Hand Stripping

The Garden Groom Room offers a hand stripping service for terriers and spaniels with suitable coats.     Because hand stripping is much more time consuming than clipping it is more expensive than clipping but it maintains the texture and colour of the natural coat and keeps your dog looking like the breed standard.   If you'd like a guide as to how much time it will take to hand strip your dog please telephone us.

Breeds of dogs who can be hand stripped have coats that consist of two types of hair; the softer undercoat, and the longer coarse top coat. Hand stripping is a process by which the dead hair  that makes up the top coat is removed either by hand or with a stripping knife. This process allows for a new coarse coat to come in, thus maintaining the colour and texture of the coat. The coarse hair has a cycle in which it thickens and darkens as it starts to grow.

As the hair reaches its maximum length, it begins to lighten in colour and gets thin/soft towards the root of the hair, making it easy to strip out. It is this characteristic of the coarse hair that is responsible for loss of colouring and texture in a clipped coat. The coarse hair reaches its maximum life span and begins to die off at around the 6 month mark. It is then that handstripping should be done to remove the dead top coat and allow a new coat to come in. What's left after the handstripping is an even coloured, even textured undercoat until a new set of coarse top coat grows in.


The main difference is the effect each process has on the coat.  Clipping lightens the coat colour and softens the regrowth, giving that fluffy appearance you see so often on spaniels and terriers.  Hand stripping maintains the original texture and colour of the dog's coat.    As stated above, when a coat is clipped, the dead top coat doesn't get removed from the roots, and a new coat is unable to come in. Instead, it loses its texture and colour with each clipping.

Another difference between a stripped coat and a clipped coat is the frequency at which grooming is required. A stripped coat grows a lot slower than a clipped coat. Usually a stripped coat lasts 3-5 months before grooming is required again, whereas a clipped coat requires grooming every 6-10 weeks. To strip a dirty coat is required.  Please do not bath in the week before your appointment.  Lastly, a stripped coat doesn't mat at all (in the stripped areas, furnishings can still mat); a clipped coat mats easily, especially if the coat is very soft.
Airedale Terrier beautifully groomed and hand stripped standing in a field
Beautiful Airedale Terrier on a grooming table having been beautifully groomed and clipped
In these two pictures you can clearly see the difference between hand stripping and clipping.  The coat of the dog on the left is paler in colour, softer and fluffier in texture as a result of repeated clipping.
We charge £7.50 per 15 minutes of hand stripping, in addition to the basic groom cost.