Your Irish Terrier for Show
Books have been written on
Irish Terrier grooming. Suffice
it to say the Irish Terrier you see in most photographs are show
dogs who have had a
lot of time and effort spent on grooming.
The process that produces
these results is called plucking or stripping, literally pulling the
dog's hair out by the roots until only the under coat remains. Doing
this on certain parts of the dog over an extended period of time
(called stage stripping -- removing the hair in stages) produces the
well groomed results seen in the show photos as new hair grows back.
The reason for stripping is because terrier hair
(not fur) grows in such fashion that the maximum color and texture
is found at the very tip of a hair shaft as it emerges from its
follicle. The base of the shaft is thin, soft and less color
saturated. So if the dog is clipped, all that is ever seen is the
relatively thin, colorless hair shaft. The result is texture like
seal fur and very muted color.
For those Irish Terrier owners who don't want to or
don't have the time to groom their pet (the vast majority of
owners), there are professional pet groomers who will clipper Irish to
look more or less like the photo that first stole your heart.
However, the process makes both the dog's coat texture and color suffer due to
the nature of the dog's hair (described above).
Whether groomed by the owner or a groomer, periodic
vigorous brushing and combing should be done and the dogs nails
should be trimmed. Frequent baths are not necessary. The harsh wiry
coat naturally repels dirt and debris and is not prone to tangle or
mat. Irish Terriers shed very little, which is a big bonus for
people with allergies. Usually, brushing removes the dirt and dead
hair while distributing natural skin oils and virtually eliminating
the need for bathing.
About twice a year, the Irish Terrier should have
its outer jacket completely stripped off to its under coat. It will
look as though its in a form fitted union suit for a while but, not
to worry, in three months it will be ready to show and at six months
it will be time to repeat the stripping. Facial and leg furnishings take
some skill to sculpt and should be maintained on a more regular
basis -- say every month or so. They should never be completely
Products, Wewoka, OK.
Stripping knives for Irish Terrier grooming.
on clipping your dog's nails. New products such as PediPaws may
be useful in that task.
Information on Caring for your Irish Terrier can be found at www.IrishTerrier.info.
Glitzy Ditz, a.k.a. Zee
6712 Country Lane,
Richmond, Texas 77469-8783
Redloch's Twisted Mister, aka Buster
Ch. Redloch's Texas Twister,
Redloch's Tout de Suite, a.k.a. Peach
Redloch's Dazzle Fire, a.k.a. Donder
Ch. Leahy's Lad of
Redloch's Glitter Gal, a.k.a. Tilly