If you are new to the site, a little background of what we do at WOOGA!. We do handstripping for wired coated dogs and only handstripping. Over the years, we have started getting used to just handstripping dogs that some times we forget that owners may or may not understand what handstripping is. In the past, we make it a point to explain how the coat grows, why handstripping is needed and how to take care of the coat. Overtime, as more and more dogs come for handstripping, we began to focus only on what is good for the dog and as a result, we some times get questions and requests that put us in a fix.

Before we jump into the questions and requests that we receive frequently, for once, let us take the time to explain the difference between handstripping and normal grooming.

Dogs need to be groomed periodically so that your dog can be kept clean, with healthy skin and coat and most importantly, your dog’s groomer can do a basic health check. You may or may not know, your dog’s groomer can tell the health of your dog’s skin and coat and if there is anything wrong with the joints or any abnormal growth better than you do. So, make it a point to get your dog groomed periodically. Dog grooming frequently uses clippers or shears to shorten the dog’s coat or some groomers can create a certain unique haircut for your dog. Handstripping on the other hand, is meant for wired coated dogs such as m.schnauzers, westies, cairn terriers, scottish terriers, wired fox terriers and so on. By handstripping, we remove the old or dead coat allowing a set of new coat to grow and this in turns keep the skin healthy and the coat strong.

With the basic understanding of the differences, lets jump into the questions that we frequently received. And hopefully this provides some insight to both new and old customers and owners of wired coated dogs.

Can I shower my dog before handstripping? He stinks.
No. Showering your dog before handstripping will soften the coat and skin, making the coat hard to strip and this makes the dog extremely uncomfortable and the groomer extremely upset.

Can you clip or scissor my dog after stripping? I like the coat shorter and neater.
Yes, but we will not. We find it pointless to do that. By clipping or scissoring the dog, you knowingly change the coat texture and flow. The coat is then unable to repel dirt, water and do what it’s supposed to do. We refuse to do that and we reject grooming any dog that has been clipped or scissored in-between handstripping sessions.

Can you strip the coat shorter this time? Weather is very hot.
Handstripping removes the dead/old coat. If your dog has been groomed periodically, yes, definitely. There will be a layer of shorter, newer, growing coat underneath. If your dog has not been groomed for a very long time, no. There is nothing left underneath, by taking all the coat out, your dog will be bald. Additionally, the top coat protects the dog from dirt and also, the weather! A shorter coat will not make your dog cooler. A good top coat will make your dog cooler.

Can you handstrip my shih tzu or groom my other breed please?
As much as we would love to groom your dog, you are better off with a seasoned groomer that specialise in scissoring or other skills. While we groom our own Yorkie, we don’t call ourselves experts or well trained in scissoring or clipping.

Can you remove more coat from my senior dog? 
Senior dogs tend to get tired more easily and they are not so tolerant to grooming. We like to keep the sessions short. If your dog is tolerant, sure. If not, give your dog a break and bring him in more often.

My dog looks exactly the same before and after grooming.
If your dog comes from handstripping every 1-2months, it is very common to think the dog looks the same before and after grooming. With the frequency of the grooming, the dog’s coat is very likely to be healthy, thick and well layered. And with this, we can successfully remove just the top layer, leaving the rest of the coat to grow and flourish. Your dog will look almost exactly the same everyday, well groomed and neat.

My dog’s skin looks red and he looks bald. 
It is very common for the dog’s skin to look red and bald during the first session. All the coat has to be removed and we do what we can to remove everything. It will take a few days to a few weeks for the new coat to grow out.

Can you make the coat 1cm shorter?
Yes we can do that on the furnishings and skirting. No, we can not do that on the top coat. The beauty of handstripping lies in the natural growth of your dog’s coat.

When will my dog’s coat become harsher?
The texture of the coat may change over time. Apart from handstripping, not showering your dog too often will help. Wired coated dogs do not need frequent showering. Lastly, your dog’s genes play a part. The better the parents’ coat, the better your dog’s coat.

I am doing everything right. Handstripping, no frequent showering but my dog’s coat is not growing. What can I do?
Pretty sure this is something to do with your dog’s immune system. Check what you are feeding your dog, how you are keeping your dog clean and check every other thing.

Can you clean my dog’s ears and trim his nails?
As always, we do what we can and what your dog allows us to do. While we do our best, please make sure your dog is comfortable with nail clipping too. If you want your dog’s nails to be short, walk your dog. Many wired coated dogs do not need their ears messed with, they are fully capable for keeping their own ears clean and healthy. And we say this not because we don’t want to clean your dog’s ears, but we say this from experiences.

How often should my dog be handstripped?
4-6 weeks is the best recommended duration. 8 weeks if your dog’s coat is growing slower than others. This allows the coat to renew and the layers to be uniform and this will also make your dog look stunning on an everyday basis. You can choose to groom your dog once every 3 months or longer, but we assure you the after look will not be as good as it should be with handstripping. At 3 months or longer, your dog’s coat is likely overgrown, blown and with no additional layers underneath. All we can do is to remove everything and repeat the cycle unless you make it a point to groom your dog more frequently.

We hope this provides a little bit of insight to this small area of dog grooming and know a little bit more of what to expect when you handstrip your dog.