Norwich Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

Grooming the NORFOLK & NORWICH TERRIER By Lori Pelletier

T he fi rst thing to consider when grooming a Nor- folk or Norwich terrier is the breed standard for each breed. Th e Nor- folk and Norwich terrier standards di ff er in that the Norwich terri- ers body type is that of a Square dog and the Norfolk terrier body type is stated to be slightly longer than tall dog (o ff square). As stated in the AKC Norfolk Terrier stan- dard: Length of back from point of with- ers to base of tail should be slightly longer than the height at the withers. Th e same reference to length from the AKC Norwich terrier standard: Length of back from point of withers to base of tail should be slightly longer than the height at the withers. Th e outline of the dog should be every groomers starting point. Th roughout the grooming process one will mold the coat to fi t the described outline for each breed. A dog in good coat is a sight to behold. A dog in a blown or dead coat is often hard to evaluate without placing your hands on the dog. Grooming can both help and hurt the dogs’ chances in the show ring. Th e Norfolk and Norwich terrier standards state they should be shown in natural coat with minimal tidying (this is where we all chuckle) the standards state “a minimum of tidying is permissible but shaping should be heavily penalized”. Many of us spend hours each week doing “minimal tidying” to keep our dogs coat in show condition and looking its best. Th ere are two ways people prepare their dogs coat for the show ring. Th e fi rst method is most common and probably the easiest way for people without extensive grooming experi- ence to manage a dogs’ coat. Th is groom- ing process is when the groomer pulls the dogs’ whole outer layer of hard coat o ff and just leaves the dog in its soft undercoat. After removing the whole hard coated out- er layer they then tidy the furnishings and wait 12 weeks for the dog to grow a “show

coat”. Th is coat is a tight jacket but is only a single layer and will not last more than a month or so. Th e person showing this dog might get 6 weeks out of the coat before it starts to get too long and starts to open up (part down the back). When this happens they will have to pull the coat down and start all over again thus taking the dog out of the show ring for another 3 months. Th e second method is to “roll” the coat. Th is is where the coat is worked on a weekly basis. Th e groomer rolls a coat by taking the coat and pulling it up between their fi ngers and removes the longer, light- er colored hairs and leave the intermedi- ate length hairs. Th is is done all over the dog in an even manner to create an even appearance. Th is method allows the coat to grow in in layers. Th e layered coat can be kept going inde fi nitely and will allow the dog to be shown continuously. Th is is the preferred method of grooming for the Norfolk and Norwich but it takes consid- erable skill and patience to achieve a rolled coat. Once a dog is in a rolled coat it can be maintained by continuous pulling of the coat. It is important to note that you need to pull coat in order to get new coat to grow in. When examining a rolled coat one can really get an idea of the dogs true coat texture and an appreciation for its weatherproof characteristics. Norfolk and Norwich terriers should be shown in coats that appear to be all one length. Th ey should not have exces- sive skirting or pu ff y pants, they are not Scotties or Westies, or massive mutton chops on their faces. All of these things are extreme grooming techniques that detract from the natural appearance of the breeds. Th ese dogs were bred to be working terriers they were bred to go to ground and to dig in the dirt. Profuse coat hanging o ff their body would not only be a disaster in the fi eld but is often unattractive. A dog that is trimmed properly will accentuate the good points of the dog, a dog trimmed poorly

can actually create a picture of the dog that is unbalanced or can create the appearance of faults that are not actually there. Norfolk and Norwich terriers should be trimmed to hide faults and highlight the positive attributes each dog has to o ff er. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when grooming the Norfolk and Norwich terrier is that they leave too much hair on the elbows of the dog. Th is makes even a perfect front look bad. I have never met a dog that needed extra hair on its elbows. Th is area should be kept short. Th e next common mistake that people make to is over trim the head of their dog. Th ey remove too much hair from the top of the head and give the dog a fl at skull. Both breed standards state the skull should be broad and slightly rounded with good width between the ears. Taking away too much hair detracts from the overall expres- sion of these breeds. Th e hair on the corner of the eyes should be kept short. Leaving long hairs at the corner of the eyes makes the dog have a sad expression and not the “keen” expression as is called for in both standards. Th is method of trimming can also make a round eye appear even rounder again accentuating an improper eye shape for the breed. Grooming the topline is a topic we could write volumes about. Th e topline as stated in the standard for both of these breeds should be level. Now not every dog is born with a level topline. Toplines on Norfolk terriers seem to be stronger and straighter than the toplines the Norwich terrier thus easier to groom. When you have a topline that is not level you must create a level topline using the dogs’ hair. If the dog has a dip in the middle of their back a groomer must be careful not to remove too much hair from this area when trimming the dog. It is best if the groomer can grow lay- ers in this area so there is always coat to fi ll in the dip. If the dog is high in the rear the groomer must keep the dogs coat short


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