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Hand Stripping

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  • Hand Stripping

    I've never stripped a dog before and I don't know much about it. I looked up older posts about it but I have my own question. Is learning to hand strip worth it? I believe just having the skill and knowing how to do it is worth it, but I'm not sure how many people will want their dog stripped. Expecially because it costs an arm and a leg! I heard its "zen like" to strip as is scissoring, which is my favorite part of grooming. My parents own a cairn and a beautiful westie for me to practice on. I was also wondering, does it hurt?..The dog, I know it's rough on the hands of a groomer, but I feel like it would be painful to strip a dog expecially one that has been clippered his whole life. How did you all learn to strip?, self taught? schooling? I tried to read an article online but there's sooo much to learn I feel like I'd need a mentor. So my main questions are, is it worth it? How many customers do you have that get their dogs stripped? and how did you learn? ..Sorry that got long :/

  • #2
    Many questions....I think it's very much worth it. Its a skill that can set you apart from others in your area. You can even advertise for it! It's definitely a dying art, one I would love to get to practice more. I have customers that have no idea what it is come in with a dog, and when asked which they prefer, it sets up a whole conversation. Many have opted to start the stripping. Some don't, that's ok too. I always like having the option though. It doesn't hurt unless you pull a viable hair follicle. Sometimes with puppies that aren't used to it or dogs that haven't been stripped in awhile that are blowing coat like crazy I'll get a response every now and again, but most of the time they just sit (or stand) there for me. I learned from a handler I used to work for, but terriers weren't his specialty so, while I know how, I'd really like to immerse myself for a season to get the ins and outs of it. I personally feel the best way to learn how is with a talented mentor.

    Many people will drive quite far to get their dog stripped out. If marketed right and word spreads, it can be quite the skill to possess
    There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.


    • #3
      Is learning to hand strip worth it?
      Really that is going to be up to you to decide. I felt it was worth it, still do, but I love to keep expanding my grooming knowledge, some people just like to learn to do a smooth groom and are happy w/ it.
      I'm not sure how many people will want their dog stripped.
      Not a lot will!! I have talked to at least 10 people about the process, I got to do my first actual customer hand strip 2 days ago(I've been stripping coworkers dog for practice in the mean time). People do seem excited about it until they hear the price, then are a bit put off. Hey it is a specialty, you should charge as such.
      I was also wondering, does it hurt?
      Well, in my experience it might feel a little like an eyebrow pluck at first, especially in sensitive areas, throat, chest, hips. Some dogs are going to deal better w/ it than others, all I have worked on have all been better then expected. Now that I have the right tools all I get is a little hand fatigue and maybe a small blister.
      How did you all learn to strip?
      I am completely self taught. I bought Jodi Murphy's stripping video and have watched several videos online-some are scary, some are actually helpful. I went to the hand stripping part of this forum and read all the posts, all the way back to the beginning. I would strip a little on a westie, cairn, wft, etc that was coming in for a clip, just to get the feeling of the pluck. I really got into it when a coworker agreed to let me strip out her mini schnauzer. I really learned a lot by getting my hands in there and doing it. After learning that schnauzers were on of the "hardest pulls" I felt like I could really strip anything. If you know that pattern to clip, then you can strip it. I would still love to find a breeder close by that I could watch/help.
      I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.


      • #4

        i have been handstripping for about two years. grooming for almost 14 years.. that is where i learned the most. while i dont do my regular customers as full handstrips, mostly caause they dont wanna pay, everything i have learned has made me a MUCH better groomer. i stripp alot of my terrior heads just to keep the right look. it gives a thicker rounder head on westies and cairns. any dog with any hardness to the coat i think can benefit from some stripping. just by doing the heads i have eleminated foppy headpeices on my westies. the new harder hair comes in thicker and helps"hold up" the head peice. also my thinning shear and blending i have learned doinf handstrip work in some way on almost every breed. i have competed so far with a hand stripped standard schnauzer, boykin spaniel, and a brussels griffon. and a terrior in mixed breed. i have learned to love it.


        • #5
          Noodles, where did you learn how to do it?


          • #6
            Books on hand stripping?

            I know there are a couple of videos out there for hand stripping but does any one know of any books that go over it in detail?


            • #7
              Originally posted by amy316 View Post
              I know there are a couple of videos out there for hand stripping but does any one know of any books that go over it in detail?
              I have a book on Cairn grooming. You can buy it from this website.

              I asked a local Cairn Breeder if I could work with her dogs and she was thrilled. She was very helpful and had 3 dogs for me to handstrip.