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Messed up a hand stripped Cairn? HELP!

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  • Messed up a hand stripped Cairn? HELP!

    I had a new client come in that had recently moved and was looking for a new groomer to hand strip her cairn.. The dog had been hand stripped by it's breeder most of it's life. She complained that she was having a hard time finding a groomer to get her cairn just the way she wanted it. I tried to explain to her there was a big difference between being groomed by someone that specialized in the breed compared to someone like me who just did pet hand stripping. I went over what I would do and she felt comfortable with it and said she just needed her groomed as she had been neglected for a few months now.
    Her coat did not release very well. Also she had yellowish colored dander and her skin was already very pink before i started. I recommended a medicated shampoo along with the bath which she agreed. So the problem I am having is that being she needed to be stripped down to her PJ's, one her very pink now reddish skin shown and also there was some "bald" spots. I question if maybe one of the other groomers she tried before me actually clipped her coat and that is why she went so long between grooms because the owner was trying to grow it back out? Mom also was concerned that the top of her head was not as poofy as she thought it should be. Has anyone else had this happen when hand stripping? What did I do wrong? I hand plucked the jacket with finger cots and carded with a stripping knife. Everything else was trimmed with thinners or clipper. I part me of me want to think that the only one that is going to satisfy this woman's grooming expectations is a breeder.
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    It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
    Henry David Thoreau

  • #2
    Posting to bump in activity thread.
    It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
    Henry David Thoreau


    • #3
      I don't think you are the one who messed it up. The dog looks super cottony for a cairn that has been hand stripped her whole life. I think wherever she has been taking her has been clipping not stripping. I would take an carding tool like a coat king or Andis (Which I'm really loving lately) all over that dog before plucking out the remaining harsh coat. It looks to be SO much undercoat!

      Also Cairns should not have a pattern, but should be mostly one length all over, just a tich longer on the furnishings. Her head should be much shorter too, which is probably why the hair isn't standing up more. Plus since she has gone a long time there is no layering to help with that.

      I just want to say I feel for you. I hand strip a Jack Russell who was previously done by her breeder. Every.single.time I do her I feel inadequate.


      • #4
        Naturally Furry....I'm not an expert by any means. I don't think you did anything wrong. She was in a blown coat and needed to be pulled down to her underwear. When doing that, if the undercoat is ready to shed, you will get bald patches. It's just the way it is. I would have pulled down her skirt and legs too...that dead hair needs to go....that is also the case with the head. It will be more pouffy when it's not dead blown coat and more live freshly grown coat.

        The problem is that owners, and groomers often think the dog should look like a show trim right after the groom; when in fact, the show coat is allowed to grown in in stages to obtain the look they want.
        Also, I remind clients that the dogs they see at shows are sprayed to an inch of their lives...they don't look like that when they get up in the morning! There is product in that head piece to achieve that pouffy look.

        This owner will get that look if she will get her on a schedule so that the coat can be rolled.
        I stopped handstripping client dogs because I could never get them to commit to rolling coat.

        I think you did a nice job.


        • #5
          I agree that it doesn't appear you did anything wrong. Not an expert on this topic, but I do a few hand strips, 2 are on a rolling 2 week schedule.
          If the skin was already red and flaky, then something was already going on that you cannot control. Also, if the coat was difficult to release, there's only so much you can do without further irritating the skin. The bald patches look like one of two things to me - either spots where the skin was already more irritated so it was thinner to begin with, or that part of the coat just released better.
          I thought the same thing about doing it wrong when I did a completely blown welsh that mom has shaved once a year, then stripped a few times. Dog's coat was a nightmare to strip and the dog was not well behaved for most of it, so many many breaks later, the dog took me all day and I still suggested she come back in a week or two to get another session (she didn't). Also have an older scottie that came to me after being clippered for years, and the first stripping I did on him the coat did not release well. It is a process. If the last person didn't do it right, you have to give it a few times to get the coat where it should be. The client has to realize that as much as you do. And, I am a firm believer that if she doesn't like the way you do it, the client can go to someone that specializes in what she is looking for. Back to the breeder and no hard feelings. Keep positive. You did fine.


          • #6
            Just saw this thread. I have an Airedale who lived with the breeder for 8 years and I don't think she was stripped or clippered very often. I've had her 3 years and people are just now starting to notice that her coat looks nice. It took that long. When I got her her coat looked like this Cairn. I took her down to her underware and she was naked in places and her skin was somewhat sensitive. Then I carded her every 3 weeks. It was a long process to get the wire hair back. I understand why no one wants their Airedale handstripped. It would cost a fortune if I had to pay someone and wait 3 years for good results.