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Summer Grooms: Should You Shave a Double Coated Dog?

Double Coated Dogs are “Insulated”

The soft, inner layer of a double coated dog acts as insulation, cooling a dog in summer. After shedding, the undercoat hair that is left helps capture air between the two coats, which helps regulate body temperature. Guard hair (the outer coat) protects the dog from sunburn from UV and insects.

Guard Hair Damage

Guard hair is slower growing, taking up to two years to regrow, if it regrows at all. The faster-growing undercoat can crowd out the guard hairs. Sometimes shaving guard hair can cause alopecia, resulting in patches and damaging the coat in perpetuity. Discussing this risk with clients is essential.

How to Help a Double Coated Dog Stay Cool

  • Let customers know that the best way to help a double-coated dog stay cool is to NOT shave the coat but to brush REGULARLY, which creates a cooling effect and removes loose undercoat before it can create mats.
  • Get clients into a deshedding program to preserve the coat and avoid the need for a shave down

When Shaving is Necessary:

  • If the coat is too far gone for deshedding/remediation
  • If it’s medically necessary for health of skin
  • If a geriatric dogs with a life-limiting disease cannot stand the strain of grooming
  • If the client’s lifestyle demands low-maintenance coat AND they understand that the coat may not grow back in the same way.

How to Tell if a Mixed Breed Is Double Coated?

It may be hard to tell, but many double coated dogs have extra skin around their neck. Their guard hair or outer coat will be a different texture than the “fuzzier” undercoat.

List Of Double-Coated Dogs By Popular Breeds:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan & Siberian Huskies
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • American English Coonhound
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Beagle
  • Bearded Collie
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Border Collies
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Cavalier King Charles
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Chow Chow
  • Corgis
  • Finnish Lapphund
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Havanese
  • Keeshond
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Leonberger
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Newfoundlands
  • Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Parson Russel Terrier
  • Pembroke Corgi
  • Pomeranians
  • Rough Collie
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Shetland SheepDog
  • Shiba Inu
  • Shih Tzu
  • Smooth Collie
  • Wire-haired Fox Terrier
  • Welsh Corgi
  • Yorkshire terrier

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