What is Hand Stripping?

Hand stripping is the process of manually pulling out the dead top coat .

This allows for the fresh coat to grow in. A dog’s hair follicle is made up of one thick guard hair and many soft undercoat hairs. The undercoat is a fluffier texture and more dull in colour — this is the coat that is forming fur bales all over your house! A process called carding will remove this soft coat and is especially necessary on the wire coat so the follicle does not become clogged. The thick guard hair is what is pulled when hand stripping the coat. This can be done by hand plucking or with a specially designed stripping knife. Please be aware there are many groomers who claim to do hand stripping but incorrectly use the tools or use tools such as coat kings, these damage the top coat and are NOT what is considered to be traditional hand stripping. You may notice the coat will start to curl in on itself where the hair has been cut.

Does it hurt my dog?

Many people believe that the hand stripping process is painful. Since the coat that is being removed is already dead there is no pain associated with the process at all. When done incorrectly, mainly if the wrong hairs are being pulled, this can be uncomfortable for the dog. A knowledgeable groomer will know how to properly introduce your dog to hand stripping. After they become accustomed to the routine most dogs will take a nap on the table.


Advantages of Hand Stripping

There are several advantages of choosing hand stripping over clipping, including:

  1. Protection from sun (skin and coat)

  2. The coat keeps its beautiful rich natural colour

  3. Reduction of skin irritations from the oils in the coat which are not removed when clipping

  4. Maintains the natural coat of the dog

  5. Keeps original wiry coat

  6. Keeps coat waterproof, keeping warmer and drier.

  7. Prevents skin conditions

  8. Needs less maintenance 

  9. Dirt Repellent 


Dogs Which Benefit From Hand Stripping

Hand stripping is not really breed specific, but more focused on the coat type. Any wire coat can be stripped, which most often tend to be terrier breeds but also silk coated breeds should be stripped such as spaniels, namely cocker spaniels. Below is a list of breeds but not limited to just these breeds that should be stripped:

  • Cocker Spaniels

  • Schnauzers

  • Wire Fox Terriers

  • Norfolk Terriers

  • Border Terriers

  • Wesites

  • Scotties

  • Welsh Terriers

  • Wire Haired Vizslas 

  • Irish Terrier

  • Cairn Terrier

  • Wire Haired Pointers