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Help! Should I start handstripping my adopted Cairn??


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Hello all, 

I need some advice on the Cairn I adopted at the end of last year. As she was a rescue, she did not come with any papers, so I am not sure if she is pure, or mostly Cairn. She has an exceptionally soft coat, she had never been groomed when I first saw her (i.e. she was a brown dreadlock). Since then she has been groomed a few times with a long clip, but has never been hand stripped. Her coat is so soft, I can't see how its possible to strip (or if I should even try, as I don't know her breeding!). She gets very cold and her coat doesn't dry easily. Her stature, type and personality is 100% Cairn, but obviously if her grandma was a poodle, then trying to make her coat wirey is a fruitless mission!

Any advice would be much appreciated! 

P.S First 2 pics are fairly recent (post groom), 3rd pic is the day I adopted her (post dematting)




Edited by nicolemarie
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No doubt about it she is a Cairn. And a lovely one at that! The reason her coat is soft is because she has been clipped. Others on the site will give better recommendations on how to wait to strip the coat at a later time.

Welcome to this awesome site!  What is your girls name? Just checked your bio..Toto. Perfect. :P

Edited by Terrier lover

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie


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I think your girl has a beautiful coat just the way it is. I like the natural look. On my two I usually only trim the hair over their eyes when it gets to long.  I can't find anyone in my area that does hand stripping.  Good luck with your Cairn, she is very pretty.

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That is a full blooded Cairn. If she has any other breed in her I don't see it. She is beautiful.

Agree with Terrier Lover that clipping makes the coat soft. You can start striping the coat whenever you want to. I wouldn't hesitate at all. It could take a few times striping her to get the coat to become harsh again, as it has with my rescue. She had also been clipped and her coat was soft. I have stripped her twice and her coat has become a little more coarse.

I tend to like the natural look as well. I strip a little in the Fall and Spring.

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