Don't Shave Your Dog Before Reading This!

Did you know that a double-coated breed dog's hair is designed to protect from the elements?

Double-coated breeds (Siberian Husky, Golden Retreiver, German Shepherd) have a shiny topcoat of guard hairs over a softer, denser undercoat.  These longer hairs allow excess heat to escape, while reflecting the sun's rays away.  In warm weather, a dry fluffed, tangle-free coat traps a layer of cool air to help insulate the dog against overheating.  In cold weather, this tangle-free coat traps a layer of warm air to protect the dog from frostbite and hypothermia.  The undercoat hairs shed out and re-grow several times per year, but the long guardhairs shed out and re-grow once maybe every few years.

A double-coat overdue for grooming will appear lumpy and rough, can't trap air for insulation, can't repel moisture or dry quickly, traps dirt and debris, provides a good hiding place for bugs, encourages the overgrowht of bacteria and fungus, traps hair as it sheds, making the situation increasingly worse overtime, etc etc etc!

Here's what you should consider BEFORE shaving your double-coated dog:

Compared to the undercoat, the guard hairs shed and grow back slowly - it can take more than a year!  Also, shaving can sometimes interfere with the shedding cycle, resulting in a higher proportion of undercoat compared to guard hair regrowth.  More undercoat means MORE SHEDDING!  Shaving a double coated dog can reveal or cause permanent coat damage, hair loss, and bald spots in some dogs, especially if they aren't brushed regularly while growing out.  Frequent shaving overtime increases the liklihood that coat texture and thickness will change in an undesirable way. 

After a short shave:

The coat's appearance will be dominated by undercoat showing fewer, lighter colors, it will be dull instead of shiny, and they will have softer, finer hairs.

Without a proper double-coat, steps should be taken to minimize the dog's exposure to sunlight, heat, and extreme cold due to increased risk for: sunburn and heat stroke/ hypothermia and frostbite.

This information is meant to help you make an informed choice before having your double-coated breed shaved.  Talk to your groomer to help make a good evaluation.  Thanks for reading!