Grooming a Kerry blue terrier requires some expertise with scissors since very little is done with clippers for the typical haircut. More work is involved to maintain a show trim than a pet, or summer, trim where the coat is shorter. Knowing the breed standard should be helpful to maintain the proper lines when grooming a Kerry blue. They should be groomed every six weeks or so, with weekly brushing in between.
Clip the toenails with dog nail clippers, being careful not to cut into the quick (blood vessel) of the nail. If the nail bleeds, apply styptic powder or pencil to the end of the nail.
Trim the hair on the bottom of the feet with clippers and a No. 10 or 15 blade, or scissors. While your dog is standing, trim around its feet with curved shears for a round appearance.
Shave the abdomen with a No. 10 blade. Remove the hair between the legs to approximately the navel in an oval pattern. Clip around the anus with a No. 10 or 15 blade.
Clip both sides of the ears with a No. 10, 15 or 30 blade. Work from the centre to the edge of the ears, being careful of the small flaps at the bottom of the inside of the ears. Scissor around the ear, feeling for the edge with your fingers as you cut.
Apply ear powder to the hair inside of the ears and pull a little of the hair out at a time using a hemostat. The method used by the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club is to insert a swab into the ear and twist it so the hair is wrapped around the swab before pulling it out.
Clip the top of the head with a No. 7 or 8 1/2 blade. Do not clip over the dome at the back of the head. Clip the neck from the hair follicle lump under the chin to above the breastbone with the same blade. Clip against the grain with the same blade from the back of the jawbone in front of the ears to the corners of the mouth and to the outside corner of the eyes.
Bathe your dog. Fully dry and comb or brush the coat.
Scissor the body and tail with the straight or curved shears to a uniform length of about 1 1/2-inches, creating a round appearance. The body could be clipped with a No. 4 or 5 blade instead. Blend in the hair along the clipped areas with scissors. Scissor a straight line on the underside of the chest to the abdomen. Trim excess hair on the sides in front of the back legs to create a waist, according to the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation. Scissor the legs to look like tubes.
Cut the eyebrows and the beard flat on all sides with straight shears. Use thinning shears to blend the brows and beard into the head. Cut the hair alongside the eyes so they're visible.
Things you need
- Animal clippers
- Blades, Nos. 7, 10, 15 and 30
- Shears (scissors)--curved, straight and thinning
- Nail clippers
- Styptic powder or pencil
- Slicker brush
- Metal comb
- Ear powder