The short answer is not if it's done right and the coat is ready. The right technique is to always pull hair out in the direction of the growth and how you want it to regrow. Pull out only a few hairs at a time, working within each dog's tolerance. The hair is ready to be plucked when it is in the Teleogen, or resting stage. At this time the follicle becomes detached from the dermal papilla (blood supply) and shrinks and moves closer to the surface of the skin. On the outside the hair in this stage often looks thinner and lighter at the skin. When the hair is in the Exogen, or shedding phase, it is also very easily removed.
Here is my little friend, "Forest", a 6-month old Cairn puppy, whom we recently hand stripped for his first time. These pictures show you how relaxed he was during our two hours of work together. This was towards the end of the grooming, and I was working on the skirt and hips. This is what I was doing:
And here is what he was doing!
This baby didn't mind his grooming at all. He didn't dance around, didn't seem offended or bothered by most of the work I did. The only thing he resisted was working on his tail and behind parts. I opted to scissor there. My objective when hand stripping a pet is to work within their tolerance and limits. Not all puppies are this patient. Forest was a delight! His coat was very ready and easily stripped. I used a stripping knife on much of the body, but I prefer to hand pluck the sides of the body.
Pet owners are often concerned that stripping the coat is going to hurt their babies. I always assure them that it is NOT like plucking your eyebrows. How the dog reacts also depends on whether or not he/she has been trained to accept grooming at home. In this case, Forest's owner has been regularly combing, brushing and attempting to remove some coat. Her efforts really paid off on my table. This was the kind of grooming that makes me love my job!