You are here:

Dog Grooming/Stripping Irish Terrier


QUESTION: Hello!  
I own a dog daycare and (positive reinforcement) dog training school.  We have a client who's Irish Terrier has come in over the past several years after "being groomed" with extremely red, bumpy, irritated skin.  We've always been concerned, but have been told that the irritation is "from allergies" that get worse because he "scratches more".  This week, he came in and looks the worst we've ever seen. His skin is raw on his back (from back of his neck to base of his tail) and bleeding in spots - he also has bumps all over his body, some that had already scabbed over, but on his back is the worst... he's also bald in numerous places - literally, and the skin is so raw and irritated!   I'm really worried about infection setting in.
I am not a groomer, so I'm looking for information that I can share with him so he'll stop taking him wherever he's going and, perhaps to re-think "stripping" which potentially caused this! I don't have a photo, but can probably get one if you need to see it...
Thanks for your help and advice!

ANSWER: Hello Lisa,
This could be a very long answer but to get to the point let me just say this, the infection already is there. Bathing the dog with Sebulex or Pinetar should help alleviate the immediate problem.
I have never had this problem because of my firm insistence on a clean dog. I have heard of this happening when a dog contracts a staph infection due to unclean conditions or an overzealous groomer who removes the hair to the skin, which is not necessary for this breed.
Many old timers insist wire haired dogs be groomed dirty , that it is easier to pluck the jacket but I find that totally untrue and if the dog is not a show dog in the ring, it should not even be a consideration. I pluck many Irish terrier pets and there is no justification for the results you describe. In fact of all the wired haired breeds that I have worked on this past quarter century Irish are the easiest to pull and need the least amount of work to make them look fabulous.
My mentor who was one of the all time greats, alway said to wipe the skin down with  alcohol  after, but I don't even want to do that. A good bath and clean stripping knives will avoid this.
Sounds to me like they should find someone else to strip the dog if this is ongoing not to stop stripping the dog.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Elizabeth,
Thank you so much for your reply.  Is the "stripping" process painful at all for the dog?  I just feel so bad for this poor dog, and I'm trying to do the research so I can share the information with him.  From your reply, it seems like this wouldn't be happening if the groomer used clean tools, and he was clean/bathed before the stripping. I'd love to be able share this information and refer him to a groomer in our area (Troy, Michigan) who knows what they're doing! The problem is that we've called several reputable groomers in the area, and haven't found one who offers the stripping service - so I'm not sure how to handle this with the dogs' owner. Is there a way that he, as an Irish Terrier, could be groomed another way like with clippers instead?   What are your thoughts? Thank you again for all your help!

The process, done correctly, does not have to be painful and as I said, especially for the Irish because the hair slips out so easily and is not as thick. People who don't know how to hand pluck are quick to spread that kind of story because they just don't know how. Also it is not cost effective for a salon that is doing assembly line grooming. Ignorance in this case is not bliss because you ruin the coat and the color. Clippers change the whole look of the dog.
If you would like to tell them about this site it might be helpful and if they would like to ask me directly it would take you out of the equation and avoid any misinformation.  That would be my recommendation.
Also you most likely would have to go to a breeder or professional handler to find someone who will offer this.

Dog Grooming

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


ElizaBeth CRONK (Horch)


Professional Dog Groomer-How to groom dogs- all breeds but specialize in the Art of the Hand Plucked Terrier, Bichon and Portugese Water Dog. Scissoring, clippering, and most known for hand plucked terrier skills. I am well known for my private business in Manhattan. I train owners and professionals looking to upgrade their skills Trained at NY School of Dog Grooming and apprenticed with several Internationally known expert breeders, handlers, and judges, assisted many years Westminster and Montgomery Kennel club shows.


28 years private residential dog grooming service- I have groomed over 30,000 dogs I teach professionals and private clients

Member Twin Brooks Kennel CLub- NJ Morris and Essex Kennel Club American Fox Terrier Club

Publications DVD Splish Splash the Doggies Bath- a how to for basic dog bathing Terrierific Facebook Fan page consultant for various pet publications and manufacturers of pet products

New York School of Dog Grooming/ worked with many professional handlers, assisted many dog shows, bred my own dogs, private tutoring

Past/Present Clients
private listing over 250
video now available on website testimonials on website

©2016 All rights reserved.