I had this post all ready to go last night, but could not upload my pictures.
I need a faster internet. :/
We don't groom a lot of Westies, maybe about a dozen.
They all have various types of coats.
Some have very sparse, thin coats, others might have a nice plushy ,thick back, but hardly any hair on the legs.
My Westie customers that own Westies with really full thick coats, want them short, and the owners with sparse, thin coats want us to make their Westies long and thick. :/
Today I had two Westies that belong to the same family.
One is only about 8 months old and belongs to the daughter.
The other is older and belongs to the mother, we have been grooming the mothers Westie for years.
This is the daughters Westie.
She says that he will not let them brush him.
She says that he growls and nips.
He did not do any of that when I was brushing him, and he was a little matted.
I gave her a few tips on how to get him used to brushing.
I would say that he is definitely on his way to full control over his young owner.
The daughter did not want her Westie as short as her Mom likes hers.
I used a 5/8HT blade on this Westies back.
The hair on the legs and skirt are still growing and filling in, so I only neatened them.
What can I say about this head?
This young Westie has three different types of hair going on there.
Again, the daughter does not want her Westies head as short as her Mom likes her dog, so I shortened it a little but left it on the shaggy side for her.
This is the Mothers Westie.
When he was younger he had a really thick, plush coat.
The hair on his back and neck have started to thin out, but the owner still wants him short.
She wants him short, but she still wants the Westie pattern.
He gets a #5F blade on the back.
The legs are scissored to about a 3 3/4 blade length.
I could use the blade on the legs, but I like to scissor instead.
The owner likes a skirt and apron but wants them very short.
I don't like the look of a really sharp line cut on a really short skirt, so I round off, and soften up the sharp line.
You don't have to scissor very much hair to get a soft, round edge.
The short video below shows how I rounded off the skirt.
I also round off and soften the chest.
The owner also likes the head and face to be short and tight.
I skim #5F blade over the top of the head and down the sides of the head.
The owner wants the top of the head flat.
I scissor the beard very, very short, and scissor the mustache up to the lip line.
I round off, and soften up the edges of the mustache the same as I did with the skirt.
The owner likes everything nice and tight.
This picture shows the rounded off mustache a little better.
I prefer the hair on the longer side on the back.
I don't ever go any shorter than a #7f on a Westies back, and I think we only have one customer that wants her Westie that short.
I have also found that it is okay to back-brush before clipping the back only if the Westie has a thick, plushy coat.
If the coat is very straight, wiry, and on the thinner side, do not back brush.
The blade will leave a very chopped up look when the hair is brushed backwards.
If that thin, wiry hair just feeds through the blade you are using and does not take the amount you want off, go to the next blade down.
Sometimes you have to use a shorter blade on a straight, wiry coat in order to get the amount off you want.
Hope this helps.
Happy Grooming, MFF