Carding or Hand-Stripping Your Dog

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Many K9 guardians are grooming their own dogs because of the coronavirus shutdown. So EquiGroomer wants to help make your dog grooming smarter, not harder when it comes to carding or hand-stripping your dog.

Our EquiGroomer grooming tools make the experience pain-free, injury-free and stress-free for you and your pet!

Carding your dog is easier with EquiGroomer tools


Order individual EquiGroomer tools or professional kits for your pet shop or tack shop, by calling 860-573-0604, sending us an email or visiting our website today!


Our EquiGroomer grooming tools make the experience pain-free, injury-free and stress-free for you and your pet!

Order individual EquiGroomer tools or professional kits for your pet shop or tack shop, by calling 860-573-0604, sending us an email or visiting our website today!



If you are like many dog owners, you are suddenly finding yourself faced with grooming your dog while many grooming businesses remain onCarding your dog deals with their undercoat lockdown as non-essential businesses. With the arrival of spring and even summer temperatures, many are challenged with effectively grooming their dog’s undercoat and topcoat after the long winter. With more daylight hours and warmer temperatures, shedding dogs are a big issue right now.

So, does your dog need carding, hand-stripping, both or neither one? (Hint: they are not the same thing.)

Before you decide, let’s take a quick look at each process separately.

The Dog’s Undercoat: Carding

Carding is a grooming term – and process – to describe the removal of a dog’s undercoat. The undercoat is the soft, short, downy and dense hair under the top (or outer) coat. The undercoat insulates and protects the skin in colder weather.

Carding is accomplished by using:

The shedding tool will grab, pull and remove (or thin out) the dead or molted undercoat hair which may not fall out on its own with the warmer temperatures. Removing this heavier winter undercoat will also help your canine stay comfortable – and cooler – in the heat.

Carding is typically done on dogs who:

  • Have thick fur
  • Have a double coat
    • Including the Sporting Breeds like Cocker Spaniels and Setters to help the topcoat lay flatter with a smoother appearance
    • Goldens, Huskies, Collies and Pomeranians
  • Are Short-Coated
    • Including Pugs, Chihuahuas, Labs and others

The Dog’s Topcoat: Hand-Stripping

In contrast, hand-stripping a dog describes the process of removing the Hand-stripping your dog involves the follicles of their topcoattopcoat (also known as a guard coat) that helps repel water, dust and dirt while also protecting the skin from injury. The guard coat is made up of guard hairs which are coarser in texture (i.e., wire-haired) and are thicker and longer.

Hand-stripping removes the guard hairs from their follicles by pulling or plucking them out with the thumb and forefinger while leaving the undercoat untouched. When done properly (gently and in the direction of the hair growth), your dog will not feel any pain. Hand-stripping is an alternative to clipping a dog’s topcoat with clippers or scissors.

Not all dogs need to be hand-stripped, it is more about the type of coat than about the dog’s breed. Also, some coats will require just seasonal stripping, while others will need to be stripped more frequently.

Hand-stripping is typically done on the following breeds:

  • Airedale Terrier
  • Affenpinscher The Affenpinscher requires hand-stripping their coat
  • Bouvier de Flanders
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • German Wirehaired Pointer
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Jack Russel Terrier
  • Schnauzer
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Wire Fox Terrier
  • Wirehaired Dachshund
  • Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Benefits: Carding and Hand-Stripping

Whether you – or your groomer – is carding or hand-stripping your dog, this kind of grooming is vital for their overall healthy coat and skin! These grooming processes help:

  • Stimulate the hair follicles for new healthy hair growth; and
  • Stimulate the tiny sebaceous gland’s production of natural and lubricating oils called sebum.

Remember, just like with humans, the skin is your dog’s largest organ and its health and condition are crucial to the overall well-being – and comfort – of your four-legged companion. 

Additional Reading:

Grooming Smarter: What is Carding?

The Honest Kitchen: Basics of Hand Stripping

Dog.com: Dog Fur Facts

Dog Grooming Tutorial: Carding and Combing a Dog’s Coat During Grooming

PetGuide.com: Grooming Basics: All About Hand Stripping

Image Credits:

Kobus van Leer from Pixabay 

Pixabay from Pexels

EquiGroomer

Steve Sewell from Pixabay 

MSD Veterinary Manual

Ida Damkilde from Pixabay 

EquiGroomer

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