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To Shave or Not To Shave?

By September 25, 2017March 31st, 2022Uncategorized

To shave or not to shave? That is the Question.

We “DO NOT” shave, clipper, puppy cut, double coated breeds and this is why..

What is a double coat? A few breeds that have double coats are: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Pomeranians, Huskys, Pugs, and Shelties to name a few.

Lets start off with what exactly ” shaving” is. Shaving is anytime clippers are taken to the dogs coat no matter what length you are taking off.

A double coated dogs coat is made up of two types of hair; guard hairs and undercoat. The guard hair is what protects the dogs skin. It is harsh and often a different color than the under coat. The under coat is the cotton like fluff that sheds all over your house. When you shave this coat off you are removing the guard hairs leaving the bottom portion of the hair still attached at the pore. By leaving this portion still attached it will start to kill that guard hair. Once the guard hair is dead it WILL NOT GROW BACK. It may grow back partially the first time or two. Then it will all turn into undercoat or ultimately go bald. Its called clipper Alopecia.

What does this mean? A dog will have 50% guard hairs and 50% undercoat with a correctly maintained coat. Once its shaved it will turn to 100% undercoat and will look unhealthy or moth eaten as it grows in. This also means for you instead of only cleaning up 50% of the original undercoat you now have 100% to clean up off your floor.

Clipper Alopecia

Frequently asked questions

Q: My dog is so hot in the summer shaving the coat off will make him cooler.

A: FALSE! By trimming the dogs coat off you are doing more harm than good. The guard hairs will reflect the sun off the dogs coat like sunscreen. Their undercoat, if groomed on a regular basis will easily be removed in the summer and act as an air conditioning system. Also with having shorter hair the sun is able to penetrate the dogs skin quicker raising the dogs temperature faster. It will also cause sun burn and kill the coat faster.

This shows the guard coat .vs the undercoat and what happens when you shave it.

Q: My dog sheds too much. By trimming the hair off shorter it will shed less.

A: Nope sorry False again. Clippering the coat will only make it shed more. As stated earlier you will go from having 50% undercoat to 100%. If anything your dogs hair that is shedding out will be shorter, but double the amount.

This is a Golden Retriever that came into our salon after previously only being shaved once at a longer length. The areas that are white is the dead guard coat that is on the verge of balding out.

Q: But I am not shaving the coat down to the skin, only taking about 1 inch off. Is that ok?

A: No! You would still be taking a clipper to the coat which is the culprit to the damage. No matter what length you leave the coat you are still doing damage.

Q: My dog keeps getting hot spots and have bad allergies. That is why i want the hair shaved off.

A: By trimming the coat off you are actually making it more susceptible to infections. First off it is more exposed now to allergens since there is no guard coat to protect it. Second this coat is not meant to be trimmed and often will create MORE hot spots than the dog already has.






Q: My other groomer never said anything about doing it. Why are you?

A: Our groomers are actually Certified professional groomers. They went to school just like a beautician. They are fully educated in the science behind the skin and coat. Most out there are not educated or just plainly do not care and are just in it for the money.

Kenzie the Golden Retriever after her Mini Groom

Q: So if you will not shave my dog what will you do?

A: These types of dogs that come in will normally get what we call a MINI Groom. They will get bathed, hand dried, undercoat removed, brushed out, nails trimmed, sanitary trimmed, and the silhouette of the dog trimmed by hand.








Collie After a Mini Groom

On a final ending note, why would we turn away business? Turn away a higher cost groom or a less expensive mini groom? The answer is because we care about your pet like they are our own and want the best for them. We would never want to do anything to cause them harm.

Pomeranian Before & After a Mini Groom



Stephanie Stempfer