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Handstripping an Airedale Terrier

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  • Handstripping an Airedale Terrier


    Iam learning to hand strip my Airedale Terrier pup. She's 9 months old now and has quite a harsh coat coming through. I thought I was doing an OK job, but her breeders saw her last week and said her jacket has got too long and appears thin and "open" rather than dense as it should be, and that I should probably take it right off and start again. I am happy to do this but:

    a) If it's my technique that's caused this, I'm probably going to end up with the same problem again

    b) She is entered for quite a few shows over the next months, and presumably if I pull all the coat she's going to be out of action for a long while. Not the be all and end all, but we have enjoyed showing and she has been doing moderately well.

    Is there a way of carefuly pulling out the longer hairs to try and even up her jacket again and keep it looking OK, or is it likely a lost cause?

    Any ideas on why her coat would have ended up too "open" rather than dense? Pulling out too much undercoat? Not stripping evenly over the jacket? Cutting the hair rather than stripping (I use MacKnyfes and am fairly happy I'm not).

    Time isn't too much of an issue and she is a very good girl on the table. Feeling a bit fed uop as have spent hours grooming her and now feel a failure!

  • #2

    Where are you located? Maybe if you are too far from me, I can hook you up with someone.

    It could be that the coat has not been worked enough or close enough together.


    • #3
      She's 9 months old. She's probably changing from puppy coat to adult coat.


      • #4
        seek a mentor

        Originally posted by Helly View Post
        She's 9 months old. She's probably changing from puppy coat to adult coat.
        My first thought as well. Did she just come out of heat? that's another cause. How long before the next show - who is teaching you this? If you are already going to dog shows, ask around. It takes time to learn this but having a mentor helps.
        Good luck!


        • #5
          Thanks all for your input.

          I am in the UK. The breeders have helped a little but we live a long way apart so I am mainlly learning as I go along! She has not yet had a season, her mum didn't until 16 months so she could be a long way off yet.

          I have actually worked by hand on her jacket with chalk and rubber finger cots the last 2 days, and now I have slowly taken all the longer hairs out over her jacket, there is a layer of black wiry hair lying close to her body that looks a lot, lot better. I thought I would just be left with undercoat, but she seems to have pretty much a new jacket there. Is that feasable? The sides of her jacket are still quite soft, I presume the sides/ribs are slower to develop the wiry hair? Her neck, head, ears rear etc I am quite happy doing as I have it all down tight and I go over it a few times a week, and that I think looks quite good and has a nice rich tan coming. Her leg furnishings are a little sparse, but are starting the thicken up.

          Mr Terrier, when you say the coat has not been worked close enough together, do you mean not regularly enough? If so, then yes I think I might be guilty of that. I will ensure I work on it a couple of times a week from now on. Am I best to rake it gently each time toremove some undercoat, then just take the longer hairs out each time?

          I'll try and get some photos of her so you can comment!

          Thanks all for your help.


          • #6
            A few photos of her. I will get some closer up ones of her body today
            Attached Files


            • #7

              I had the same problem with my Standard when she was young. Sometimes it takes a few strippings to get the proper coat. Also I think a good stripping knife is the best tool to use. One of the mistakes made while hand stripping is breaking the coat, as oppossed to pulling it out. Be carefull to be sure you are pulling it out. Otherwise just be patient. Good luck


              • #8
                the shorter the better

                The hair on the sides is often thinner and softer than the topline. When i was preparing for a show, I would strip that area down to nearly nothing about three weeks before a show and let it just come in new and short. the back i rotated and worked at least once a week. about 4 weeks before a show i really stripped out a lot (but not bald) and then rotated it. (stripped it a couple times a week, a little) the shoulders should be really short. Ideally the back shouldn't be any longer than one inch of hair, and the sides, three quarters of an inch, and the shoulders half an inch. so the shoulders got really stripped about two weeks before the show. If you show often. then once you get it to the length you want, rotate the coat at least once a week, pulling out the long hairs.