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No harsh coat?


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Hi, I'm hoping for some guidance. Our sweet cairn, Lucy, died last summer (16 years old, kidney failure - we were heartbroken). Now we have a Glen terrier puppy, Addy. Glens are supposed to have the same double coat as cairns, but Addy is 8 months old now and aside from a few wispy top coat hairs, she seems to be completely soft coated. Here are a couple of pictures.  She's super sweet and we'll love her with or without a top coat, but wondering if this is a thing or if the harsh coat will come in eventually and if there's anything we can do to encourage it.


I would have posted this in the glen talk forum - but there's no such thing! Folks have been very helpful here in the past. Thanks in advance.

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Did Addy have her puppy coat stripped at around 10-12 weeks? I don't know if that's typical for Glens but most Cairn breeders will completely strip the puppy fluff to give the harsh coat a chance to grow out from the beginning.

Some Cairns have soft coats (genetically) and will struggle to *ever* have a harsh coat. Some are in between; we had one fluffy puppy and a breeder friend took her on to show saying "I'm not afraid of a soft coat — it just means work." She felt that by continuously rolling it (even more than normal) the coat might eventually come into its own. Indeed she did improve the coat as the pup grew older, but I would say that it was really softer than ideal her whole long, and much-loved life. 

Love the heads and expressions on Glens. I once saw a stout Glen in an earthdog tunnel and the earth rippled and shook above her as she moved through it :) 

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A Glen of Imaal terrier!!! How fortunate you are to obtain one. In UK they are on the most vulnerable list- among the rarest of dogs. Addy is a good looking pup. Such a lovely expression.

Can't say more about coat than Brad already did. Whatever coat she grows will be secondary to the fun you will have with her! Can't resist asking for pic of Addy doing the Glen sit if you have one.

Enjoy your special one!

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Thanks to both of you for your replies. Bradl, I don't think the breeder stripped her. When she dropped her off (she was 10 weeks old), she said something along the lines of "and all this" *gestures to coat* "has to come off." I've worked on her coat a bit with fingers, pumice and also a mars coat king, trying not to take off too much. I plan to only groom her myself since she's sweet and cooperative. (My cairn was also sweet but acted like I was murdering her when I tried to handstrip!) I could use a lesson maybe. 

Hillscreek, I will post a picture of her Glen sitting if I can ever get her to do it! Our cairn did a great Glen sit, RIP.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Trav86, I agree with Brad, the hard coat won't come in until you strip off that puppy coat.   Once it gets really warm this summer, she will probably appreciate you taking her down to her undercoat!   Do you live near enough to her breeder than you could get lessons from them?  I used to do that for some of my puppy buyers, some of them I just did the grooming for them because they were afraid they'd do it "wrong".  When it comes to stripping, there are ways to do it "wrong", I know, because I probably did them all before I got help from some professional handlers, LOL!  I think the biggest mistake anyone makes is not holding and stabilizing the skin against the pulling motion, that does hurt the dog, so if you are holding the skin taught as you strip, you are doing okay, don't beat yourself up. 

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