Hand stripping: leave no stone unturned

If you have been reading our previous blog posts about hand stripping, then you already know that there are a lot of options available. In today’s post, we’ll tell you more about hand stripping with different tools, one being stones. This might sound a bit strange, but they’re actually a great and very effective instrument to help you achieve the look you want for your dog 

 
 
Stripping stones 

The Show Tech stripping stone, which is similar to a pumice stone, allows you to pull out dead and loose hair from your sweetheart’s coat without damaging it. They are also very effective in quickly removing stubborn pet hairs from your couch, carpet or car seats. In addition, stripping stones are also ideal if you want to (re)create a natural-looking coat. They are made from a softer material and can be cut with a comb or knife to better fit the palm of your hand. On the pictures below, you can see how easy it is to cut the stripping stone with a comb. If you wish, it can also be cut using a knife.  

Once the stripping stone is cut and ready to use, it’s time to start hand stripping.  

On the pictures above, you see me holding the skin tightly with the thumb of my other hand. Then with a gentle movement and without pushing downwards too much, I comb in the direction of the coat growth with my dominant hand using the stripping stone in order to remove the undercoat. This is a first way of hand stripping with a stripping stone. Below, you can see a different way.  

Just hold the stripping stone in the palm of your hand and while making a combing movement on the coat, put pressure on your thumb and other fingers in order to grip and trap the hairs between your fingers and the stone. Do you want to work easier? You can also lift a few hairs from the coat by using your other hand. With your fingers or a brush, you get to better see where to pull. Repeat until the desired length is reached. If you want to make it more comfortable for the dog, you can slightly tighten the skin just above the area where you want to pull hairs.  

Because of their slightly softer characteristicstripping stones can more easily wear off. If you’re looking for a denser and more lasting version, a groom stone might be the answer! 

 

Groom stones 

These can be used as an aid for hand stripping and also as a finishing tool to remove loose hairs and give a smoother, cleaner finish. What makes this professional, long-lasting stone unique is that they are specially designed to be used on light coloured coats. Unlike traditional stripping stones, they don’t leave any residue in light-coloured coats. Thanks to the very light and oval design, the Show Tech Groom Stone fits perfectly in your hand palm, which makes it easy and a pleasure to use! Just like the stripping stones, groom stones can be used to take out dead or loose hair, to (re)create a natural-looking coat and to hand strip your dog’s entire coat. If you are afraid of using a stripping knife, then this is your solution!  

They are also easy to cut with scissors, a knife or even a comb 

  1. Just cut the stone in the size you find comfortable to hold in your palm.
  2. This is the stone after cutting it in the desired size. 
  3. After using the stone for a while, it will automatically become more rounded.  

The use instructions are exactly the same as for the stripping stones. Below are some pictures of the first way (combing) 

And here are some of the second way (gripping and trapping the hairs between the stone and your fingers):  

 

Metal or stone stripping sticks  

Does your pooch have a fluffy coat? Stripping sticks are ideal because they allow you to hand strip without damaging the coat. They’re great for detailed work and for finishing eyebrows or ears as well. You can pull any individual hair with precision and ease and this even in the most delicate areas. The comfortable, soft grip handle reduces fatigue and prevents blisters or sore hands. Just like all other stripping tools, they are also perfect if you have previously clipped or scissored the coat and want to (re)create a natural-looking coat. By hand stripping, you pull out the soft, dull hairs from root to tip and make place for wiry hairs to grow back again

 

  1. Make tweezers using your thumb and the stripping stick.
  2. Pull just a few hairs. 
  3. Here you see the few hairs pulled.  

Hand stripping with this tool is easy-peasy! Take the stripping stick in your dominant hand. Then, push the coat upwards with your thumb and close the hairs in by placing your thumb against the blade of the underside of the stick. Now some hairs of the top coat are between your thumb and the blade. Pull the hairs away from the coat and in the direction of the hair growth. To make sure this is a comfortable experience for your dog, hold the skin softly but tightly with your other hand. Only pull a few hairs at once. Repeat until you have reached the desired length. 

 

Solid stripper 

Are you afraid to damage the coat or cut into the skin and hurt your dog? Then a solid stripper is a good alternative for a regular stripping knife as well. It features a stripping knife handle for comfort, while the “blade” is a solid metal surface coated with an anti-slip finish to give maximum grip on the hair. Because there are no teeth, this is the perfect tool to use on show dogs and at home. If you have little experience in the hand stripping techniques, then this should definitely be your pick! 

Are you more experienced and looking for a premium quality hand stripping knife? 

Then we also have what you need! Read more about it in this previous blog post about hand stripping knives.  

 

Good grooming is all about two T’s: tools and technique  
 

Now you already have a good overview of what is on the market in terms of hand stripping tools. Not only the right tools are important. Do you have a dog that you wish to make perfectly presentable for shows? Each dog breed is different and requires an individual technique. Staging the coat is an important grooming method to highlight the best breed features of your dog. It basically means hand stripping the coat in sections over different periods of it 

Let’s talk about staging the coat of the long-legged Terriers. A Terrier with a staged coat makes all the difference in the world.  

To stage the coat of a long-legged Terrier, it is important to hand strip in sections. 

Below, we’ll explain to you how best to proceed: 

  1. The body parts to start with are the jacket and body of your dog. Hand strip this main part of the coat 8 to 10 weeks before the planned dog show. To best do this, you can strip a pattern all the way from the left to the right, starting behind the shoulders and up to the tail base. To know where to start at the bottom partfollow the red line you see on the drawing below. Leave the longer hairs on the chest and blend it with the shorter hair.
     


  2. After you have stripped the jacket, you should move on to the neck. To make sure that the front side, which we’ll talk about in our fourth point, is nicely flat, strip the sides of the neck. Not sure where to stop? A good point is just above the line where you can clearly see the hair growth direction change. Hand stripping the neck is best done about 1 and a half or 2 weeks after you’ve done the jacket, so about 6 and a half to 8 weeks before you go to the show.

  3. Next, it’s time to do the rear parts including the tail. This needs to be done 6 weeks before. Hand strip the tail completely and the rear quarters down to just above the hock point, making sure that you carefully blend the hair into the furnishings. The same applies for the inner thigh muscle. This is to ensure that the transition is smooth when you view your dog from the rear.  

  4. After that, it is the turn of the underside of the neck and the front part of your long-legged friend. In this step, you must hand strip downwards just under the throat. Do this by stripping in a line and make sure to start about 2 cm above the joint of the upper foreleg. Blending the coat along the front and top side of the leg nicely into the furnishing is also crucial here. To get the best result, do this part about 4 to 5 weeks beforehand.  

  5. Another very important step is of course the head of your furry friendHere it is essential not to hand strip too much at the same time. Strip a little bit, comb and then make sure to take a step back and check the done work in between. Another key factor is layering and again, blending. The best point to start hand stripping is on the skull above the eyes (about 1,3 to 1,9 cm) and by working your way up to the crest. Then, do the outside corners of the eyes and end at the back corners of your dog’s mouth. Make sure to blend the sides and fall (the hair covering the eyes) to create a smooth whole. It is recommended to do this part of your dog’s coat about 4 weeks in advance.

  6. To finish the staging of the coat, you should completely hand strip the ears approximately 3 weeks before going to the dog show. Don’t forget to also do the edges.  


With all this tools and tips, we are sure your dog will turn heads at the next show. 
 

Do you want to achieve a perfect look and get an even more beautiful coat for your Schnauzer? We will tell you all about it in our next blog post about hand stripping.  

Had fun reading this blog post? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!  
Do you want to see me in action? Then be sure to check out this video in which I groom and hand strip a 5-month old Lakeland Terrier.  
 

 


 

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Danuta Sarnecki - 16 Jan 2021

Thank you for sharing this very useful information!

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