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  • questions & rolling coat

    i have been stripping an irish terrier, and over the last year have been trying to get him on a regular schedule. the problem is they wait too long, when he comes in the coat is all one length and needs to be pulled to nothing. this dog only puts up with the process for so long.

    so since they did not want him naked for the winter they waited, it has been probably 5 mo. i have tried to explain the rolled coat to them. so i said today that i would do this one more time, and he then needs to be on a monthly schedule. it is too hard on him and me to wait this long.

    so is there a good way to explain rolling a coat to them?

    what is the best way to start a rolled coat on a dog that had gone this long, i know there will be nothing left after i pull the long stuff.
    do you just pull it down and then go from there?

    oh and this is a pet, not a show dog

  • #2
    Terrier officianados, please feel free to educate me, too!! But--for me, when talking with owners about keeping their Terriers in true coat- or at least a regularly maintained coat-- I explain to them that first, their dogs are genetically designed with the coat they have; it is meant to both protect them, help keep them warm or cool, help keep them naturally more CLEAN, and to bring out the true beauty of their unique breed, by actually being minimally maintained.
    I try to explain what clipping does to the coat-- often causing poor coat texture, lackluster and drab coat color, and definitely not helping their skin and its healthy functions as well- explaining skin and oil buildup, the backup of dead hair, etc. And I have photos of their breed on hand to show them the differences.
    Some people don't care, but most all do- they just don't realize the differences and it takes some gentle education to show them.
    I will also , ALWAYS place the dog on the table and show them the difference in their dog's coat color and texture at the base of the hair in comparison to the hair at the tip that they have been viewing every day; this often seals the deal on my showing them how differently their dog will look when finished rolling, stripping or plucking vs. clippering. I also explain that many groomers do not do this service for such coats as it is a "dying art form", it takes great skill, and it isn't an easy thing for just any groomer to properly do, again--this issues a challenge from them to me, and I am happy to show them my ability.
    I think you are straight on for setting this guide for your Irish clients. It is hard on the dog to sit thru such a session, and I think that rolling the coat is probably best for everyone,, but still-they are in the driver's seat on doing the right thing and changing their appt. cycle, and that can be frustrating to leave in their hands and hope they'll follow thru.
    To explain either stripping or rolling, when I have the dog on the table, I will take some of its coat in hand and roll it between my fingers back & forth, showing them the different lengths of hair, its different colors and textures, and explain to them that rolling removes all of the longer hairs that are just sitting there waiting to either be pulled, or to begin to get backed up with all of the new growth coming in, possibly causing the new coat to be lacking, causing skin occlusions or acne, or excessive dander, etc. Then I pull out a small area- usually on the thigh- not for any certain reason other than it is a less noticeable and less painful area-- and SHOW them the difference in the coat beneath it. I tell them that clippering will remove length, but not dead hair and dead skin and clogged oils, and it also never shows the true color and texture of the beautiful hair that's left in the shaft, only manually pulling will do that. I express this with genuine appreciation of the dog's breed and coat that is on the table in front of me, letting them know that I am impressed to see the dog and excited with what I can offer them that most other groomers cannot. Then I leave the decision up to them, often I will even do their dog for them just one time to show them the difference, and if they are not impressed, I will do it their way from then on (but I will still secretly card the heck out of that dog every time it comes in, and they will be charged for that).
    I have been in this boat many times,,and I sure hope that they'll understand and respect your professional ability!--Say,,they aren't people that I referred out there to you, are they? Because I would feel really bad if they were pulling this after asking for a referral!
    Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
    www.ChrisSertzel.com

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    • #3
      Forgot to mention that if it were me, I would pull him down to his skivvies a final time, and then get them onto their regular maintenance schedule from their. When the dog comes in after that, start the rolling then and not on a coat that is already unkempt..but others may do it differently.
      Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
      www.ChrisSertzel.com

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      • #4
        thanks chris, and no they are not anyone you referred....

        your thoughts are pretty much the same as mine. i hope i can get them to schedule monthly, i've tried before, this time i just need to be strong and insist that it is best. what i don't understand is that they could have him nicely groomed every month for pretty much the same cost as having me strip him naked after 5mo. and i have told them this.

        well wish me luck

        oh and i kind of figured i would take him down to nothing and go from there, just didn't know if i should leave a bit to pull next time to get it to start growing at different lengths

        thanks again

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        • #5
          From what I learned working with my own dogs is that true "rolled" coat is achieved by very regular schedule: every week to two depending on the dog. IMHO, You probably will be able to "tip" the coat every five weeks and keep it from getting to bushy, but most likely you will loose layers and dog will not have that hard tight laying coat achieved by rolling.
          I tell my clients that rolling is a form of handstripping that allows the dog to have great looking coat year round vs. couple months after it grows out from striping to PJs.
          Rolling removes longest layer that is comprised from hairs just entering resting/dying stage, leaving hair in active growth stage intact.
          I also leave it up to the client to decide what kind of look do they want for their dog because stripping to PJ's provides benefits for the dog as well as rolling. Rolled coat just looks better.
          If the dog allowes you only so much to do at one time and client doesn't want to invest in rolling the coat, offer them to stage the coat. Pull out hair that you want to grow in longer first week and a week or two pull down the body. The dog will look funny in between grooming appointments but it would be easier on the dog and you.

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          • #6
            if your are not showing the terrier..

            you can get a great look by compromise. I have been doing pets for over 20 years and I rarely pull a dog down to the skin except for puppies who have yet to grow a full coat.
            I do most dogs every 8 weeks- I don't have time to do many more frequently and there are so many that need the service.
            So how do I do it? I beg them to rake between visits- a few actually do. I use a Hauptner knife, CC detail sticks and thinning shears. Pull all the loose curly stuff off the backs and brisket. Strip the ears on top, 40 the insides. Strip the heads to the jaw lines - if they have a hard coat and tolerate it do the throat- otherwise clipper with a 7 skip and thinning shear- same with the butts. Rake and pull some leg hair then scissor the rest. The muzzle is pulled and scissored. Westies and Scottie pet heads are machine cut. I ALWAYS pluck WFT heads to get the red heads without exception until they get too old to deal with it- they tell me when they've had enough. Strangely they tolerate their heads and ears more than the back as the age.
            Is this cheating? I get great results doing this and you don't have to bald a dog to keep the wire growing. Yes you can break some hair using coat kings but it can grow back and if that's what it takes to involve the owner- heck you are not showing the dog and can still get a wire jacket.
            there is a middle ground... I know and have found it. I go for color and texture and get it.

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