About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Handstripping a Dachshund

I am by no means an authority on Hand-stripping dogs.
I learned about it in grooming school.
I think we went over it for one day.
One dog was brought in, and the whole class gathered around and took turns plucking this poor dog.
That was it.
We weren't even told about stripping knives.
That was my lesson on hand-stripping.

While going to grooming school, a customer came in one day with a 6 week old mix that was sold to them as a Poodle.
She was a Terrier mix, and they were allergic to her.
For the next 19 1/2 years she was my heart dog.
Oh, how I loved that dog!

Anyway, she turned out to have hair that could be hand-stripped.
I would strip her twice a year.
Her coat would grow in a silvery gray, and when I finished stripping her she would have a beautiful black velvet coat.
I learned by trial and error as to when the right time to strip her was.
I would do half of her one day, and the other half the next day.
She would sleep on my lap for the whole thing.
I hand-stripped her till she was around 16 years old, when it seemed to be becoming uncomfortable for her.
She then became a beautiful silver old lady.
I still miss her!
Moving on, or I'll start crying.

I do not offer hand-stripping.
It is very time consuming, and I don't think that the average pet owner will be willing to pay what I think hand-stripping should cost.
That being said, over the years I get a dog once in a while, that I can't help myself, I do some hand-stripping on it.
Most of the time I do it on ears, or I pluck around the eyes a little for the natural look.

This little guy came in earlier this week.

As soon as I saw him I thought Hand-strip.
It turned out the owner wanted less hair on him, but still wanted him to look like a long haired Dachshund.

Now to be honest, I am not even sure what I did with this dog is considered Hand-stripping.

Most groomers would say to Hand-strip before the bath, and with course Terrier coats, the dirty hair is easier to get a hold of, I agree.
I have found with very soft coat fuzz, like this Dachshund and some Goldens have, the hair plucks out easier after the bath.

The hair is now clean and fluffy and easier to get a hold of. 

I could use a stripping knife, but  find that they don't seem to work as well on the cotton coats like they do on the Terrier coats.

So I use my fingers.

I also use my ear powder.
I do not use it on the dog.

 I use it to get a better grip with my fingers.
I pour some powder out on to my table, and press the fingers that I am going to use into the powder.
Then I rub my fingers together.

Then I start to pluck.

If the dog is the least bit uncomfortable with the plucking, I would stop and probably have used thinning shears on this dog to get the look I wanted.

This little guy did not mind being plucked at all.

I pluck small amounts at a time.

It is hard on the fingers.

This thin cotton fuzz comes out pretty easily and quickly.

I did use the stripping knife a little.

I have a confession.
I am not sure if I even use the knife right.  :)

So, most of the plucking is done by hand.

I plucked all over his back, and down his sides.

I also plucked the back of his head and blended his ears.

I trimmed up his legs, skirt, and feet.

The owners were happy.

All of the fuzz was gone, and his coat was still wavy and natural on the back.

I also do this on Goldens that come in with the cotton fuzzes on there ears , legs, and sides.

This was by no means a lesson on Hand-stripping.
Not even close.
Groomers that do do a lot of Hand-stripping, are most likely cringing right now. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I make it sure that I bring my pup for grooming at least thrice a month. Though I do home grooming every two days. It helps them feel lighter and healthier. Plus, safe and healthy for me too, as I sleep next to my pet. Btw, nice grooming tips! :)

  2. Nice job but when using a knife you can cut the dog and cut coat that will cause damage when using knives a good knowlegde of the tool should be known before use.Typically we dont hand strip long hairs only the wires you can strip on the topcoat as you did just not all over the dog.If done wrong can yet again damage coat.