RIP my baby!
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Wednesday 07 January 2009

Wire Fox Terriers do not have to be stripped

Why do I insist on the following fact:


Wire Fox Terriers DO NOT HAVE TO BE STRIPPED.

Yes, you can strip them, its a nice feeling for them (sometimes, if the stripper knows what they are doing), but I firmly believe that there is no harm in clipping them.


According to my opinion, the outcome of stripping vs clipping is the following:
Stripping: The dog is ready for a dogshow.
Clipping: The dog is not ready for a dogshow.

What do I think of Dogshows?
- The owner gets all the credit (Thats MY dog! ...which I PAID A LOT of money for)
- A social status symbol.
OK appologies, thats the nasty side of me coming out.)
- However, being more realistic - If there were no dogshows (with dog breed rules), we would have a mass of nasty and or ugly dogs bred all over the place and no control over our precious varourite breeds. A endless Dog Breed War like in the 18th century. Luckily they dealt with all the fighting, now we just have to try and keep the dogs pure bred.

My Conclusion: Dogs should be treated with care and consideration. Making money or gaining status from animals is a long and open ended door to greed, and the only one that suffers when this state of mind sets in, is the animal. Which is why I always put on the brakes when people start telling me (or try to) what must and what must not be done to a certain breed dog.

And this is one of the reasons why I have started this subject of conversation, because some people have lost the plot a little: when the point of no return sets in (the point where the suffering of the animal is not part of the consideration of what they are trying to achieve).

Not all vets, dog owners, breeders and groomers think like this, but trust me on this one: if money or status is involved, think twice about what they say MUST be done to an animal (ie: in this case,the grooming procedure).

(btw, I would love one of these little dogs in the pic below - they are the cutest ever! oh and another thing I noticed... they are not stripped either ... love it.)



My resources of the my opinion above are the following:
(these are my resources, it does not mean I believe everything I read on the internet is true)

Below is an extract of some information that I have drawn from Wikipedia and various other websites and blogs.


More about The Wire Fox Terrier Dog

The Wire Fox Terrier is a breed of dog, one of many terrier breeds. It is an instantly recognizable fox terrier breed. Although it bears a resemblance to the Smooth Fox Terrier, they are believed to have been developed separately.

Their Traits:
Two of their most distinctive traits are their enormous amount of energy and intelligence. They have a low threshold for boredom and require stimulation, exercise and attention. The Wire Fox Terrier should be alert, quick, and ready to respond accordingly to anything from "mice to moonbeams" while being keen of expression and friendly and forthcoming.

A lengthy list of high expectations for a small-to-medium-sized dog, but the Wire Fox Terrier is a star. They can be very loving and exceedingly playful if they receive the proper care. They are bred to be independent thinkers, capable of tactical maneuvering for vermin and other sport. Their high level of intelligence makes them a dog that is not suited for everyone. Only the capable and appreciative owner need apply.

History of the Wire Fox Terrier
The wire fox terrier was developed in England by fox hunting enthusiasts and is believed descended from a now-extinct rough-coated, black-and-tan working terrier of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. The breed was also believed to have been bred to chase foxes into their burrows underground, and their short, strong, usually docked, tails were used as handles by the hunter to pull them back out.

Although it is said Queen Victoria owned one, and her son and heir, King Edward VII of Great Britain did own the wire fox terrier, Caesar, the wire fox terrier was not popular as a family pet until the 1930s, when The Thin Man series of feature films was created.






Asta, the canine member of the Charles family, was a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier, and the popularity of the breed soared.


This is a video clip that I found on Snowy:





Milou (Snowy) from The Adventures of Tintin comic strip is also a Wire Fox Terrier.

In the late 20th century, the popularity of the breed declined again, most likely due to changing living conditions in the Western world and the difficulty of keeping hunting terriers in cities due to their strong instincts. Among the less desirable traits of all fox terriers are their energy, digging, stalking and chasing of other animals, and yelping bark.


The wire fox terrier has the distinction of having received more Best in Show titles at major conformation shows than any other breed.

Source: Wikipedia


The Origination of the Wire Fox Terrier (The Black and Tan Terrier)



Working Fell Terriers (non-Kennel Club working terriers from the rocky Lakeland Fells region of the UK) have always been quite variable in terms of size and shape, but have always been colored terriers (tan or black or black and tan), as opposed to the white-coated "foxing terriers" preferred in the south of England.

Today, black and tan Fell Terriers are sometimes referred to as "working Lakelands" or Patterdale Terriers or simply as "black and tan" terriers.Whatever they might have called the dogs, this new Kennel Club "breed" appears to have been a put-up job comprised of a mix of terrier types that would not breed true.

In 1885 a survey of the winning dogs in the ring found that all of them were, in fact, first generation dogs, i.e. not Black and Tans out of Black and Tan sires and dams, but Black and Tans produced out of crosses with other breeds. For example, the winner of the first show in 1884 was a dog named Crib that was a cross between a blue-black rough terrier (what might be called a dark Border Terrier today) and a famous smooth fox terrier owned by L.P.C. Ashley called Corinthian.

Source: Wikipedia


This is the story that got my heart racing and got me to research this subject in more detail.


I can clearly see that this family loves their dog Fee dearly. But due ignorance this is yet another sad story about a loving family who have been told that they MUST STRIP their wft. They (and so many other wft owners) did not understand that a) they were doing it so wrong and b) they poor dog was traumatised so badly but nobody even noticed.

Hence this blogpost:


...more stripping. three pairs of hands (auntie pea’s, mom’s and dad’s) ran through my back, tail, neck, sides and face and there was little i could do although i did put up my best wft struggle and succeeded in nipping a few fingers. i called and glanced furtively at my wft parents for help, but they were resting their bloated bellies – too busy looking out at the garden and too engrossed with their tete a tete to hear their baby.i emerged after what seemed like an eternity (of stripping, clipping and scissoring), pink and almost bare like a piglet save for my legs (the ‘furnishings’, they call it) and muzzle. it was weird without my nice wavy fur – my security blanket gone! but i couldn’t care less. i was tired, and all i wanted was a nap.i climbed onto dad’s lap and dozed off, half draped over the armrest.




Source: Magic Fever

  • Did anyone notice how pink the dog is and not think that this is not right / normal?
  • Did anyone notice that this dog collapsed from pain and exhaustion?
  • Did anyone notice that this dog aparently faught for 3 hours to stop them from hurting her?
  • Why in heavens name did all the bloggers (Friends of Fee!!!???) not say anything?


Unlike me, which I know is sometimes to my detriment, I say it the way it is. I dont want this ignorance to continue. I want others who are thinking about getting a Wire Fox Terrier or who are new to owning a wire fox terrier to understand that you DO NO HAVE TO STRIP your wire fox terrier.

...That the message I want my readers to get...


The following website (Dog Breed Info) has good information about all sorts of breed dogs. Here they too mention a few facts of which I find some of it very interesting and some of it that I disagree with.

Dog Breed Info
Grooming

If your Wirehaired Fox Terrier will be a pet, you can get away with brushing it with a firm bristle brush and bathing only when necessary. To keep the coat looking its best, it must be stripped several times a year and more frequently for show dogs. There is a complex show-grooming routine. Professional groomers have quite a bag of tricks to keep the Wire looking its best for the show ring. The Wire shed little to no hair and are good for allergy sufferers.

What do I not agree with?
My wft gives off loads of fluffy fine hair and I do no t agree that stripping must be done to keep the coat in top condition.

Source: Dog Breed Info


This is a post published in 1999. I find it to be very interesting but still dont believe that you MUST STRIP your modern wire fox terrier. These dogs have been around for just over a century now and 'self grooming' was never something they did and now dont do. Stripping is something the breeders have started to do, since breeding and showing dogs became part of our society.

Why it is wrong to clip a wire Fox Terrier

By G. Ranken MRCVS, Cand. Med. Vet

Canine hairs are slightly different from human. (No shit!) The dog has 2 kinds of hairs- primary hairs and secondary hairs .In the wire fox terrier the primary hairs are what we call the wire coat . These hairs consist as you can see from the diagram of a shaft of hair with it's root and it's appendages (such as a sebaceous gland and a sweat gland). These hairs are hairs that give the dog it's colouring-they are also very coarse in texture-hence the term "wire coat". For every wire hair there are a number of fine woollen hairs (or secondary hairs) that do not have their own separate root.Now if the wire fox terrier were still living in the wild (which it of course it isn't!!!) it would it's coat would moult approx 2 times a year....Just like many other wild animals the winter coat would give way for the summer coat . The dog would simply relieve itself of the old coat by brushing itself against the lower branches of bushes and trees -thereby the primary hairs are pulled out from the root to give way for the next coat . Now this natural removal of the winter and summer coats is imitated by the modern groomers . By "stripping" or "trimming" a coat - the groomer is simply helping to remove the old primary hairs to give way for the fresh new coat .



I do not know how many times I have heard pet wire haired terrier owners out of ignorance saying things like- "oh this is just a pet and not a show dog".....or "doesn't it hurt the poor dog to pull out the coat". Stripping a dog is simply helping the dog to do what it otherwise would have done out in the wild....
What people -and unluckily I have to include groomers here-do not realize that by clipping the dog instead of stripping it you are actually doing damage to the dogs future well being .
A number of things happen when a dog is clipped.


The roots and shafts of the primary hairs when cut are still left intact and stop the growth of the new coat. As the primary hairs are the colour bearing hair layer- the first thing the owner notices is that the coat goes pale and eventually turns completely white. (Ja right! dogs which are never groomed (stripped or clipped) will become woolly and white)
The next thing that happens is that the wool or secondary hairs take over.....the coat goes woolly like a warm eiderdown and very warm . You see, when the coat is stripped both primary and secondary hairs are removed and air can get to the underlying surface of the skin .This is now stopped. In warm climates or warm central heated houses this excess growth of wool causes hotspots and rashes to appear- which left untreated can develop into various serious skin conditions . In my experience incorrect grooming of terrier breeds is the most common cause of skin complaints . All simply because the normal micro climate down by the skin surface has been altered.
So no , stripping is not a procedure that is reserved for the few show dogs around but should really be done to ALL wire coated dogs . The correct procedure is to wait till the dog's coat is ready to be stripped (the coat is ready when it starts falling out on it's own and you can literally pull it out). Get it stripped and then get an after trim after about 6 weeks . By this time the new coat has started to come through and some of the superfluous secondary woollen hairs need to be removed to demonstrate the lovely new colour and coat coming through. Then sit back and wait till the next time the coat is ready to be pulled out- which is generally 4-5 months later. Again you know when it is time as the coat starts coming out.

Q&A:
Is it possible to strip a dog after it has been clipped several years?

Yes, These pictures show a dog that was clipped on the right-notice there is hardly any colouring left-the coat is curly and woolly. To the left after he was trimmed a couple of times the coat started to re-grow and restored to it's healthy state- and the colours came back too. It is however essential when the coat is as bad as above NOT to start trimming or stripping till the coat is really ready to be stripped....so in this case you wait the necessary months till the coat starts coming out easily....otherwise it would be very painful for the dog .

Before (Notice how this dog is in serious need of just a groom)




After (Notice how the dog, since it was stripped, now has a different shape ear and the ear has miraciously gone from white to black, and his tail has now suddenly gone very straight too. Stipping does this to a dog?)



Again the above pictures are of the same dog (uhm, I dont think so! But then again - in 1999 nobody thought that the internet will let people start to think for themselves and not notice that these are in fact two different dogs. OK, ok, I get the point he tried to make. But if some of his article was not true, how much of the rest of his article is factual?) - before when he was clipped -as you see the coat is all white and woolly-and after he was trimmed back to his normal coat and the black saddle and brown head has returned. It is hard to believe isn't it?

Source: Scanwyre.co.uk


Anyone keen to comment anonymously or fictitious emails / links will be deleted. I enjoy challenges, but mostly just want the truth to be told. None of my opinion is hearsay as you will notice from some of the many sources and facts of above. If you disagree with me, please give me factual information and not hearsay.

Thanks for reading this post.

Juanita
(Normans Mom)

14 comments:

Daniella said...

I do not disagree with everything you write about stripping. I think the example of Magic Fever for eg - looks like she was over stripped. I will only tell you why we strip Axel. Axel has skin allergies. We have tried stripping and clipping and found that the former is better for his skin and his allergies. We do not strip his entire body - we leave his face and behind as those are sensitive and the last thing we would ever do is hurt our precious Axel. We strip his saddle, back and chest. As a result, we have seen a strong dimunition in his skin allergies and hot spots. I have seen him while being stripped, and it does not hurt him, I know my boy and would know if he was upset. He isn't. For us, Axel's overall comfort in not having severe skin allergies means logically that we are sticking with hand stripping him. He is a happier and healthier dog for it. Simple as that.

Blog Editor said...

Thanks Daniella,

this is the kind of feedback that I enjoy reading.

I can understand that it could help towards skin allergies as it makes logical sense.

As long as the owners of the animals are aware that the animal is not under stress during the process then its fine.

Thanks for commenting!
Juanita

Quinvale AstaLaVista Baby said...

G'day Normy,

I'm not stwipped either, but I like to run nekkid.

xxx Asta (oz)

peeee s. I have a thin man clip on my blog too!

Anonymous said...

Hi - agree with you on stripping. Our Wire has never been stripped, so I don't have personal experience with it or its effects, just have always felt it was simply not necessary. Ours has sensitive skin as it is, no allergies, just easily irritated skin, and there is no way I would take a chance on stipping, seeing how red and inflammed many of these dogs' skins look afterward. We just have him clipped in a medium length cut and are lucky to have a great groomer with lots of terrier experience, who knows just how to scissor trim the face/brows/beard to keep him looking like a Wire.

William Tell said...

As long as it's done properly and isn't painful to the dog, I believe stripping is alright. Depends on the owner and the dog, each case is different. Cap has such a low threshold for discomfort, we'd never even try him, but Glynn and I are more stoic and would probably not mind at all. And since our Mom has RA and can't use her hands very much, she just runs the clippers over us and we're happy with that. We're not out to win any doggie shows, we just want to be handsome for our family. But you're so right, it doesn't HAVE to be done for every WFT.

Happy Tails,
William Tell

Liddy said...

Our WFT Molly has never been stripped or clipped, we think the fluffy teddy look is rather fetching. Instead she is combed every day removing any loose dead hair and preventing matts.

The sad thing is on the rare occasions that we meet another WFT their owners immediately say 'oh she needs a hair cut'. Why does she need a hair cut? I checked with the vet and she said there is no medical reason to strip or clip her, unless the weight of her coat means she suffers in the heat. I resent the implication that I'm neglecting her because I don't put her through the stripping ordeal.

The world needs more fluffy WFTs!!!

James S. said...

I have an Irish Terrier and we are in the process of fixing her fluffy 'damaged' coat by stripping.

I agree with you that stripping is not a must as long as the fluffy coat remains well groomed, brushed and cleaned.

I disagree with your argument though. While there is good logically explained biological reasons for stripping I can't see any similar counter argument against stripping. It would be good if you could clearly point to those web references where clipping is shown (by a vet or breeder etc.) to be an adequate mechanism. Your red text markups of the vet's site dont actually provide any facts.

I also ignore the comments about running through shrubs as being natural as most terrier breeds are not 'natural' but purpose bred utility dog breeds and not naturally occurring wild dogs.

Anyway the people who own little fee seem to treat her as a toy rather than a pet/companion. This is not uncommon of Singaporean pet owners. This would explain their ignorant and cruel stripping treatment and this is what should be vilified - not stripping as a general technique.

Pauline66 said...

Interesting reading. I have a 12 week old WFT and i had noticed that some of his puppy long hairs were coming out when he was being brushed with the slicker and more were being left when chasing his older brothers (lol a cairn and a mini schnauzer) through the trees and bushes in the garden.

Whilst he was either sleeping or resting on my lap i have used my fingers to "stip" or "pluck" the longer faded hairs from his coat. I have only done his back and sides and not touched his chest legs face or rear.

Result i now have a georgous puppy with vivid hound markings.

He is due for his first visit to the doggy salon in a couple of weeks time and the professional can then tidy up whats left to be done and he can have a bath and pampering like the other two.

There are no patches of skin anywhere to be seen (totally unlike the pic of the poor dog shown in the script) and i am left with a wonderfully soft dense undercoat now.

I think so long as the dog is happy to be stipped and you are not over zealous and they are used to it and quite relaxed over it this is the best way to go.

if they get stressed then get the clippers out but be prepared to lose the definitions of colour

Pauline

Ilja said...

Hi,

You write '(Ja right! dogs which are never groomed (stripped or clipped) will become woolly and white)' Well I got the prove it's true. We got 2 Fox terriers one is 9 years old and was never stripped and has soft hair now and lost most of his collor (I got pictures over the years to prove) His hair became thin over the years and gets dirty very fast. The other one is now 2 years and we decieded to strip him, and we can clearly see he keeps his color and when we let the hair grow it gets soft we strip it and it grows back nice and hard. So I do not understand your conclusions since we have seen the opposite. We do not show the dogs they're pets more like children and we do love them a lot.

Again we have seen that cutting the hair and not stripping left us with a allmost colorless terrier with thin soft hair and the other one that does get stripped by hand by us is keeps his color....

We do not want to hurt the dog and he does not get a pink color from stripping. If there was another option to keep the coat we will do so but we do not see another option than stripping..

Joyce said...

I disagree with many of your comments. I have owned Wire Fox Terriers most of my life. My present is a 4 year old male I have had since he was a puppy. He and a rescue wire that I had were hand stripped. Neither of them had/ have skin problems like my previous wires did. Yes I like the rich colors that stripping gives but trust me I love Bogie and would never subeject him to something painful. If stripping is done properly it does not hurt and my dogs have never been pink and irritated like the poor dog in the picture. Bogie even falls asleep when I strip his back. If if you clip improperly a dog can end up red and irritated. So again my point is stripping and clipping must be done properly. There is also nothing wrong with just letting you Wire go Au Naturelle. My friend Ann owns Bogie's mom Maggie, a retired show dog. As they live on a farm, Maggie just has a natural coat that gets brushed. Again if you are going to strip or clip you dog learn to do it properly. I have friend who have show terrier and they were happy to teach me the correct way to strip.

Joyce

Wired with wires said...

It's clear that you have not owned a WFT for long. They do lose color if they are not stripped and if they just are clipped. If they are not clipped and just brushed they will develop a coat that drops hair all the time. That is unless you brush them daily, something that dogs with broken coats do not need.
Black turns to gray and tan turns to a blond/white if you clip them and it all becomes soft.
If you get your dog used to pulling out hair they will come to you for that attention. They learn to crave it just like they crave a treat. Yes, they will even learn to like their face being done. Now, if you start stripping a WFT when they are already 1 yrs of age the dog will resent you whenever you start snatching. With treats they can be trained. You train them to crap in one area right? You train them to sleep in one area right? Dogs are domesticated. We domesticated them for our needs.
Those that are, live by our human standards. If you want the standard look of the WFT then you will train them to stand there and be stripped.
Keep PITA out of the "standard".
Fuzzy WFT are cool too. Nothing like a fuzzy lap dog.
If you own a van it's not a sports car no matter how fast it can go. The seats in the back and the fact that it is a van prevent it from being entered as the "standard"

Hello! I'm Juanita. said...

thanks, its clear that you have not read my post. i will repeat it: WFT to not HAVE to be stripped, and the abuse WFT have to endure by their uneducated owners is what this post is about. So far, to my horror, NOBODY condoned the abuse of the little dog named "FEE"... I do agree that my post is a bit over the top and its really only because I was so over emotional about the abuse that little doggie had to endure because his owners ripped ALL HIS FURR out, and none of his so called online friends ever even cared. shame, the poor little doggie.

Wired with wires said...

It's clear that you did not read the third to the last sentence in my response. TOUCHE!!!

Are you familiar with the staging method of stripping out a WFT?
They look pretty naked after as compared to a coat in the rough.
Cheers Juanita!

Anonymous said...

If you are going to strip your wire coated breed, whether airedale, irish, wire, or what ever, if you only do it two or three times a year, it will be necessary to strip the dog down to the skin. I have 3 client dogs that I strip on a regular basis, and they always come when there is hair of a proper length underneath the longer coat being stripped out, so that these dogs never leave naked. If you are going to put off stripping for several months, then you will need to start over with stripping down to the skin. Since the skin hasn't been exposed to the sun, it will be pink. So is my skin if I take off my clothes. You are right in saying that a wire that isn't being shown doesn't need to be stripped. It can be left with a blown coat, or it can be clipped. Each method has its own characteristics. If you are showing your dog in the conformation ring, then it must be stripped. Many pet owners though do want the look of the show dog, so they also get their dogs stripped, though many will just have a pet strip, where the flat work is clipped and the furnishings are scissored, but the rest of the body is stripped. What I object to most of all in your article is the putting on of human emotions on the dog. There are some wire coated dogs that are just plain hard to strip, but most do fine with it. It is necessary that it be done properly. If you aren't sure if the pet groomer is doing it properly, then find a person that shows and ask them to do it, as they will know the proper way to strip a dog. Also, your comment about the photos of the clipped and then stripped dog being two different dogs is totally over the wall. It is clear they are the same dog, but obviously look different because of the stripping, and the way they are standing is different, and the location they are at is different, possibly creating a different attitude in the dog. But each photo is of the same dog. It isn't necessary for you to slander a person's good name (Scanwyre Kennels) just so that you can make your point. I show, breed, and groom wires, and I do resent you seeming to try to change the world of grooming based on just one dog and your assumptions about the grooming of that one dog. You also don't list any resources for your information, all you list is your opinion.