Finding a groomer who really knows how to properly trim and shape your Westie may be a problem. It seems quite a few “groomers” out there think your Westie should look like a Scottie, Wheaten Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Norwhich Terrier and so many come out looking like “A SCHNAUZER — HEAVEN FORBID!!
The proper head of the fantastic looking Westie is that which is patterned after the Chrysanthemum flower which is FULL and ROUND not trimmed to a WEDGE toward his/her chin. The tail should be shaped like a carrot, thick at the base, tapered to a point at the tip (no trailing hairs) and the hair
should be trimmed even with the tip of the tail bone. A Westie is supposed to have a skirt. Trimmed neatly it should come to within an inch or so of the ground. The neck should be trimmed so as to accent the chrysanthemum shape (lion type) head. All clipping of the body hair must be clipped in the natural direction of the hair and blended cleanly down to the skirt and legs. There should NEVER be a horizontal cut-line down the sides of the body. This is all wrong! The hair on the top of the head shall be brushed forward over the eyes and that hair trimmed so those beautiful coal black eyes can be seen clearly. This hair should create a “visor” effect.
When first setting out to secure grooming for your West Highland White Terrier, you will need to spend a few minutes going through the yellow pages of your phone book listing all the grooming shops in your area. You’ll probably want to check the ones nearest you first but, NEVER NEVER discount those that may even be an hour or more drive away. The reason we say this is, if the shop that can do a PROPER job for you and your Westie friend demands an hour’s drive, you will find that time very well spent. Maybe you could do a little shopping, have lunch with a friend or if it’s a nice day, spend the waiting time relaxing
at a nearby park under a big shade tree with a good book. We have a grooming shop here at our ranch and many times, during the warmer months, the parents of our grooming clients relax under our many 70 – 80 foot tall cedar trees surrounding our facility while reading some of our dog magazines or a book they brought with them.
You have spent much time and considerable expense securing a high quality Westie who will offer more love and companionship then you can ever imagine sooooo, placing him/her in the hands of a well qualified groomer, even if it causes some inconvenience over the years, will prove to be of small consequence.
Beware! Someone clipping a longer haired dog extremely short can possibly change the texture and even the color of the coat that grows back! Many times “shaving-down” a normally long/medium haired dog will create a state of depression in the dog. We’re not sure why this happens but, we know it surely can happen! The dog may want to hide as if being ashamed of his/her appearance, acting “out-of-sorts” and shy for weeks!