Westie Haircut Styles Guide: Everything You Need to Know

By John Martin - May 7, 2021

Well groomed Westie posing for picture in a field with tongue out

Can you imagine what it feels like to carry around a thick coat of fur on a cute little body? If yes, you can relate to your Westie’s daily hassles regarding fur care and grooming.

It isn’t easy being cute, and that’s especially true for Westies, who have difficult fur to manage.

That is why this article will cover everything you need to know to make your Westie’s bad hair days go away!

Why Does My Westie Need a Haircut?

Westies, more formally known as West Highland White Terriers, come with a special fur coat composed of two layers. The exterior coat is shaggy and bristly, while the under layer is thick and soft.

Their complex fur structure means they must be regularly groomed to maintain good health.

Grooming can usually include just brushing and need not be too intensive, since Westies barely shed fur.

Regularly brushing your Westie ensures their fur is free of dirt from playtimes outside and food from mealtimes. It will also rid the hair of any pests that are likely to stick to unruly fur.

Naturally, ignoring the grooming needs of your Westie can harm their health. Something as commonly overlooked as matted fur might cause extreme pain and even be an indicator of larger issues.

That is why grooming should not be perceived as just an aesthetic requirement. In certain cases, your Westie can really benefit from a smart new haircut!

How Do I Know When to Groom My Westie?

Knowing when to groom your Westie is a crucial part of pet care. Each part of the grooming process has a specific timing you can follow for optimum fur health.

The grooming process will include daily brushing, weekly clipping, and occasional haircuts.

Daily Brushing

Daily brushing should be done for at least 2 to 3 minutes every single day. For daily brushing, make sure to train your Westie to behave during the process and ensure good long-term habits.

Clipping and Stripping Cutting Styles

Weekly clipping means removing any extra growth that is standing out. Ensure you check the fur on your Westie’s ears to give them a proper trim.

Checking ears is an indispensable part of haircutting since Westies are highly susceptible to ear infections due to excess fur.

While clipping is a kind of haircutting style that makes the fur softer, you can also try out stripping.

Stripping is a style mostly preferred for show dogs. This particular process makes fur coarser over time.

Which style you choose is up to personal preference, as long as your Westie is comfortable. However, clipping is comparatively a much simpler and quicker process.

Related: How Often Should I Bathe My Westie?

Different Types of Haircut Styles for Your Westie

Now that you know about the regular grooming styles for your pet, you can explore some haircut styles.

Here are a few hairstyles that might suit you Westie’s aesthetic sense and help score some health points as well!

The Show-dog Westie Cut

Well brushed and groomed Westie posing for a picture

This cut is specifically meant for showing your Westie off at competitive dog shows. That means that your Westie’s haircut should meet the exact standards prescribed as per show guidelines.

For this kind of haircut, always confirm the particular requirements of the show your Westie is participating in.

One of the popular show-dog Westie cuts is the one prescribed by the American Kennel Club. This haircut mandates the stripping of all the loose under a layer of fur.

Additionally, as per the American Kennel Club, the grooming should be done by hand.

The outer coat should measure 2 inches in length on the back and sides, with shorter fur on the neck and shoulders.

The fur on the stomach and legs should measure 4 inches, with the head being groomed in a round shape.

The Regular Westie Cut

Westie sitting outside on leash

This haircut style is a common one, as the name suggests. Overall it gives the same look as the show-dog cut without the strict specifications.

For this haircut, the fur on legs, body, and stomach is cut to a balanced length. However, it should not be long enough to cause difficulty in regular cleaning.

Meanwhile, the hair on the back and shoulders is to be cut short.

The head requires only basic trimming to maintain a fluffy and round style. Additionally, the fur need not have been groomed by hand.

The Puppy Cut

Westie puppy cut

This is a haircut suitable for any Westie and generally a style used for smaller dogs.

The coat is cut from 1 to 1.5 inches in length. This makes it easy to groom on a regular basis without any fancy techniques involved.

With the puppy cut, your Westie can play around without having to worry about dirty fur and unwanted debris.

The Short Summer Cut

Westie showing off his summer cut

As the name suggests, this haircut is meant for cooling your Westie down during hot summer days.

The fur is cut from 0.25 to 0.5 inches long all over. The face does not require too much trimming in this style.

The advantage of this style is easy maintenance. You won’t need to spend time on grooming since the fur will remain short for several weeks.

How to Ensure Your Westie’s Safety During Grooming

Since grooming is a regular requirement, always ensure your Westie’s safety and comfort beforehand.

Firstly, accommodate your pet to grooming sessions right from the start. Your puppy will be much happier if it’s comfortable with grooming from a younger age.

If you do not have experience with pet grooming, do not try it at home. Take your Westie to a professional groomer for whichever haircut style you want to get.

Clarify beforehand that the groomer is familiar with grooming West Highland terriers, and not an amateur.

To get the perfect haircut, always bring reference pictures, especially if you plan to take part in competitive shows.

Always ensure that your groomer uses the right tools and sterilizes them before usage.

With all these precautions in mind, your Westie should be good to go and ready for a new look!

Related: Top 5 Westie Shampoos

Summing Up

To conclude, we want to remind all Westie lovers to ensure they look after their pet’s grooming needs.

These may seem secondary but play an important role in overall health maintenance.

That is why picking out the right hairstyle should be carefully considered. Not only will you give your Westie a cute little makeover, but also make them a happier and healthier pup!