Dogs Delight specialises in hand-stripping. We own and groom terriers for show and understand the more complex methods involved in achieving the correct coat appearance.
This method of grooming is carried out less and less in pet grooming salons as a result of time restrictions or a lack of good training.
Should you have your dog handstripped?
We hand strip wire coats for three reasons; to maintain the harsh correct texture, to keep a dark rich colour and to maintain the dogs skin. Before you consider hand stripping a dog you need to consider a number of factors.
Is the dog Neutered?
Neutering a dog will change its hormones and therefore over time it will affect the coat. Although this is not always the case most coats will eventually become softer and harder to strip out once they have been neutered.
How old is the dog?
As dogs age, their hormones will change and again this can affect the texture of the coat meaning it may become softer and harder to strip. It’s also important to consider whether it is fair to put an older dog through the time it would take to strip it as opposed to clipping which takes much less time.
Has the dog been clipped in the past?
If the dog presented to you has been clipped in the past, it is likely that the coat texture has already changed and become softer. It is sometime possible, with a lot of work, to bring these coats back to a hand strip coat but it will take a lot of time and effort and can be quite hard on the dog. It's important to ask yourself as the owner if it is worth it or fair on the dog. I certainly would not consider this option if the dog has been neutered as well.
Does hand stripping suit the client and dog’s lifestyle?
By this we mean, is the client willing to bring the dog in often enough to maintain a hand stripped coat and do they fully understand what it entails. Also does the dog tolerate being hand stripped or does it get very distressed by the process.
The technique involves pulling out the dead top coat to leave a more natural look then clipping. It should be carried out on breeds with wire coats to maintain the correct coat texture and colour. Dogs should be stripped every 4-12 weeks.
If the answer to all of these questions leads to “yes the dog should be hand stripped” then to do this correctly a wire coat needs to be rolled on a regular basis (in some cases, weekly). The term “rolling a coat” means that only the top layer of dead coat is removed leaving the new coat below. The result of doing this often, means that the coat always has new layers growing and is therefore easy to keep in top condition at the desired length. By rolling the coat, there is less need to take it right back to undercoat and therefore it will always have a wiry texture.