To shave, or not to shave that thick double coat

Golden Retriever

Examples of dogs with thick double-coat  are Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, German Shepherd Dogs, Siberian Huskies, Samoyed.

Double-coated dogs have a soft inner coat of hair close to their skin that serves as an insulating layer, helping keep them warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. In spring and summer, a dog will shed a good bit of this under layer, but what remains will help capture air between the two coat layers, allowing the dog to keep the heat at bay and regulate his body temperature. The outer coat (or guard hair) consists of longer hair that gives a dog his color and is not shed as much.

A good  double coat is one that grows on healthy skin, well-maintained, aligns closely to the breed standard. A good quality coat provides the appropriate insulation and protection for the dog from both heat and cold, as well as from sunburn and other environmental factors.

Shaving or trimming a perfect double coat too short can remove its natural protection and put the dog at risk of overheating, sunburn, and other skin issues.

Shaving a perfect double coat on certain breeds  might alter the texture and color of the coat, leads to a less desirable result. The coat may grow back unevenly or display a different texture , which can impact the dog's appearance and may take a long time to restore. This is why AKC and CKC advise not to shave some double coated breeds  when their coat and skin is in good, manageable condition.

There are certain situations where shaving a double-coated dog may be necessary. Some breeds with thick double coat steer away from their original popose may lack the enviroment to help them shed the undercoat naturally, without the proper interfere of human, such coat will become severely matted due to neglect; shaving may also be necessary when there is a medical reason,such as a skin condition that requires topical medication or a surgery is being prepared.

In some cases, shaving the thick ,matted double coat may be the best course of action recommended by a veterinarian or professional stylist when brushing and washing can not be done safely, leaving the mats in place will trap  dander, germs ,debris and ice melt that are use outdoors in the winter, small wood debris collected during their walks and even soak up chemicals that are used to wash your floors these will cause discomfort and cause discomfort for the dog, if left unattended, skin irritation, hot spots, infections are sure to follow, shaving the coat that is too damaged or too painful to restore might be the only way to provide better access to the skin for cleaning and hair regrow.

Hip operation


Ideally a minimal of 1/4" of coat is  left when  shaving for the purpose of removing mats, how much length could be saved will depend on tightness of the mats. After shaving a double-coated dog, it's important to maintain a regular grooming schedule to help restore the function and beauty of the coat. The frequency of coat restoration grooming appointments is usually 6-8 weeks, depend on the individual dog's coat type and growth pattern.

If the double coated dog has  existing conditions such as Alopecia X, the coat might not grow back without additional treatment, the baldness  is not caused by the shaving itself. Dogs with this condition  will slowly become bald without the shaving, removal of the coat only makes this condition to be more noticeable.

Pampered Paws understands that you have a very busy life, trying to balance work, family comments, children, your own personal  hygiene all eats into your day.  This is why we try to encourage all of our clients to book ahead with appointments so that your well loved Pet Companion is not forgotten as their hygiene is just as important as yours.