Skip to main content

The Art of Hand Stripping


Hand stripping is the process of plucking the wire hair of Terriers or Terrier mixes to promote correct skin health and coat color and texture. By cutting this type of coat with clippers it will change the color and coat texture forever. Sometimes if a coat has only been cut a time or two in the dogs entire life then it is able to be stripped, but it would involve a lot of work.

A wire coat should have multiple layers or different lengths of coat at a given time. Made up of undercoat, growing coat, and dead coat that is ready to be pulled. This coat is constantly growing and needs plucked frequently. If a dog goes too far in between grooming sessions then the layers grow out to what we call a ” blown coat “. When this happens the dogs have to be pulled down to its only layer left which is its undercoat, and the whole process will start all over again. This is also usually the only option for a dog that has been clipped with clippers before. When a dog is pulled down to its ” underwear ” as we like to call it they are very short, fuzzy looking and in some spots its possible to see skin. This is all totally normal and part of the dogs coat cycle. In a week or two the dog will look completely different. By sticking to a routine schedule you minimize the chance that your dogs coat will blow and have to be pulled down short. Other factors that play a role in the dogs coat cycle is the time of year and day length. When the days grow shorter with less sunlight the coat will grow slower. In the summer months when the daylight is longer the coat will grow quicker. This may require you to adjust your length in between grooms. Usually like most dogs they also tend to blow their coat with the change of the seasons.

We do not offer twice a year pull or strip downs to customers. It can cause too much stress and irritation on the dog. If you are not able to commit to a regular grooming schedule of 8 weeks or less then hand stripping is not a good option for you.



This is the same dog in both pictures. The first picture to the left is a completely blown coat. The picture below is the progression of the coat six months later. This dogs flat work ( head, neck, shoulders, and inner thighs ) are pulled every 2-3 days. Her jacket or body coat is pulled once a week to every 10 days.

Certified Master Groomer Stephanie offers hand stripping to clients that come in on a regular maintained schedule of no more than 8 weeks. Groomer Brittany also offers hand stripping services to select breeds.

So how much does it cost?

Hand stripping is charged $80/ hr. The longer you go in between appointments the longer it will take, meaning the more it will cost. We offer two types of stripping services. A full service strip or a mini strip.

Full Service Strip: This would be a customer coming in on a regular 4-8 week schedule. This would include the full strip to breed standard, nails clipped, ears cleaned, bath and dried.

Mini Strip:$1.25/min This is offered as a maintenance for ones that want to come in every 2 weeks.  The dog would get stripped on the head, flatwork ( neck & shoulders ) and Jacket if time allows. No nails, ears or bath would be done. This is offered in a 30min, 45min, or 1 hour session depending on the breed of what time would allow.

Example of Allotted times for popular breeds:

  • Lakeland Terrier 1 hour 30 mins – 2 hours
  • Border terrier 1 hour – 1hour 30mins
  • Welsh Terrier  1 hour 30mins- 2 hours
  • Wire fox terrier 1 hour 30 mins – 2 hours
  • Carin Terrier 1 hour 15 mins- 2 hours
  • Airedale Terrier 2hours- 3 hours
  • Westie 1 hour 15 min – 2 hours
  • Brussels Griffon 1 hour – 1 hour 30mins
  • Irish Terrier 1 hour 30mins- 1 hour 45 mins
  • Irish Wolfhound 2 hours – 3 hours

Clip & Strip: This is offered to someone that would like to save the colors of a dog coat such as a wire fox. The white coat would be cut with clippers and the colored coat would be stripped. This is also a less expensive option. You could also decide to clipper the head, neck and inner thigh but hand strip the body.