How to use a stripping knife

Stripping knives are used for dogs with wiry coats – like many terriers and help to tidy up their appearance so as to achieve their breed “look”.

Ensure your dog’s coat can be hand stripped (i.e. it hasn’t been previously clipped which can soften and/or thicken the coat) – if in doubt seek advice from a qualified groomer.

For best results, don’t bath your dog prior to stripping as this will prevent you from getting a good grip on the hair.
Using a block of grooming chalk on the area you will be pulling can also help you get a better grip.

Follow our 6 easy steps to stripping:

  1. Before using a stripping knife, ensure your pet is comfortable and used to being groomed. Remove any knots or matts by grooming through the coat first.
  2. Begin by holding the stripping knife with the smooth side of the blade facing you.
  3. Place your hand on the dog, close to the area you are going to strip and  hold the skin taut whilst you are stripping – this will make the procedure more comfortable for your dog.
  4. Following the grain of the dog’s coat, use a combing action to trap the hair between the serrated teeth. Hold the hair in place with your thumb and gently pull in the direction of the lay of the coat to remove the hair.  Use an arm and shoulder pulling movement, not a wrist action.
  5. If you flex your wrist, you will cut rather than pull the hairs with the knife. Compare the hairs being removed from the finger stripping and knife stripping. If you are plucking, the hair is of uneven length. If you are cutting, the hair will be even in length and this is undesirable as it can damage your dog’s coat.
  6. Remember to work a small area at a time until the entire outer coat has been removed and a rolled coat has been achieved.  Note – hand stripping your dog on a regular basis (every 4-6 weeks depending on breed) will achieve what’s known as a “rolled coat” – where the hairs fit neatly into each other and the coat becomes flatter and coarser.   Irregular stripping (say once every 6 months) will cause the coat to “blow”, making it longer and open (irregular looking) – stripping a “blown” coat can cause bald patches as the coat will try to regenerate itself.  If you have any doubts about the procedure seek advice/help from a qualified dog groomer or show breeder.

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