What is Hand Stripping?

What is Hand Stripping?
What is Hand Stripping?

what is handstripping?


For most pet owners being advised to seek out Hand Stripping can be a worrying moment. Does it mean there is something wrong with your dog or their coat? Will it hurt them? Why can’t they just be groomed with clippers or scissors? Hand Stripping, whilst sometimes seen as a more specialist skill in dog grooming, is actually a perfectly normal way for some types of dogs to be groomed.


scruffy wire coated dog beside a groom professional hand stripping knife


What does it mean?


The name ‘Hand Stripping’ actually perfectly describes the process. Excess hair is stripped away by either using a special knife specifically designed for hand stripping or using chalk and finger condoms, designed to create rip on the dogs' hair. This process may sound a bit scary, but it is perfectly safe. By clearing out excess hair in this manner room is opened up for the new coat to grow in. This creates a healthier and more natural look which is very popular among owners.


A well groomed and happy looking wire coated dog


Does it hurt?


Hearing that a groomer will be pulling out hair makes many owners think that Hand Stripping could be a painful process, however, this isn’t true. Only a properly trained groomer should be carrying out this technique, so as long as you have checked this beforehand there is no need to worry. The ‘knife’ used is also not as dangerous or scary as it sounds, usually looking more like a comb on the end of a knife handle.


Selection of hand stripping knives


Should my dog be Hand Stripped?


Usually, Hand Stripping is only suggested for wire coated breeds. This means it can be beneficial for any breeds in the terrier family or schnauzers among some others. It is the wiry coat that benefits from having old hairs removed rather than just clipped as clipping this coat can change the coats texture, colour and removes certain properties of the coat, such as a waterproofed outer layer. Once the dog is neutered or clipped, it can be hard for a groomer to hand-strip them, so keep this in mind when getting your dog groomed. If you are unsure whether your dog could benefit from Hand Stripping, you can of course always ask your groomer!


A selection of different wire coated dogs


Will it be more expensive?


Hand Stripping is a more intricate and delicate process so the important thing to remember is that it may take much longer than a regular clip or trim. All groomers charge differently based on their experience, expenses, and many other factors. This means your groomer will likely charge based on a mixture of time and difficulty of a groom. This can sometimes make Hand Stripping more expensive but for breeds it benefits this cost can definitely be worthwhile in ensuring they maintain the best coat possible.


A wire coated dog, hand stripping knife, Groom Professional Big and Beautiful Shampoo, Groom Professional Coat Repair Conditioner, and Groom Professional Luxury Pin Brush


If you are considering Hand Stripping, we would recommend you take every step to ensure your dog’s coat is kept in great condition to ensure they benefit the most from the process. We provide shampoo and conditioner  which specifically benefits wiry coated breeds. It is recommended to wait to wash your dog after hand stripping as immediately after the pores will still be open which could lead to skin irritation. Regular brushing with a pin brush  is also recommended for these breeds.

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