Do You Wash a Dog Before Hand Stripping?

Dog grooming is an essential activity for every pet owner. Whereas some dog breeds benefit from shaving, some require hand stripping.

When you carry it out professionally, it helps the pet grow healthy, soft, and shiny fur. But, like all other grooming procedures, you have to be skillful in the act.

What is Hand Stripping?

Hand stripping is a grooming procedure for dogs. It’s the process where the pet owner eliminates dead hair from the dog’s coat by hand plucking.

Often tools such as stripping stones and knives are valuable for the exercise. Unlike clipping, it eliminates the hair from the root and gives way for the quick growth of a new coat.

It’s vital for dog breeds that exhibit undercoats to get hand stripping. The soft outer coat is long and wiry too. And as the hair continues to grow longer, it gets thicker and darker too.

So pulling out the wiry hair leaves room for a fresh coat to develop and give the dog a dazzling look.

Do You Wash a Dog Before or After Grooming?

The choice of washing a dog before or after grooming depends on the existing conditions.

You can groom your dog before bathing under the following circumstances:

  • The pet has a matted coat that you need to trim short or remove. The mats become very difficult to remove if they are wet.
  • The dog breed has double coats and excessive matting
  • The dog has a long coat, and you desire to clip it a bit

On the other hand, it’s wise to bath the dog first before grooming in the below circumstances:

  • You groomed the dog recently.
  • The dog has double coats with very minimal undercoats and almost no matting.
  • You usually brush the dog regularly, so she has no tangles

How Often to Hand Strip a Dog?

The frequency of hand stripping a dog varies depending on the coat’s growth rate, the dog’s condition, and temperament. A range of four to six weeks should suffice.

Note that if the coat grows slowly, then the stripping frequency goes down. That’s because you need to give the hair adequate time to regrow and get uniform again.

Is Hand Stripping Dogs Painful?

On hearing plucking of dog’s hair, most pet owners get concerned about how painful the procedure is.

Most dogs that require hair stripping are those with wiry hair. And those hair aren’t firmly attached to the skin like those of human beings.

Besides, when you get an expert to handle the grooming, your dog won’t feel any pain. However, some dogs usually get uncomfortable by the sensation. That’s especially true when grooming some areas like the tummy.

For that reason, when introducing the grooming process to your dog, do it bit by bit. For the first time, hand strip a small area of the coat. And as the pet gets used to it, you can extend it to a wide area on the coat.

Helpful Tips for Hand Stripping Your Dog’s coat

Without the proper knowledge, the grooming process can be tricky at first. So here e is how you can approach the task;

Get a Professional in the Beginning

When you still don’t have the skills on how to go about it, learn by watching a professional carry out the procedure. Attend several sessions to learn the trick.

 Have a Grooming Table

It’s best to carry out hand stripping with the pet on a grooming table. If you don’t have a grooming table, a raised platform-like counter can do.

Get a Helping Hand if Necessary

Sometimes the dog can get nervous about staying on the raised platform for a long period. So if the pet is nervous, then get someone to help you calm her down.

Few Strands at a Time

You only need to pick on a few strands of hair at ago. Further, maintain a steady rhythm when pulling the hair.

Don’t just pluck out any hair; pick the longer ones (about 2 to 5cm long). It helps to press on the skin with mild pressure.

Then pull the hair in the same direction indicated by the hair growth.

Use Finger Cots to Boost Your Grip

If your fingers feel slippery, consider using chalk powder or finger cots to boost your grip on the hair.

Why Hand Strip Wiry Hair and Not Clip?

The wiry old hair is dull. Through hand plucking, you identify and remove them from the root. That way you create room for fresh hair growth. With time the dog’s coat gets thick, shiny, and full.

On the other hand, clipping only removes the top section of the hair and not from the roots. Therefore, it inhibits the growth of fresh and stronger hair. With time hand stripping such a dog becomes difficult if not impossible.

Which Dog Breeds Require Hand Stripping?

Hand stripping depends mostly on coat type than dog breed. Any dog that has two types of hair benefits from hair stripping.

That is if your dog has an undercoat hair (soft and dense) and outer coat (long and registers wiry texture), then she can benefit from hand stripping.

Most dog breeds that satisfy those conditions include wire-haired Dachshunds, Schnauzers, cocker spaniels, wire fox Terrier, and Irish wolf wounds.


Hand stripping is an essential part of dog grooming. Though sometimes demanding the benefit it bestows on the dog is worth the investment.

If you aren’t sure how to go about it in the beginning, seek the guidance of a professional. It won’t be long before you learn the ropes of hand stripping.