Phase 3 in Handstripping
Handstripping is a technique used for grooming hard-coated breeds, like the Airedale Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Westie, Irish, Welsh, and so on... Most pet terriers don't need to be stripped since they aren't being shown in the ring, but ALL terriers being shown must be handstripped.
It is the correct method for grooming terriers, but it is time consuming, expensive, and labor intensive. As such, most owners only clip (shave) their pets.
Terriers that need to be shown, must also be trained to endure Handstripping. From a young age, they must be willing to stand, or sit, or lay on top of the grooming table for HOURS for the handstripping process. For the groomer, handstripping is not for the faint of heart. It takes strength, technique, patience and an eye for lines and detail.
- Maintains wiry coat, harsh texture [Correct] - clipping causes woolly soft texture [fault]
- Maintains rich deep colors - black and tan [Correct] - clipping changes coat color to beige [fault]
- Maintains "water/dirt-resistance" quality - clipping causes soft coats to trap water and dirt easily
There are a few variations to handstripping. Some groomers prefer "Rolling" which is to fold the skin and pull out only the longest hairs, over the entire body. Rolling needs to be done everyday, consistently and hence, very time consuming. The "Reverse Strip" technique which I use, only requires a day or 2 a week, spread out over 6 weeks to attain the desired outcome at the end. It is called the "Reverse Strip" technique because the phases are determined by the length of hair on a particular body part. The longest parts are pulled first, leaving the shortest to the end. The purpose is to create the various lengths required on the show dog to accentuate muscles and other desired qualities, such as a deep chest, square body line and straight back, etc.
- Saddle (black section)
- Back of Neck, Tail, Thighs, Butt
- Shoulders, Head, Ears, Sides of Neck, Chest
- Cheeks, Throat, Chin
Kimi can fall asleep while being stripped, the rhythm lulls him to sleep, and he naps with his head on my lap sometimes. He has been handstripped ever since he was 6 months old.
Kimi is not shown in the ring, but I take great pride in his beauty and structure, and as a professional groomer, I also take great pride in my grooming abilities. I like Kimi maintained in show dog standards, so I keep him looking his best.