As you all know Raiden is a Border Terrier…if you don’t know, here he is 😉
Border Terriers need to be stripped rather than have their coat shaved or trimmed, most places say this needs to happen a few times a year. Stripping basically involves gently tugging out the loose hairs…you can use your fingers, a stripping knife and I’ve heard some people use rocks/pumice stones.
A lot of people with Border Terriers take their dogs to a groomer to be stripped, but we’re not really fans of groomers…when looking up stripping on YouTube there were a lot of professional groomers demonstrating with stressed out dogs, dragging them about etc. We’ve also had a bad grooming experience when we first adopted Kasper, too.
We’re very thorough in other people’s interactions with our dogs – a simple vet visit takes a week of planning, phone calls with the vet, giving them instructions etc. I just couldn’t trust a groomer to do things how we would want them to be done.
So we said right from the start we would strip Raiden ourselves, and I began to look into techniques and tools.
Before he turned 6 months old we were already preparing him for the experience of stripping through handling and gentle tugging of hairs.
I recently found the Mars Coat King brush. We ordered the 12 tooth one as that’s what other Border Terrier owners recommended.
I actually looked into the Furminator first, as it said on their website that it can be used on Border Terriers. I then did more research and dozens of forums and blogs said it wasn’t good for Borders, and that Border Terriers actually used to be on the ‘do not use’ list on the Furminator website. Border Terrier owners recommended the Mars Coat King instead.
When I emailed the Furminator company to ask if it really was okay for Borders, they thanked me for my question & said they would get back in touch with their answer. They never got back in touch.
Today, as Raiden is 6.5 months old now, we tried using the Mars Coat King for the first time. I realised afterwards I should have got a before photo…I didn’t, and these are the best I could find!
Before trying the brush on Raiden I tested it on myself – after a few runs through my hair it had picked out a few!
The training had Raiden sitting wonderfully whilst I swept the brush down his back. At first I did it very lightly, and I only brushed him for fifteen seconds whilst my partner fed him treats. Lookit what I got for my troubles!
That was enough for day one. Today was day two!
For the first session of the day I brushed for twenty seconds, and with more pressure. Again Raiden was being given treats often, but even so he had absolutely no issue with the sensation of this brush at all, even though I could tell from the way it was moving down the length of him that it was tugging a little.
After that we had a break to do some playing and let Raiden chew on some antlers. Fifteen minutes later we were back to it, with me applying the same amount of pressure. Below you can see the hair on the left after 30 seconds brushing total, and on the right 45. The lower photo is the combined heap of hair!
We had another play break. I have to say Raiden was not bothered by this experience at all, there was absolutely no stress. We got quite a lot of old hair off him and I really wasn’t applying much pressure.
For the final session I applied more pressure, which really made a difference, and still caused Raiden no discomfort. Throughout the entire stripping we had brushed him for 1 minute 20 seconds in total, and here’s the result.
And now some photos of Raiden! For the first session I stuck to his back, so you should be able to see the hair is much neater there.
I cannot describe what a HUGE DIFFERENCE this brush has made! It has neatened him up and his coat is much smoother now; the longer hairs that were ready for the plucking are gone.
Some people have said that the Mars Coat King isn’t suitable to use for show Border Terriers, although I can’t find much agreeing information on why. For us the brush is a wonderful way to keep Raiden looking tidy, and is something he has no issue with at all.
(and yes, Raiden is looking very skinny today – he had runny poop yesterday so has been on limited food. Today his poops have been solid but he’s still just on rice & chicken. Funnily enough I have been ill too with a horrific migraine and nausea…Kasper and my partner are fine!)
So there you have it.
We rate the Mars Coat King: 4 paws out of 4!