Hand stripping is a grooming technique used mostly on terriers, in which the dead coat is pulled from the roots instead of being clipped or cut. This technique allows the new hair to grow strong and thick with a harsher texture and helps the coat keep its original bright color.
The benefit of hand stripping a wiry coat is that the follicles will maintain their natural strength, texture, and integrity, which in turn will keep the coat practically odor-free for an extended period of time. When a wiry coats gets clipped, the hair can lose its natural texture and bright color, turning a wiry coat into a softer coat, which requires the dog to be groomed more often.
- Hold the skin taut with one hand and with the other hand, grab a very small amount of hair between your thumb and the stripping knife.
- Without twisting your wrist, pull the hair in the direction the hair is growing. Repeat this procedure in a systematic way, section by section, going from the top of the neck to the tail.
- For dogs with thick undercoats, the use of an undercoat rake can make the job easier by speeding up the process. It is better to do hand stripping when the dog is dirty because the hair is less slippery. After the procedure is done, you should bathe the dog using a soothing naturally medicated shampoo to prevent itching.
- Running the stripping knife flat over the coat will help to achieve a flat look. While trimming the face, pull only two or three hairs at a time, always in the direction of hair growth. Finish the grooming by going over the outline with thinning shears.