The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

This short and sweet modified cut is perfect for active dogs that have easily matted coats.



Wheaten Terriers are a very popular family pet. They look like little brown teddy bears when they are puppies, so it's easy to see how people fall in love with them. Wheatens are very active dogs that love swimming, hiking and just plain running ‘zoomies’ in the backyard. Of course, they also have a soft coat that mats very easily.


Our model this month is Mookie, a four-year-old Wheaten Terrier. His family likes a modified cut with a round head and no fall. As with many Wheatens, Mookie has gone through the cycle of growing his hair longer, then ending up having to be saved due to matting. Mookie is now on an every six weeks grooming schedule with a manageable length hair. Mookie is groomed here by my co-worker of six years, Kathleen Rosenquist. The haircut she does can be modified in length to fit your own clients. The salon we work at has two bathers, and most dogs that are on a regular schedule go right into the tub. He is washed, conditioned and high-velocity dried




Step 1: Fluff Dry

Fluff dry using a slicker brush, moving methodically through the coat to dry, straighten and remove any tangles.


Step 2: Nails & Ears

Clip and dremel the nails smooth, and clean the ears.


Step 3: Clip Pads

Shave the pads of the feet with a #30 blade.



Step 4: Sanitary Trim

Shave the sanitary areas with a #10 blade.



Step 5: Clip Ear Flaps

Shave the inside the ear flaps with a #10 blade, making sure to lay the ear flat against the palm of your hand. Take special care near the inner ear flap.



Step 6: Clip Outside of Ears

Use a #7 blade to shave the outside of the ears.



Step 7: Clip Body

Use a size 0 snap-on comb on the entire trunk of the body, starting from the back of the head and going to the tip of his tail, clipping the chest, sides and belly along the way. Skim off at the elbows. Continue over the hips and clip a Schnauzer-type line on the rear leg, exposing the thigh muscles.


Step 8: Clip Throat

Before changing the size 0 snap-on comb, clip the throat in reverse. This will give the appearance of more neck.



Step 9: Clip Top of Head

Use a size C snap-on comb in reverse on the top of the head and down the cheeks.



Step 10: Clip Rear Legs

Using a size A snap-on comb, clip the rest of the rear legs, both inside and out.



Step 11: Clip Front Legs

Continuing with the size A snap-on comb, clip the entire front legs. This sets the length.



Step 12: Trim Rear Feet

Pick up each rear leg, comb all the hair down toward the pads, and trim any hair hanging over.



Step 13: Finish Rear Feet

While the dog stands naturally on the table, round the foot.



Step 14: Finish Rear Legs

Fluff the hair on the back legs up and out, and trim any hairs that are uneven with the silhouette of the leg. Use curved shears to help with the angulation.


Step 15: Trim Front Legs

The front legs are essentially done the same way as the rear, except they are column shaped.



Step 16: Finish Ears

Edge the ears.



Step 17: Trim Tail

Scissor the tail into a small carrot shape.



Step 18: Clear Eye Corners

Use thinning shears to clear the inner eye corners.



Step 19: Trim Visor

Comb the hair forward over the eyes and trim a visor.



Step 20: Finish Head

Comb the hair up and trim, blending the top of the head.



Step 21: Trim Jaw Line

Neaten the cheek hair. Comb the beard down and trim from the nose back to the ear, following the jaw line.



Step 22: Finish Face

Trim both sides of the beard and connect them by trimming the chin hair to make a circle.





Professional groomer Annie Francis, CMG, is a grooming competitor, speaker and Andis educator. She works at The Village Groomer in Walpole, Mass. Is there a breed or cut that you’d like to see featured in the Grooming Table? Send your suggestions to


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