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I want to handstrip my dog

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  • I want to handstrip my dog

    Everyone keeps telling me I need to give my terrier mix a haircut but I refuse to shave her!! I would like to handstrip her but I have never done that. Is it really that hard? She has really coarse wiry hair and I know shaving will destroy it. What do I need to buy? Any advice, tips, or instructions would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

    P.S. I can't seem to figure out how to attach her pictures so if you could help with that too that would be awesome!!!!

  • #2
    hard to say without knowing or seeing what she is. But my advice would be to give her a good brushing & coat king. Then grab a stripping knife & pluck away!
    It should be obvious what's ready to come out & what type of pattern to go for...again, hard to say without seeing a pic. Just wing it & go with your instincts....
    Can't help with pic posting advice, but hope ya get some up so you get some better advice!
    Good luck, I've really become a fan of handstripping those wiry guys...


    • #3
      I use a fine stripping knife from Classic and Latex gloves to do most of my hand stripping (I'm an amateur). It's really easy.

      I would just start by lifting the coat with your comb to see the length and then grasp the hair with the gloves or knife and pull in the direction you want the hair to lay.

      Since it's your own dog you can just experiment and have fun. I handstrip a few mixed breeds. It really keeps their hair vibrant and beautiful.
      "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


      • #4
        Well, I'm still a beginner in the stripping business, lol, but you can do A LOT with just your fingers, a dirty coat, and a little ear powder or chalk. Card the coat well first, then ruffle it up against the lay of the coat. You'll see what needs plucking and then start at the tail end and work your way forward. You'll see as you pluck, they hair laying better and you can use that as a guide. It's not really that hard, it's just a learning experience. Hey, best thing is, it's your dog, so you dont' have to worry about learning on a clients dog!


        • #5
          I tried to hand strip my terrier last summer and did a terrible job. I think I was heavey handed with the carding knife and broke off some of his coat. His shiney blade saddle is now silver, the black never grew back in. Plus it grew in at different lenghts and he looked like Don King,,lmao. I finally took a 3 skip and evened it out, haven't touched it since. I would start slow and just use my fingers, as Nea Nea said, until you figure out the whole hand stripping thing,, ( unless you want your dog to look like Don King) giggles!!!!


          • #6
            Keyray mentioned latex gloves, but didn't explain why you want to use them. Many people assume it's to keep your hands clean, because you want to strip the coat while it's dirty. That's not really why, though.

            When you're plucking with your fingers, the latex just gives you WAAAAY better grip. If you don't like wearing gloves you can go to an office supply store and buy rubber fingertips, they look kinda like thimbles, and use those.


            • #7
              Those wiry little bedhead kinda dogs are my favorite to pluck. I just make little wraps for my finger and with vetwrap,and sprinkle ear powder on them here and there. I am just learning too. I have a video on my e-groomer page of how I handstrip,not saying it is the right way,but it does get a nice result for this little dog. Same name on E-Groomer Poodleluv. Have fun! I love handstripping.
              "Everyone needs something to beleive in..I beleive I need another Poodle"


              • #8
                If you really want to hand strip I would avoid using the coat king. They are great for pet dogs who get combo strip/coat king/thinning shears, but they do cut hair and you won't get a true hand stripped coat.

                Card the coat first. Look closely at the coat, you will notice some hair is longer, strip that first. Hopefully your dog has the undercoat & two layers of top coat. If not and you start stripping you could end up with 2 outer layers eventually. Look at it again, card any thick areas that don't lay down good. You are sculpting with your hands.

                If you live near a groomer who specializes in hand stripping it may be a good idea to schedule a lesson appointment with them and have someone very familiar with hand stripping to guide you.


                • #9

                  The first thing you need to know is to hold the skin with your free hand , hold it tight so you don't pull the skin away from the underlying muscle tissue. Pull the hair out with a quick snatching motion. Sounds like you have an easy pull there so just do it with your fingers. I would card the coat at the end. Carding a flat laying coat is to make it lay flat in areas where undercoat may be more abundant and break up the outline. You can use chalk or ear powder to give a better grip.


                  • #10
                    Finally figured out how to get the pics up..... I think...
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Definitely a good candidate! Especially if you want to go for a more "natural" look. I wouldn't strip out the whole coat, just shape it & work on it every 3-4 weeks to keep it nice. Pretty dog!