Grooming The Welsh Springer Spaniel

Grooming A WSS For Pet Or Show


Assemble all of your grooming tools which you will be using within easy reach of your grooming area. Before bathing, spray a little water or conditioner on the dog's coat to begin combing. Remove all mats and any debris (leaves, pine needles, etc.). For stubborn mats, I like to use Suave For Kids detangling spray. It makes the hair very slippery and the mat can be worked loose with your fingers and a comb. If you must cut a mat, cut with the length of the hair and not across. To proceed with the grooming the dog must be clean to decrease the wear and tear on your scissors and clippers. Bathe the dog using a good cleansing shampoo. If your dog has skin allergies, there are shampoos available that are soapfree and hypoallergenic. Use a little conditioner, either cream or lanolin. This will help revitalize the natural oils of the dog's coat and make the hair more manageable with which to work.


Start with the head and the ears. Remove all the hair from the ear entrance with thinning scissors or #10 clipper blade. Good air circulation under the ear flap helps decrease the incidence of bacterial or yeast infections of the ear. Ear cleaners can be used regularly with cotton swabs to cleanse the dog's.

Trim the top third of the ear, inside and outside with thinning scissors or #10 clipper blade. This will help keep mats from forming behind the ears. The hair on the bottom two thirds of the ears can be plucked, stripped, or scissored with thinning shears; It is your personal preference as to how long you want the ear hair. For hand stripping, you can use rubber finger tips (found in office supply stores) or sprinkle some chalky ear powder on the hair which enables you to get a good grip on the hair.

The Ear Before Trimming
The Ear Before Trimming.

Trimming Inside The Ear To Improve Air Circulation
Trimming Inside The Ear To Improve Air Circulation.

A Nicely Trimmed Ear
A Nicely Trimmed Ear.

Some people like stripping blades while others like to use a stripping stone. Use what feels comfortable to you.

If the dog develops an ear infection, there will be a very profuse amount of unpleasantly smelling dark wax.  The dog will often shake its head or scratch at the ear.

It is time to get a veterinarian appointment and get medication for this infection.

Thinning scissors or clippers may be used under the dogs chin and neck to trim hair from the neck to just above the sternum. Thinning scissors can be used to blend the neck hair into the shoulders.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America, Inc. is a sanctioned and recognized member club of the AKC.



The Amrican Kennel Club