Trimming the Fall

Many owners complain they can’t see their Wheaten’s eyes or think the dog is having problems seeing. Yet when they or the groomer cuts the fall, the hair covering the eyes, they often no longer have a dog that looks like a Wheaten.

Here are some instructions on how to achieve a compromise. If you don’t trim your Wheaten yourself, print these out and take them to your groomer so they understand what you want.

IMPORTANT: If your puppy may be shown, do NOT follow these instructions. Contact your breeder or a professional handler for grooming assistance.

  • The Right Tools
    You’ll need thinning shears and a comb for this task… Read more on tools
  • Think of a brick
    The proper Wheaten head is rectangular. You can trim the coat to create a brick by shortening the hair on the side of the head and leaving the hair on top somewhat longer.
  • Start on the sides
    Trim the hair on the side of the face, from the front of the ear to approximately the center of the eye. You’re keeping the hair on the cheeks short.
  • Go to the top
    The top of the head should be trimmed in a straight line from the highest point of the skull towards the muzzle. This leaves the hair reasonably short on the skull and longer at the stop. If you have trimmed the sides of the face short, you’ve automatically shortened the coat above the eyes. Now, look at the position of the eye – it doesn’t face forward, but diagonally to the side. The fall coming from the skull or the eyebrow towards the center front isn’t really blocking vision now. The eyelash hair that overhangs the eye gives some protection to the eye and doesn’t impair vision.
  • Look under the eyes
    The hair that might interfere with seeing is the hair that grows from the inside lower corner of the eye. Many Wheatens have a sort of cowlick there and the hair sticks up into the normal line of vision. If your pup does have coat sticking up into the line of vision, lift the fall by making a horizontal part between the eyes. Take thinning shears and carefully thin or cut the hair at the level of the corner of the eye and just slightly below it. You’ll never see where you removed the hair when you let the fall drop back into place.

Updated 07/11/2020