Q. I have had my 9-month-old Scottish Terrier groomed twice, and each time she looks more like a Schnauzer. I am not happy with the groomers. Is there a professional groomer in North Carolina that does Scotties and where are they located? Also how long does it take for the coat on a Scottie to get long like it’s suppose to do?
It’s also important to familiarize yourself with how a Scottie should be groomed. While the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier are both robust and sharply tailored terriers, you are quite correct in thinking that they are not groomed according to the same standard.
The Schnauzer, available in three sizes (Miniature, Standard and Giant) is much more tightly sculpted, its visible musculature emphasized by the grooming which leaves very little coat concealing the contours of its sturdy body. It should never look soft and fluffy, the leg furnishings short and well-angulated and a slight tight fringe underneath its chest, angling up shorter as it goes into to the tuck-up under belly and groin.
The Scottie’s coat is left longer, but like the Schnauzer, its back, neck, ribcage and rump are also either clippered or hand-stripped close to the body, emphasizing its robust musculature. Its chest, legs and undercarriage are fuller and more natural than that of the Schnauzer, usually around two inches in length on its longer lower body. The Scottie has a broken coat, hard and wiry on top with a soft, dense undercoat beneath, trimmed and subtly blended into the furnishings to produce the trademark silhouette that is a distinctive characteristic of this breed. But it should not look as closely manicured as the Schnauzer.
The American Kennel Club standard states that this dog should be presented “with sufficient coat so that the texture and density may be determined,” the longer coat on its beard, legs and lower body looking slightly softer than the body coat but never looking fluffy. The skirt should not touch the ground and the tuck-up should be obvious. The Scottie’s jaunty tail should resemble an upside-down carrot. After grooming, his coat should show no clipper marks, seamlessly blended from the shorter topline into the shaggier legs and undercarriage. In other words, your Scottie should not look like he’s wearing a tutu! While Scotties appear in the show ring with their full coats almost brushing the floor, many pet owners like them trimmed shorter for easier maintenance between groomings. The Scottie coat grows out at approximately ½ to ¾ of an inch per month.
I think the head grooming on each of these terriers is another area where novice groomers might get into trouble. Both have distinctive beards and whiskers, but due to the longer head and jaw of the Scottie, his appears longer and should look a bit rougher, not as neatly squared away as his Schnauzer counterpart. Both have long eyebrows which we usually trim with curved-blade scissors to accentuate the arch, combing or brushing them down over the nose. The base of the eyebrow on each breed should be blended tightly into the skull at the outer corner of the eye. While the Schnauzer’s ears are clipped inside and out, tidied at the edges and free of hair inside, the Scottie ear features a rough-looking little tuft on the inside corner, accentuating a naturally high ear carriage. Unlike the Schnauzer, its ears are naturally pointed, never cropped.