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So many breeds to choose from! Personality traits, genetic disease predispositions, and size are all important in selecting a dog. But, it’s critical to consider the type of coat a dog has and what will be needed to maintain it when looking for your next dog!

Types of Wire Coats

Wire-coated dogs are known for their playfulness, as well as their unique looks. Some breeds included in this category are:

  • Schnauzers
  • Airdales
  • Wire-haired Dachshunds
  • Most Terriers

Home Maintenance

You’ll need to do lots of brushing and combing, if your wire-coated dog has dense and soft hair, especially if you want to leave longer furnishings (leg hair) and a long skirt. Mats can form quickly and easily on this type of hair, and the areas that are left longer for these styles can be some of the most sensitive for brushing. If you get nice, tight furnishings, or if your dog has a very wiry hard coat, you can get by with minimal brushing. The softer texture of your dog’s coat, the easier it will mat. But a hard coat will brush out easily.

One of the most charming aspects of terriers are their cute little beards, so don’t forget to brush them! Their long hair around the mouth can collect a lot of crud, and get smelly very fast. For these reasons, be sure to brush and clean them regularly.

Professional Grooming Needs

Wire coats are traditionally groomed with a technique called hand-stripping. I won’t go into detail about hand-stripping here, as it’s an advanced technique that takes much time and effort to learn. For wire-coated breeds, hand-stripping needs to be done consistently by a professional. If you are interested in learning how to hand strip at home, I suggested taking private lessons from an experienced groomer, or possibly a reputable dog breeder that is willing to show you the ropes.

For the vast majority, these dogs will need regular grooming and usually receive the standard haircuts for their breeds. These haircuts often consist of a tight body, hair or furnishings left of the legs and stomach (sometimes referred to as a “skirt”). The heads are often clipped very tightly with shaved ears, and their signature beards and eyebrows. The amount of at home maintenance will depends on a few factors.

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