14 Apr 2015

Let’s Get (Hand) Stripping!

Dog Grooming, The Dog Blog No Comments

Many of you are probably wondering, what in the world is hand stripping?

Hand stripping is a process of removing dead hair from the dog to maintain the original color and texture of their original coat, commonly utilized on non-shedding dog breeds– breeds including but not limited to: Welsh Terriers, Border Terriers and Irish Terriers.

So that’s what it is… but what’s so unique about it?

Unlike clipping, hand stripping doesn’t require scissors but instead calls for a variety of stripping knives and stones and of course a pair of trained and qualified groomer hands. One of our groomers will begin by removing all the dead hairs off the coat, sometimes hair by hair and sometimes multiple hairs at once with the use of one of their tools. And after all the dead hairs are removed, a soft and dense undercoat will be discovered!

Whoa whoa.. plucking my dog? Doesn’t it hurt them?

No way! We are 100% humane here at The Dog Salon, and would never do anything to hurt your pup. Though yes the idea of plucking hairs sounds painful, when properly done by a trained groomer there is no pain (but like any time you hold your dog down they won’t like it).

Unlike the cycle of human hair and other dog breeds, wire hair has a unique cycle in which the hair gets darker and thicker as it grows. But because wire hair has life span around six months, as the hair reaches that final month it continues to get lighter and thins out – which causes the discoloration and scrappiness of the hair – and makes it easier to painlessly remove the hairs.

Some dogs do have tender spots, such as their bellies – if sensitive around there we choose not to strip the dog.

So.. why can’t I just clip it.. does it affect their health?

No, clipping doesn’t affect the health of your dog, but more so the appearance of their coat. By clipping a wire haired dog you aren’t removing the dead hair, instead making it shorter and keeping the coat faded and soft – taking away from its original wire texture.

I usually get my dog clipped, but I want to restore their coat– I want them hand stripped.
Here’s what we say, the earlier and more often you get your dog hand stripped, the easier and more successful the process is. Unfortunately, once you get your dog clipped there is no guarantee that their hair will grow back into its original texture – but give it about six months and usually after a couple of strips their wire coat will start to grow.

The Dog Salon is one of the only grooming salons in Charlotte to offer this service! Currently, we are only taking appointments for this on Fridays. Call or email us to set up an appointment!

27 Mar 2015


The Dog Blog No Comments

Humanity VS Vanity

This is a hot topic for many groomers. A client will walk in with a matted dog and leave very upset because the groomer refused to brush out the mats, instead opting to shave the dog down. To put it simply, “I am a groomer because I love dogs, not because I want to torture them.” says Angie Hicks from The Dog Salon. “The main issue with brushing out an excessively matted dog is just that. It hurts!”

We have shaved many a dog here at The Dog Salon. Sometimes it is by owner request but many times it is purely for the love of the dog. Sometimes, knots and not-so-serious mating can be worked out with the right tools, time, and patience. We do consultations during drop offs at The Dog Salon. This is when we inform clients of the possibilities. We have had clients argue that the groomer is just being lazy. Lori Chatelain, a Groomer of 20+ years says it best, “If they cant brush out their pet, they shouldn’t expect the groomer to be able to do it either.”

On top of that, there are many health factors that play into demating a dog. Including what may lie beneath. Mats can fester skin infections, cut off circulation and cause serious health issues. Its better to ‘start over’ with a fresh cut. “The owner really needs to be proactive in brushing their pet on a weekly basis.” according to Groomer, Lori Chatelain. There is also the option of more frequent trips to the Groomer so that we can work it out before it becomes too much!

Here are some tips on brushing:

  • If your dog does become matted,dont bathe them! This can cause mats to become even tighter, causing an even bigger issue. Its best to take them to the groomer with expectations that they will be cut short.
  • DO NOT BRUSH WET. This can be very painful to your pet as well as damaging to the coat!
  • Be mindful of brush burn! Brush burn happens when a dog is brushed too hard, too much in the same spot which irritates the skin, OR if you are using the wrong brush! The staff at The Dog Salon love to nerd out on brush talk – stop in or call anytime with questions!

18 Feb 2015


The Dog Blog No Comments

We get this question a lot. We get it. Let us give a little insight as to what happens behind all the glitz and glamor of dog grooming!


10) Your hairdresser doesn’t give you a bath

9) Your hairdresser doesn’t give you a mani/pedi

8) You don’t bite/scratch your hairdresser

7) You don’t try to hump your hairdresser…ooor maybe you do?

6) You don’t go 6 weeks or more without brushing or washing your hair

5) Your hairdresser doesn’t pluck/clean out your ears

4) It’s unlikely that your hairdresser trims hair anywhere on your body except your head

3) You probably sit pretty still for your hairdresser

2) Your hairdresser doesn’t squeeze your anal glands

1) The likelihood of you pooping or peeing on your hairdresser is pretty slim