Cairn Terriers shed very little, but always should be hand-stripped. Using scissors or shears can ruin the dog’s rugged outer coat after one grooming. Hand-stripping involves pulling the old dead hair out by the roots. If done incorrectly, this can cause discomfort to the dog, causing it to shy away from future hand-stripping. Removing the dead hair in this manner allows new growth to come in. This new growth helps protect the dog from water and dirt.
Cairn Terrier ancestors are from Scotland, where the wire coat repels water and keeps the dog dry even in rainy or damp climates. Keeping the Cairn Terrier coat in its original state will prevent possible skin irritations. As dead hair is removed by stripping the coat, new growth comes in, and the skin and coat remain healthy. Clipper-cutting a Cairn might destroy the protective wire coat unique to this breed.
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