As a novice to the breed, you maybe overwhelmed with the grooming requirements of the Kerry. Here is an equipment list to get you started.
One of the best videos was done by Canadian breeder Barb Thompson ([email protected]). It’s about $50 and worth every penny.
This web site also has a photographic overview about grooming a Kerry. It was written my Dutch professional groomer by Arlett van Dijk, with over 100 professional photographs by Ria van Middelaar.
It is available here.
Many of us use Oster clippers (I use the Golden A5 model) with detachable blades. To start, I’d get the #10, #15, and #30 blades. I use the #10 on the belly and under the tail, the #15 for the head and throat, and the #30 for the ears. You can get a good-looking cut with just these three blades.
You didn’t mention those, but I think most of us use 7 1/2 inch grooming shears. Top-of-the-line shears can cost over $500, but mine were less than $100 and have served me well. You’ll also need a pair of thinning shears to thin and neaten the whiskers and fall. Mine are the 6-inch double 36-tooth kind, but the real grooming pros on the list can better advise you on those.
Most tables are either 30 or 33 inches high. I’m 5 ft. 4 in, so my 30-inch table works fine, except when I’m grooming my very large male–then I wish it was lower! The top has a ribbed rubber non-skid surface (3 ft x 2 ft), which is secure for the dog, though I wonder how those ribs must feel on the paws after a while. Sometimes I put a rubber-backed rug on top, and worry about the hair mess later. Don’t forget to get a grooming arm–one that will easily adjust as your puppy grows. By the way, my table is portable (with wheels on the bottom), which is handy for shows. (I’d fold up the table, put the crate on top, and away we’d go!)
You are investing several hundred dollars in equipment, and making a big commitment in learning to groom a Kerry, which leads me to make two more suggestions.
(1) Ask your breeder for help on choosing your equipment. When I got my first Kerry puppy, my breeder circled items I would need in a pet supply catalog. It was of enormous help! Ask your breeder to do the same.
(2) Spend time at shows watching the pros groom their Kerries, and ask questions (if things aren’t too hectic before ring time). Or in the beginning, have your dog groomed by a professional Kerry groomer and learn from her or him. This sort of “nearly hands-on” experience is invaluable.