What is the painless way to pluck Kerry ears?
I'm not sure a totally painless way exists of plucking hair from the ear canals of Kerries, but there are a few things you can do to make it a lot more tolerable.
Put ear powder in the ear before plucking. I use liberal amounts of R-7 Ear Powder (but other products are no doubt equally effective) inside each ear and massage it in. The powder helps loosen the hair.
Use an herbal relaxant prior to plucking. I sometimes use an oral spay called Tranquil by Dynamite Specialty Products, but there are others on the market. (Ask your groomer or vet, look for distributors at dog shows, or check out a health food store. If you need more help, write me again.) These non-drug products are completely safe, don't make a dog groggy, and have absolutely no residual effects. They simply relax the dog so he's less likely to fight the ear-plucking procedure.
Pull a little hair out at a time--not whole wads. I use hemostats, which I think do a more thorough job than just using your fingers. They are also less likely to grab too much hair at one time.
When you are finished, use a Q-tip and a good ear wash to clean the ear. I use either R-7 Ear Wash or ProEar Clearner & Deodorant by Top Performance. (This step has nothing to do with making the procedure painless, but it's necessary to do the job right.) I also swab the ear cleaner in each ear with a cotton ball after each weekly (or bi-weekly) bath. And so far, neither my 10-year-old or my 5-year-old has ever had an ear infection--knock on wood!
Since neither of my two Kerries fight the procedure (both actually lay down), I doubt that either of them considers it painful. It may sting or tickle, but it's not intolerable. If your dog is truly fighting you and you notice that the inside of the ear is damp, red, or smells, he/she may have an ear infection, so a trip to the vet is in order.