Westies are high maintenance when it comes to keeping their coats tidy and their skin in good condition. They boast thick double coats with a lot of feathering around their legs and on their bellies which if not groomed on a regular basis tends to matt up very quickly because the hair grows so long. As such, these adorable white dogs should be brushed every day and trimmed when necessary.
It is worth noting that not all Westies need to be hand stripped because not all dogs have the same coat textures which can typically be put down to “bad breeding”. A Westie with a “correct” coat texture can be described as follows:
- Their outer coat is harsh and is around 5 cm long. Undercoats are more like fur being soft, short and close-lying
Westies with harsh coats can be hand stripped, but other dogs with silky coats and no undercoat or dogs with fluffy, wavy coats cannot be hand stripped as the process would be very painful for them to undergo being hand stripped.
More about a grooming routine
A Westie should be professionally groomed for the first time when they are 16 weeks old when all their top coat, legs and head can be removed.
Around 6 to 8 weeks later, a Westie can have their 2nd groom when a 3rd of their body coat can be removed.
Around 4 weeks later, a Westie can be given their 3rd grooming session when 50% of the remaining longer hair on a dog’s body can be removed.
Four weeks later, a Westie can be given their 4th grooming session when the rest of the long hair on their body can be removed.
Many professional dog groomers recommend that Westies be hand stripped around every 4 weeks to keep their coats looking tidy, bearing in mind that the rate of hair growth can differ from dog to dog.
It is also worth noting that a Westie’s head and the way it is trimmed and groomed is one of the breed’s defining features which should look like a Chrysanthemum.
As with other breeds, Westies shed more during the Spring and then again in the Autumn which is when more frequent brushing is necessary to get rid of any shed and dead hair although with this said, they are known to be moderate shedders. It’s also a very good idea to check a Westie ears regularly because infections once they flare up can be notoriously hard to treat. In short, prevention is a lot easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.