It is an old wives tale to say once a coat is clipped it is ruined forever!
The coat comes through the skin the same way whether it has been clipped or stripped, the only difference is, if you neglect to remove the dead hair. Regular brushing with a stiff brush and carding or “stoning” to remove dead undercoat will give the same result. Dogs with a dense undercoat may need to be carded as often as every few days.
Not a Griffon, but a detailed view of carding.
Clippering with too short a blade will change color, it removes too much topcoat leaving only softer, lighter undercoat. I have found a #5 blade or a 3/4′ snap on used against the grain does an excellent job, closely resembling a stripped coat.
- Wire brush
- Metal comb
Stripping knives come in course, medium and fine. It is best if you start with course, then switch to medium, then fine to get the most undercoat and dead hair out. The Mcclelland knives below are my favorites, they are very hard to find, but they are the only ones I’ve ever found to come in a “lefty” version. (click picture to enlarge)
Undercoat rakes also come in different grades of coarseness. Use them sparingly, limited to a dense, overgrown coat. They will cut the topcoat if overused.
Finger cots and chalk are helpful when finger plucking dead topcoat. Provides a good grip, when you grab a few hairs at a time they come out almost effortlessly.
A detailed step by step guide to clipping your Brussels Griffon and getting a look close to a hand stripped one.
If you decide, later, you would like to try your hand at stripping it can be done, but it will take 2-3 complete “blowouts” to make sure every hair has been replaced by a new hair.