Grooming
Getting a puppy accustomed to being brushed/groomed now will make it considerably easier when it's older. For westies a slicker brush works best, it removes the loose hair and a #12 stripping tool, if you wish to strip and get the "Westie Look". It is often said that "If there is mud to be found, a Westie will find it". Extremely playful breeds, Westies love to get down and dirty. Keeping their fur well groomed is essential to their overall appearance, health, and well being. There are two ways you can groom a Westie. Clipping, which is the least expensive and easiest way, does not preserve the hardness of the fur, and "de-weatherizes", meaning when they do go out and get dirty, they will require more attention to clean. The second, and preferred method, specifically among avid Westie owners and showers, is Stripping. This method preserves the hardness of the fur and overall identity of the breed. Most regular pet groomers will not Strip a Westie, so it can be hard to find someone who either will or has the experience to do it. With patience and practice, you can learn to do it yourself from the comfort of your own home. Using light pressure, comb stripper through coat in the direction of hair growth. Do not go against or aside hair growth, as this will result in excessive cutting of hair. Use for coat thinning, removing dead hair, and removing mats and tangles. Westies need to be brushed daily with a slicker brush. Stripping should be done at least every other month, depending on how active your Westie is. To begin hand stripping, you will need to give your Westie a bath. It is better to towel dry your Westie. If the coats has been properly cared for, it won't take long. Next you will want to brush him/her out. Now you can begin hand stripping. Using your stripping tool, stroke your Westie following the "grain" (the way the hair grows naturally). After each section, it is good to follow up with a light brushing. The most difficult part of stripping is that it is time consuming. You and your puppy will need patience and understanding. Start with a little at a time. Grooming your Westie is vital to his over health and well being. It is important to note that Stripping, although it sounds incredibly painful, is actually quite enjoyable. You are simply pulling the dead hair out.