You always want your dog to look his best but it can be challenging to work visits to the groomer into your busy schedule. If your dog has a wiry coat, you can help keep him groomed properly by hand-stripping his coat with a stripping tool in between groomer visits.
Purpose of Hand-Stripping
Hand-stripping is used to maintain your dog's wiry coat in its full glory. Clipping or cutting a wiry dog coat can make it soft or fuzzy because the wiry outer coat hairs are completely removed when you clip the hair. Losing the wiry coat can also cause the coat to fade or change colors. A hand-stripping tool removes the dead hair from the wiry outer coat without damaging the undercoat.
Stripping Your Dog's Coat
You can strip your dog's coat either by hand or with a stripping tool. When you strip your dog's coat, gently grip the longest hairs of the outer coat between your thumb and forefinger and then run your stripping tool across the hairs. The stripping tool will pull the hairs loose from your dog's coat, effectively thinning his hair. You should strip the coat a few hairs at time, working with the grain of the hair, until your dog's coat has been completely stripped. Stripping shouldn't cause your dog any pain because the hairs you are removing are already loose and dead.
Rolling the Coat
When your groomer talks about rolling your dog's coat, she is talking about periodically removing the longest hairs from the wiry outer coat so your dog's outer coat is growing in multiple lengths. Rolling your dog's coat allows the outer coat to maintain its wiry appearance even as you continually maintain and strip fur from the coat. If you do not roll your dog's coat, the outer coat will wind up being one length, and stripping the coat will result in a significant loss of fur as well as a rather drastic change in appearance.
Raking the Coat
You should periodically rake your wire-haired dog's coat so that his fur does not become too thick or too long. You can rake your dog's coat by brushing him with the stripping tool, removing loose hairs from the coat. Raking your dog's coat periodically will help keep his fur in better condition and shorten the length of time you have to spend stripping the coat later.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.