Articles Index/Grooming
Articles Index/Helpful Hints
Posted 02/10/00


This article is for the pet owner as an aid in maintaining his dog's coat with a minimum of effort in order that it will more closely resemble the breed standard.

One very well-known reference to the breed states, "Here is an ideal house dog, for one reason because its hard, close coat does not collect dirt and needs no trimming." few of us have a dog with the type of coat that requires NO TRIMMING. another more realistic English reference states, "Norfolks should not be over-trimmed, but should have their coats tidied ... particular attention being paid to the top of the head, which should be short and smooth; by taking long hairs off the elbows and around the feet and by making the tail and hindquarters neat and tidy looking."

A Norfolk's heritage is from a mixture of terriers, so today often members of the same litter vary in coat types and textures. The ideal coat is hard, wiry, and straight, lying close to the body. It is longer and rougher on the neck and shoulders. Ears are smooth, velvet-like, and darker in color than the rest of the coat which calls for short harsh furnishings on the legs and a naturally smooth head except for slight eyebrows and whiskers.

For a puppy with the correct coat, a weekly bristled brushing will keep your dog clean and tidy and help prevent dead hair from impeding new growth. Train the puppy to stand on a table, a towel or rubber bath mat to avoid slipping. Grooming must be fun, so use tasty rewards to end the 5 to 10 minute sessions. Nails should be kept short, so remove curved ends.

The basic tools necessary to care for your harsh coated pet are: A short bristled brush, one coarse and one fine stainless steel comb, scissors, nail clippers and a clamp-on grooming arm with loop (optional).

Additional tools are helpful for a Norfolk pet with a very soft, profuse or silky coat. The judicious use of a short wire brush or "slicker" removes the loose, soft undercoat and a medium stripping knife with short serrated teeth facilitates painless removal of the top coat. Soft head and leg furnishings (hairs) may need additional tidying with a barber's double-serrated thinning shears, which should be used before coat is brushed. Warning: Dogs which are scissored, cut, or clipped are not candidates for the show ring.

ANTIC, Winter 1982

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