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Discussion Starter #1
Herrick is a little over 6 months now and so far, we've been taking him to the groomers to get his coat clipped; my fiancee and I have been talking for quite some time now about getting his coat hand stripped. We've been reading into it and we've even found a lady who can do it and can show me how to do it. She used to hand strip miniature schnauzers and has a lot of years of experience. We are not planning on showing him due to several reasons, but the reason why we have been thinking about stripping his coat is because we like the look and we've read that if they get their coats clipped, he will eventually lose his salt and pepper coloring. I've been looking and asking a lot of different groomers if hand stripping a coat hurts the dog and I've gotten mixed answers. We don't want it to hurt Herrick, which is why before we do anything, we want to make sure that we've gathered enough information to make a final decision. My questions are:

Should we hand strip Herrick if we are not planning on showing him? (I've heard that it is a hassle and it takes a lot of time)

I've seen pictures of how the hand stripping is done and some people actually do it in sections where it takes weeks to do, during this time, will there be "bald" spots on Herrick?

If done incorrectly, can this damage his skin?

If we continue to clip him, will he really lose his salt and pepper color?

Thanks for all your answers! :)
 

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Most schnauzers are 'stage stripped' in that they have areas plucked bald to the skin and it's done in stages with the hair that takes longest being done first etc, so that in the end you'll have a few weeks of a stunning nice coat suitable for showing, and then it all goes to rubbish and needs to be started again. Ie, not really at all suitable for a pet!!!

You CAN roll a mini coat, though few show ones seem to be rolled apparently. A rolled coat would be suitable for a pet if you can maintain it yourself; it wouldn't be worth it to pay someone to do it IMO.

For good info on stripping a schnauzer, check out http://britmorschnauzers.com/ down the bottom is some great articles on how to. Also check out a recent discussion on a grooming forum of someone trying to bring back a clipped coat here: http://www.groomers.net/discus/messages/126/204751.html?1261431047
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Most schnauzers are 'stage stripped' in that they have areas plucked bald to the skin and it's done in stages with the hair that takes longest being done first etc, so that in the end you'll have a few weeks of a stunning nice coat suitable for showing, and then it all goes to rubbish and needs to be started again. Ie, not really at all suitable for a pet!!!

You CAN roll a mini coat, though few show ones seem to be rolled apparently. A rolled coat would be suitable for a pet if you can maintain it yourself; it wouldn't be worth it to pay someone to do it IMO.

For good info on stripping a schnauzer, check out http://britmorschnauzers.com/ down the bottom is some great articles on how to. Also check out a recent discussion on a grooming forum of someone trying to bring back a clipped coat here: http://www.groomers.net/discus/messages/126/204751.html?1261431047
I've actually been on the britmoreschnauzers website and it's given me an idea of what gets done and how it gets done, which seems like a long process. I feel that learning how to roll the coat wouldn't be too hard, since from what I've read is pretty much just taking out the dead hair from the rest of the coat. I may be wrong as to what rolling the coat is, but that's what my understanding is, correct me if I'm wrong, lol. From what you tell me, it seems that stripping the coat is a lot more than I had imagined. There was a different lady that we had talked to with regards stripping a coat and she said she could do it in a day, if not three days, is this even possible? Because from the website, britmoreschnauzers and from other sources, I've noticed that this process takes weeks to do.
 

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the lady offering to do it in 1-3 days would be rolling it and stripping it out to look nice (which will cost you a *mint* to get a pro to spend all day on your dog when we can do 10 other normal clip off grooms in the same time!) and it will need to be maintained with constant rolling to keep it looking nice.

Stage stripping does take weeks, and looks butt-ugly during the process!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the lady offering to do it in 1-3 days would be rolling it and stripping it out to look nice (which will cost you a *mint* to get a pro to spend all day on your dog when we can do 10 other normal clip off grooms in the same time!) and it will need to be maintained with constant rolling to keep it looking nice.

Stage stripping does take weeks, and looks butt-ugly during the process!!
Oh, I see. I thought that someone who could do it in such a short amount of time didn't know how to do it, but it's actually a good thing. After researching some more, I'm leaning more towards not wanting to strip his coat. I went to the forum where you put the link up and it almost seems like a risk to try to do it since he's had his coat clipped already. One last thing, does it really take almost 4 weeks for the hair to grow back out? Does this mean that if we do decide to go through with it our dog will be hairless for that period of time?
 

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a lot of minis have crappy coats, no matter if they're stripped or not, yes clipping 'ruins' a good coat, but not irreparably. A good coat will come back good if it's stripped again, whereas it wouldn't make a difference on a poor coat if you never clipped it!! I've got a couple of minis that come in that have wonderful harsh coats, I clip them right back off with a blimmin 10 blade, and it'll still come back in gorgeous and harsh; I CAN'T ruin their coats! lol. There's others who come in with the thickest woolliest coat that I doubt anything could help them.


Being only 6 months old then I'd say clipping hasn't 'ruined' his coat, but it does depend what sort of coat he has, and you really need to have someone who knows what they're talking about to see him in person for that. You can always test a bit and strip a bit out to see how it comes back naturally...

And if the coat is rolled, then he shouldn't be bald! It will take some time to bring a coat that's gone soft from clipping around by simply rolling it though, so don't expect it to be looking good for a while (IMO it can take a full season, by which time all the coat as naturally shed and re-grown correctly)




IMO, there is little point in stripping a schnauzer unless you're doing it yourself or it's a show dog. I usually do strip out undercoat on the dogs I clip too though, to keep their coats looking as nice as they can despite being clipped. Perhaps talk to your groomer about ensuring the coat is stripped down a little as well to keep some of the harsh coat coming in as well.


I actually don't know a whole lot about stripping coats, so you're probably better if you can go to a show or something and talk to people in person!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all of your information. I think that you are probably right in seeing someone who actually shows their dogs and talking to them and seeing what they think of my dog's coat. I'll definitely see what I can do to find someone in my area. Once again, thank you very much. :)
 

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As a groomer who keeps her own Airedale rolled...I think its well worth it! Its alot of work, but on a min schn. much less than the Dale! LOL The difference in the coat can be nite and day. I much prefer the harsh coat myself. It is easier to keep clean, doesn't shed, and dries fast. After repetitive clipping, your pup's coat will turn soft, could shed (as undercoat is not being pulled out) and can get curly/wavy. Of course, you will lose the salt and pepper too, and will turn grey most likely.

If you keep your pup rolled, rather than staged, he will always be in good coat and good pattern. It is hard to do with a schnauzer, and there are times you will probably have to pull some areas bald, like chest and other very short spots. When staging, you are shooting to have the perfect coat, at a certain date. And that coat will be the ideal coat, and generally is better than a rolled coat. When rolling the coat, you pull the longest, dead hairs, at each session.

To answer your questions from above, NO! Stripping does NOT hurt the dog when done correctly. You are pulling dead coat. New coat will not grow unless you pull the dead out on a wired breed. When its clipped, the harsh/colored hairs don't grow back because the short pieces are still in the follicle. Only undercoat grows back. Carding can help get out some of those short harsh hairs still in the follicle, but nothing like true stripping will make the coat.

I would recommend you give it a try. You can always decide later that its not for you..but getting a mini schn. coat back after lots of clipping can take YEARS, if you are lucky enough to get it back. They seem to be the hardest breed to get coat back after clipping. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Graco, thank you for your response. After reading your response and going through what you mentioned and after seeing your work, which is sooooo beautiful btw, we are going to end up stripping his coat. You made a point that I had been telling myself but felt better after reading it from you. We have nothing to lose if we end up not liking it. I have so many questions with regards to the actual process. We found someone who we are going to pay to do it for us and I want to learn how to do it, so in the future, I can take over and do it on my dog. Unfortunately, no groomers in my area (that I've talked to) do hand stripping on a dog. So my question is this, what area(s) are done first? Also, I read somewhere that said that you have to strip the coat twice a year, is this true? Once again, thank you. :)
 

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Graco, thank you for your response. After reading your response and going through what you mentioned and after seeing your work, which is sooooo beautiful btw, we are going to end up stripping his coat. You made a point that I had been telling myself but felt better after reading it from you. We have nothing to lose if we end up not liking it. I have so many questions with regards to the actual process. We found someone who we are going to pay to do it for us and I want to learn how to do it, so in the future, I can take over and do it on my dog. Unfortunately, no groomers in my area (that I've talked to) do hand stripping on a dog. So my question is this, what area(s) are done first? Also, I read somewhere that said that you have to strip the coat twice a year, is this true? Once again, thank you. :)

Thank you HM. That is great that you found someone to get him and you started. Hand stripping is something that you will learn by trial and error. You can't really mess up as long as you are NOT cutting hair. Make sure your knives are dulled. They are usually sharp when they come new (I have no idea why..lol) so saw thru some logs, run em thru the dirt, sand, etc. To test them, grasp some hair between the knife with your thumb, and pull it out (dont bend the wrist..motion comes from elbows). Then gently remove your thumb while holding the knife sideways so the hair doesn't fall off..there should be just as much hair on both the top and bottom (where your thumb was) of the knife. If there is more hair where your thumb was, you are cutting hair.

As far as what areas are done first, depends on what condition his coat is in right now, and what "look" you are going for. If you are going to be rolling the coat (keeping him in sch pattern all the time) then you really only have to worry about the head, ears, and body. You can clipper the cheeks and throat as they are sensitive, and being kept short anyway. If you want to strip them, you can, but I find on a pet that its more trouble than its worth, and you don't notice any color/texture change there where its kept short anyway. You could also clipper under his tail and down the back of the rear legs. Another sensitive area. Since he hasn't been stripped before, I would just start on the head and ears, and pull that out bald. Within a week, you will see new hairs coming in. If they are harsh hairs, let them come in for another week or so, then start pulling the longest hairs weekly. I would probably take the body out bald to get it started too. When you roll the coat, you keep layers in it. And every week/2 weeks, you are pulling the longest layer. If you skip a session, the coat will be harder to get back into shape. I always start a rolled coat from bald. It only looks bad for a week or two, and then there is plenty of hair to start rolling, and if you keep up on it, then you won't have to go bald again. The legs on schn are trimmed with shear/thinners, so those won't need stripping. You can pluck some hairs here and there is you feel you need to, but the leg coat is different than body coat, and needn't be stripped.

Alot of old time info says coats can be stripped 2x a year. That is true, if you want a wooly bear then a baldie every 6 months. By 6 months of growing, the entire coat is dead, and needs to be pulled before another new coat will grow. Eventually, alot of it will fall out, leaving a splotchy uneven dog. That cycle would be to just pull all the coat out every 6 months, (bald) letting it grow 6 months, and doing it again. You are never going to have a dog that looks like its breed with that method. In order to keep the breed profile and pattern, you have to roll the coat. (work it every week or two pulling the longest layer of hairs).

I am the only groomer in my area that does hand stripping too. Its expensive, and most of my clients work on their dogs some at home too because its just not feasible for them to come in every 2 weeks, nor do I want to work on the dogs that often..lol I teach them the basics, they come in every few months for finishing work/touchups and clipper work on the designated areas, and it works well for them. Hand stripping is very hard on you if you are doing it every day, and an art to learn, so few groomers do it or even know how to do it. I just spent 3 hours pulling my Airedale out bald yesterday..LOL I haven't touched him since October..(my bad ;) and I have a grooming show to get him ready for in March..so a rolling I will go. If I can get the pics to resize on my new software, I will post them in the before and afters...He looks like a bobble head..as I haven't done his head yet..
 

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I have my standard schnauzer (pepper and salt) stripped by a local groomer. She does NOT strip it bare she rolls it. The dog looks lovely and has a much more Barn Dog friendly coat. the thicker wirey hairs shed the sawdust, manure and dirt better than the soft fluffy hair from a clip. I love the look of a stripped schnauzer and do not care for the look of a clipped dog. Plus for me it's a more functional coat.

Anyways the dog is 7mo now. She's been worked on my the groomer 2x now (I got the pup at 3.5mo) the first go around was $80 and the groomer had the dog from 9am til noon or a titch later. She worked on the dog the entire time. The second time was $60 bucks less time on the table. I can't recall how much time was spent working ont he dog as I picked her up later in the day and remember that she had been crated.

The breeder had only clipped her under her chin and under her tail down her back legs.

My breeder did not use a knife to strip, she used a pumice stone. She grasped the hair between her thumb and the stone and pulled it out.

Stripping does NOT hurt the dog. My dog literally pulls me into the shop and them bounces all over the walls when the groomer comes out to greet us. It's actually embarrassing how bonkers she goes for the groomer. The groomer says that she likes the stripping process. They do take their time and make sure that the dogs are happy and comfortable.

So find a good groomer to help you out.
 

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hehe, yes many do love it, but I gotta say you're blimmin lucky to find a groomer who'll charge only $80 for 3 hours work! I could do at least 5-6 $50 grooms (alone) in that same time (ie, $250-$300). I'm not trying to show off, I'm just trying to show that for others thinking of getting their dog stripped too, they might not be able to find a groomer who does it for such a cheap price. And I'm trying to show why it costs as much as it does! (normally! lol) But in saying that, good on you for keeping your dog stripped and in a nice coat, and for finding such a good groomer who will do it for such a good price!

Now, to find someone who wants me to keep their dog stripped for them... hmm


Sidenote yes I'm in a different country and hence there is an exchange rate, but it is also relative, and when I have researched prices of overseas groomers, the NUMBER is still about the same across the board, regardless of the currency. So yes, an $80US groom is still very much equivalent to an $80NZ groom. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I want to thank you all for your comments :) they have helped a lot in helping us decide that we are going to be stripping his coat. The one thing that I am looking forward to is the fact that the coat tends to be less dirty and that he will look like a show dog does, grooming wise. Here's the thing though, the lady that we found that will do it for us in 1-3 days is only charging us $50. I know that it is a LOT of work simply because of everything that I've read, researched and have been told on this thread, so, my fiancee and I were actually talking about paying her more, but the one thing that I don't know if I should be concerned about is why she is charging so little, could this be that she doesn't do that great of a job? When we talked to her, she said that she used to do show dogs and she comes highly recommended, but, should I still be concerned?
 

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Cheap grooming doesn't mean a cheap groom. There are many factors that come into pricing of grooming, and IMO you [a generic 'you', not necessarily you personally!] shouldn't be judging the quality of a groomer by the rates they charge. In particular I hate that some groomers around here can charge more and say it's because they're better... *sigh*

Yes, that is a very cheap deal, and I'd possibly suspect it too, but not without seeing evidence of her work. Ask for photos perhaps, or just give her a go; for that price why not! Certainly don't discount her simply because she's cheaper.

One example: I do cheaper grooms on standard poodles than most places around here, cos I adore doing them. lol! I hate hand stripping, so I charge the earth and very few request it. ;)
 

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Certainly tips are welcomed by any groomer, especially if we've put extra work into something like a hand stripping job, so if you want to tip her, then feel free to! I was referring to the specific question "I don't know if I should be concerned about is why she is charging so little, could this be that she doesn't do that great of a job?" in that a cheap price doesn't mean a bad job. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry about the misunderstanding, I wasn't typing what I was thinking and it came out wrong. Yeah, we're definitely going to give her double what she's asking, simply because it's a lot of work and I want her to teach me how to do it as well and she's coming over to my house to do it.
 

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Oh I like how this thread has finished up! I rescued a Jack Russell Terrier with a rough coat and had a great time learning how to groom him. Since they don't really have a pattern to strip it was fun and easy to bring a cute JRT out of that fluffy mess of a dog in time, many trials but no errors. Good luck!
 

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I didn't have to go looking for a groomer since I just went to the one that my pup's mother was taken to. That was easy. And the pups mother was a show dog and kept in a stripped coat. So I sort of had the benefit of the experience of another schnauzer owner guiding me to the right groomer. With the groomer that you are taking Herrick to, just go with your gut. If your dog is happy and you are happy then all is good.

I am unaware that $80 was cheap, I'd just assumed that it was the going rate. I always add a tip of 20% on top. I should post before and after pics for the next time she goes to the groomer and see what you peeps think. She's due this early January.

Anyway let me warn Herricks mom about the first grooming that my pup had..... when I picked the dog up...... the groomer's daughter (also a groomer) brought the dog out and said "Now you are not going to think that we did anything because you can hardly tell the difference in your dog". And I was like "No, no I can really tell that you took a lot of hair out" My hubby of course (not the observant type) couldn't tell the difference. Previous to the appointment I had asked the groomer not to strip the dog down to her bare skin (as I had read the Britmore site also) and she had said "Well it depends on the quality of the coat, what type of coat she has, we'll see what I can do" So apparently my dogs coat can be rolled and not striped bare..... The second time the dog went in was much like the first, she came back to me with a shorter, tighter hair coat. She looked stunning to me.

I don't know any better, but I wouldn't expect a black and white before and after experience. Esp since you are waiting for the coarser hairs to grow in.

You should post before and after pics so we can see your cutie pie in his new suit!

Oh Herricks Mom, my Tula is about a month older that your pup. She's a May 18 litter. So 7m 2 weeks old. We had 1 puppy socialization class with a mini schnauzer that was the same age at the time (16 weeks) it was neat to see the 2 dogs side by side.
 
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