How to Groom a Terrier Mix

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From Australian terriers to border terriers, there are more than a dozen mixed terrier breeds — and more than a dozen ways to groom them properly. Basic terrier mix grooming styles and guidelines are derived from the length and texture of the dog's fur. Certain terriers have long, thin hair that requires shears to cut through while others have short, thick hair that gets removed through the grooming process of "plucking."

Depending on the breeds mixed in your terrier, you may need more specific grooming guidelines to care for your dog completely. Consult your veterinarian and groomer for details.

Long hair terrier mix haircut

Step 1: Brush the coat

Brush your long-haired terrier once a day with a tight-wire bristle brush. Brush gently to remove knots or tangles. You may need to cut out a particularly thick knot with shears.

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Step 2: Trim the hair

Trim the excess hair once every three weeks. Grab a section of hair between your middle and pointer fingers. Clip away an inch at a time with shears. Repeat across the longer sections of hair.

Step 3: Pluck the fur

Hand strip the fur after combing and cutting. Dead and loosened hairs are "plucked" out, helping to ensure that the coat is even. If you see any long hairs you've missed, cut them out with the shears and hand strip the area again. Hand stripping doesn't hurt the dog.

Step 4: Bathe your dog regularly

Bathe your dog once every three to four weeks. Long-haired terrier breeds can have sensitive skin and hair, making frequent baths unnecessary, unless your dog gets unusually dirty during an outing. Pour lukewarm water over the dog. Lather a mild dog shampoo into her fur. Rinse the shampoo out completely using a cup to pour water through the hair.

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Step 5: Brush your dog's teeth

Brush your terrier's teeth once a week. Hold the lips of the mouth open, and brush gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Begin this practice as early into your dog's life as possible so your dog becomes accustomed to it.

Step 6: Trim nails regularly

Play with your dog's paws when she is young to get her used to the feeling because terriers are notorious for hating nail clipping. Regularly clip her nails when a white or grayish length of the nail begins to show past the regular length. Failing to clip a terrier's nails could result in discomfort and limping.

Short hair terrier mix haircut

Step 1: Brush hair regularly

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Comb short-haired terriers at most once a week with a fine-toothed comb. Base your combing schedule off of the look of your particular dog's hair. Notice when it becomes knotted, matted, or bunched up in places, and set your combing schedule a few days before this typically happens. Short-haired terriers look best when their hair is combed less often, which prevents a "puffy" look.

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Step 2: Pluck the coat as needed

Hand strip the coat after combing through it. The comb removes and loosens dead hairs, which then can be "plucked" with the hands in short, gentle grabs. This maintains the plushy feel of the overcoat.

Step 3: Brush the terrier's teeth

Brush your dog's teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush once a week. Hold the lips of the mouth open, and brush gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Begin this practice as early into your dog's life as possible so your dog becomes accustomed to it.

Step 4: Cut nails regularly

Play with your dog's paws when she's young to get it used to the feeling because terriers are notorious for hating nail clipping. Regularly clip her nails when a white or grayish length of the nail begins to show past the regular length. Failing to clip a terrier's nails could result in discomfort and limping.

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Step 5: Bathe after plucking

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Bathe the terrier after combing and hand stripping the overcoat. Combing and hand stripping are much less effective once the hair is wet. Bathe your terrier once every three weeks, but comb her hair once a week. During the bath, lather the soap into the undercoat and through the overcoat. Use a damp towel to gently wipe the face, ears, legs, and paws. Rinse the shampoo out completely using a cup to pour water through the hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Tight-wire bristle brush

  • Shears

  • Mild shampoo

  • Cup

  • Soft-bristle toothbrush

  • Fine-toothed comb

  • Dog nail clippers

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