Are You A Hand-Stripper?
Sunday, at Maxwell Dog's event for , a beautiful actress, Gina Jackson, spotted my companion, a Cairn Terrier, and immediately identified the breed, reminded me of the summer months being tough on them, and mentioned hand-stripping.
In the video, Gina displays grace, beauty, and good dog knowledge as she mentions the not commonly discussed art of hand-stripping a dog with a rough coat.
Some rough-coated and wire-haired breeds actually need a hand-stripping to look right, feel right, and survive the heat of summer.
Recently, I walked into one of the groomers around town and asked if they did hand-stripping. The two young women, one piloting the register, and the other in charge of gossip, feel astonishingly silent at my question. They they giggled.
Register Girl stretched her hand across the counter and sashayed her palm and fingers slowly across the counter towards me. Then we all burst out laughing.
It hadn’t occurred to how funny that sounds! Hand-stipper? “Are you, by any chance a hand-stripper? Can your groomer do a good hand-stripping?”
Dogs with rough coats or wired hair, like my little Cairn terrier, need a special kind of grooming called hand-stripping. The groomer pulls out the dead outer coat by hand, rather than cutting it with clippers. The rough or wire-haired undercoat can then grow in.
It shouldn’t hurt Fido, if it’s done right. In fact, though some rough-coated breeds may dislike it, the wire-haired hair is not attached like other types of coats. Some dogs even enjoy the process.
I’m still looking for a good hand-stripper around town. If you know of one, please comment after this article. My little video is an encounter outside Maxwell Dog today, where actress, Gina Jackson, stopped in her tracks and identified my Cairn and reminded me about hand-stripping—this being the time of year it gives them relief from the heat.
It’s a laborious process, taking about four hours for a small dog. It’s not cheap, but it helps little Fido. Several breeds from each group of the AKC are recommended for stripping (no group is completely exempt).
From the Terriers: Airedale Terrier, Australian Terrier, Border Terrier, Cairn (YAY) Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, Irish Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Norfolk Terrier, Parsons Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Sealyhand Terrier, Welsh Terrier, and Wire Fox Terrier, of course.
From the Toys: Affenpinscher and Brussels Griffon.
Sporting Dogs: German Wirehaired Pointer (My all-time favorite dog, by the way!), Spinone Italiano, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Hounds: Dachshund (Wirehaired), Ibizan (Wirehaired), Irish Wolfhound, Otterhound, Petite Basset Griffon, Vendeen (PBGV), and Scottish Deerhound.
Working Breeds: Giant Schnauzer and Standard Schnauzer.
And many mixes look and feel much better—outstanding, actually—when hand-stripped, or even partly hand-stripped to bring out their natural wire coat.
If you're a good groomer who does hand-stripping (or if you know of a good, local choice) please leave a comment.