By Kathy Rose
The Lakeland terrier is the smallest of the long-legged terriers. They wear a wire outer coat with a soft dense undercoat that comes in a wide variety of colors. Aggression in this breed is not typical, and their friendly, confident temperament is adding to their popularity.
Although they may not make the list of our most popular “Bread & Butter” clients, we do see them in the salon more frequently than we used to. Professional groomers should be familiar with the breed profile for the conformation show ring and how to adapt that to the pet in the salon.
The wire coat is at its best when hand-stripped. Hand-stripping will help maintain the harsh outer coat as well as keep the color vibrancy. However, the typical pet client may request a clipped version, and the professional groomer should be able to emulate the look with clippers, scissors, and thinning shears.
As with all the coated breeds, the preparation before styling is extremely important. After the bath, use a high-velocity dryer to fluff the legs by drying them against the coat growth direction (foot to body). Dry the “jacket” flat by drying with the coat growth direction (front to rear). Complete the remainder of the prep work such as nails, ears, and underwear.
Fig. 1 While standing to the rear of the dog and starting at the occiput, clip the back following the coat growth direction. Next, clip the underside of the tail from the base to the tip. Use a #4, #5, or #7. For this model, a #5 was used.
Fig. 2 Clip over the hips, rump, and back of the thighs with the clipper in full contact with the dog’s structure. “Fall off” two to three inches above the hock and before the clipper reaches the lower part of the outside thigh and the front of the leg coat.
Fig. 3 Clip the muscle on the upper inside of the thigh with a #10.
Fig. 4 Move to the front of the dog. With the same blade that was used on the back, clip the flanks, falling off below the spring of rib (widest part of the rib cage).
Switch to one blade length shorter, and clip down the front of the neck and shoulders, falling off before reaching the leg coat on the upper arm and the cowlicks on the forechest. Clipping over these cowlicks may cause bald spots, so it is best to blend this area with thinning shears.
Fig. 5 Support the earflap and clip the inside and outside of the ear with a #10.
Fig. 6 Clip the top skull from an imaginary line starting at the outside corner of the eye across the skull to the other outside eye corner. Then clip the cheeks from the outside eye corner to the ear. Clip the throat upwards under the jaw to the whisker nodule. The clipped line of the cheek angles downward from the outside corner of the eye to the corner of the lip. Do not hollow out under the eye.
The face is clipped, leaving a “fall” over the eyes with no indentation between the eyes.
Fig. 7 Place a #0 snap-on comb over a #10, #15, or #30. Clip the sides and top of the tail, leaving a small triangle of coat at the croup (the point where the tail joins the rump).
Clip the rear legs.
Fig. 8 For ease in reaching the inner portion of the rear legs, try lifting the opposite leg.
Trim the undercarriage against coat growth direction.
Fig. 9 Clip the front legs.
Use short curved shears, held at a 45° angle to the table to create tight round feet.
Blend and neaten the rear legs with thinning shears or super blenders. When viewed from the rear, the legs should appear parallel from just below the inner thigh muscle to the foot. There should be an obvious bend in stifle (knee).
Fig. 10 Blend the flank coat into the undercarriage with blenders or thinning shears, using care to follow the coat growth direction. The “skirt” is short and follows the natural outline of the dog. When the dog is viewed from the rear or from the front, the skirt should not be apparent.
Use thinning shears to blend a smooth transition from the back to the tail.
Fig. 11 Slightly lift the front leg forward and trim the excess coat to form parallel cylinders. The legs should appear straight when viewed from the front and side.
Use thinning shears to blend the chest. There is no bib or apron.
Fig. 12 Use thinning shears to trim the coat on the side of the brow (fall) while holding the shears flat against the skull. The “fall” hides the eyes when viewed from above; the eyes should be apparent from the side view as well as from the front view.
Comb the brow (fall) forward, then pluck a few of the hairs around the eye to help create an arch in the brow.
Fig. 13 Comb the brow (fall) up, then pluck just the stray bits around and in front of the eyes.
Use thinning shears to blend the beard to the cheek and the top skull to the fall. The eyes should be exposed, but avoid an hourglass shape when viewed from the front.
Shape the beard with thinning shears. The head, when viewed from the front, should appear brick-like.
Fig. 14 Trim the ear edges with small scissors. Always trim from the base to the tip, following the coat growth direction.
All of the transition lines from short coat to longer coat should be blended with thinning shears for a smooth, natural look.
As with any of the wire-coated breeds, you can combine a bit of hand-stripping and raking of the undercoat with clipping and scissoring when grooming the pet Lakeland. This may help keep some of the color vibrancy as well as aid in removing dead coat from the follicles.
For more information about the Lakeland Terrier, visit www.uslakelandterrier.org.