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Beautifying the Stripped Breeds

Beautifying Stripped BreedsMost of the breeds that need their coats stripped are terriers, although all breed groups contain one or more that are wire-coated. Terriers, as well as many other breeds, have that kinked, wiry outer coat, also called a "broken" coat, familiar to the owners of Airedale terriers and Jack Russell terriers. This kind of coat requires a kind of grooming called "stripping". It can be done entirely by hand or by using a stripping knife.

Wirehaired breeds were developed primarily to "go to ground". That is, they primarily hunted their prey underground, in the prey animal's den. For that reason, these earth dogs: terriers, have ears that tilt forward and dense wiry coats. Both traits keep the dog free from the soil in which they work. These wiry coats should not be brushed and cut in the same manner as other kinds of coats, however. Instead, they should be hand stripped, a process in which the owner or groomer removes the hair by hand.

Schnauzers, the Bouvier de Flandres, some Dachshunds, Affenpinschers, and Spinone Italiano are all breeds from other groups that need hand stripping also have coats that need stripping. Mixed breeds with these dogs in their heritage also may need their coats to be hand stripped. Like the terriers, these breeds needed protective coats to meet the needs of the task that they were bred to do.

As you might guess, hand stripping is a time-consuming process that requires a great deal of practice. It is also an on-going process; you cannot hand strip your dog once and expect it to last for several weeks, the way that a clip might last. A wirehaired dog should be introduced to hand stripping at an early age, preferably while still a young puppy.

Hand stripping removes your dog's outer layer of guard hairs, creating a hard, glossy shield-like coat. Pulling the hairs out from the coats does not cause your dog any pain, since these hairs are already dead and do not grip the skin. Although breeds that are traditionally hand stripped can be clipped, doing so is not recommend, as it destroys the hard, protective characteristics these breeds are noted for. Even dogs who have previously been trimmed can be hand stripped as the new hair comes in, possibly rehabilitating their coats over time.

The stripping process can be done in two different ways: with a stripping knife or without. Either way is effective, although novices who use a stripping knife are in danger of cutting, rather than plucking, the dog's hair. Small clusters of guard hairs are plucked out revealing the undercoat beneath and allowing new guard hairs to grow in. If the dog's guard hairs are all the same length the stripping process might still result in a dog with a soft coat, since all of the guard hairs will be removed at the same time. When a dog has different lengths of guard hairs, due to the hairs maturing at different times, only a portion of the outer guard hairs are removed. This process, called "rolling" the coat, ensures that there will always be a hard outer layer of guard hairs.

Both you and your dog should be prepared for any grooming time that you spend together. Although the guard hairs are not tightly secured into the dog's skin, any attempt to rush through the stripping process can still result in some nasty pulls for your dog if you attempt to rush. Don't try to strip away the hair on your dog's muzzle or around his eyes if you do not feel comfortable doing so; you can use a pair of thinning shears to trim these small areas into shape.

You might be tempted to take your wirehaired dog to a groomer. If you do, please be careful. You should be certain that the groomer's idea of "stripping" matches your own--that groomer might consider stripping to be shaving, completely divesting your dog of his coat.

That would be a bad thing.   If your dog is completely shaved, his hard wire coat can come back, after a time. It is not guaranteed to do so, however. In addition, the more a dog is shaved, the less likely it is that the wiry coat will return. Save yourself some heartache and take the time to communicate with your groomer first. If you have access to a show dog breeder who exhibits any one of the breeds listed above, you might want to contact him or her to find out if there is anyone that he or she can recommend in your area.

Some dogs enjoy the coat stripping process, because it frees them from any uncomfortable dead hair that might exist in their coats. Some owners enjoy the coat stripping process because it gives them time to bond with their dogs. Why not give it a try with your dog?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.
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