The West Highland White Terrier, commonly referred to as a Westie, is a small, white dog that has a wiry, dense hair coat. Unchecked, this wiry coat can grow long and shaggy, jetting out in different directions from the dog's body. To avoid matting and shedding, owners often choose to groom the dog using clippers, cutting the hair to various, more convenient lengths. Haircuts for Westies not only facilitate easy coat care but help to keep the dog cooler and prevent long hair from blocking and irritating the eyes.
The West Pet Trim
Known as the "Westie Haircut," this cut is designed specifically for this breed. The cut crops the hair close to the body on the back and shoulders while leaving it slightly longer around the head, legs and ears. Hair also will be left long on the stomach and body but cut to a clean, universal length.The Westie haircut provides the characteristic fluffy, round-faced look that is associated with the breed. This cut is known as the "Pet Trim" because it is used for Westies that are not competing in dog shows.
Westie Show Cut
Westies that compete in dog shows must be "hand stripped," meaning their hair is not cut with clippers but is pulled out, in small batches, by hand. Hand stripping the Westie coat allows the hair to come in with its natural, coarse appearance and enhances growth in one direction. Hand stripping can be both tedious and time consuming, hence its use only in competition dogs.
Haircuts for Westies at Home
Westie owners can complete at-home hair cuts by purchasing a set of professional dog clippers. Always grooming in the direction of hair growth with sharp, clean blades, owners can ensure a haircut that fits the specifications of the desired shape and length. Owners should use scissors only to trim hair around the face and feet, never to remove mats as this may cut the dog's skin. Use caution to avoid injury to the Westie's skin and eyes when performing at-home haircuts.
Using a professional groomer gives owners the opportunity to specify a cut. By using different clipper blades, groomers can produce a very short, sheared appearance or a "Puppy Cut," a softer, medium-length look. Discuss what works best for the specific Westie being groomed, identifying a haircut that establishes a comfortable level of maintenance.