Scottish Terrier Grooming disasters

Reader Shannon writes:

I have been visiting Scottie Dog News for a long time and I love it!! Anyway, my reason for e-mailing? Scottie Grooming disasters! I have two cheeky Scotties myself; MacGregor (The boy) and Dixie (The girl). We have been to four different groomers this year all of which have ended in disaster.
The first was an entire shave down except for eyebrows and beard, the second they came back with no eyebrows or beard and the third was an entire skirt shaving, badly clipped sides, trimmed legs and a completely shaved tail! We love our Scotties with the classic cut but we can’t find anyone who can take it easy with the razor. We always tell them “Long beard, long skirt, long brows, carrot tail, and a tuft in front of the ears” and they always come back looking like a Schnauzer! Not only that but this last cut has left our Gregor Traumatized! He refuses to get up from the sofa or blankets for fear of exposing his naked belly. I feel sorry for him and he probably hates me.
I was just thinking that it might make me a little happier to hear everyone else’s disaster stories and maybe hear tips that others have for getting the right cut…and maybe find out how long it takes before they will look like normal again.

Sounds like a good idea to me. Bridget hasn’t really had any disasters so to speak. But she has had a few bad hair days thanks to less-than-ideal grooming.

The most notable was when I wanted to keep her shaggy for the winter and asked the groomer just to trim her around the eyes and any problem spots. He trimmed her all over, leaving her with about an inch of fluff all over. Luckily, it grew out fast.

19 thoughts on “Scottish Terrier Grooming disasters

  1. I can only say: most groomers do not know how to do the scottie – but some are willing to learn and quite a number is at least acquainted to terriers with their need of stripping the back-fur. and if you pick these learn-willing ones and tell them a few days earlier than bringing the dog (which means they can look up their learning books on how to do a scottie) and then at least the first three times YOU stay while the dog is done and show the groomer how things are done – THEN you find yourself happy for the rest of your scottie life and will not experience grooming disasters any more.
    Only other alternative is grooming the dog yourself – but that means you have to learn how to do it (for example from your breeder) and you need to buy all scissors, trim-knives, shaving machines etc.

  2. Oof! Poor Scotties! Zami is right: it's a *stay-and-watch* kind of thing. Getting off on the right paw with the most competent groomer (with the best facility) and bringing the job along with you standing there the first few times is key. At least there would be no huge surprises that way… It's a long-term relationship with a groomer. They will be seeing quite a bit of your dogs, and your money, if they can manage to do it the way you want, so it's surely not asking too much to have you there the first few times. Good luck Mac and Dixie – here's hoping for a fast growout!!! Cheers!

  3. I ended up with a shaved head and neck–beard and eyebrows intact–fluffy bouffant body ending in a shaved tail. Feet and legs were shaved as well. Weird isn't descriptive enough. I do them myself now, there is no way I could do such a bad job!

  4. Most groomers don´t want the dog´s owners to stay and watch, which I as a grommer myself understand. Petted dogs are a lot of work on the table, and with their owners in the parlor, even the best behaved of dogs act up on the table. Also, most owners don´t train their dogs to become accustomed to being on the table either. You need to get in contact with a local Scottie club or Terrier club, they will be able to direct you in the direction of a professional Scottie groomer.

  5. I tried a few different professional groomers and none were open to my comments about things I would like done differently the next time. I was told things like "this is the way the New York school of dog grooming says to do it, so that's how I do it." The most common problem I had was that they left the tail trimmed like an Irish Setter (nice on an Irish Setter, but terrible on a Scottie) and left the ears and eyebrows way too long. My gal has a rather fine boned skull and really needs ears and brows trimmed shorter that most. I found myself correcting tail, ears and brows once I got home. After a while, I found that I was doing all of the detail work and that I was really just paying the groomer to do the jacket. That was enough to get me to learn to do the whole job myself. Sure, there is an initial investment in equipment, but if you like to keep your dog looking nice, from what you save at the groomer you'll have it paid for quickly. I segued from clipping to learning to strip also. I have been so glad that I learned to do it myself. Now that my gal is an old lady (14 years old), she really hates to be away from home and I am relieved to be able to take care of her myself. There is also great satisfaction when another Scottie owner meets us and says how nice my dog looks and asks me where I get her groomed!

  6. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between a professional "all-round" and "all breeds" groomer, and a professional groomer who specializes in Scotties or small terriers. You need to find a groomer of the latter variety.

    As a Scottie groomer I´m also sceptical to owners comments and wishes if the defer from what a Scottie should look like. A Scottie should look like a Scottie. If you want your dog to look loke something else you might as well have bought a different breed.

  7. I never use "professional" groomers. I came early one time to find my precious pup getting smacked. He also had many blood burns. They do not want the owner to stay,so I do it.

  8. My brindle had a funny look this summer …
    The groomer had the wrong attachment on the clippers (too short), and made one run down Sherlock’s back before realizing the mistake – the result was a “Reverse Mohawk” (i.e. one line of very, very short hair down his back from neck to tail … chuckle!)
    As it turned out, this summer was unbearably hot so it didn’t matter that it was “too short” (I actually had to take him back in for an “extra” haircut when the heat was at its worst)
    All’s well that ends well, however … time forgives all, and it grew back without any problems (now, if only that would have happened to the top of my noggin … sigh … )

  9. We were very fortunate to find an excellent groomer in our small town of Cambridge, MD. Our Ruby, now 4 years, has been groomed by “Rubie” since she was six months old. Ruby loves Rubie, and Rubie loves Ruby. We are always getting compliments about Rubie’s work saying “It is the perfect Scottie trim.”

  10. I have my first Scottie. Georgie’. I have had very good luck with groomers, by the grace of God. Both have given different cuts, but both looked great. I live in a big “small” town outside of Atlanta. Not many Scotties round here, and all from the same parents, however, I would suggest talking to the local vets, leave your number and ask that they be contacted to contact you. other Scottie owners will be more able to lead you in the right direction. My favorite groomer fusses with me because I want Georgie ‘commando’ under his skirt and thinned out on his hips. he is a brindle and gets tangled because he’s outside with his Boxer brother all the time, rain or shine they want to be out in the leaves, mud or whatever they can get into. Good luck..

  11. My poor Bonnie girlie had two attempts at getting groomed properly before I found an excellent groomer who knows what she is doing. The first groomer loved her but he ran a training centre. He groomed her first time and she looked lovely. Second time he let a trainee do it. She came out all shaved except they had left a very bushy tail, eyebrows that met in the middle and only in the middle and a beard that looked like a mandarins plait. She didn’t go there again. The next groomer (who incidentally bred, showed and judged Scotties so should have known better) scalped her. She had two big nicks on the top of her head and one on her ear. She was traumatised for two days. It is so important to get a good groomer. Fortuantely our new puppy, Clyde, wont have any of that trauma. Poor Bonnie went through it all for him.

  12. I would love to find a great groomer for my 2 Scotties. Their heads always look pretty good…but their skirts and furnishings (what’s left of them) leave a lot to be desired. I always tactfully remind “we are trying to grow the skirts out)…this time as you watch them from the rear, there is nothing between their back legs, thus a bowlegged look. I don’t want to offend this lady, but I’m a faithful customer with 2 dogs $$$…so I think I will take a picture of exactly what I want (I wouldn’t think I would need to do that as she is a professional groomer with a great facility and looks like a healthy clientele) Any advise?

  13. My scottie came from an spca with the worst haircut – unibrow, outside of brows shaved off, skirt layered, beard layered. There are almost no scotties in the area, and no breeders. The first groomer never got the tail right and clippered her stomach/skirt off. The next one flagged her tail (even though I said fat carrot), gave her wide fan brows and clipped her skirt like a schnauzer. The third one clippered the tail so it stuck out on all sides, clipped the tufts off the ears, shaved off hair on her stomach and gave her a westie shaped head, despite my bringing in step by step directions with photos. The fourth is a relative who is in grooming school. She cut the head, beard and brows properly, got the tail to look like a fat carrot, is hand stripping the back, and is hoping the skirt and stomach grows in soon. Maybe by summer we’ll have a respectable looking scottie!

  14. Our first scottie came back from his first haircut with a tutu, and the groomer said she would quit if we every brought him back. He loved biting hair brushes. The second groomer managed to tame his spirit a bit, and the cut was ok, but they kept him so long he was popping when I came to get him. Poor boy needed to pee! Eventually I found a mobile groomer which worked out well. Costs more, and they didn’t always get the cut perfect, but McDuff was much happier in a quieter environment. Duffy is gone and we are anticipating getting Oscar, at 5 months his first trip to the groomers. I think we will use the same mobile service and just have them get used to being there. Hair cut can come later

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