After receiving an email from a groomer asking where to find more specific information on grooming the Bedlington Terrier, I called my good friend Eric Chassey, who is the proud owner and handler of Trooper, a grand champion four-year-old Bedlington.
I had the pleasure of working with Eric at The Village Groomer in Walpole, Mass., for years. Once he decided he was going to show his own Bedlington Terrier, he learned how to groom them by taking lessons from some of the best in the country. Since Eric shows Trooper in the breed ring, as well as grooming competitions, he does weekly maintenance baths.
Bedlingtons have some of the most difficult coats. Their fur matts easily and is extremely difficult to scissor. This month’s article shows the standard of the breed lengths set with snap-on comb, but this trim can be taken shorter for pets. Eric recommends using a texturizing shampoo and a very light conditioner that won’t weigh the coat down. He also prefers a light, fine comb that lifts the hair better. PB
Step 1: Bathe & Dry
Start by bathing and fluff drying by hand. Fluff drying is an important step with this breed, due to the difficulty of the hair.
Step 2: Trim Nails
If not done before the bath, cut and grind the nails.
Step 3: Clean Ears
Pluck and swab the ears clean.
Step 4: Clip Pads of Feet
Using a #40 blade, clip the pads of the feet. Then, clip the hair from behind the large foot pad. This helps make the dog look up on his toes.
Step 5: Clip Underline
Using a #10 blade, clip the belly up to the beginning of the rib cage. This helps the shape of the underline.
Step 6: Clip Tail
Using a #40 blade against the grain, clip the underside and sides of the tail completely and three-quarters on top, leaving one-third of the hair in a V shape on the base of the tail. Keep in mind that Trooper has been clipped just about weekly and has built up a tolerance to short clipping. For pets, it is recommended to use a blade ranging from #10 to #30, depending on their sensitivity.
Step 7: Clip Ears
Hold the base of the ear and place your thumb about a third of the way to the middle of the ear flap. Clip using a #40 blade against the grain to either side of your thumb, creating an inverted V. Clip the entire ear up to the skull. Repeat on the inside of the ears.
Step 8: Clip Neck & Jawline
Start clipping a U shape on the neck about two fingers above the breast bone, continuing up the throat to under the ear and the entire underjaw. Stretch the flews out to get them cleanly shaven. Then, clip from the inside of the ear to the outside corner of the eye. There should be a light arch to the line from the outside corner of the eye down to the outside corner of the mouth. Finally, clip a blade’s width right under the nose.
Step 9: Clip Shoulders & Chest
Using a #2 snap-on comb, clip from the point of shoulder to the top of the front leg, as well as the front of the chest.
Step 10: Clip Sides
Using the #0 snap-on comb, clip the sides of the dog. Bedlington’s are slab-sided, so take care to not cut into the topline or underline.
Step 11: Clip Rear Legs
Using a #1 snap-on comb, clip the back of the rear leg down to the hock.
Step 12: Clip Hips
Using a size A snap-on comb, clip over the hips—think "Schnauzer-like thigh."
Step 13: Trim Rear Feet
Comb all the hair on the rear feet toward the pads, then trim the hair on the sides of the pads at an angle toward the toes, creating a hare foot.
Step 14: Trim Rear End
Holding the tail down, blend the edges of the hair on the tail and follow the natural curve of the back heading toward the highest point of the topline, which is a slight rise over the loin. Eric stands behind Trooper and scissors over the hips. Bedlingtons are slightly narrow in the font.
Step 15: Trim Back of Rear Legs
Scissor the back of the rear leg. Notice how Eric flips his curved shears to cater to the curve he’s working on.
Step 16: Trim Inside of Rear Legs
Comb the hair between the back legs up and trim straight, perpendicular lines.
Step 17: Trim Outside of Rear Legs
Standing behind the dog, comb the hair on the outside of the leg and trim from the table up to the hips. By standing behind the dog, you can judge the length your leaving on the outside of the leg, as well as set the knee.
Step 18: Trim From Foot to Hock
Holding the scissor at a 45-degree angle, trim from the foot to the hock. Then, scissor into the side of the leg.
Step 19: Trim Tuck-Up
Scissor into the tuck-up, which is slightly behind the last rib arching into the rear leg.
Step 20: Finish Rear Legs
Scissor from the tuck-up to the toe, creating the curve of the knee to finish off the rear legs.
Step 21: Trim Underline
Scissor at an angle, starting at the tuck-up and moving down to the elbow.
Step 22: Trim Topline
Scissor from the highest point over the loin to the lowest point on the topline, which falls over the elbow. This is a straight, diagonal line. The length of the shortest point should be equivalent to a #7 blade.
Step 23: Trim Neck
Starting at the clipper line on the throat, scissor back, tilting your shears into the neck slightly.
Step 24: Finish Underline
Lift the front leg and continue the underline forward into the chest. The front legs are well separated from the body.
Step 25: Blend Top of Front Legs
Using chunkers, blend the chest into the top of the front leg, wrapping around to the shoulder.
Step 26: Trim Front Feet
Trim a hare foot on the front feet the same way you did the rear feet. Trim from the pastern (the large pad) one third of the way up on the back of the front leg to the foot at a 45-degree angle.
Step 27: Finish Front Legs
Comb the hair on the front legs up and out, then trim them into cylinders, balancing the length to the rear legs and purposely leaving a "keyhole" between the front legs.
Step 28: Trim Bottom of Muzzle
Comb the hair on the muzzle down and trim any hair hanging over the top lip.
Step 29: Trim Cheeks
Edge the line from the outside corner of the lip to the outside corner of the eye.
Step 30: Trim Sides of Muzzle
Comb the hair on the muzzle and head up and out. Starting at the muzzle, trim straight back over the ear into the neck.
Step 31: Trim Top of Head
Starting at the nose, trim to the highest point on the head, which is the occiput. This line should have a slight curve to it. When looking at the head from the front, it should look tubular shaped.
Step 32: Blend Head Into Topline
From the highest point at the occiput, scissor down to the shortest point on the topline.
Step 33: Finish Ears
Edge the ears and trim the tassels straight at the bottom. When pulling the ears forward, no hair should be longer than the nose.