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What's the best shampoo for wire coat dogs?

Wire coat breed examples

West Highland White Terrier (Westie), Miniature Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Giant Schnauzer, Airedale (wire), Border Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Vizsla (wire), Irish Wolfhound, Dachshund (wire), Spinone Italiano.

Check the best match for shampoo, conditioner, detangler and more below

Wire coat type

Wiry coats have a rougher, sometimes bristly hair (also called a broken coat), typically a mixed texture of a soft, denser undercoat and a wire coat with guard hairs. Mainly low shed, but even the non-shed wire coats do in fact shed, just more slowly, with dead coat getting trapped instead of falling out, which can lead to knots. The longer guard hairs can also form knots or nasty mats if not regularly brushed. Grooming wire coats ideally requires hand-stripping or plucking to maintain correct coat texture, however for pets, clipping without stripping is more common. Note this can change the coat colour and texture over time. A deshedder is highly recommended when hand-stripping is not possible or not desired. Deshedders help remove excess, soft undercoat, help maintain correct coat texture, and reduce knotting.

Choosing SHAMPOO

Either a volumising or light weight shampoo is preferred for wire coats to help maintain the correct texture. A moisturising or more nourishing shampoo can otherwise weigh the coat down and cause it to become too soft, so is best saved for when skin or coat are dry, flaky or brittle, or when extra conditioning is required. 


Conditioner is not often used for wire coats as it can soften the coat and make it too silky to grip for hand stripping. For knot removal however, a detangler spray is popular for wiry coats, which will add conditioning and protection at the same time. If the coat is dry or brittle however, use conditioner that can be diluted before applying.

SHAMPOO for wire coats

Bio-Groom Wiry Coat Shampoo adds desired texture and coarseness, helps maintain correct wire texture, aids grip for hand-stripping, increases hold for scissoring

Bio-Groom Extra Body adds fullness, texture and body

Bio-Groom So Gentle Hypoallergenic extra mild for very sensitive, allergy-prone skin

…CONDITIONER for wire coats

If you want to maintain a wire coat long and are finding it hard to stay on top of tangles and knots, you can use conditioner, a conditioning spray, or leave-in conditioner, but you won't normally need anything heavy. A leave in conditioner can be a good way to condition only the longer areas that need it.

Bio-Groom Groom N Fresh Conditioner can dilute 4:1, lovely perfume scent 

Fidos Oatmeal Conditioner a normal strength conditioner

…Tear and saliva STAINS

White and paler wire coats or areas (like lighter beards) can show tear and saliva stains, best treated frequently rather than left to build up. Use a whitening shampoo combined with spot treatment with tear stain remover for best results.

Fidos Tear Stain Remover >

TIP: Trim the coat from touching the eyes (which can irritate the eye to produce extra tears), and from getting in the mouth, as both will help further reduce staining.


Amazonia Detangler with Gurana primary use is a detangler but also conditions the coat

Bio-Groom Anti Stat Detangler Aid brushing aid, ideal for frequently brushed coats

ProGroom ProMagic Detangler Styling Drying Aid a detangler that conditions and speeds up drying time


Many wire coat breeds have folded down ears, which can be more prone to build-up of dirt, oil and wax in the ears. A regular wipe of the visible canal and folds with ear cleaner is recommended.

Fidos Ear Drops