Do it Yourself: Groom Your Scottish Terrier at Home

The Scottish Terrier has two coats: a long and wiry outer coat that protects the dog from water, and a soft undercoat. To keep your Scottish Terrier looking his or her best, full grooming should be done every six to eight weeks. But rather than shelling out your hard earned money to the local groomer, use these easy steps to groom your Scottish Terrier yourself at home without too much of a hassle.

Starting out, it is absolutely essential that you have the proper grooming tools. Show dogs are “hand stripped” (meaning their fur is pulled out instead of cut) for grooming purposes, but this is not necessary for your at-home companion. If there’s a hedgehog tick removal services, surely there are also services for your Scottish teriier. You just have to find the best service provider and also conduct some good research regarding DIY if you want to save some money. 

Before you clip or bathe, start by brushing with a slicker brush. A slicker brush is a flat brush with bent pins that help pull out dead fur. Brush in the same direction as the fur growth (head to tail). Slicker brushes are sold at just about any pet supply store. I would recommend Groomax Slicker Brushes with soft grip handles. These can be found at www.petsmart.com. To comb out any matting or to smooth out the beard, a wide-toothed comb is best.

If you want to bathe your Scottie, now is the time to do it. Scottish Terrier’s tend to have sensitive or dry skin so a shampoo for itchy skin may be in your Scottie’s best interest. Unleash Pure Joy Itch-Relief Shampoo is sold at Petsmart for $12.99 a bottle. Lather and rinse thoroughly, followed by a quick towel dry. Next, finish the drying process with a blow dryer while brushing against the grain. When the fur is almost dry, switch the brushing direction.

Okay, now you are finally ready to start clipping. Start with a quality clippers made specifically for trimming dogs. Depending on what you are willing to pay, there are a variety of products on the market that will meet your needs. Your standard Conair Dog Clippers will work or you can go for the more expensive Andis Pro Dog Clipper Kit (at $88.99).

Always clip in the same direction that the fur is growing. Starting at two centimeters behind the eyebrows, shave until the back of the neck. Also shave between the eyebrows. You don’t want your Scottie to have a uni-brow do you? Then clip again starting under the chin and going to the chest. Shave the inside and outside of the ears, but make sure to leave the fringes of fur called the tufts. Use a number seven blade to clip the fur from the behind the ears all the way to the tail in a series of short strokes. The tail and the lower part of the sides should be cut with scissors rather than with clippers. Make sure to leave hair at the front of the tail and to just trim around the back. You don’t want your dog to look like it has a rat’s tail. The insides of the thighs as well as the stomach can be clipped using a number ten clipper. Round out the shape of the feet and finish with a nail trim.

To trim your Scottie’s nails, use clippers made specifically for dogs. Cut only the extra nail “hook.” If you accidently cut too far into the nail, bleeding may occur. Bleeding can be stopped quickly with Styptic Power ($5.99 at Petsmart).