The Bedlington Terrier should be groomed on a regular four-to six-week basis to keep it smart and to prevent the dead hair from becoming tangled and matted. In addition, the dog should be thoroughly combed every two to three days, or its coat will quickly become matted. The coat is described as thick and “linty” and needs regular trimming, as it does not molt like most other breeds and is therefore a good breed for those allergic to dog hair, such as asthmatics. Standing well out from the skin, the hair is crisp and has a distinct tendency to twist, particularly on the head and face.
Equipment needed: Slicker brush, wide or medium toothed comb, clippers, scissors.
Professional trimming is advisable unless the owner takes the trouble to learn the lengthy art of grooming. As a general rule, the coat trim and overall shape of the Bedlington Terrier should be a series of curves, with no harsh transitions between different lengths of coat.
- Brush through with a slicker brush and a comb.
- If the hair is dirty, it can be blown through with a power blower to remove grime and dirt, and to reduce matting. Note: A freshly washed coat will stand away from the skin, making the hair easier to trim.
- Depending on the predetermined length of hair to remain, use an Oster No.10 or N0. 15 against the grain of growth to clip the side of the face. Follow a line starting from the back corner of the eye to the front edge of the ear, and another from the back corner of the eye to the outer edge of the mouth.
- Clip the ears to leave a diamond-shaped tassel of hair.
- Clip the chin and underjaw down to the base of the throat, forming a V-shape to a point half way between the Adam’s apple and the breastbone. Use a No. 10 or No. 15 Oster, as on the cheeks.
- Depending on the style of trim preferred, you will need to clip the hair on the back of the head slightly differently. For the traditional “U.K. trim,” use a No. 5 Oster to trim the hair off the neck, starting from the back of the skull and moving down to the withers. For a more “U.S.-style” trim, also use a No. 5 Oster, but clip with the grain of the hair, starting from the base of the ear and progressing diagonally toward the center of the base of the neck, forming a V-shape of hair down the neck.
- Using a No. 5 blade, clip down the sides of the neck to the shoulders to blend the hair into the top of the front legs at the elbow.
- Clip from the neck to the breastbone. With the show dog, this is shortened with scissors. Blend in the scissored and clipped edges.
- With a No. 5, clip along the body and down the rib cage, leaving a fringe of hair under the chest and brisket.
- Clip over the top of the back to the rear end, blending toward the top of the thigh. This can be done with scissors.
- Using a No. 10 or No. 15 blade, clip beneath the belly from the navel to the groin and the inside of the thigh.
- Clip the tail. You can trim uniformly with a No. 10 or No. 15. Alternatively, for a more “U.S.-style” trim, leave a third of the hair at the base of tail and clip the remainder to the tip with a No. 10 or No. 15.
- Clip the anal area.
- Bathe the Bedlington with a canine shampoo recommended for harsh coats. If necessary, use a conditioner, but remember that a soft and fluffy coat is not desirable in this breed.
- Blow-dry the coat, using a pin or slicker brush to lift the coat away from the skin.
- Check the dog’s nails, teeth and ears. It is important to pluck out the hair that grows deep into the ear canal, otherwise it can fall into the canal and cause a buildup of wax and possibly an infection.
- Clip over the clipped parts that have lifted in order to neaten them.
- Scissor the edges of the ears to neaten and comb down the tassels, scissoring them to form the required diamond shape.
- Scissor the head carefully to form a kind of Roman arch (the rise from the occiput to the nose). However, do not exaggerate this curve too much. Ideally, the profile should be wedge-shaped. Follow the line of the skull to form a smooth, unbroken, gentle curve. Blend the sides to taper, giving the side appearance of a long head, arching across the top between the ears to the tip of the nose.
- The hair on the tail is scissored to a tubular shape, blending into the body. However, take care not to leave too much hair at the base of the tail, as this can result in the tail looking as though it actually belongs to an Irish Water Spaniel!
- Scissor down the chest, down between the legs and then underneath the rib cage, scissoring down the front legs to form a tubular shape.
- Blend the rear legs with scissors to follow the natural contours.
- Clip or scissor between the toes and the pads, and then underneath the foot. Finish the feet with scissors to form a nice, neat appearance.