Z-A “A Clip Ahead” Scottie Grooming


Scottie Heaven

“We put a little piece of Heaven in your life” ™

Scottish Terrier Grooming:

Professional grooming for your Scottie is important. If not done properly; it can be a traumatic experience for your Scottie and very devastating for your dog to emotionally recover.  Not too mention how visually upsetting it will be for you, once the damage has occurred. If it is the first time to the groomer or if you have a young Scottie please remain at the groomer while he or she cuts your dog’s hair. I will explain why.

Welcome to ScottieHeaven.com  visit our other pages to learn a lot more about your Scottie and how to help them live a long and healthy life. This continues to be the most popular page on our S.H. website given the fact that families with a Scottie continue to have the most difficult time with poorly trained groomers, or groomers with an attitude.  We have had groomers develop an attitude even after 14 years of patronizing (6 dogs to the groomer, every three months or 4 times a year $2,400 per year.)  We have learned attitude is pervasive in the business of grooming. (Go figure, it must be from doggie burnout!)

Remember – A Scottie grooming is not a Schnauzer grooming, yet I continue to see a Schnauzer cut on a Scottish Terrier – shocking with owners paying upwards of $85 dollars +a $15 tip.  This is a total embarrassment, not to mention just a pure waste of money.  Loyalty with a groomer should be the least of a Scottie owners concern, especially when difficulties arise (getting an appointment, groomer fails to clean the private area’s, cut hair in the ears, trim nails or are poorly done (bleeding), you start to hear their problems or complaints) you face or are subjected to an attitude (lecture every time you visit), and quality of care diminishes (over all response which your dog has, “glad to get the hell out.”)


“We put a little piece of Heaven in your life” ™

92c2af9b0c7d98b52dbe9d11cdf4f2ca(Ohhhh myyy! – Every two or three months?)   This can have a long term effect on your dog’s emotional stability, not to mention you, especially if it is happens every time you visit a groomer and if you don’t seriously make changes to protect them.

(NOTE:   This page is not meant to teach grooming – merely to explain purpose, responsibility, preparedness, style and expectations.) 

Everything should be done with the premise of:  “what is best for your Scottie.” In most cases you are reading this information after desperately searching the internet looking for answers regarding grooming your Scottie, and after not being informed by who you purchased your Scottie from on how hard it is to find a competent groomer. The last thing you want is your Scottie looking more like a Schnauzer than a Scottie, (How embarrassing, it will be more a statement of your knowledge. A skilled groomer will laugh with you knowing this problem.)

In dealing with a Groomer the health and the well being of your dog is the paramount issue.  “The Groomer you choose should have the Patience of a SAINT!  – if not and if you observe any hostility, impatience or anger – Do Not return to that Groomer!”

The Scottish Terrier is considered light shedders, practically no hair at all and is considered a hypoallergenic breed.  You’ll virtually never find a hair in your home, when brushing daily!  The Summer Coat (less work): Cut his/her (skirt) coat short every few months and then it will only needs to be brushed every so often. (During the summer months it will be cooler for the dog, especially if you live in a warmer or hot climate. Some will tell you that this will have no effect on the way your Scottie tolerates the heat because they perspire by way of their feet and panting – this is wrong – they also sweat – they require a cooler temperature (They originated in the cool Scotland Farmlands.  I have natural stone floors, (Travertine) during the summer months the Scottie just love to stretch out and cool their warm bellies on the stone. (They will do this on tile or a patio, with a concrete surface.)  Our groomer knows the cut and we refer to it as a summer cut.)  This is something you will need to take into consideration when planning a grooming schedule for the year.  A Show coat (requires more work): Strip his/her coat every six months and brush it daily.

  • *If you are thinking about showing your Scottie, DO NOT CLIP!  Hard coated terriers in the show ring must be hand stripped since clipping will ruin the show coat!  A.K.C. qualifying regulations will eliminate your dog’s opportunity to show, if you have put clippers to your Scottish Terrier.

What You are Trying to Achieve:  The goal of grooming your Scottie is to accentuate the overall look of sturdiness, compactness, and squareness that sets this breed apart from all others.  You should look at as many pictures of show trimmed Scotties as you can, setting that unique outline in your mind’s eye.  Then, take closer looks at the “parts” of those pictured dogs.  Notice the way their faces are groomed, their ears, their tails, their feet, etc. (When keeping your pet free of infection, it is best to keep his/her private area’s clear of extra hair, this includes the ears. Your groomer may need a little reminder the first few times.)   A “UTI” Urinary Track Infection can be painful, irritate the skin, not to mention your nose – “odor.” Cranberry pills can be very effective, consult your Vet.

  • Certain types of Hair rakes can remove too much hair so be extremely careful when using them, a simple brush is best. IMPORTANT: Begin brushing your Scottie as a puppy. If you delay the brushing process until your Scottie is too old he/she will snap at the brush and make it difficult for your groomer to brush. We very our brushes, always keeping them free of hair during the process. I even let the Scottie puppy smell the hair removed from the brush they develop a sense of confidence that this is good for them. I always praise them with lots of little treats when I first introduce the brush. I will even take out the brush when the Scottie is relaxing in my lap and brush them a couple of times then place the brush down as if it is not my main focus this builds a trusting reaction and does not prolong a fear of the brush when first introducing it. If the Scottie does react keep the brush in a spot the Scottie can examine the brush several times before you use it.

If you have ever been owned by a Scottie, you probably have been faced with having your dog groomed at more than half the grooming shops in your town, and when you pick them up, generally they are done like a Schnauzer, a Cocker Spaniel, or “whatever.”  Sure, the shops Groomer/receptionist told you that: “Oh, yea, we know how to do a Scottie” or “Yes, they can “DO” a Scottie cut.” (Ask them for three Scottie references to speak with.  If they do not have three references – Do Not Allow them to cut your Scottie.) You actually wanted your Scottie to look like a Scottie and they didn’t do it. (This is when you have really goofed.) – Tooooo Late; you don’t have much choice, but kindly request/attempt to pay less, wait a couple months and, (hide indoors, embarrassed) Do Not return and definitely look for another Groomer. (Not fun at all, but a fact.)  This becomes a regular experience for young Scottie’s and their new owners.   You must remain patient, consult your breeder, veterinarian and every Scottie owner you come in contact with, before trying a new Groomer.  The smart thing is keeping a written record of your groomer experiences and Do Not return to a Groomer who has not been responsive or respectful.

When I hear about a Scottie who is difficult during grooming it is usually because the Scottie has not been prepared enough prior to locating a groomer. Your dog must be acclimated to water in the simplest terms. I have found that a shower with the owner in a shower enclosure is best. If you do this repeatedly the Scottie will become more trusting and “reduce” its fears to water. When my pup is about 8 weeks old, I start taking them into the shower holding them close to my chest to calm them always using warm water and a light oatmeal soap to begin with. Always talk in a calm tone and praise them as you are holding them close. It may take as many as 10 or 15 showers before the puppy will become more confident. Remember while holding your puppy during television or just sitting you should be rubbing the young Scottie’s feet. This helps to allow them to become confident about having their feet touched. Very important for when they are having their nails clipped by the groomer. You best start brushing your puppy for light periods of time as well, this repeated activity more than once a day will also eliminate a fear, reluctance, and difficult attitude towards the grooming process. The failure to do this will only make it harder to find a groomer who can tolerate the behavior. It may also cost your grooming fees to increase.

The First Cut:

20170117_151558  Abigail 20 weeks old with her chew is ready for the Groomer. (A puppy is usually ready for it’s first grooming between 20-23 weeks old.)

The first haircut which a Scottie will receive is one of the most important.  Your young puppy is at a stage where it’s bonding with you, thus you should remain within eyesight of him/her, so they remain confident that you have not abandoned them.  (My policy is Do Not leave your dog alone during their first cut and Do Not allow a Groomer to cut the puppies hair if he or she is not willing to bath them, as well as allow you to be within eye visibility of your pet.)   You will be able to make this easier if you start working with your Scottie weeks before that cut is to take place.  Give your puppy simple weekly baths in a shallow basin and dry. You also want them to get use to the handling of their feet, so they will allow the Groomer to trim their nails.  Rub their feet slowly, gentle and repeatedly as you dry them.  It is best to place their feet in the towel and dry them slowly by rubbing them, you can also do this without the towel when you are just sitting with your dog by genitally rubbing their feet.

  • Always praise your puppy and have a number of small treats at hand to reward them during this process.  (My Scottie’s are so comfortable about bathing, that when they think I’m going to take a shower, they’re the first one’s in, and carrying their little yellow duck.)
  • WARNINGScotties do not swim, so never leave them unattended in yards with lakes, ponds or pools.  They will sink to the bottom!!!  Their legs are two short in length to cup water and propel their mass to reach an edge. They will panic with their head falling below the water with their shallow lungs filling them with water extremely fast.  Always, have them wear a life jacket. These are readily available on  Amazon.com

In most grooming shops a bather will perform the wash and the Groomer will be doing the actual stylized cut.  The Groomer of choice (who you want) is the one, who on the first haircut will wash your puppy and then do the Grooming.  The professional will use the bath to bond, (create a trust with the dog) working with your dog’s temperament, thus the Grooming process will be more successful.  The puppy will also be more attentive and have the patience as well as be more likely to respond to the Groomers instructions.  If the Groomer you have chosen does not want to do this – thank them, leave IMMEDIATELY and Do Not return to that Groomer. (You are paying for the service – you set the ground rules – express your concerns and be firm. If it does not happen, leave IMMEDIATELY and Do Not return to that Groomer.)

  • YOU MUST BE PRO-ACTIVE!  Speak with your wallet.  Your Scottie deserves that.   As the customer you represent $300.-$500. dollars a year to the groomer. A fair groomer price is $45.  (Show Grooming will cost you considerably more, but it should be the best look imaginable.)  He/She should respect you and especially respect your Scottie’s concerns.  If they don’t leave IMMEDIATELY and Do Not return to that Groomer.

Scottie Heaven

“We put a little piece of Heaven in your life” ™

Visit our “Angel Request” Page or  Ask for an Application to be sent if you are looking for an Angel.

Future – Setting a Schedule:

It is very hard to find a Groomer who knows and understands Scotties and can do them correctly.  Getting your Scottie to look good is not the only reason for you to learn what the look should be, so your dog does not have an excruciating experience every time you leave them alone at the Groomer.  It is always best to visit the groomer during the grooming process just to be sure the experience is not traumatizing to your pet.

When you know what to expect, you can verify that your dog is getting the individual attention, that’s something an unskilled Groomer will lack.  It is very important to develop a regular calendar schedule over your dog’s grooming needs, example: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.  You will also need to take into consideration things like: Time at home, Travel, Environment, your dog’s Age and Health.  Your groomer should be taking a personal concern about your pet and even be giving you details about any flee or tick problem they might discover.  If not, take the initiative and question the Groomer.  If they appear unconcerned or unresponsive Do Not return to that Groomer.  Your pet should be a paramount concern if not — Do Not return, the life you save may be your pets.

It is always a good idea to brush out your Scottie prior to visiting your Groomer for several reasons.

  • First, you can give your dog some individual attention.
  • Second, and most importantly you develop a hands-on familiarity with your dog’s body, offering an early alert system for spotting “lumps and bumps” that might need medical attention. (not to worry most likely a small cyst (cavity containing a liquid secretion) which your Vet should remove for numerous reasons.
  • Finally, this type of activity will lead your dog to become more familiar and comfortable with the grooming process itself.  It is important that your dog be made to feel special when groomed or bathed.  It will have self-confidence and be more cooperative.  It develops a trust and connection that will help to eliminate fear.

This is a slow process, so start this as soon as possible.  The elimination of matting will help to prevent the Groomer from irritating or frightening your puppy.  (If your dog is extremely matted and arrives at the Groomer un-brushed, some Groomers will charge extra.)   The stylized cut that the Scottie is to receive involves several different blades on the shaver if the look is not achieved the Groomer does not have the correct blades or is not skilled in the actual cut.  The cut should not be so close that you see skin, and the lines where the hair length changes should blend naturally and smoothly.  If not, Do Not return to that Groomer.  Scottie’s haircut should not look fluffy – it should be a “Tailored” look, if not, Do Not return to that Groomer.  If the Groomer is practicing, then you should not be charged.  If you observe your Groomer using Grooming Dryers, (placing a dog inside this heated chamber) or pointing large dryers at the dogs “unattended” – Do Not return to that Groomer.  This is indicative of their risk decisions and take this as a warning, because it is “not acceptable behavior.”  Be pro-active and Investigate your Groomer.  You wouldn’t leave your child with a stranger; so “Do Not do it with your puppy.”    (NBC – Tragic story of a pet left in a drying device shows that owners must be wary of their use.)

The basic grooming should include a bath, haircut, and nail trimming (sometimes it includes draining anal glands; another reason not to trust a groomer if they don’t know what this is.)  Always check that the area’s around the private parts are free from hair to prevent, (U.T.I.) Urinary Track Infections.

  • If the Groomer has failed to clean these areas, request them to do it before you leave the shop.
  • If the Groomer has shaved to close and large areas of skin are exposed your groomer has failed to maintain control during the grooming process. There is no excuse only inexperience. Do Not return to that Groomer.  Your Scottie should not be a Guinea pig for a groomer lack of experience.  (Sometimes a close cut can irritate the skin and cause the dog to insistently rub against a piece of furniture or the carpet.  Aloe Vera and an anti-fungal cream will help.  Some Groomer clipper blades can be hot and if the Groomer is careless a close cut will burn the skin.  (Always take your Scottie directly to your veterinarian if the dog is sensitive to the touch or the close cut is red and irritated.)
  • The ears should be clear of hair so that you can re-wash the ears during the first week following the Groomer visit with some special ear wash provided by your veterinarian. This will be the place a flee will attempt to hide while you head home from the Groomer. (The dog will insistently shake its head because it feels something crawling around agitating them.) 
  • Also immediately check that the nails are not bleeding and that the feet are not sore to the touch.  If the nail, is bleeding and the groomer did not inform you of the problem, Do Not return to that Groomer.  You will need to apply an antiseptic to the nail in order to prevent infection and/or a coagulating Styptic powder, should the bleeding not stop.   If you have increasing doubt about the injury or if your pet aggressively licking it’s nail – visit your veterinarian at once.




Cat is seen trimming  ♥Bonnie, who is receiving her “very first nail trimming.”  Bonnie is calm and responsive, not frightened, struggling or pulling away, but rather she is completely cooperative.  This is what 20 weeks of preparation will bring. (Shortly after Bonnie was walking around the floor coming to grips with all the hair cuttings; “Was that from me?”)

Scottie Grooming 101:


Scottish Terriers need regular brushing and combings especially during the time that the dog is shedding.  Shedding is not a major problem in this breed, and they are considered to be light shedder’s.  Their hair does tend to tangle so a once over twice a week is necessary.  As with any double coated breed, brushing should be done in such a way that it goes down to the skin.  A light brushing of the top coat is not enough to prevent mats from forming.

I have a pet-care hint:   When I have to take my Scottie dogs to the vet or to the groomers, I park my car a distance away and walk the rest of the way.  This way, my babies are a little tired and have worked off some of that doggy energy.  Added bonus: Walking back to the car after dropping them off is a little extra exercise for me!

Scotties require professional grooming to maintain that classic Scottish Terrier look.  Hand stripping twice a year can also help to keep the coat in its best condition is also needed.  Other than that, basic grooming tasks include keeping the nails trimmed, brushing the teeth, cleaning around the eyes and face, and a good bath about every 3 or 4 weeks.  You don’t want to take away the natural oils by over washing and drying out their skin.  (You will have to watch that your Scottie does not have an allergy to soap or grass.  If you suspect there is a problem discuss this with your Veterinarian.)  Their weather resistant coat usually resists dirt, but if not, a good brushing will get most dirt out of the coat.

A pet-care hint:  A summer cut – same grooming but a shorter skirt during the summer months.

Visit our “Angel Request” Page &  Ask for an Application to be sent if you are looking for an Angel.


Five of the Most Common Dog Grooming Mistakes:

  • 1. Lack of training – Grooming is simply another aspect of training and improper training can create unhappy grooming sessions for everyone involved. If you have a new puppy, it’s important to get them used to brushing, bathing and having their feet, faces and ears handled from day one.
  • 2. Long hair + water = mats – Another common problem Groomers deal frequently is matted fur in longer-haired dogs, but the cause of the mats isn’t always obvious to owners.  Most pet owners don’t know that when a dog with long or thick fur gets wet, they have a higher likelihood of getting painfully tight tangles and mats.
  • 3. Incomplete grooming – Thorough groom includes checking the inside of ears and mouths, and suggests asking your vet or groomer what the most appropriate cleaning schedule is for your dog.  Expensive and painful dental and ear issues can be easily prevented with regular maintenance.
  • 4. Creating bad grooming habits through improper play – It seems cute when your pet snaps frantically at the garden hose, shakes her head when you blow on her ears or plays chase with the hair dryer or vacuum, but this type of teasing can make grooming really difficult for you or your groomer and scary for your pet.  A professional groom involves equipment that vibrates, shakes, sprays, and blows air at the dog, and owners need to make sure that they’re not teaching the dog to bite or run when a groomer turns a tool on.  Some owners also can contribute to head, tail or feet sensitivity in their pets by teasing them, playing shake a paw, or gently grabbing their tails, jowls or ears while giving lots of praise, makes grooming safer, as the dog won’t overreact to being touched in those areas.
  • 5. Make grooming a year-round priority – When the weather starts to get colder owners understandably want to make sure that their dog has enough fur to keep them warm, but neglecting grooming actually does more harm than good when it comes to protecting that insulating coat.

Clean and Calm.
Does your dog like going to the groomer?   What are your biggest problems when it comes to grooming your pup?  Let us know in the comments.

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– – Scottish Terrier  (Tools) – –

(The larger the number the closer the cut.)

Best Clippers:

  • Andis 22340 AGC 2-Speed Detachable-Blade Small-Animal Clipper or
  • Oster 78004-011 Powermax 2-Speed Clippers

Best Blades:

  • For the body: #4 or #5
  • For the head, neck and ears: #10
  • For the tail: #3¾ or #3 ¾F (F is for Fine) or #4
  • For the pads: #15


How to Clean your Scottie’s Ears:


Scottie Paw Care & Cleaning:


FYI – We are very proud to be a breeder of American Kennel Club Scottish Terriers, (AKC).  The American Kennel Club has hundreds of generations of their dogs on file. Non-A.K.C. registries do not inspect kennels, nor do they maintain generational information.

WARNING – If you purchase a puppy that is not A.K.C. registered, you are probably supporting a puppy mill. Inexperienced breeders and puppy mill’s will attempt to sell puppies which have their dew claws because of the cost and responsibility of removal. In most cases they were born at home, have never seen a Veterinarian, selling below  $1,700.00, and without a pedigree or traceable health lineage. (Sadly, some of these Mill puppies only live 4-8 years = Heartache & Vet $Bills$.)

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2 thoughts on “Z-A “A Clip Ahead” Scottie Grooming

  1. Pingback: Scottie Heaven – Angel Update | Scottie Heaven

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