Equipment Needed: slicker brush, clippers with #10 and #30 blades, and a 1 inch clipper comb, or 3/4 inch blade, good scissors, good quality clippers, and a good picture of an IWS, and lots of patience.
Start with clean and de-mattted dog. Use any good dog shampoo. Use of a conditioner is not recommended as it tends to soften the coat too much. Brush out and comb through the entire coat so it's fluffy. Trim the nails. Clean the ears.
Using the clippers and the #10 blade, cut the excessive hair growth from the muzzle. The whiskers may or may not be trimmed according to your liking. Clipper the hair towards the ear, from the corner of the eye to the top of the ear opening and from the corner of the mouth to the lower base of the ear so that the cheek is smooth. Leave the beard under the muzzle at the top of the throat.
Clipper the hair from the base of the ear to just above the breastbone to form a V in the front. While you still have the #10 blade on, clipper the unwanted hair growth on the tail, leaving 2 to 3 inches of tight curls at the base that blend in with the body coat.
The topknot is left full to hang "like a shawl" over the head. The top can be evened up to remove sun-burnt ends and is scissored to a well defined peak between the eyes, as opposed to cutting 'bangs' straight across the brow. The back of the topknot is blended into the neck. Ears should be brushed down and evened up at the bottom.
The body coat may be scissored or cut with the clippers using a 3/4 or 1 inch comb attached to a #30 blade. You can also use a #3F clipper blade without a comb if you like a very short 1/2 inch coat. Trim the skirt straight, starting at the elbows and slightly sloping up towards the rear.
The 1 inch clipper comb works very well on the front legs and the back of the rear legs. If you like more fullness, leave a little more coat on the back of the front legs and the front of the back legs. You can also scissor the front legs round and column-like to any length that you like.
Trim feet of unwanted hair. Be sure to check between the toes as mats form very easily there. Using a spray bottle, wet the body coat thoroughly to give a tight curl to the hair.
Done. Now give your Irisher a big hug and dog biscuit and tell him/her what a great pooch they are!!
The above information is for an easy maintenance clip where the IWS looks like an IWS and not a curly-coated retriever or poodle! Don't be afraid to leave more hair on or take more hair off. IWS coats tend to grow very quickly so mistakes grow out very soon and then you can start over!