GROOMING A WIREHAIRED FOX TERRIER:
A wire has a harsh wirey coat, colour of no real importance, though white should predominate as stated in the standard, written many moons ago when wires were used to go to ground after the foxhounds had cornered the fox. As both breeds were hound marked/tri coloured, it was preferable for the wire to be more distinct so that when he bought the fox up, the wire would be easy to grab before the hounds went in for the kill. The wire was a valuable asset to his owner and didnt need to be injured when working. Now adays most wires only recline on the couch dreaming of such an event, as seen by the twitching of their legs and face when in sleep mode.
The coat on a wire will grow up to 4 or 5 inches long and you will notice after the first 2 - 3 inches of the hair shaft that the root of the hair will change from the vibrant colour to a grey soft colour. When you clip this length of coat you will naturally remove the wirey dark part of the coat and the grey root will continue to come through. This is why the coat will take on a soft colourless appearance. However where you have removed hair shafts when deep combing, the new coat will come through harsh, wirey and the original colour.
Grooming a wirehaired fox terrier requires regular deep combing with a steel comb of 1 1/2 inch deep teeth.(even or variated width of teeth is optional, but the wider width will be easier to use on thicker coats. The finer teeth on the facial hair) Place comb into the coat on a slight angle so that it goes right down to the skin and then pull out on a slight angle to drag out the dead coat. This will remove dead hair and start new regrowth. You can also get a tool called "Mars Coat-King" which will rake out the coat very efficiently. Care must be taken with this tool as you may actually cut the coat which will be the same as clipping, ending up with a grey coat. It should be placed into the coat and dragged slowly & carefully along the length of the body through the coat to remove the dead hair.
Hence if a coat of 4 inches was clipped it would be soft and very little vibrant colour, but if then stripped when it grew long again, the new stripped area would return to the correct harsh wirey full colour coat. This, however, is not a recommended procedure as it is harder to remove the old coat after being clipped.
Dog grooming salons will not undertake stripping a coat as it is a specialists job and would take too long for a salon to bother with. You may be lucky to get your breeder to undertake this for you or teach you to do the stripping.
Wash your dog when dirty with a good dog shampoo, rinsing well and drying with towels and a hairdryer. Then put the dog in the house immediately after you have finished otherwise he will just race around the garden and roll in whatever smells good and undo your hard work.
Clipping of toenails is sometimes daunting for the novice and your breeder should guide you how to do this. Buy a good pair of nail clippers and have someone else hold the dog on a nonslip table. Hold the leg down near the foot firmly and clip off the escess nail - not too close to the pink quik that you should be able to see. If you have a black nail try and gauge from the other nails how much needs to be removed. Err on less if in doubt as you do not want to have a bleeding toenail. Have some sort of Stop-bleed on hand (obtainable from good pet shops), failing that, rub on soap, or just hold still with a piece of cloth until bleeding has stopped.
Teeth must be free of build up of tartar caused by incorrect feeding. Use of hard dog biscuits, beefhide treats, large raw bones etc will correct this. Build up causes bad breath and can lead to teeth having to be extracted in extreme cases. Rubbing the teeth yourself with a piece of harsh flannel when he is in the wash tub can help if there is a start of tartar appearing. If you start this when puppy is young he will let you do it later when it is necessary. Do not use human toothpaste, but you can get dog toothbrushes and dog toothpaste from pet shops.
When your dog has been clipped he may need a warm coat in the very cold winter months. Also you may have to supervise him in the vey hot summer days from getting sunburnt, by using a thin cotton coat. If your dog has a skin allergy during the summer months caused by summer grasses you may find using the thin coat a way of preventing this. Also make sure they do not spend too much time laying belly down, or rubbing themselves on the lawn if they are susceptable to allergies. Gentle cleansing with water and applying a lotion such as Apex Antibiotic (obtainable from your vet) is better than letting it get out of hand.
We are happy to clip or strip your wire at our kennel, clipping from $50, stripping from $100, depending on the condition you have kept the coat. SITE RECOMMENDED TO VIEW: www.wirefoxterrierassociation.co.uk Go to the "Grooming Site" on the "Main Index" and this will give you more details on grooming your wire. Go to the "Shop Site" and you can purchase Video/DVDs on how to groom your wire
TRAINING: SIT: Use food treats to reward such as cheese, roast chicken or sausage. Work with the dog on a lead so you can control. Position your dog with its back to a wall so it can't back away. Hold food over top of the nose and take it backwards over its head. He will follow the treat back and have to sit. Moment he completes sit say sit and reward with treat.
DROP: with dog in the sit position, hold treat over top of nose and extend treat down to ground at a 45degree angle. Your dog should follow the treat down into the drop position, if only half way still reward, but repeat procedure until he has his belly on the ground.
STAY: With dog in sit position hold up hand in a stop sign. Walk back one or two steps keeping eye contact with dog and saying stay.Wait a few seconds then go back to dog and reward your pet. Gradually extend both distance you retreat and time you stay away.
COME: With dog in sit position & you some distance from the dog, say "come" and clap your hands in praise to break the "stay command",hopefully he will come bounding to you and not take off in the other direction LOL. Reward with food and exhuberant praise
WALK ON HEEL:With dog on lead & sitting on LHS, step off with Left foot, slightly pulling on lead and say HEEL, hopefully he will take off in unision with you, praise as you are walking, STOP , command SIT and praise with food, Repeat this till perfect LOL. Using a choker or slip collar with a lead is useful with older dogs, but not puppies. Pull and release choker as dog performs correctly.
This is just touching on Basic Training, repetition will instill training into your dog. Praise and rewards help with this process