Last Friday at lot of interest was expressed in what we were sharing: how to deal with a dog’s coat in hot weather. What to do but more importantly what NOT to do. Various other pieces/opinions were sent along related to the subject and, just as an example, one is here.
The thing that seems to confuse people a lot is what strip, clip, shave actually means and that there are different levels of doing all three. One of the breed’s professional groomers has written below to try and help folk out.
Glen of Imaal Terriers are a breed whose coat is “stripped,” or “rolled.” Both words refer to the removal of dead guard hairs once the coat is “blown” by using a stripping knife, stripping stone or fingers to allow a new coat to grow in. The results is a coat of correct texture.
Hand stripping a coat replicates and an otherwise natural process. Each canine hair follicle supports a single hard outer hair and several soft finer hairs so giving hard top coat & softer undercoat. This finer hair is not tightly held in the follicle and that’s why the hair pulls out easily. When done correctly, it’s painless because wire hair isn’t attached like our own hair.
Hard texture and coat colour are given by the harsh outer hairs. As these hairs grow out over time, they become thin, soft and faded at the roots. This is known as blowing and often expresses as a parting along the back. More of the softer hairs push their way out of the hair follicle. Stripping removes the old faded hairs so that new growth can happen. It helps clear the hair follicle of old growth so new hair can emerge. Once new hair is seen the excess undercoat can be stripped out or carded out which further allows the coat to gain texture & colour. .
It is often best to roll the coat a bit at a time over several weeks unless you have the type of coat where the whole jacket blows in one go. Many dogs actually enjoy being stripped if done correctly. It is not advisable to bath a dog just before stripping as the coat will be more difficult to grip and once stripped the follicles are open so it is best to wait a few days before bathing.
Clipping just takes off the top layer at whatever length the blades are set at. This may lead to a soft paler coat which can sometimes never grow back as the follicles are not cleared and new harsh hair won’t grow leaving a dull & fuzzy coat.
Neutering can also affect regrowth sometimes making the coat unstrippable. In cases where the dog’s coat condition doesn’t allow stripping clipping is acceptable – a good groomer can make the dog look stripped apart from the texture and colour.
Whichever you do regular combing through to prevent impacted undercoat is essential.
In hot conditions a stripped coat still provides protection from the sun – a clipped coat, if long enough, may provide protection. If skin is visible the dog needs to be kept in shade. Dogs don’t sweat so they cool their bodies by panting – having somewhere cool to lay on hot days is the best option.