The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier has a high maintenance coat. It is a single coat of hair which has no undercoat, so it does not shed.
Daily grooming and regular trimming are a must;
imagine that your own hair was not combed for a number of days, it would be difficult and very painful to comb. So in the same way, regular combing and grooming of your Wheaten's coat is essential
to ensure that it is free of tangles and knots.
Regular trimming and careful combing means that your pet will soon learn to enjoy the grooming experience. This also has the added benefit of helping to prevent skin problems.
There are two coat types; the 'heavy' and the 'Irish': the Irish is finer and silkier than the 'heavy coat', but both require the same amount of care and attention.
You can view coat types on our Gallery.
Videos tutorials for Combing your Wheaten can be found on the Basic Care page.
Videos of various trimming techniques are on the Grooming page.
Tap or click on the images in this next section will give larger size views in a new window.
As a minimum you will require a Basic Kit of a pair of Straight scissors, a Standard Tooth comb and a pair of Thinning scissors (scissor sizes are shown below).
The following combs and brushes can also be used, the combinations are your personal choice.
Combs and Brushes - wide toothed combs are initially used to free tangles and loosen knots, followed by a standard comb and if necessary, a fine tooth comb. This ensures the coat is clear
of knots and is tangle free.
Spratts combs (74 wide tooth and 75 fine tooth) are useful to assist with trimming and combing.
Bamboo Pin brushes (small and large) do not pull on the coat quite as much as a comb as the bamboo pins have a natural oil. These are particularly gentle for young puppies and elderly dogs, but
should always be followed by combing.
Slicker Brushes are good to help loosen tighter tangles. Teeth should be soft to avoid damage to the skin and coat. The small triangular slicker is useful for the armpits and groin areas.
Straight scissors are used on the body to give a smoother and neater finish and are useful for trimming around feet and ears.
Straight scissors and Single Sided thinning scissors
Thinning scissors (single or double sided) are used for blending and thinning. Frequent 'tipping' removes dead hair, encourages new growth and makes combing much easier.
Never trim a dirty dog, it will blunt your scissors and blades.
Snap-on Combs - are numbered 13, 9 and 5mm, but other sizes are available.
Blades: Skip Tooth blades (blades 5 and 7 on this page) - perfect for blending short areas with longer lengths. The coarse or uneven teeth on a Skip Tooth will feed the hair into the cutting
blade more effectively, which allows you to clip under mats. Finishing/Full Cut (F) - the teeth on these blades are even, creating a smoother finish.
For the body, use either blade number 10 or 30. These blades must always be used with snap-on comb attachments, as blades alone will remove the coat almost to the skin.
With any coat type always use the blades with the appropriate snap-on comb attachments and use the combs in stages until the required finish is obtained.
Care is needed with an Irish coat as this is a 'fine' coat.
Number 3F blade can be used on the body without a snap-on comb attachment. For ears and tummy, use either 7 or 8.5 blades without a snap-on comb attachment.
In general Oster blades are a universal fit for most clippers, but check before buying.
Having a grooming table and arm is very helpful and will last a dog's lifetime and beyond. If you do not want a grooming table, any steady, non-slip surface should be used
The benefits of training your dog to be confident and to accept a table will pay dividends; not only for yourself when combing/trimming, or examining your dog - think about your back.
Another major benefit is for your Groomer, if you choose not to trim and also when visiting your Vet Practice.
Tables types - there are many different types of grooming tables, some have fixed height legs, others have manually or hydraulically adjustable height . If you are going to Show your
Wheaten you might decide to choose one with wheels for easy transport in and out of Show grounds.
Look for one with a table measurement of about 24 inches x 36 inches (about 730 cms x 1100 cms).
Grooming Arm - choose one with height adjustment.
Search the internet to find more information for all grooming equipment.
Grooming Techniques - there are many differing grooming techniques (in people and countries) for achieving a good result, but this page (and our other related pages) have guidelines, tips,
video clips and photographs which will give a pleasing and easily maintainable Wheaten coat.
One important aspect is that you should be pleased with the trim you give your Wheaten and that he/she looks their best. The hope is that you find these pages helpful in your quest to groom your own
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America also has grooming information on this link (opens in new window).
Information and Video Tutorials on the techniques of trimming and grooming are on the Grooming page and combing guidance is on the Basic Care page.