Grooming A WSS For Pet Or Show
HEAD, EARS & NECK
Start with the head, ears and neck. It is your preference to use clippers or thinning scissors to remove the hair from the top third of the inside and outside of the ears.
My personal preference is two weeks before the show to clip with a #10 or #15 against the grain of the hair on the top third of the and blend the bottom two thirds of the ear. All the hair is removed from the ear canal opening to allow for air flow and decrease the chances of ear infection. The breed standard says "Gradually narrowing towards the tip, they are shaped somewhat like a vine leaf and are lightly feathered.". Thinning scissors or stripping blade or stone is used to blend the top of the ear with the skull.
A stripping blade or stone can be used to take away the fuzzy hair on top of the skull and shape any long hair on the head. Overall balance is most important with a slightly domed skull and a clearly defined stop. Blend the back of the skull into the neck. White hair tends to grow more profusely than red hair on the Welshies. If your dog has a big white collar, you will have more stripping and thinning to do. Sometimes a straight razor will help with the blending of the neck into the shoulders.
Trim the neck starting about an inch above the sternum, and clean the hair from seam to seam. Again, my personal preference is to use the clippers against the grain of the hair and trim all the way to the chin on the white hair. Using thinning scissors, blend the hair of the seam (cowlick where the neck hair changes growing direction) on the neck. Some people like to use a straight razor or stripping stone or blade to do this blending. Try several different tools till you find what is comfortable for you to give the neck a natural appearance. Viewing the neck from the front, there should be the slight tendency for an "A" shaped bib. The "A" is formed above the top of the sternum and drawing an imaginary line out to the left and right points of shoulder and down the front legs. The top of the "A" will be wider or narrower, depending on what appearance you want to achieve with the dog's front. If your dog has good, straight front legs, any wisps of hair on the top of the legs can be thinned or stripped to enhance the front movement coming into the judge. As viewed from the front and side the chest feathering should not go below the dog's knee (carpal joint). Before trimming the bib, set up your dog in front of the mirror, again, to see what shape you want to achieve.