Stripping and Grooming a Wire

Wire Dachshunds have a “double-coat”.  There is a longer, harsh top coat with a dense, woolly undercoat beneath.  Two or three times a year the long, dead top coat will need to be plucked out to allow the new top coat to grow in.  Wires have the advantage of not moulting like other dogs.  If you are lucky enough to have a Wire with a short, harsh “pin wire” coat, it will probably not need stripping at all; you’ll just need to tidy it up with regular grooming.

You can take your pet wire to a grooming parlour to have his coat stripped or you can, with time and patience, do it yourself.  If you decide to do it yourself, choose a time when the dog is relaxed and lying quietly beside you.  An artcile on Hand-stripping by Val Beynon was re-published in Dog World – here.

Starting at the neck, raise a fold of skin with one hand – you will see the long hairs of the top coat standing away from the woolly undercoat.  Taking a few of the long top coat hairs between the finger and thumb of your other hand, pluck them out.  If the coat is ready to come out, the top coat will come away easily without distressing the dog.

Continue down one side of the dog, then the other and down the back, until the dog is in his undercoat all over.  This could take several sessions over a few days to achieve.  Be kind and firm and patient at all times.

Finally, tidy the tail and legs with a stripping knife (a blade between two combs) which can be obtained from pet shops and dog shows.

You can find video clips here.

Di Moate demonstrating how to strip a Wire coat

Di Moate demonstrating how to strip a Wire coat

Read more about Dachshund coats (Smooth, Long, Wire).   Read more about Wire coats.


Your Wire will need regular grooming 2-3 times a week using a bristle brush and wide-toothed metal comb.  Get your puppy used to standing quietly on a steady table to allow you to brush him.  Pay particular attention to the longer hair on the legs and beard to ensure there are no tangles.

Once a week, check your dog’s eyes, ears and feet.  If you discover runny eyes, or a smelly brown discharge in the ears, visit the vet.  Keep the nails short using nail clippers, (the guillotine type are the best).  Be careful not to cut through the quick and make the nail bleed.

Your dog will probably need bathing every couple of months. It is a good idea to use an insecticidal shampoo to guard against fleas or alternatively use a flea-spray from the vet.

At about 6 months of age, when your dog has all his adult teeth, you should start regularly brushing his teeth each week.  Use an old toothbrush and either ordinary toothpaste or special “doggy” toothpaste, and don’t forget to try and brush the back teeth too.  This way you will help keep your dog’s teeth free from tartar build-up.

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