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grooming a Cairn head

Izabella's Mom

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My izabella's head hear is kind of sparce. She is 7.5 months old. I am looking at the show Cairns and trying to get Izabella as pretty as she can be by studying and copying you pros.

If you wouldn't mind giving me some advice on how to get the most from her muzzle and head hair, I would appreciate it. I'm afraid to pluck it too much because it is pretty sparce but I am experimenting with hand plucking and using a stripping knife.

Thanks so much for any help you can give me.

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Use a pumice stone on the head. I use them on all my cairns. On Harley I use it on the legs and body because she has this wierd gray hair and it helps tame it. I found them on ebay so you can see. Just do the head a little it won't take out too much but enough that the hair comes in thicker.


Heads are difficult to get to look round, it is easier on some. Sugar's hair is very soft and it took a while before it came in.

Give it time


Rebel, Hammurabi, Sugar, Dirty Harry, Paint, Duncan and Saffron

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  • 1 month later...

The trick to keeping a show dog type of head is to pull the longest hairs every two weeks or so and keep the length of the hair short. Abby's coat is a bit too soft and the hair on her head pretty sparse and soft. Rudi has an incredibly thick and coarse coat, even the hairs on his head are quite coarse. However, even with Rudi if the hair gets too long it just flops down.

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sheila and Misty

I think what we could use is some closeup picures of a correctly groomed cairn-head-back-face -butt-tail-legs-paws- hope someone is up for that challenge-us..dont know howers would sure appreciate it.

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  • 6 months later...

I agree that it would be nice to have a variety of views of the Cairn as most shown are so small. It would be nice to trim our Cairn in between visits. Most generic groomers don't know the difference cutting the small breeds.

Has anyone tried the new nail clippers that buff them off? Our cairn has black nails so I don't know where the cutting limit should be. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Thanks, Bonita

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I agree with Sheila and Misty! I want to do most my grooming at home, yes I am a little on the cheap side, but I'm a single 911 Dispatcher, not rolling in the dough here! :)

I've taken both my dogs in once to give me a starting point, but I had to learn the hard way with my first one not to shave...now her hair is much softer and thinner. But I can tell the hair closer to her skin is coming in thicker finally!

So any pictures and tips would be great....especially with the face. And are those stripping knifes easy to use or should I step away from them b4 I buy a pair???

Edited by nikkikaem
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