1. Main Body
Strip the jacket and body coat down 8 to 10 weeks before the first show you wish to enter. Strip a small horse shoe type pattern over the withers and back to the base of the tail. Strip down a line just behind the muscle of the front legs to on the chest where the longer chest hair will be left and blended with the jacket. Follow this back to the upper thigh area on the hips. Be sure to layer and blend the hair at the furnishings to prevent the look of chaps.
The back of the neck should be stripped about 1 ½ or 2 weeks after the jacket has been stripped. Strip down the sides if the neck to a point just above the hair line where the growth changes direction. This will allow for a smoother transition into the closer flat work on the front that is required.
3. Rear Quarters & Tail
The tail and rear should be stripped about 6 weeks before the show you wish to enter. The tail should be completely stripped and the underside may require a little clean up work later if the hair grows quickly. The rear quarters should be stripped down to just above the hock joint. The hair should be carefully blended into the furnishings and the inner thigh muscle should also be blended for a good transition when viewed from the rear.
The underside of the neck and front should be stripped 4 to 5 weeks before the show. Strip a line from just under the throat down to the front of the dog about 1 finger width above the joint of the upper arm & foreleg. Then blend the hair along the front and top side of the leg into the furnishings. Be careful not to give the dog a “caved in” look in the front. This area is part of the “flat work” that will need to be continuously worked in order to insure that the hair presents a smooth tight appearance.
The head should be should be stripped down approximately 4 weeks before the show. Laying in the pattern on the head is critical. The skull is stripped down to a point about ½ to ¾ inch above the eyes and back to the crest of the neck. Then strip from the outside corner of the eye to the back edge corner of the mouth. Be careful not to strip out to much under the eye as this will give them a carved out hour glass look that destroys the appearance of the head. The sides should be carefully plucked and blended to promote a smooth, block look from the cheeks into the foreface. The fall should be blended so that it is an extension of the top skull and not profuse like a Kerry Blue fall. Remember to pluck a little, comb and stand back and look.
The ears should be stripped 3 weeks before the show. They should be taken down completely and the edges carefully stripped as well. If the dog will tolerate it strip the underside. If not then use a very close, 30 blade to clipper the inside of the ear. For dogs that have very small, light fly-away ears strip at 4 weeks in order to promote extra hair to aid in weighting down the ear. For heavy ears strip at 2.5 weeks to keep them as light as possible.