Kathmandu Tibetan Terriers
established 1968
Tibetan Terrier Club of America - member since 1971
Tibetan Terrier Association (England) member

The "Alternative" TT

Sometimes people discover the grooming of a TT in full coat is more work than they anticipated or they get tired of keeping the dog long.  At other times the dog may become extremely matted because the owners weren't aware of how to properly groom or because things simply got ahead of them.  Then it becomes time for "The Alternative Tibetan."  The "look" will be very different from the TT in correct coat...  You may not even recognize your own dog as not only does short hair give a totally different appearance but because of the shading of the coat colors and if he has a different color undercoat from topcoat his color may even seem to change as Joey appeared to in the pictures below.  As Joe grows in, the dark topcoat "re-appears" and covers his charcoal undercoat.
Joe - show photo
"Before" - Joe as a show dog
Joe retired from showing
"After" - Joe in retirement
(done with #7 blade on back and sides; the head & legs were then scissored/blended by hand)

If you tell your groomer that you want your dog cut short - or the groomer tells you it is matted so deeply that a haircut is the only humane way to remove the matting - remember your dog will look different and may act different when he gets home.  After all, that hair is no longer there to look at - or to pull on his skin if it was matted.  If he was badly matted, the clippers will have to clip UNDERNEATH the matting and, the closer to the skin the clippers go the more risk there is that his skin will become irritated.  He may even scratch himself because he finds the air is tickling his skin.  In this case often the itching can be remedied by sprinkling medicated baby powder on the clipped areas.  Serious irritation may require a trip to the vet - but is very rare when a skilled groomer does the job.

The better the condition of the dog when it goes in, the more options your groomer will have.  "Puppy cuts" are creative styles in most breeds, including the TT.  Since the standard calls for no trimming of the dog, there is no standardized "puppy cut" and you will find the term may mean "puppy - the way he was born with his hair as short as a beagle" and to others it may mean "puppy - a cute shaggy look like when he was six or eight months old."

One popular "puppy cut" for a TT is to take the body fairly short(Joey, shown above, had his body done with a #7 blade, a #5 would leave it a fraction longer) and to leave the legs a bit longer.  Some people like to trim the head so it is in balance with the rest of the coat and others prefer to leave it long. A blade is used on the back and sides gong from the ears to the tail (a #4 or #5 blade would leave most TTs about 1/2" long, going to a # 1 1/2 plastic snap on comb might leave it as long as an inch to an inch and a half.  A longer blade might be used on the legs or, more likely, they would be hand scissored.  Some groomers leave the belly long and just trim it up with scissors whereas others will clip i to match the body.  Charlie, shown below, looks like his body has probably been done with a #2 or 1 1/2 comb from the back of the neck, around the shoulders to the chest back to the top of the hips and his legs then scissored longer but blended in at the top of the hip and shoulder areas.  It looks like the top of the head has been lightly "tipped" with about a #4 blade going from the center of the head out and then the area around the eyes trimmed further with scissors.  Hunter looks a bit longer - as though perhaps his body had been done with the #2 or #3 comb attachment. Some people like to trim the hair under the pads of the feet but I personally don't like to see the dogs feet trimmed very close to the skin on the top (or worse, shaved like a poodle!) as their flat feet look better wearing "bedroom slippers".


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