming a Cairn Terrier. You can end up nicking the skin or making a bald spot on your dog. The best way to remove mats on a Cairn Terrier is to slide scissors carefully between the body of the dog and the mat. Make short snips up toward the main portion of the mat. This is slow work, but you should eventually be able to get the entire mat out without leaving a bare spot or cutting your dogs skin. Just be sure you always keep the points of the scissors away from the dog.
If your Cairn has very messy hair or mats, you might be tempted to shave them. However, since they are a double-coated breed, professional groomers do not recommend shaving Cairn Terriers. Shaving can damage a Cairns fur and have long-term negative side effects for new hair growth. It can also lead to skin problems and issues with regulating body temperature. If you feel you need to shave your Cairn, consult with your veterinarian and a professional groomer before you proceed.
Review pictures of properly groomed Cairn Terriers before you get started. This way, youll have an idea of how a groomed Cairn should look when youre finished.
Grooming Schedule for a Cairn Terrier
You can keep your dog in excellent shape by following a grooming schedule. This will ensure you handle mats and tangles while they are still small, and dont end up with an overwhelming amount of grooming to do all in one day. Cairns that are not regularly groomed can look quite different and almost like another breed of dog, as can be seen in this before and after video.
Once a week you should check your dog thoroughly for skin irritations and other problems that may come up.
It is important that you do a thorough grooming twice a month. When stripping a Cairn Terrier, there are areas you will want to concentrate on and others to avoid. Using a Cairn Terrier hand stripping diagram is important, especially if youre new to grooming the breed.
Once a month, take the double sided dental tool and scrape the tartar and plaque from your pets teeth. Dip the tool in alcohol to disinfect it as you are using it. Draining the anal glands is no fun, but it is an important part of keeping your dog healthy and comfortable. The anal sacs are on either side of the anus, and they become filled with a fluid that has a nasty odor. You may even see your dog drag himself along a carpet or the ground if his anal glands are bothering him.
Show dog competitors will strip their Cairns fur at least two to three times annually. Cairn terriers that are “every day pets” can be stripped or clipped. Many pet owners prefer clipping, as its much easier and less time consuming than stripping. Stripping for a show Cairn is also more intensive, takes longer, and uses more tools such as stripping knives and a lot of finger plucking. Competitors are looking to create the best example of the breed they can for the judges table. The average owner can do a much simpler stripping regularly.
The look you are going for when grooming a Cairn Terrier is ‘scruffy.’ The best way to get the correct look is with handstripping. Clipper cutting a Cairn Terrier normally leaves the dog looking ‘too groomed’ and destroys texture of the coat. Handstripping is the correct grooming method for this breed. It maintains the color and texture of the coat. It’s been done for ages, way before the use of electric clippers!
The Cairn Terrier is a great breed for a beginner to practice their handstripping skills. Out of the many breeds that are handstripped, the Cairn is one of the easier breeds to learn on. When the coat is ready to be pulled, it comes out easily. The pattern on a Cairn is simple: scruffy. There isn’t much of a pattern line to follow. However, you do have choices on what method and/or technique will work best for individual pets.
Are cairn terriers hard to groom?
Can you use clippers on a Cairn Terrier?
What happens when you shave a Cairn Terrier?