West Highland white terriers -- often affectionately known as Westies -- have medium length natural coats. You may think that your pup needs a haircut to keep his coat at a more manageable length. Several styles exist that will look great on your Westie and keep him looking neat.
Clipping or Hand-Stripping
As with other wire-coated breeds, Westies can have their coats hand-stripped rather than clipped. Hand-stripping tends to make the coat more coarse and more wiry, whereas clipping can cause the coat to become softer and more silky. A coarse coat is advantageous in the show ring. If you're going to show your dog, it would be beneficial if he was hand-stripped. If he's kept as a pet only, clipping is the easier option, but the choice is yours.
Should you wish to enter your Westie in showing classes, he'll need to have the right kind of haircut. The American Kennel Club only approves one style for the show ring. His coat will need to be kept around 2 inches long, but clipped or stripped shorter on his neck and back. Longer parts of the coat must blend into any shorter parts. The coat on his head needs to be hand-stripped into a rounded shape.
A puppy cut is a mid-length clip for your Westie. His coat will be trimmed to between 1 and 1 1/2 inches in length, so it looks similar to his natural puppy fur. You can choose to leave the hair on his legs longer, if desired. It's also up to you how long or short you trim the hair on his head and his beard.
A summer cut is extremely low-maintenance and will keep your Westie cool in warmer weather. If you go for this cut, your pup's coat will be trimmed extremely short all over, to between a 1/4 and a 1/2 inch long. His facial furnishings may be left slightly longer, depending on your personal preferences. This cut minimizes the amount of time you need to spend brushing your dog, so it's ideal if you find yourself too busy for regular grooming sessions.
- Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images