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Grooming the Wire FoxTerrier

Grooming the Silky Terrier

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Wire Fox Terriers

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This will help your groom your Wire as a pet only. Show grooming  the Wire Fox Terrier is an expensive and long drawn out procedure.


  • Wire slicker brush medium        
  • 2 pairs of good scissors one for finishing and a blunt nose pair for trimming around pads of feet
  • Steel comb with medium teeth
  • A-5 Oster clipper with a # 15 blade
  • Additional blades - # 7 and  # 10
  • Clipper Kool Lube and Blade Wash
  • Clipper oil
  • Bio Groom or Nature's Specialties shampoos and conditioners
  • Nail clipper and Kwik Stop or other styptic powder
  • Ear powder
  • Ear cleaner


  • Magnet stripping knife (for carding coat)
  • Colored chalk and white chalk
  • Grooming bench or table with arm and noose. Which is the best investment if you plan to do your own dog (you can get away with just a clamp-on arm and a noose if you have a table to clamp it to).
  • High velocity dog dryer



Mats: clumps of heavily tangled hair in which a comb cannot go through

Furnishings: name for leg hair

Stripping Knife: serrated grooming tool used in hand stripping and coat    carding . There are many types but I only recommend a Magnet knife for pet grooming

Hand Stripping: The pulling out or plucking out of coat to promote wiry  coat growth. 

Carding: using the magnet stripping knife to remove soft undercoat and    bring in texture and color

Pads : bottom of a dog's foot

Anal Gland: glands on both sides of the anal opening

Quick: fleshy area of the nail which if cut into will bleed

Beard : whiskers and eye brow hair

Roughing out: clipping coat to form a pattern prior to bathing. once the dog is bathed and dry you finish your trim to make your dog picture perfect.

Clipper burn: a rash or sore caused by clipping. Usually caused by forcing a clipper through the coat but can also occur when blades are overheated and on dogs with sensitive skin. They clear up by using an antibiotic cream or Sulfadine.  If you suspect you may have burned your pet, bath him with a medicated shampoo.  After shave lotion may also help.


2cosmo untrimed.JPG (11341 bytes)Before you begin to clip you must thoroughly comb out your dog. This is done both with a wire slicker brush and a comb.  Brush the leg hair towards the  foot and then straight up towards the elbow.  Don't forget under the legs near the chest, the back parts of the leg in the groin area and between the toes . Then use your comb.  If the comb doesn't easily go through the hair it is matted and the mats must be removed. There are sprays that will help break up the mat. You can use thinning shears also but you may leave a hole in the area of the mat. The best way is to use your fingers to break up the mat then brush the area until your comb goes through. If you brush your dog properly on a weekly basis this step should not be needed. 

Next comb out the beard. Take a hold of the skin on the underside of the lower jaw on the opposite side of the beard you are combing out, then reverse and do the other side. This keeps the head still and if he objects to having his bead combed you will still have control of the head. 

Next clean the ears. If there is hair in the ear canal puff some ear powder in and use your fingers to pull out the hair. The ear powder will make this very easy. If the ears appear swollen, red, pussy or very smelly take him to the Veterinarian . If the ears are just dirty an ear cleaner will remove excess wax and dirt. Squirt and massage the ear cleaner into the ear canal and wipe away excess wax and ear cleaner with cotton balls.

Roughed out body and neck :

good body.JPG (7337 bytes)If your dog is not extremely dirty or flea ridden  you may start to clipper him. If you don't have a grooming table you may need the help of another person until your dog is trained to stand still.   The grooming arm would have acted as your third hand.

First trim the neck all the way around , continue down the back, clip the hair down the rib cage but leave the chest hair.

You will also clip the shoulders down to the elbow, the front of the chest also even with the elbow ( please don't leave a puffy plume on the front of the  chest , some pet groomers do this along with a fringe along  the rib cage. It is incorrect and looks stupid).

Trim the entire tail. 

The best blade to use is either a #10  for a short smooth look or a # 7 for more hair . This blade is generally referred to as a strip blade and is best for a dog with a good textured coat rather than a soft mushy coat.  Never push or force the clipper. Hold it lightly and it will glide through the coat. If you try to push it through the blade will leave clipper marks, jamb up or even clipper burn your dog. You can practice clipping on a piece of fake fur to get the feel of your clipper.  

headuntrim.jpg (9999 bytes)The best blade for the head is a #15 .  Clip from the corner of the eye to the  edge of the mouth. Shave the top of the head taking care not to cut off the eye brow.  The eyebrow sits on top of two bones. you can feel the lumps just before the  head flattens.  Shave the entire ear inside out.

Now trim the belly and inside of the legs in the groin area with your #10 blade. Don't go past the start of the rib cage. With males shave their penis and with females be very careful not to clipper off a nipple. It can happen. If this area intimidates you leave it alone.


You may put cotton in the ear canal to keep water out. Use warm water and always lather and rinse the dog twice. The first lather removes excess dirt and the second brightens and whitens . Wet him down prior to applying the shampoo.  At this time empty the anal glands.  This is done by applying light pressure at the base of the anus and drawing your fingers up and towards you.  You should get a very smelly discharge come out. If the glands are hard or the discharge is really thick or pussy see your Veterinarian. You may want to skip this part of the bath and just have your Veterinarian pump them at your annual checkup. Use only top quality dog shampoos and conditioners . I recommend  either Bio Groom or Nature's Specialty products.

Begin at the head and work to the rear. Be careful not to get soap  in his eyes. If he has fleas use a flea shampoo and  apply Bio Spot or Advantage when his grooming is complete. If he has skin problems (too oily, too dry) use a medicated shampoo designed for that problem.  Always follow the product's instructions.

Blow dying is best. It will straighten the coat and give a more finished look.  Towel dry and use your  hair dyer. If you have invested in a Force dog dryer and grooming bench it will make you task 100 % easier and cut your drying time in half.


Start by trimming the hair between the pads of the foot. This is important as debris such as sand , small pebbles, burrs and foxtails can get in there and mat the fur. At the very least this can cause foot discomfort but can also cause funguses to form, infected sores and foxtails to enter the leg and cause major problems. Always use a blunt end scissor and proceed with caution. trimmed foot.JPG (7629 bytes)Once the pads are trimmed use your finishing  scissors to trim around the outside of the foot to make the foot less shaggy.

Next trim the chest hair.  Try to make the chest look deep by trimming the hair nearest the start of the rib cage shorter and taper it down to the front of the  chest to give the illusion of a deep chest. 

Trimming the leg hair can be tricky. You want to blend in the longer hair of the leg into the shorter body hair without making gouges or leaving chaps.  Use your clipper with a #7 blade and very lightly skim the surface of the hair until you blend the long hair with the short. Use your finishing scissors to give angulation to the back legs by scissoring the hair in the front of the thigh into a smooth curve and scissor the rear near the tail and hip joints and remove unruly hairs on the back and inside of the leg.  

The front legs can be scissored to make them look more like posts without a large abundance of fluffy hair.sitting down.JPG (4559 bytes)


Scissor a line from the corner of the eye to the mouth. Then comb the beard forward and scissor under the chin again leaving less hair nearer the top of the  jaw and the longest part of the beard at the end of the jaw  The eyebrow should not be too large. Scissor from the corner of the outside of the eye towards the center of the muzzle The hair from the top of the muzzle to the nose should be scissored to give a straight flat appearance . The final touch is to scissor around the ears to remove any excess hair and give a smooth appearance.

It may take you several trims to get a hold on your grooming quality.

I had a customer that had me do the first trim and then she followed my pattern. She trimmed her dog every two weeks for about 6 months now she has people stop her on the street to ask her where she gets her dog groomed.




  • Wet the edge of the ears and pull the hair away from the ear to make it easier to trim the edges
  • Comb  the short hair  on your dog's back, neck and head every day with a magnet stripping knife. Go with the grain. This is called carding and will remove dead undercoat and help improve color and texture. 
  • If you want that show dog color, use black chalk on the black (gray ) area and brown chalk on the tan area. Use a terry cloth towel (one for each color ) and rub and wipe off the color.  Some color may wear off on light colored furniture but most of the color will stay and will last several days.  Almost all Wires shown have colored chalk in their coat and if it is properly wiped down very little color will come off  
  • To clean your dog between bathing use cornstarch. It will remove excess oil and dirt.  Sprinkle it in and brush it out. Then spray him with your favorite doggie cologne.
  • If your dog  has ticks, put them in a jar of vinegar as you pick them off. It kills them and it is not toxic. 
  • Always check for foxtails between the toes, pads and under the front legs near the chest. These are overlooked hiding places for foxtails and the can injure and even kill your dog.
  • Always use Kool Lube and clipper oil to maintain your blades. If the clipper blade is hot to the touch it is hot to the dog.
  • If you use your hair dryer make sure it is not too hot.  Hair dryer temperatures sometimes are too hot for canine skin.
  • If you dog has sensitive eyes and they tear after bathing, ask your Vet for a non antibiotic ointment or eye drop to put in his eyes prior to bathing.


My model is Cosmo . He is the proud owner of two humans Rodger Kern and Jackie Green. 

 Cosmo's leg hair was taken down shorter for the summer. His back was done with a #10 blade.





Bio Spot flea and tick killer by the Farnam Co (better than Program and Advantage)

Bio- Groom or Holiday ear powder

C-Derm therapeutic ear cleanser

Holiday Cologne or Bio Groom Cologne

Guillotine type nail clipper and quick stop septic powder


6 ft leather lead (I donít recommend nylon)

Metal choke chain (no more than 2 inches slack when pulled tight)

20 foot long lunge line

Cheap collar to start and then a good rolled English leather collar when full grown

Good quality metal ID tags (put on Microchip #, Avid toll free # and your phone #)

Doggie fecal disposal kits

Bio-Groom ear mite treatment  

Bitter Apple for chewing (cream type works best)

Natureís Miracle for urine stains


Any fuzzy type toy

Knotted rope toys

Solid white rawhide (donít not use compressed rawhide. It looks mosaic. Little pieces all stuck together)

Range Riders Pork Chews by the Scott Co

dog ball

Nyla bones (buy a cheap one to start. Some dogs donít like them)

Good quality latex toys



Wilderness Jerky Treats, (great for training treats)

Sterilized bones 

Exercise Pen (36 in with a top) 

Doggie Seat Belts

Stainless Steel Dishes or ceramic dishes

Rabbit Bottle (not the one for dogs)


Pooper Scooper

Doggie life preserver


We do NOT recommend the following products

Cardinal products

Harvest Chews, Booda Velvets, Greenies

Tennis Mania by Vo-Toys

Pigs ears and animal hoofs

Any raw hide product not made by a well known company

Breeder Choice dog foods  


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