Grooming Irish Setters
By Shelly Navarro
The Irish Setter has been a valiant hunting dog and a loyal family companion who has touched the hearts of many. With a beautiful deep-red silky coat, this breed is easily identifiable. By following the tips below, you can care for your Setter’s exquisite coat right in your home.
How to Groom an Irish Setter
Begin the grooming process by running a comb through the dog’s feathering to ensure no tangles and/or matting are present in the coat. Next, take your clippers with a #10 blade attached and clear out the excess hair found within the dog’s paw pads. Use the same blade to also clip away any excess hair around the rectal area, keeping the area as clean as possible.
Move to the front of the dog with your #10 blade where you’ll clip the top of the head, going with the grain of the hair all the way to the base of the skull. Clip the cheeks, around the ear and the muzzle as well. When clipping the muzzle, be sure to stretch the lips out to remove the hair in the flews. Going against the grain of the hair, clip from the top all the way down the foreface. This should leave you with a smooth clean face.
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Ears on Down
Still using the #10 blade, clip away the hair all the way down the throat in a U-shaped pattern. Think of the top of each ear as the high points of the U. Now, turn your attention to the ears and clip away the top third. Replace your #10 blade with a #7f blade. You are going to clip the body, starting at the neck and going with the grain of the hair.
Use the dog’s elbow as a visual stopping point as you move around the dog. Keep in mind that the lower part of the dog’s hip should be the invisible line where you begin to taper off in order to have plenty of hair for blending. You will want to take your thinning shears and neatly blend that area from the dog’s lower hip to elbow to create a seamless transition.
Using thinning shears, clean up the feathering by trimming it one to three inches, depending on how long the feathering is. Also, trim up the base of the tail and the hocks to create a neater appearance.
Switch over to your straight or curved shears (depending on your preference) and trim up the paws. Brush the hair up between the toes and trim.
Finally, take the tail and trim it up so that it is longer at the base and goes to a point at the end of the tail. Make sure the hair does not fall below the point of the hock. Your Irish Setter should be looking fabulous now and will be turning heads whether out in the field or on a walk around the neighborhood.
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