What is Hand Stripping in Dog Grooming? Effective Tricks, Pros, and Cons

What is hand stripping in dog grooming

Have you ever been curious about what hand stripping entails in the world of dog grooming? Despite its long history in the grooming practice, should it be time to consider excluding it from professional groomers’ array of services?

This blog post discusses the application of hand stripping, its techniques, along with its pros and cons. Dive in to discover more.

Let’s get started!

What is Hand Stripping in Dog Grooming?

Hand stripping is the act of removing hair from a dog’s body using your own hands.

The term “hand stripping” is often used interchangeably with “hand stripping” or “handstripping,” but there are some important distinctions between the two terms.

Hand stripping is a method of removing coat coloration and wiry coat around the face, chest, and legs.

It’s not recommended for use on dogs who have been prepped for traditional clipping (such as those who have been shaved), as it can cause injury to their skin if done incorrectly.

Hand stripping is often less effective than other grooming methods because it requires more frequent trips back to the groomer to deal with accumulated loose hair build-up.

If you want to try hand stripping for yourself but are not sure how much time it will take per session, consider hiring someone else to do it.

Dog Breeds in Need of Hand Stripping

Hand stripping is an important part of maintaining your dog’s coat and health. It helps to remove dead fur and dirt so that your dog’s skin can breathe and stay healthy.

If you have a breed that needs hand stripping, you may be concerned about the cost of having it done.

There are many dog breeds that need to be hand stripped. They include:

  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Havanese
  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Poodles
  • Schnauzers
  • Shelties
  • West Highland White Terriers
  • Dachshunds

Dog Stripping Tools to Prepare

When you are going to hand strip your dog, you’re going to need the following tools:

Slicker Brush and Combs – this will help you to remove any loose hair and debris from your dog’s coat.

Tug and Pull Comb – This comb is perfect for pulling out a wire coat that would otherwise be impossible to reach using regular grooming tools (like clippers).

Soft brush – This brush is extremely gentle on the skin of your dog’s face, which means it will leave them feeling clean and soft without scratching or irritating their fur like other brushes might do with more aggressive fibers used on dogs’ skin.

All-Purpose Rake – This rake is great for removing dead hairs from underneath your dog’s short fur, or from around their paws where dead hair tends to build up quickly over time since dogs don’t shed as often as cats do (as far as shedding goes).

Clippers – You can use any type of clippers that have blades that are designed to clip dogs’ hair. If you do not have any suitable clippers, you can ask your groomer to provide them for you.

Bowl or Pan – You will use either of these two for collecting water for rinsing after the shave.

Towel – You’ll need one or two towels to dry the dog off when hand stripping is done.

Benefits of Hand Stripping Dogs

Hand stripping is an effective way to remove undercoats and dead dog’s hair. The best part is that hand stripping can be done at home on different dog breeds.

Here are the benefits of hand stripping:

Lessens Stress

what is hand stripping in dog grooming

Hand stripping is less stressful for you and your pet than other grooming methods, such as clipping.

Saves Time

This process saves your time in making processes.

Better Grooming Results

You will get better results without wiry coats with regular counter or grooming table sessions than if you just tried to groom manually from time to time.

Financial Viability

It makes sense financially for a dog owner as hand stripping is cheaper than buying a full set of dog clippers or shears! This means that it saves you money on vet bills and makes sure your pet has a healthy diet.

Skin Problem Prevention

Some dogs have skin problems like allergies or flea bites that can be caused by the build-up of dirt in their fur. Hand stripping removes that build-up and makes it easier for you to keep your dog’s skin healthy.

Hand stripping helps prevent skin irritation, which means less itching for your pup!

Also, it is gentle on the skin. You cannot use a brush or comb on your dog’s skin because it can irritate, and that can lead to an infection. Having your pet hand stripped is an entirely safe option for getting your dog’s coat to look good.

Easy and Fast

It is fast and easy. Hand stripping takes only minutes, and you do not need any special equipment or tools to do it—just you, your hands, and a little patience!

Provides a healthy diet

what is hand stripping in dog grooming

It is hard to believe, but many dogs don’t eat enough food because of their hair coats. Hand stripping is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your dog gets enough nutrients and vitamins.

Pros and Cons of Hand Stripping in Dog Grooming

This process included in dog grooming is great for cleaning your pup. Here are some of its advantages:

  • It is less invasive than clipping.
  • Because it is not as physically stressful for your dog, it can help reduce anxiety levels in dogs with certain conditions like separation anxiety or fear aggression issues.
  • You can get in as many strokes as you need to get the job done quickly and easily without overworking your dog or losing focus on what you’re doing with regards to safety precautions like keeping an eye out for skin irritation or bleeding areas where blood vessels may have been cut too deeply during grooming sessions with scissors or clippers.
  • This helps prevent distraction while ensuring that everything goes smoothly.
  • It’s painless for both your dog and you!
  • It is easy to learn how to do it without any special equipment or training needed.
  • You don’t have to worry about getting dirt or germs on your hands if you’re using disposable gloves.
  • It doesn’t require any expensive tools or equipment (like clippers or scissors).

While hand stripping benefits your dog, there are still disadvantages in this process. Among them are as follows:

  • Using this method might take longer than other grooming techniques because you must spend time slowly removing the loose hair from each strand by pulling it out with your fingers instead of clipping off large chunks at once like with regular grooming techniques (like clipping nails).
  • It can cause skin irritation in some pets. A dog’s skin is very sensitive and can easily become irritated when you’re forced to use your bare hands to remove hair from its coat. This irritation can occur if you’re not careful when removing the loose hair from your pet’s body–you might end up hurting them!
  • In addition, if you use too much pressure on a dog’s skin, you might damage the tissue underneath. This can cause infection and make your dog uncomfortable or even bleed.

Now, how can you have a hand stripped dog grooming?

Hand Stripping in Dog Grooming Tips and Tricks

Your dog needs to get proper hand stripping. Follow the strategies and instructions below:

  • Hold the dog’s tail in one hand, and the opposite end in the other. Gently pull on the tail, and work from one end to the other until you have removed all the hair follicles from that area. Use your nail clipper to clip off any stray hairs; then use a file or sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots.
  • Rub some petroleum jelly on the skin where you clipped it; this will help prevent infection and make it easier for your pet to get through the process without any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
  • Make sure you’re wearing gloves. Your hands will get dirty from the scrubbing, and you don’t want to have to deal with that!
  • If your dog has fur, it’s going to be more difficult than if you have one that is smooth and short. If your dog has a lot of furs, then you may want to consider using a soft bristle brush instead.
  • Be gentle when handling your pet while grooming. Make sure that they’re comfortable and relaxed when being stripped. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it; you can always hire someone else to do the work for you!
  • When you have completed your hand stripping process, apply an insecticide (such as flea spray or tick spray) to the skin where you pulled back hair. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after application.


Should you want more information, the following frequently asked questions might help.

Does the dog’s coat in need of hand stripping?

Yes, your dog’s coat needs hand stripping.

Dogs’ wiry coats are made up of a tangle of dead hair, nerves, and oils that can get in the way of them staying clean.

Hand stripping helps remove this hair and the oils that cause it to be so thick and tangled.

What happens to the coat of dogs when hand stripped?

When you hand-strip your dog’s coat, you’re removing the undercoat. The hair on his body is going to be left behind and grow in again later.

Does hand stripping hurt dogs?

Hand stripping may not hurt your dog, but it’s a process that requires some careful thought and preparation. If you’re planning to do this yourself, make sure to do a bit of research.

And if you’re concerned about the safety of your dog, talk to your vet.

How do you hand strip a dog?

As mentioned above, you need to be prepared before doing the process. Hold your dog and keep him calm. Get rid of the mats on his first.

Brush out any tangles with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse them off with warm water while getting off the excess dirt from his fur. Finally, dry clean your pet’s coat.

How often should you hand strip a dog?

We recommend hand stripping your dog every 3-4 weeks, depending on your hair length and the type of coat. This will help to keep his coat in shape and prevent mats from forming.


With the information about the use and importance of hand stripping in dog grooming above, you’re now ready to do it with your pup.

The tips and methods provided will guide you on how to execute the process properly with the hand stripping tools for dogs. Good luck with your dog’s grooming time.

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