'Before & Afters' and competitions
As a competitor...
I have been competitively grooming border terriers in Young Kennel Club competitions for 7 years, and have qualified for Crufts in the national Groomer of the Year competition in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In 2012 and 2014 Hazel, Bramble and I were awarded 1st places in the over 15 age category at Crufts, and in 2015 Bramble and I were awarded a 2nd place in the over 18 age category.
A couple of critiques judges have written:
"hand stripped a Border Terrier to perfection (no mean feat)"~2013
"Jodie worked quietly and effectively hand stripping the unwanted body coat to reveal the tighter body jacket underneath turning this quite shaggy dog into a neat end product, using her grooming tools correctly and safely covering all necessary areas and doing a complete job."~2014
Although I am no longer grooming competitively for personal reasons, instead focussing on dog sports, I am proud that I never used a stripping knife, clippers or scissors on the body or tails of dogs I groomed in the ring. I maintain the view that the only tools necessary for a proper handstrip are the hands.
As a groomer...
I am a self-taught dog groomer, and although I specialize in border terrier hand-stripping, I have groomed other breeds, from Bichons to Golden Retrievers, and have specialised equipment. However, because I haven't had experience with grooming every breed I cannot guarentee they will look perfect (although I charge a lot less than trained groomers, so there's your silver lining!)
For me, the welfare of the dog must come first. I am compassionate when grooming and although I try to meet the owner's specification as much as possible, if a dog is very matted and it is in its best interest to clip the coat to a shorter length, I will do so- here's your warning!
Although I love handstripping border terriers, it can get expensive for owners having to fork out for grooming bills, so if any of my clients ever decided to groom their dog themselves I will always support and teach them. I created this video to encourage more owners to have a go at grooming their own border terrier themselves- there's nothing to lose and you may find it is easier than you imagined!