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faq's about Handstripping


Hand Stripping the Wire or Broken Coated Dog

If you’re a new terrier owner, you must decide soon whether you’ll maintain

your dog’s coat with Handstripping or with the easier and less time-consuming 

method of clipping with electric clippers. 

Best started when your dog is between 4 to 6 months old, Handstripping 

involves manually plucking or stripping the dead hair from the coat.


contrast electric clippers move over the hair like a lawn mower over grass.

Frequently asked questions as follows:

What is it when a dog is Hand Stripped?  

The dead hair is pulled out, instead of cutting the hair with clippers, so a new 

wire can coat grow in.

Ouch. Doesn't pulling the hair hurt?  

No. It does not hurt, they may not like it, but it is not painful when done 

properly. Wire hair is not attached like our own hair, or breeds with other types 

of coats. Many of our clients terriers like it. Unlike some purists, we do clip the 

dog’s tender spots, like bellies, instead of stripping. 

Which, between clipping and Handstripping, will keep the coat wiry? 

Stripping maintains a proper wire coat, while clipping makes it soft and ruins 

the texture. It grows thicker and soft and often the colour will change. 

My dog is just a pet, should she be hand stripped like show dogs? 

Absolutely, if it’s important to you to maintain the proper breed look. It is very 

hard to imitate that look on many wire coated breeds if you clip them. 

However, it will do no real harm for your pet if you do not require the exact 

breed coat type.

I really think just a clip might suffice for my pet. Is there a best way to clip a wire coat? It really helps with wire breeds in pet clips to 'rake' out dead coat and/or strip a little coat before and after using the clippers. It is not as good as hand stripping, but does help maintain a little of the texture. We call it a modified Hand strip. 

If clipped is there any way to help keep the coat hard? 

If we must clip, we will advise you to use a pumice stone weekly to 'brush' them, this takes out some of the cut dead coat to try to stimulate some new hairs to grow.

Eek! You said my dog would have a nice wire coat. I had my dog hand stripped and now she looks naked and is very soft. How long will it take to grow back? Often the wire coat is in one layer and pulling it leaves them in their "underwear" until a new coat wire comes though. The undercoat is soft and supposed to be. It may take 8 to 10 weeks before the new wire coat comes in and is long enough to cover the undercoat.

I hear Handstripping when they use a stripping knife and then someone said they are different. Can you explain that? Handstripping to some is pulling the coat with only your fingers, but most commonly we use the term when we use a stripping knife too.

What is a stripping comb? Just another term for stripping knife.


We hope this answers some of your questions, please feel free to ask us for any advice regarding Handstripping.