July 23, 2013 @ 12:43 PM

A customer of mine recently sent me a message asking me if I did stripping because he got a terrier. He expressed that he had read on the internet that a terrier should be stripped. And if he should strip with a tool called a Mars Coat King.  This was my response.

I have done stripping

It's very expensive and requires 2 week appointments (at least, at first)
Stripping is where you pull the hair out, plucking it from the dog, in similar way you would a chicken. You pluck out a percentage of the entire coat alternating weeks and plucking another percentage of the hair. It has to be done this often because when you are stripping you want varying sections to be growing at different lengths. It is referred to as a "rolled coat" or "rolling the coat". The process of pulling the hair out at the root causes the hair that replaces it to be more course than the one before it. (The hair becomes harder and more wiry). Also because you are pulling the hair out, bathing is very limited, you don't want to remove the dogs body oils very often, stripped dog's coats need every bit. We often use mink oil on them.  Because the hair is being pulled out, an astringent should be used to close pores and follicles, to reduce oil loss and guard against infection. (I use 1/2 sea breeze and 1/2 alcohol.)

A dog that is started young will get used to it and the hair gets easier to pluck every time. If the dog has ever been clipped with electric clippers, you are fighting an uphill battle from the start. Depending on the dog's lineage, he may or may not have a coat that will do this at all. Just being a Cairn Terrier doesn't mean the coat will be appropriate for stripping.
We use tools called stripping knives, and sometimes resin type powders to help grip the hair, but it's mainly done by hand, and it will cramp up your hands for sure. Lol

A coat king will help prep the coat for stripping, but it doesn't strip. Most terriers that are stripped will developed a drastic difference in the textures of the rain coat and undercoat, so a coat king will slide through the rain coat and pull out the under coat. By doing this first, you reduce the amount of hair that will be in you fingers when you have to pluck (which, it is the rain coat that you want to pluck), because you'll be able to grip it better, and not pulling out dead hair at the same time.

Stripping is tedious, not really difficult. Most people with a stripped terrier, have to learn how to do it, to keep it up. Often, pet owners that are not showing the dog against others of his breed or against the breed standard (best of group or best in show) don't sustain the tedious nature and expense of it, just for the dog's looks. More times than not, the pet ends up getting a haircut. Dogs that are being shown for conformation are closer to the breed standard when stripped and thus are considered more desirable in the ring.

I don't recommend that pets be stripped. But I have and will if regular appointments aren't missed and the owner works on it here or there in-between. If the pet has ever been clipped I charge 2x normal price, until the coat starts to roll. 
I also will not over strip the coat or do a full strip out on a overgrown coat, even if it is course.
FYI, the coat king is an awesome tool. At GroomingDales we use them more often than the FUR-minator tool when doing a FUR-minator treatment!

Breeds I have stripped:
Jack Russell
Welsh Terrier
Scottish Deer hound (6 of them, LOL)
Irish Terrier (Mine, who is a retired finished champion)
I have also hand stripped the undercoat of a Great Dane, that no tool would pull out.
No problem, we can do it, just... Do you want to?
Lemme know, I'll rest up my fingers!