There are thousands of grooming tools available. The truth is you only need a few of them to groom your dog. Many are gimmicks and gadgets that don’t always perform as per the manufacturer’s suggestions. At the very most you will need only a few tools and your selection will be based on what works for you. Here is a list of grooming equipment and how they are commonly used.
Toy Grooming Table, Arm and Noose
For Norwich Terriers a toy table is often best because the table is higher off the ground (36”), saving you from having to bend over while you groom. The platform (typically 18” wide x 28” to 30” long) is a bit smaller for your dog compared to a regular table. It is also light weight and flat folding. In addition to your grooming table you will need an arm and noose. The design on the left is appropriate for Norwich Terriers.
Original Greyhound Comb
If you could only have one tool this would be it. Regular use of this comb helps the coat shed dead hairs in addition to training the coat to lie flat, in the most flattering direction. There are a number of companies that make this comb. It is 7.5” long with medium and fine teeth.
Natural Boar Bristle Brush
This brush is only really good for getting the oils of the coat to shine a little more prominently or to help train the coat to lie a particular way when blow drying.
There are numerous brands of stripping knives including Pearson (shown above), Mars, Macknyfe, Maclellan and many more. There are also different blades from fine, that take out minimal coat, to coarse which takes out much more coat. It comes down to personal preference as to what works best for the individual groomer. Old school terrier groomers will often tell you that only your hands should be used to hand strip a dog. The reality is a stripping knife, in the skilled hand, can considerably help speed up the stripping, or plucking of the coat. However, novices and pros alike, using a stripping knife can make holes appear in the coat because so much more hair is taken out at each pass. The top dogs are usually always hand stripped since the coat can be that much more evenly stripped. Note that that when purchasing this knife select a blade based on whether you are a right or a left handed.
Which knife to buy?
As a general rule for anyone new to stripping their dog, we recommend starting with a medium blade stripper of a handle that you would feel comfortable with. That will accomplish most tasks. For a second stripper, an extra-fine or fine blade will compliment the first choice. On some breeds with longer coats, Westies, Scotties, and Cairns for instance, a medium or coarse blade stripper may be more appropriate. Much of the considerations of stripping knife choices depend on the individual groomers' experience and the recommendation of the breeders from whom you buy your dog. At different stages of coat growth, different blades and handle types may work better.
A word of caution. There is a stripping knife called a “Mars Coat King”. This actually cuts the hairs and does not work as other stripping knives. While it is fast it actually cuts the coat rather than strips it. The result of course is disastrous for a show coat since both colour and texture are lost.
Blunt nose Scissors
Only use scissors between the pads of the feet and around the anus. The blunt nose helps avoid stabbing a fidgeting dog. Forceps Here is an excellent tool to aid in hand stripping, especially around the head or feet. With this tool you can pull individual hairs to get precisely the shape you are looking for.
Make sure that the blade is sharp. Dull blades crush the nail instead of cutting it. (But the truth is it is much easier to use a electric Rotary tool like a Dremel nail grinder.)
Dremel Nail Grinding
Top groomers prefer to use an electric Rotary Tool since it does a quicker, cleaner job. There is no accidental bleeding with a rotary tool since the quick is cauterized if nicked. Note that the battery powered Dremel tools or their equivalents don’t generate enough RPMs for a quick nail grinding.
Make sure that you use the ½” Sanding sleeves 120 fine grit (Dremel product # 432). The correct Dremel attachment is shown here (#407). We do not recommend that you use coarse heads since they can seriously hurt the nail. We also do not recommend any type of stone heads or aluminum drums since they heat up very quickly.
You should also have on hand “styptic powder” in case you nick the quick. We strongly prefer the powder with benzocaine to any of the gel products.
The last tool is a dental scraper. Get one that has a rigid flat head, that is perpendicular to the handle. These are the easiest to use and you won't need any other angled heads. To use, simply put the flat head slightly above the gum line and scrape the plaque of the teeth. You see results immediately. This helps keep the teeth clean for the lifetime of the dog...and then you don't have to put the dog under anesthesia to have the teeth cleaned.