Steps for Grooming and Stripping a Cairn Terrier

By Max Turner 6 Min Read

Grooming and Stripping a Cairn Terrier

Cairn terriers are one of the oldest breeds of pedigree dogs. Their shaggy and wild looks are iconic, characterized by a long, wiry double coat. Since these canines are generally quite active and lively, they enjoy digging, running, and creating a mess surrounding them. Regular grooming and stripping might be daunting, but this is a must if you want your Cairn Terrier to stay healthy and happy.

Why Do You Need to Strip and Groom Your Cairn Terrier?

Grooming is a crucial part of your Cairn Terrier’s health, and just like people, it needs to be done regularly. In addition to its aesthetic benefits, the stripping and grooming of the coat can have a big impact on your pet’s overall health, since it:

  • Prevents mats in the fur.
  • Eliminates dead hair.
  • Minimizes tangling.
  • Helps regulate air temperature, improving mosquito and flea protection.
  • Removes dirt and debris, including pollen residues and parasites.
  • Keeps the coat healthy.
  • Prevents infection.

The nature of the Cairn Terrier’s fur makes it necessary to groom it regularly. With a proper routine and some patience, you can make this process less burdensome while guaranteeing that your pet will stay healthy and looking its best.

Steps for Grooming and Stripping a Cairn Terrier

There are four essential steps for proper grooming and stripping of a Cairn Terrier. Even though this may take some time and dedication, these simple steps will guarantee that your four-legged friend will remain healthy and happy.

Prepare the Necessary Supplies

You will need the following supplies:

  • A slicker brush with long and sturdy bristles.
  • A rake.
  • A good quality stripping comb.
  • A pair of stripping knives.
  • A good pair of clippers.
  • A pair of curved scissors.
  • A clean towel.
  • A vacuum cleaner.
  • Dog shampoo and conditioner.
  • Ear care solution.
  • Eye care solution.
  • A brush specifically designed for the Cairn Terrier.
  • Dental hygiene products.
  • Dog treats.

Brushing or Combing Your Pet

Begin with the slicker brush.
Start at the head and work your way down to the tail. Make sure to keep the coat well detangled and free of any knots or mats. Brush the fur in the direction of growth. This is the perfect time for your canine friend to get comfortable with skin and coat care.

Go on with the rake.
Start at the base of the tail and gently pull it along the body in the direction of the fur’s growth. Remember to be gentle, since this tool might be too heavy for the coat.

Finish up with the stripping comb.
This is an essential tool to achieve the look that is typical of a Cairn Terrier. It helps to keep the fur from growing too long and with each stroke, it removes the dead hair from the coat.

Stripping the Fur

Once the brushing and combing have been completed, it is time for the next step: stripping the coat. Start at the head and slowly work your way down to the tail using the stripping knives. This tool is specially designed for this breed, and it easily removes the dead fur.

Make sure you follow the fur’s natural direction of growth and start with the shortest hairs. Don’t forget to be gentle and to observe the coat as you work.

Trimming Your Pet’s Fur

Once the coat has been stripped, it’s time to trim the fur with the clippers and curved scissors. Start with the shortest hairs and move towards the head and neck area, then go along the sides and underside. Be careful not to cut too much hair or skin. The fur of the head and face should be trimmed around the eyes, mouth, and ears.


Bathe your Cairn Terrier only when it is absolutely necessary since too much washing can dry and damage the fur. When it’s time, use a dog shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for this breed, and make sure to use lukewarm water.

Begin from the head, gently massage the coat and work towards the tail. Rinse with plenty of water and dry the coat with a towel. Follow with a blow dryer on low heat and make sure the air is directed away from the skin.

Other Grooming Tasks

Once the main tasks are completed, finish off the grooming with a brush specifically designed for the Cairn Terrier’s coat. For the eyes and ears, use a dog-specific eye and ear care solution. Finally, pay attention to your pet’s teeth as well.


Even though grooming and stripping a Cairn Terrier requires some time and dedication, following the above steps will help you keep your pet healthy and looking its best. Don’t forget to reward your pet with some treats for being cooperative and patient.

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Max Turner is a passionate American dog lover and writer, dedicated to sharing his knowledge and experiences through his blog, With a lifelong fascination for dogs and a strong bond with his own furry friends, Max offers valuable insights and practical tips to dog owners and enthusiasts worldwide. His blog covers a wide range of topics, including training techniques, health and wellness, breed profiles, responsible ownership, and fun activities. Max's engaging writing style, combined with his expertise and genuine love for dogs, make an invaluable resource for anyone looking to enhance their relationship with their canine companions. Max Turner's blog,, is a go-to destination for dog enthusiasts seeking expert advice and valuable insights. Max's deep-rooted passion for dogs, coupled with his extensive knowledge of dog behavior, training, health care, and breeds, enables him to provide practical tips and guidance. From training techniques and health tips to breed spotlights and responsible ownership, Max covers it all. With engaging content and a commitment to promoting a fulfilling and joyous life with dogs, is a trusted resource for dog owners looking to strengthen their bond with their furry friends.
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