Grooming the Lakeland (or any broken coated terrier) for the show ring requires a lot of time and skill. Most pet owners are not interested in learning to do it themselves and are unable to find a groomer willing or capable of hand stripping a coat. Because of the time involved it is also more expensive. There are, however, reasonable alternatives. These compromises will produce a neatly groomed, easily maintained, Lakeland that, in the eyes of the general public, looks much the same as his show ring counterpart.

Many grooming establishments have never seen a Lakeland Terrier. Many pet groomers have bizarre ideas on the trimming patterns for many terrier breeds. The diagrams and instructions here may help guide the professional or novice groomer so that they can turn out a finished job that is representative of the breed.

Before going into detail, I would like to emphasize the importance of regular brushing and combing. It removes dead coat while stimulating surface circulation which in turn produces new, healthy hair growth. Regular brushing followed by a rub down with a towel removes dirt, debris and excess oils making frequent bathing unnecessary. You will also become aware of early skin problems or the presence of fleas and/or ticks. It does not take a professional to provide this basic care and it will make the groomer’s job that much easier, not to mention much more comfortable for your dog. It takes real neglect for most Lakeland coats to mat badly so be kind to your dog and set aside about 15-30 minutes a week to brush and comb your best friend.


Your dog is completely brushed and combed, right? This means the whole dog including those tricky parts on the chest under the front legs and between and back legs and ALL of the beard. If the dog is very dirty (which of course he won’t be) you may want to bathe him first. Clipper blades are culled by cutting dirty hair and the job may not be as smooth and even as you would like. NEVER bathe a matted dog. It is almost impossible to rinse all the soap out and the mats will be that much harder to brush out. The diagram show three views of a Lakeland profile, fore and aft. The clippered areas are designated A-B-C. The legs and foreface are combed and then shaped with scissors.


This area is trimmed the shortest of all. It includes the ears (inside and out), the top of the head above the eyes, the cheeks from the outside corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth, the throat and sides of the neck into the cowlick that runs along the side of the neck and down the fore chest to the front legs (please don’t leave a “bib” in front and above thelakiepetgroom.jpg forelegs like a Cocker Spaniel). Section A also includes the back of the tail and the area on the fanny between the cowlicks running down the back of the hind legs to the vulva or testicles. This can be done with #10 or #15 blade or combination of both depending on the experience of the groomer and the sensitivity of the dog. Be sure clipper blades are cool and well lubricated to minimize the risk of clipper burn.


This is a transition area between shortest hair and longer body coat. It includes the sides of the neck and the shoulders which should appear smooth and flat but not skinned. Use a #10 or #8 1/2 blade. Blend the hair from the shoulder into the foreleg so the coat doesn’t balloon out at the elbows. You may want to use this blade to blend the coat into the closely trimmed fanny. The coat is trimmed short down the back of the hid legs to the hock to emphasize angulations.


This area is referred to as the body coat or “jacket” and extends from behind the ears down the neck and over the entire body, over the thighs and up the tail. Depending on the climate and individual preference this can be clipped short with #8 1/2 to the longest #4F. Two common grooming errors to avoid when clipping the body are: FIRST – Clip the sides of the body the same length as the back ALL the way down to the brisket and blend the coat into neatly scissored hair underneath, there should be no suggestion of a “skirt” extending up the ribcage. The belly (from umbilical are backwards) should be clippered short. SECOND – The hips and back of the thighs should be neatly clippered and blended into longer furnishings on the front of the hind legs. NO cowboy chaps PLEASE!

The furnishings (the hair on the legs, foreface and brisket) should be scissored to blend in with the clippered sections. The forelegs are scissored to appear as neat rounded columns with the feet trimmed to appear rounded. This is achieved by combing all the hair to stand straight out from the skin. Work around the leg to achieve the desired cylindrical affect. Then comb the hair in the direction indicated on the diagram and even up and stray hairs paying particular attention to unruly hairs in the elbow area. The bottom of the feet between the pads is scissored to eliminate scraggly hair. The brisket coat is longest between the forelegs (1 1/2 inches) and tapers upward to the shaved belly so the tuck up is defined.

The hind legs are scissored to accentuate angulations. The longer hair on the front of each leg is combed forward and neatly shaped to show off the curve. From hock to ground scissor to roundness and feet are trimmed the same as the front. Between the back legs trim neatly to blend into other areas.

The foreface is trimmed in a manner unique to the Lakeland. The eyebrows of the other bewhiskered terriers fuse to become and undivided fall over the eyes and tapering slightly toward the nose. The hair is blended from closely shaved cheeks to the longest hair on the beard. Draw an imaginary line from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth following the natural curve of the dog’s head. Do NOT hollow out under the eyes. The head should resemble a rectangle not an hourglass! The chin whiskers start a little in front of the corner of the mouth. As with the legs, the face hair can avoid stay tufts of hair. Particularly profuse facial furnishings should not be allowed to overpower the head proportions and need to be trimmed to neatness. Finish off by scissoring the edges of the ears and plucking hair from the ear canals.

Compromise If you haven’t the time or patience to completely hand strip your dog, but can’t bear the thought of giving up texture and color completely, you can compromise. Hand strip SECTIONS B & C as well as the top of the head and outside of the ears. Clip SECTION A and blend in the two areas. Use what ever combination of plucking and scissoring of the furnishing to create the outline that pleases you.

— Patricia Peters