Grooming Wire Hair & Broken Coats

Wire (or broken) coats are not supposed to be soft and silky, like the coats of most other dogs. A properly groomed wire coat will be rough and bristly. The wire coat does not shed, which makes wirehaired breeds good choices for some allergy sufferers.

The following is a list of some common wirehaired breeds:

  • Affenpinscher
  • Border Terrier
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • Irish Terrier
  • Otterhound
  • Scottish Terrier
  • West Highland White Terrier

The best way to groom a wirehaired dog is by plucking out any unruly hairs, using your fingers or a stripping knife. By plucking out old, dull hairs, you will stimulate your dog's skin and allow healthy new hairs to grow in. This procedure can be time-consuming, but it's the best way to keep your pup looking sharp.

There are two methods for this hair removal: taking the coat down or rolling the coat. Taking the coat down means plucking your dog's entire coat all at one time. This method is normally used by owners who plan to show their dogs, as taking the coat down several months before a show can ensure that your dog's coat will be in perfect condition for the event. Rolling the coat means plucking small amounts of hair at a time, just whenever you see some strays or think a plucking is necessary. Rolling the coat is the more commonly used method, since most people can more easily spare five minutes than an entire afternoon.

To pluck, begin by using your non-dominant hand to hold the skin taut in the area where you will first be removing hair. If you find it difficult to get a good grip on the hair, sprinkle some grooming powder over the section. With your dominant hand, hold just a few hairs at a time, pulling them down and straight out in the direction of hair growth.


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