The Airedale terrier is a very smart looking dog, however, keeping their coats in good condition takes a bit of effort because they do need quite a bit of expert grooming. Learning how to brush, scissor, clip and trim your dog yourself will not only save a bit of money, but it will strengthen the bond you form with your dog too.
As long as a grooming experience has always been a good one for your pooch, they will find it very therapeutic and as such they will get excited when they know it's time for their grooming session. Listed below are some top tips on how to keep your Airedale's coat looking good which naturally means a happy and healthier dog all round.
It's really important for Airedales to be bathed before they are clipped. Not only will this save your blades, it will also avoid putting too much pressure on clipper motors. It also encourages a more even clip.
For longer coated dogs, or where a coat has become a bit matted, it's better to use either #4F or #5 blades which are perfect for giving a rough cut before you actually bath your dog. It's also a good idea to trim off mats using a pair of scissors before you give them a bath.
It's best to set yourself up a routine which you can keep to making sure you groom your dog every 2 to 8 weeks which as time goes on, makes each session less time consuming simply because their coats are in top condition and therefore need less work done on them.
Using either a #7 or #7F blade, trim your dog's body making sure you go with the lay of the coat. If you find their coat will not lay flat or you want to give your dog a much closer clip, you should use either a #8-1/2 or #10 blade which will do the job that much better.
Using a #10 blade, you can then clip each side of your dog's neck and front (chest), again making sure you go with the lay of their coat. It's important to go right down to their elbows. You can use the same blade to clip their tail always going with the lay of the coat.
Going against the lay of the hair and using a #10 blade, start at the corner of your dog's eye and work your way down to the corner of their mouths. You should also clip the top of their heads in exactly the same way.
Using a #10 blade, you need to clip your dog's ears both inside and out going with the lay of their hair and being extra careful because ears are extremely sensitive areas.
This is another area where you need to take extra care because it's a really sensitive part to clip. Again, this should be done with a #10 blade.
Using #10 blade, start by clipping the inside of your dog's back legs right down to their second thigh. Going against the lay of the coat, you then should clip around your dog's rear end up to their anus.
Scissoring helps blend clipped areas of your dog's coat leaving no "chaps" in it whatsoever. This is because all lines will have been smoothed over and nicely blended.
You can "blend" the hair on the chest into their side coat and then up under it which produces a nice smooth line right from their chest to their tuck-up.
The best way to do this is to brush the hair under the chest in a downward motion whilst scissoring it diagonally upwards in the direction of the groin.
It's important to blend hair on your dog's front legs into the clipped areas and then "tuft" off the back of your dog's elbows before working your way down to their feet which also need to scissored so they look neat.
An Airedale's front legs need to look cylindrical from every aspect right down to the ground which can be achieved by careful scissoring.
If you find the hair between their pads is too long, this needs to be trimmed making sure all mats between the toes are trimmed out.
Next, you need to create an angular look to your dog's back legs, which you can achieve by scissoring the hair on the back of their legs. It's important for the hair on back legs to be shorter than it is on their front legs with no "fluff" in the hair at all so the lines are very clean.
You need to scissor your dog's whiskers so they blend in with the hair on the sides of their face. It's best to use thinning shears for this, being extra careful not to hollow out under your dog's eyes. You also need to be careful not to scissor too much hair from the bridge of their noses.
These need to be semi-divided and then rounded off but not left too long. However, they need to taper nicely to the bridge of your dog's nose.
Airedale Terriers are extremely smart looking dogs but to keep their coats looking good takes time, effort and expert grooming. Learning how to do this yourself means you strengthen the bond you have with your dog and it does save you quite a bit of money. However, if you have just got an Airedale and not sure how to scissor, trim and blend their coats, it's best to leave it up to the experts and then invest in a video on how to groom an Airedale or ask an experienced dog groomer if you can watch them whilst they give your dog a professional once over.