Grooming & Care

Basic Grooming Hints

IMPORTANT: Always use a good quality bristle brush and wide toothed comb to groom your Australian Terrier. This will preserve the undercoat which is characteristic of the breed. 

Groom AT LEAST one week prior to a show to allow any faulty trimming to grow out. While inexperienced, never trim drastically.

Your breeder will show you how to groom your dog, but here are the basics:

1. TOP KNOT.  The ideal Aussie has a profuse topknot of soft hair, generally lighter in colour than the rest of  the head colour.  It should be brushed forward and encouraged to stand upright, but must not hang into the eyes.
2. EARS.  The ears are pointed and should be kept free of long hair.  Never use scissors to remove this soft hair -fingers only should be used to pluck this hair away.  Hold the ear in one hand and use the finger and thumb of the other to pluck, giving special attention to the outline of the ear.  A little talcum powder rubbed into the fingers helps.  The finished ear should look like chamois leather.
3. RUFF.  Brush the ruff forward and outwards so that it frames the head and extends down to the breastbone.  Remove any odd long straggly hairs.  The ruff should be encouraged to grow to its full potential.
4. APRON. This should be encouraged and brushed down to its full potential.
5. FEET.  Carefully remove any hair growing between the pads as this tends to spread the foot and make it look bigger. Trim hair on toes, feet and lower leg so that the feet are clean and free from long hair.  The Standard calls for feet to be 'cat-like' and this can be achieved with careful grooming.  Scissors are used to trim under the pads so that toes can be placed close together.  Using a knife stripper and thumb to strip, thin out hair to the elbow in front and hock at the back, but do not strip the feather (see 6 below).
6. FEATHER.  This soft hair is to be encouraged and should be brushed back from the front.  Never brush out from the leg as this gives the dog an 'out at the elbow' appearance.
7. BODY COAT.  Brush body coat down to its full length, carefully untangling any knots and tangles, particularly underbody. remove long hair from inside legs and neither too wide nor too close.  Brush 'pants' forward and if too long and untidy trim slightly with scissors to the shape of the leg.
9. TAIL.  Remove all long hairs and flag so that the tail appears natural, straight and set on high, well carried but not over the back.  Fan hair out from side of tail, cut along tail to leave tidy, then do other side to match. Thinning scissors may be used to advantage here to reduce the bulk of the tail to manageable limits.

10. EYES.  The long, untidy hair that has a habit of growing into the corners should be plucked away with the fingers.
11. NECK.  Brush and groom so that neck appears long and arched.  Some thinning of hair with thinning scissors may be necessary, but do be very careful not to overdo it.
12. ELBOWS.  Shorten or brush down any hair at the elbow which makes your dog look out at elbow.  Sometimes it may be necessary to thin hair slightly, especially if it tends to stick out untidily.  Heavy growth can give the appearance of a faulty front even if the front is good in structure.
13. HINDQUARTERS.  For cleanliness, keep hair short around the vent, and, in case of males, around the prepuce.
14
. MUZZLE.  Should be free from long hair.  The beard under the muzzle should be trimmed neatly with scissors to the shape of the muzzle, but not too severely.

Remember the gold rule of grooming - if in doubt, DON'T

SHOWING:  If you bought your pup to be a show dog, his breeder should have briefed you. 
If you have decided that your pup has what it takes, contact your breeder and get an expert opinion before deciding as there is a great deal to do before entering the ring.

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