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Caring for wiry coated dogs

The fur of dogs with wiry coat is thick and has an undercoat. The undercoat, which is located under the topcoat, is waterproof and constitutes a great thermal insulation. The layer of the undercoat, along with the layer of the topcoat, constitutes fur. Depending on temperature, season and breed, the undercoat can be more or less abundant.

In the case of dogs with a wiry white coat (e.g. West Highland White Terrier), after bathing it with a shampoo for wiry furs, we should additionally apply a shampoo for white coated dogs. The fur of West Highland White Terriers has two layers, is rough, straight and has a pure white colour. The topcoat consists of about 5 centimetres long, rough white hair, which is the shortest on the neck and shoulder blades and longest on the neck and stomach.

Proper dog coat care must be systematic. One of the most important care rituals is regular trimming, i.e., removing dead hair. Dead hair falls off by itself, in which case either the dog sheds it at random, or it remains intact and hiders the growth of new fur. Trimming is not a painful procedure and thanks to it, in the place of the removed hair, there can grow new ones. Trimming improves the appearance of the fur; it will make the coat stiffer, prevent tangling and decrease the growth of undercoat. Moreover, it can eliminate the problem of fur around your home, because a properly trimmed dog does not shed fur, which can be very important in the case of dog owners with allergies. Most dogs, which require trimming, need to be properly styled. Trimming and shaving such a dog should be entrusted to a specialised groomer, thanks to whom you will be certainly able to avoid unpleasant visual effects and problems with your pet’s skin, while ensuring that the dog will have a properly trimmed and aesthetically pleasing fur.

How to choose the right products for a wiry coated dog?

  • In order to bath a wiry coated dog you should only use cosmetics, which are designed for this specific type of coat. They are composed in such a way to keep the hair appropriately rough, for example by including an addition of horsetail. Remember never to use cosmetics intended for people as they are not suitable for the needs of animal skin and fur.
  • Always choose safe products, i.e. ones that do not contain dyes, which are a common reason for skin irritation or allergies. Moreover, it is worthwhile choosing products which have an adequate smell; for example lavender, which reduces stress in dogs, will encourage positive connotations with the bath.

How to properly bath a wiry coated dog?

Preparing for the bath

  • The first step is to prepare the place of the bath. All the bathing and drying equipment needs to be arranged so that it is easy to reach. You need to have handy a shampoo, a conditioner, a towel, a hair dryer and a comb.
  • Consider putting an anti-slip mat or a towel into the bath, so that your dog does not slip.
  • Afterwards, the pet should be thoroughly combed. In order to facilitate the combing, you should use an untangling product.


  • You are starting the bath. First dampen the dog’s fur with warm water. You should start from the back of the body and move towards the front, not omitting the arms and paws. Do not wet the dog’s head. The temperature of water should be about 37-39 degrees.
  • Afterwards, distribute some wiry coat shampoo on the fur so that foam appears. Champ-Richer (Champion) shampoo is very concentrated and needs to be dissolved in water. During the bath you should make sure that the shampoo does not enter the dog’s eyes, ears or mouth, by covering those areas.
  • Next, carefully rinse.
  • The first application of shampoo only washes out dirt; therefore, in order to enrich the skin and fur, you should repeat the process.
  • When you finish the second wash, apply a protein conditioner in order to rebuild the protective layer on the fur. Apply it carefully and while you are on it, you can gently massage your pet so that it forms pleasant connotations with the process.
  • At the end, thoroughly rinse the dog, paying attention to the less accessible areas, such as the belly and groins.


  • After the bath you should dry the dog with a towel. Instead of rubbing, try to gently squeeze out excess water.
  • Next, the dog should be brushed. During this process you can use a specialist untangling product, which will protect the dog’s fur from mechanical injuries connected to combing.
  • Finally, spray a light revitalising conditioner onto the fur. It will help you to properly style the hair, prevent it from picking up static and getting frizzy. As a result, the coat will have a more appealing look.
  • If your dog is not afraid of hair dryers, it is advisable to use one.