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  1. #1

    Default West highland trouble

    Hello everyone, i'm new. New in this forum and new in the handstripping thing.
    I'm from Chile, and I have a super sweet West highland white terrier. She's 1 year old. And she's my whole life. In all this time, she went 4 times to the pet saloon for (it was supposed) a handstripping. Her coat says other thing. It became curly, very thin and fluffy. The last time she returned with no skirt, the groomer cut most of her hair in the chest and sides to "keep it clean"). Tired of that (she was the only person who knew the technique in my city) I signed up in a class. I traveled 8 hours to learn everything they would like to teach me. Unfortunately, it was just the tip of the iceberg. The more I investigate, the more I confuse. It's so sad and disappointing, because there are so few people who know the technique, I have barely learn some few things.
    My teacher said to me that I should make a full stripping in my westie (she went to the pet saloon 1 month ago). But I don't know how can I do it. I'm aware that hair grows at different speeds and I need to change all hear coat. But... What should I pull first? Should I follow a drawing, sketch, something? How can I do? Obviously I can't pull out all the hair in one day. What happen with her legs? Or her face? Her beard? Her head (where almost no hair)?

    I will leave you some photos so you can give me your opinion. Sorry my bad english


    Sad westie-mommy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    I would get in touch with people that show Westies, Cairns, Scotties. The breed doesnít really matter itís the techniques you want to learn. You could even learn from the Long-legged Terrier people. Airedales, etc.

    Ask to strip out some of their retired dogs. Those old show dogs are used to the process and you canít ruin them. As you gain experience they will show you the finer techniques.
    Make sure you Pay Them Well for their time. Itís a lot to learn.
    Iíve also offered to clean kennels, socialize puppies, etc as part payment.

    And yes, you may need to strip all her hair in one day. For instance, her leg furnishings look like the coat is blown and all needs to go in order to grow back wirey.

    What beginners have a hard time grasping is that the dog does not come out ďlooking like a show dogĒ from one or two stripping sessions. It takes months and months of timing hair growth to get the finished product you see in the show ring. Thatís why itís good to learn from someone that shows, so you can see the progress. Learning about blown coats, rolling coats, staging coats, is all part of it. It really is a hard learned art form.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011


    Westies are, imo, the most difficult hair to hand strip, so donít expect instant results. Unless you plan to do a complete pull-down, and start over with a naked dog, you will want to try to stage the coat as best as you can until your problems are corrected. Your dogs coat will require a lot of work. You should start by layer stripping the furnishings and apron. You may use a coarse or medium knife, or pluck by hand. Use a light touch, because you may expose some bald spots if you are too aggressive.(Just a guess from the pictures.) Strip your tail at this time. The second area to strip would be the jacket. This would be from the withers to the croup, and down the sides of dog in an imaginary line from approximately breastbone to poop chute. Use a medium knife for this. Third area to strip would be the neck, down to expose front shoulder muscles from the sides, and in front from Adams Apple to just above breastbone, then blend in front from breastbone down to front of shoulders (think of it as a W on the front of dog with the breastbone being the middle of the W.) You will want to use a medium/fine knife here. The problem with the head is that the hair is fine, and lays flat. You will need to pluck a few hairs every few days from the top and cheeks (just donít overpluck the same spot, keep it in different areas). This will cause the new coarse growth to make the fine hair stand up more, until it is plucked. You will want to maintain your staging, by stripping your dog about every 5 days...definitely not less than once a week. Hauptner makes stripping knives, the Flamang I, and the Flamang II that are especially for a Westie. It would, of course, be best to learn hands-on, but there are stripping DVDís or as a learning resource as well. Best of luck! Westies are the besties!


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