Grooming the Companion Coat


At a minimum, the companion Norwich’s coat should be combed with a Greyhound Comb thoroughly once a week and bathed as necessary to keep the dog and your home clean. At a minimum, the companion should be hand stripped once in the spring and once in the fall. Ideally, the coat is hand stripped four times a year. Aside from keeping your Norwich Terrier looking as it should in its properly groomed coat, it will lessen itching due to too much dead coat not having been stripped and help with keeping your dog cool in the heat and humidity of the summer months. If you don’t plan on showing your dog scissoring around the paws and genitals saves considerable time and helps with cleanliness. A weekly combing followed by raking through the coat with a coarse stripping knife (essentially removing the dead and longest hairs) easily keeps the companion dog’s coat in good condition.


Here is a simple guide on how to keep your companion looking neat and tidy. This is the basis for how to shape the coat to retain the breed type, character and charm. Once you have the pattern that you like groomed into your dog, the figure above, all that is required is occasional tidying.



Refering to the illustration on the left, "strip" all the long surface coat hair in the stripped area (not checkered). If you aren’t sure what to strip (or pluck) put on a latex glove and rub it over the striped area. The hairs that raise themselves from the static are ready to be plucked. 


  • Keep the hair on the back and sides short or "tight".

  • The hair in checkered marked areas should be plucked more sparingly, so as to frame the face and give a columned look to the legs.

The areas indicated in orange usually require the most attention and it is these areas that really reinforce the correct silhouette of the breed. Remove the untidy hair as necessary.


  • On the face - from the bottom corner of the ear to the lip - the hairs should frame the face

  • On the front chest of the dog, the ruff is often left a little longer.

  • For the belly remove the longest hairs. Norwich do not need skirts.

  • The hair on the back, in front of the tail, seems to grow fastest. So thin that our freely.

  • Keep the tail hair short and you can also keep the hair on the rear short. 

  • Inside the ear and around the anus the hair can be trimmed with blunt scissors. (I use hemostats to strip these hairs rather than cut them.)


It usually takes three to four months for the new coat to grow to correct length. The time varies with the season of the year, the condition of the coat, the season of the bitch, how old the coat was when stripped, etc.


I do not recommend using scissors to groom the Norwich Terrier because it ruins the harsh texture of the coat and its beautiful natural colours. The hair shaft is banded with colour, the tips being the darkest colour. When you cut off the tips the colour is lost to something considerably more wheaten in red areas or grey in the black parts of the coat. If you must scissor you can do so safely using blunt nose scissors in the red areas on the dog in the diagram: inside the ear, bottoms and around feet, and around the anus. Again, if you are going to have your dog shown in conformation I do not recommend using scissors for any reason.