Grooming a Border Terrier

Border Terriers have a rough haired coat which needs special attention from time to time in order to look and feel its best. If you prefer not to spend money on professional grooming services, don’t worry – here are some useful techniques you can try at home.

Brushing your Border Terrier

About once a week, you’ll need to take a natural bristled brush and give your Terrier a thorough all-over brushing. If you don’t want your home to be littered with fur, you can do this outside, weather permitting. Brushing is good for the coat as it helps to spread the natural oils throughout the fur, making it look glossy and healthy. You can also take this time to do a quick check of your Terrier’s general health. For example:

  • Check that the eyes are bright, clear and free from discharge
  • Look at the ears to check they are clean and free from parasites
  • Feel the skin for unusual lumps and bumps

“Stripping” the Border Terrier’s coat

There is a technique used on rough haired breeds known as stripping, which should be done twice a year when the coat is in a state where it will “lift” (usually during a moult). This is when you pull out dead fur either by hand or using a special stripping tool. It helps the coat to retain its rough-haired appearance and also helps to reduce the amount of shedding that happens between grooming sessions. You can buy a stripping knife (a small comb with very shallow teeth) from specialist websites, and you might find a pair of dog clippers is handy to have too. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t try to strip your Terrier if he has just had a bath – the fur will be very difficult to grab a hold of
  • Use the stripping knife to collect small amounts of fur and pull it out from the root (don’t twist the fur or it will break)
  • Avoid the delicate area below the eyes but do the rest of the face if you can
  • Work your way from the head down towards the tail, taking care in sensitive areas like the armpits and undercarriage
  • Work carefully and if your dog shows signs of pain, you should stop
  • When you’re finished, the dog’s coat should look smooth and short as only the soft undercoat will remain

It’s probably best not to do this in winter as your Border Terrier needs his overcoat to protect him from the elements. However, in summer this technique will be a great help in keeping him cool. It’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to strip the coat if you don’t feel it’s beneficial. Many owners can happily live with the normal, rough coated look in its natural state.

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