Rolling is a term used by groomers to describe a certain type of stripping. It's generally done by hand, but it can be done using a knife. You start on one section and strip or pluck that section on one day. Then the next day or in a few days, you strip another section. Because you usually move from one section to the next in a pattern that ultimately covers your dog's entire body, it's called rolling.
One positive side effect of rolling is that you strip only a little bit of your dog's coat at one time rather than taking hours to strip the entire dog. The negative side of rolling is that whenever you're planning to show your dog within a few months, you're out of luck, because rolling by itself can take six months or more to work a coat into show quality. However, after you get your dog's coat into show shape, rolling can keep it in show shape all the time.
Some groomers are of the opinion that hand stripping or hand plucking a coat causes a lot of discomfort for the dog, and they simply prefer to clip rather than strip their dogs. To be honest with you, some dogs do have problems with the procedure, probably because the tufts of dead hair often catch and pull on live hairs.
I've noticed that this coat pulling occurs more often with hand-plucking than it does when a shedding blade or a stripping knife is used. If your dog tends to have sensitive skin, you need to use one or the other of these implements to facilitate the stripping process.
Dog owners who show stripped-breed dogs generally strip their dogs' entire coats and then use rolling to maintain them.
Preparing a stripped dog for show literally requires you to work months in advance of the show. If you own a dog who simply must be stripped, you can expect to strip him at least two months before the show or begin rolling (see previous section) the dog's coat at least six months ahead of the show.
When showing your dog, understanding the breed standard and the correct coat type your dog should be wearing, if you will, are essential. A good place to look for breed standards is on the Internet at www.akc.org.
The basic coat care that you have to perform to prepare a stripped breed for show includes a
1 Trimming your dog's toenails 1 Brushing out your dog 1 Removing any mats i Stripping your dog's coat prior to bathing i Bathing your dog i Drying your dog i Brushing out your dog i Stripping your dog
1 Clipping stray hairs and keeping a clean line if allowed by the breed standard
1 Using coat dressing whenever appropriate
In between shows, you need to hand roll your dog's coat to keep it looking 100 percent. Every time you groom your dog, do the following:
1. Starting at your dog's head and working down the head and neck, gently pluck out (with your hand) any hairs that ruin the clean line.
2. Moving on to the back and sides, pluck out any stray hair you find there.
3. Look and feel down your dog's front legs and chest, plucking any stray hairs.
4. Search for and pluck stray hairs that dogs usually lose along their rear ends and the backs of their legs.
5. Check along the belly and abdomen for stray hairs and pluck them carefully. It can be tender there!
6. Look along the base of the tail and along the tail itself for any areas that need to be plucked.
These instructions on hand rolling a coat are simplified. The truth is, finding a pro who can show you how to strip and then roll a coat is the best approach. After you learn how, you'll get into the routine pretty quickly.
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