Alice Only Alice flipped Hardwick Hounds

Handstripping is a method of grooming that can be used for wire/harsh coats and silky coats. Please read below for information regarding each one.

 

Our hand stripping service includes the full bath and brush service and a professional hand strip.

Hand Stripping Wire/Harsh Coats

Hand Stripping

A wire/harsh coat has a coarse texture and a soft, short undercoat. Most terriers are wire/harsh coated and should be hand stripped. Most of my clients are unsure what hand stripping is and, here, I have written what my understanding of it is from what I have learned from books, colleagues, experience and training.

What is it?

Hand stripping is the process of pulling out the dead, unwanted coat. A stripping knife, or finger and thumb, is used to grip the coat, which is then pulled out in a downward motion, with the coat. This leaves the soft, undercoat and the healthy, live top coat. Grooming chalk can be used on the coat to make the coat easier to grip when stripping. If the hand strip is performed by a skilled Groomer and is done properly, there will be no pain or discomfort caused to the dog, and most of them enjoy the attention and bond with the Groomer. A Groomer who says that handstripping is cruel, is a Groomer who lacks the skill. Hand stripping is very skilful and hard work which is why it costs more than clipping does.

Why should we choose to handstrip?

A wire/harsh coat has natural life stages to keep the coat healthy. When the dead, unwanted coat is removed, the new hair follicles can grow and the natural life stages of the coat are maintained. The colour of the overall coat can appear to have changed when the dog has been hand stripped because different parts of the coat are visible. If a wire coat is clipped, the life stages are lost and this is likely to cause the coat to become dull, soft and really dense. Clipping can also cause the rich colour of the coat to be lost and become light and solid.

When should we hand strip?

The life stages of the coat vary from one dog to another as this is determined by the dog’s individual DNA. Most pet Groomers will only recommend hand stripping when the coat is ‘fully blown’. This means that most of the top coat is dead and ready to be removed, and the coat will be stripped back to reveal just the undercoat. A show dog will have a lot of attention paid to it's coat, with daily brushing and the owner may 'roll' the coat up to every six weeks or more, attention being paid to different areas of the dog in preparation for the show ring. Normally, the coat will be fully blown around every six months for Border Terriers visiting the groomer. It is important to bear in mind that the result of handstripping can vary each time you have it done, depending on what stage the coat is at the time.

Certain wire/harsh coats don’t have these life stages and may not be suitable for hand stripping after all. It would be necessary, in this instance, to take the dog for a health check at the Vets, explaining the reason for your visit, as this can sometimes be a result of an underlying health problem that should be ruled out. Spaying/neutering can also result in a change in the coats texture and only clipping would be suitable afterwards. Clippers may be used on a pet dog that is hand stripped, on sensitive areas such as the groin area, the ears and face. Hand stripping a pet dog is normally finished off with scissors, which wouldn’t affect the natural life stages of the coat.

paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw paw

Hand Stripping Silky Coats and Cocker Spaniels

A silky coat is very fine and has a soft, silky texture and a healthy shine. Most spaniel breeds have a silky coat and should, ideally, be hand stripped. Cocker spaniels for show should most definitely be hand stripped. The information below is my understanding of handstripping this coat.

What is it?

Hand stripping is the process of pulling out the dead, unwanted coat. Forefinger and thumb are used to grip the dead hairs and pull them with the lie of the coat to remove them, with the help of a banded comb. This leaves the healthy, live top coat. Grooming chalk can be used on the coat to make the coat easier to grip when stripping. If the hand strip is performed by a skilled Groomer and is done properly, there will be no pain or discomfort caused to the dog, and most of them enjoy it. A Groomer who says that handstripping is cruel, is a Groomer who lacks the skill. Hand stripping is very skilful and hard work which is why it costs more then clipping does. For cocker hand stripping, the dog needs to be done very regularly, ie once a month.

Why should we choose to handstrip?

Much the same as a wire/harsh coat, hanstripping maintains a healthy, natural coat and stripping allows new hair follicles to grow. If the cocker spaniel's coat is clipped, it can cause the coat to become dull and dense. However, most pet dogs with silky coats are clipped as the difference in appearance can be minimal. Most owners prefer the coat to be short and manageable, and the desired result is achieved better by clipping. A show dog would never be permitted to be clipped but the method of grooming pet dogs is really down to the owners choice.

When should we hand strip?

A silky coat of a cocker spaniel will require hand stripping around every 4/5 weeks. I would recommend weekly hand stripping at home by the owner, who should ideally learn how to hand strip themselves, and a visit to the groomer for scissoring and finishing, as this keeps the coat in tip top condition. It is important to ensure a silky coat does not become matted as this would mean that the coat would have to be clipped really short, all over to remove them. Knots can be removed without being clipped but they quickly turn into matts.

The coat can be affected by diet and hormones after neutering resulting in the coat not being suitable to be stripped. Someone who is experienced at hand stripping cocker spaniels should be able to assess the coat for 'strip-ability'. Read my Kindle, 'How to Hand Strip and Groom a Cocker Spaniel', book for more information on this.

paw paw paw paw paw

07516 111 308

Email us paw paw

Located at Green Scene Side Farm in Sheffield

We have written our own book on how to hand strip a cocker spaniel for anyone interested in learning the technique! We include the finger and thumb method and the banded comb which are the best ways to hand strip a cocker spaniel. Click on the picture of our book to go to the listing on Amazon.

 

It can be beneficial to hand strip your own dog at home as it can be done more regularly so the stripping sessions are shorter. We are always happy to finish the scissoring on dogs that are stripped at home.

How to hand strip and groom a cocker spaniel book How to hand strip and groom a cocker spaniel book