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Help with Restoring Harsh Wire Coat


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Hi folks, I'm new! I'll try to keep my story brief.

I've taken my 3yo cairn Josie to a groomer about every 4-6 months. She cards and strips out some of her hair, but I don't know how much she is really stripping out versus cutting. She's also cut her legs, belly (which I'm fine with, such a sensitive area), butt, tail, and some of her face. 

I decided to start restoring Josie's coat a couple weeks ago in the hopes of eventually grooming her myself. But I still made an appointment for yesterday to get her belly trimmed, legs tidied up, and her face stripped better. Her torso was looking really good from what I was able to accomplish, it was harsh and a bit shaggy but not too much.

I thought I instructed the groomer and explained what areas I wanted her to do, but I got her back... and the groomer didn't even trim her belly or groom her legs, and my heart sinks b/c she ruined all of the progress I had made on Josie's body and shortened that to like 1" long hairs! And upon closer looks today it looks like many of the hairs got cut, not pulled out. I am SO frustrated. Here I was hoping to groom her myself, I got a good start on it, I wanted the groomer to do only a few areas, and she didn't. :cry:

Josie's hair on her back comes out easily like it should, because I've always pulled out hairs now and then. But her legs have been trimmed with scissors, and the hairs do not come out easily and it obviously hurts.

So I'm looking for some advice in RESTORING a previously clipped coat. How do I know which hairs to pull? All of them are soft and long. Do I need to just pull all of them (in time) to get a fresh wire hair to grow in? What do you do when it is clearly uncomfortable for your dog? What works best for your cairn? Sorry for the long story, but oh I'm just so distraught --I have worried more over my dog's coat than I worry over most things. There are no proper groomers where I live (the one I used is the best option I have) and I don't know anyone else who could teach me, so I'm really looking for some advice.


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It's so discouraging when something like this happens... and it's happened to others on this site, so you are hardly alone. I'm sure you'll get good advice (and moral support) here!

Many folks don't have a groomer conveniently close by, and even if they do, a lot of groomers have never seen a cairn, let alone worked on one!  Josie's coat will recover and with time and patience, you'll develop the skills to strip her properly. 

P.S. As you know, stripping along the back is easiest, and like Josie, most cairns have some sensitive areas. In her case, it might have nothing to do with the fact that her legs had been scissored.


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