Concluding Notes: Experienced Border Terrier people can strip a dog completely in 1 to 2 hours. It may be easier for the novice to strip the back and sides in one day and finish the rest of the coat no more than a day or two later.
The new outer coat of the dog will usually take 6 to 8 weeks to develop. During its growth period, regularly
rake the coat – that is, use the stripping knife as you would a comb to remove overlooked hairs and loose undercoat. Once your Border’s new outer coat has grown in it may be possible to prolong its good looks and delay the next stripping by a method called
rolling. This means selectively picking and pulling out the longest hairs that refuse to lie smooth. This regular pulling initiates new coat layers by breaking up the first coat into several lengths. It must be done carefully not to take too many hairs in one spot. Not every dog’s coat can be successfully rolled, and it is an art learned only through practice.
Use of clippers on the normal, healthy Border Terrier is NOT recommended. When the dead coat is stripped, as described in this guide, each hair comes off entirely. Clipping or scissoring removes only the outer length of a hair, leaving the rest of it to shed out. Also, clipping leaves the guard hairs the same length as the undercoat, rendering it useless as protection from the elements – in other words – the coat will lose its weather resistant quality. Clipping also changes the look and texture of the coat quite noticeably.
Some Borders have
easy care coats that seldom need stripping. Such coats roll naturally, and weekly routine tidying keep them neat longer than usual. (Dogs with this type of coat often have scant whiskers or other furnishings). A very few Borders may be
single coated – that is, they lack the undercoat which provides the protection from cold and wet. Although easy to care for, a single coat is incorrect for a Border. Some Borders have very silky, thin silvery hair on the top of their heads. This is very difficult and painful to the dog to strip out. Much careful pulling may remove it, but it will return.
A terrier coat’s natural protective oils are removed by soap, so a Border should be bathed only when absolutely necessary. Use only a shampoo made for dogs, if possible one formulated specifically for terrier coats. After the bath the dog should be brushed daily to restore the natural oils to his coat.
Brush your Border at least weekly, pulling out any long hairs you might have missed while grooming. Using this opportunity to examine your dog thoroughly will help to keep your dog in good health as well as good coat.
The Border’s nails should be trimmed regularly if they do not stay short enough through walking on abrasive surfaces. Try not to trim so deep as to cut the quick. Don’t forget the dewclaws even if the rest are OK.
Clean teeth are important to health as well as appearance. Examine the dog’s teeth regularly and arrange for heavy tartar deposits to be removed by a Vet or experienced groomer.
This Guide was prepared for and approved by the Board of Directors of the Border Terrier Club of America, Inc. Please note that in addition to this guide, Border Terriers enthusiasts should familiarize themselves with the BTCA Statement on Presentation.
© 1986, BTCA, Inc.
Link to PDF Version of Grooming Guide for Printing