An Introduction to Hand Stripping


What is Hand Stripping?

Hand stripping is a grooming process that involves removing dead hairs from the coat by hand instead of clipping to keep the coat tidy and healthy. Completed twice a year in spring and autumn, it speeds up the natural process of growth and moulting.

True hand stripping is precisely that – the groomer plucks the outer guard hairs from the coat entirely by hand when the coat is blown. It is common practise however to use tools such as stripping knives to help with the process.

What Breeds Require Hand Stripping?

Dogs with wiry coats tend to need hand stripping to groom to breed standard. This includes most of the Terrier group. Other breeds that require hand striping include:

  • Schnauzers
  • Affenpinscher
  • Irish Wolf Hounds
  • Scottish Deer Hounds
  • Wire-haired Pointers
  • Wire-haired Dachshunds

Methods and Tips

There are a number of methods to employ to make the hand stripping process easier and more effective:

  • Pull in the direction of hair growth
  • Support the skin with gentle pressure
  • Pluck the longer hairs only, usually measuring approximately 2 – 5cm
  • Try finger cots or chalk power to add grip
  • Work with a steady rhythm, removing only a few hairs at a time
  • Do not be too heavy-handed when using a stripping knife – use it to assist with pulling the hair rather than cutting the hair

Hand stripping is not painful if completed properly, and many dogs actually enjoy it, however, Groomers recommends learning how to hand strip your breed from a professional groomer or breeder before attempting to complete the process at home.

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