_whits_ Posted September 15, 2012 Share Posted September 15, 2012 I'm posting this both here and in the UK forum because I'm a hopeless Cairn mom when it comes to Addie's hair and I need all the help I can get. Addie is my first Cairn and my first dog with anywhere near this type of hair. I'm lost most of the time when it comes to her coat. My biggest worry as her mom is that I'm going to do some sort of irreparable damage to her hair or cause skin problems simply because I have no idea what to do with it most of the time. Addie is almost a year and a half. She is a red brindle. Depending on what part of her body you're looking at, her hair looks exactly like the red brindle, red, and rich red in this http://www.lachleen.dk/uk/Farver.htm Her head, neck and upper back are the red brindle. Sides are a mix of red brindle and rich red, and hind-end and underside mostly red. Addie's coat is harsh and wiry and lies flat and close to her skin. I've measured it, and at its longest point it's about 2 1/4 inches. I don't strip or clip so that's how long Addie's hair has grown in 16 months of her life. It doesn't grow longer, but it does grow thicker. I've contemplated stripping. Addie's hair does come out quite easily with a gentle steady tug. But Addie seems to absolutely hate it. And my little Addie is a tough little girl who doesn't even act like she notices when I pick up and touch her feet, clean out her ears, check her mouth, and otherwise do seemingly irritating things so I'm thinking the little bits and pieces I've experimentally tugged actually hurt her. Which I don't want to do. And I can't seem to do it in any way that doesn't get an "ouch! that hurt!" reaction out of her. So I've pretty much given up on that. I'm not fond of the idea of clipping because it is cutting it at that stage 3 in hair growth, and I really don't want Addie's hair getting paler and softer because I just love her coat as it is. Also, I don't see the need to clip because her hair isn't long and doesn't seem to be growing longer. What I do is brush her regularly (once a week) and vigorously with various combinations of a slicker brush, two-sided comb, and pin brush. When I do, quite a bit of hair comes out on the brushes. About once every couple months about a hamster-size collection of hair comes out in the process. Addie does not have any problems with me brushing her. Twice in her life I've experimentally used the Mars Coat King (used it once - until I cut myself bad) and the Furminator (also used it once) to see what happened, particularly when Addie's coat was very, very thick and it was very, very hot. A lot of hair ended up on the tools (once again probably a very small hamster size) but I was careful not to use it too much, just enough to make her look a little cleaner. Addie also doesn't mind this. Here are my main questions: 1) Is brushing like I do enough to keep her coat and skin healthy? I'm not concerned with making her look like a show dog, I just want her to be healthy. 2) Does the Mars Coat King / Furminator actually take out those Stage 3 and later hairs somewhat akin to stripping? Or does it cut the hair off more like a clipper? i.e. am I going to be making her coat paler and softer with the Mars Coat King/Fuminator? and my big question: The more I look at Addie's coat, and look at pictures of other Cairns, and hear about stripping Cairns, the more I'm starting to think that Addie does not have an undercoat. But I haven't ever been able to see an adult Cairn up close in real life, and I don't know enough about coats to even know what an undercoat looks like. It just seems like Addie's hair is all the same length and same consistency. There doesn't seem to be anything underneath. So I'm wondering what exactly an undercoat looks like? Are there pictures of what a Cairn's undercoat looks like while they still have their outercoat? I've seen lots of freshly stripped Cairns in their underwear, but it would be really helpful to me if I could see a picture of the undercoat while the Cairn still has the outercoat. 3) If Addie does not have an undercoat: -will she get one? -should I be grooming her differently? Quote "as far as i am concerned cairns are the original spirit from which all terriers spring, and all terriers are cairns very deep down inside." pkcrossley Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register after. Your post will display after you confirm registration. If you already have an account, sign in now to post with your account.