How to Groom an Irish Wolfhound

by Fran Smith-King

 100_0955 (Small).JPG (55799 bytes)You will need a grooming kit and an Irish Wolfhound. 'come back here Toby'!

I used Toby who needs a tidy and Indi who was groomed to show you the difference.

'The Kit' (Chewed version)

 100_0968 (Small).JPG (57320 bytes)A ten blade Mars Comb 100_0989 (Small).JPG (52439 bytes) Pulls out dead under coat

100_0969 (Small).JPG (60578 bytes) A fine tooth 'Mikki' stripping knife for ears, elbows and hocks (all available on the internet)

100_0970 (Small).JPG (63993 bytes) A 'Mikki' knife 

 100_0971 (Small).JPG (55549 bytes) a small wire brush, used carefully do not be to rough with this....without teeth marks Toby!

100_0972 (Small).JPG (46804 bytes) You don't need a huge brush and I find it is a lot easier with the small one.

 100_0974 (Small).JPG (69432 bytes) A good strong comb, check the space on this one it is perfect.

 100_0975 (Small).JPG (80517 bytes) Scissors....yes Toby got them!

100_0976 (Small).JPG (67578 bytes) A horse brush...Rainbow got this one!  100_0980 (Small).JPG (44864 bytes) but it still works

100_0981 (Small).JPG (62377 bytes) a pack of baby wipes for ears and tails.

100_1001 (Small).JPG (47842 bytes) hand stripping is always best if you can manage it. Only take a little hair out at a time so as not to hurt the dog. Wear a rubber glove it helps.

The Victim...I mean the dog!

100_0956 (Small).JPG (56255 bytes)  I am out of here!

  Indi the night before...His neck needs stripped and his coat tidied a little. Yes I know my hair needs attention too...but I am to busy!

100_0998 (Small).JPG (51255 bytes) I always start at the rear paws, shape them with the blue knife and comb the legs with it gently.

100_1025 (Small).JPG (32877 bytes) This will take out dead hair and tidy the ends.

100_1020 (Small).JPG (24104 bytes)  To use the stripping knife, comb the hair with the knife

100_1021 (Small).JPG (33673 bytes) catch the hair with your thumb and pull in the same direction as the hair is growing, it will cut the hair without hurting the dog.

100_0984 (Small).JPG (43841 bytes) Hocks should be stripped back to show the shape, finish off with a hand strip to neaten.

100_0997 (Small).JPG (30319 bytes)Use the Mars comb on the thighs to remove dead undercoat and tidy the hair.

 100_1018 (Small).JPG (45576 bytes) Long hair hides a beautiful tuck up but be very careful working with scissors.

100_1002 (Small).JPG (63795 bytes) You can see the difference here. Trim very carefully around the dogs 'bits', get someone to hold him and keep him calm. If he is anything like ours he will stand happily!

100_0999 (Small).JPG (57184 bytes) Tidy up straggly hair with a hand strip only take a few hairs out at a time

100_1006 (Small).JPG (46806 bytes) do both sides as evenly as possible. Don't forget to do inside the legs.

100_0958 (Small).JPG (51652 bytes) Ears should be hand stripped or use the red comb to keep them soft and velvety.

100_0982 (Small).JPG (48882 bytes) Gently wipe the inside of ears with a baby wipe. Don't dig!

100_0961 (Small).JPG (55426 bytes) Toby's tail is thick and bushy.

100_0993 (Small).JPG (71590 bytes) Push the hair back at the top of the tail and strip from there

100_0994 (Small).JPG (59668 bytes) Use the blue knife to comb the hair down making it smooth 

100_0992 (Small).JPG (67378 bytes) This is how it should look. (Indi)

Remember to keep under the tail clipped short and wipe with baby wipes to keep clean

100_0995 (Small).JPG (60173 bytes) Comb the back with either the mars comb or a knife to take out all the dead under coat.

  100_0986 (Small).JPG (43758 bytes)  this will make the coat stronger and rougher.

100_0987 (Small).JPG (73817 bytes) The Mars comb will take out most,  but finish it of with the blue knife.

100_1007 (Small).JPG (55221 bytes) Keep the sides and front of the neck short by stripping and combing over with the blue knife.

 100_0963 (Small).JPG (49128 bytes)The elbows should also be kept short and again comb the blue knife down the legs to tidy the hair and then tidy any long hair around the paws. 

100_1015 (Small).JPG (50442 bytes) You can see what a difference it makes.

100_1016 (Small).JPG (60194 bytes) The top of the head should be short but never touch the fringe or beard. Just gently comb out.

100_1019 (Small).JPG (45383 bytes) The girls are more or less the same just be gentle on their tummy's ( Rainbow)

100_1013 (Small).JPG (62607 bytes) Great I am all finished! 

Brush his teeth gently with dog tooth paste regularly to keep his gums healthy.

Use the horse brush after a walk to remove dust and mud from the coat.

Claws should only ever need clipped if he is down on his pasterns. (Flat Feet) tighten his feet by running him in woods, hills or on a beach.

If you have to trim claws be very careful and only take off a small bit at a time if you do clip the quick you will find the dog may not let you near to clip him again. Far better to have it done professionally.

Some Wolfhounds have wooly coats, the mars comb will help keep them tidy, use regularly to keep the coat short.

I hope this helps you, but remember practice makes perfect and only do a little at a time then step back to check.

If you spend hours on the dog he will hate it, so spend a few days getting him done, then once a week just tidy up any stray hairs.

100_1028 (Small).JPG (55385 bytes)Oh and by the way, minutes after you have finished they will look scruffy again! 

100_0957 (Small).JPG (55562 bytes) Now I suppose it is my turn?

 100_1031 (Small).JPG (43922 bytes) Yes! she doesn't have time....hugs mum 

100_1035 (Small).JPG (46843 bytes) Megan before a brush

100_1044 (Small).JPG (47272 bytes) and Morgan

100_1045 (Small).JPG (33530 bytes) She got me....but don't I look such a cuddly boy.

100_1046 (Small).JPG (33827 bytes) bet you would just love to hug me.

Any questions Email me.


Thanks for your Feedback.......

I always read about proper grooming, but I have never actually seen it done.  I see Wolfhounds once grooming is complete but never the process.  Thank you so much for including this on your site.  It will help me so much.  The photos are great.

This has inspired me to turn my hearth rugs into Wolfhounds!

Larissa Brewer Conall and Thorin


I printed the instructions off but unfortunately Paddy can't read!
Neil has retired to the garage for a 'smoke' and I've opened a bottle of wine and it's only half past 5!
Could you re-write them please and call them How to Groom a Wolfhound like Paddy! Not a Bribiba perfect-makes-you-so-jealous-model!
Helen x

( For Helen and anyone else who thinks my dogs stand still to be takes an hour to do a dog that someone is holding for you. It takes me all day to do one because I have to chase them around the room)


the grooming stuff on the site is brill Fran, except, we have Ralph, who turns into Rudolf Nureyev (very beautiful Russian ballet dancer, who spent a lot of time up on his toes) whenever we go near him with the "weapons of torture" (grooming kit to the other dogs, who form an orderly queue to be brushed!), but he is getting better, very slowly, he just doesn't like to get wet really!!  so we have to make it like a well planned SAS mission..
P.S. I've printed it off to try it out later!!

Susan x



Copyright 1997 [BRIBIBA Irish Wolfhounds]. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 28, 2012

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