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I'm trying to decide whether to shave my dog for the summer months or not. I've done a little bit of research, and have seen pros and cons for both. He has a pretty thick coat, about 2 inches long or so, with an undercoat. August and September get pretty toasty where I live, with temps getting into high 90's, sometimes low 100's. The past few weeks have already started to get really warm, so I've been taking him out for his walks after 8pm, when the sun has gone down. He gets so antsy since he's not used to walks that late. Just wanted to know peoples thoughts/experiences with shaving their fluffy fur babies! Of course, we wouldn't shave down to the skin. I know they need their coats to protect their skin :) Just wondering if shortening it at all would be helpful.

Thanks! :)

He is a mix btw, best guess is some aussi shepherd and border collie (but who knows for sure!)
 

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Looking at his coat from the picture on his profile I'd say skip the shave. Coats like that are built to insulate the dog and he might actually get hotter if you take that away. Also you run the risk at this age (not so much if he's full grown but still an issue with some of the breeds you think are in his mix) of his coat growing back weird and choppy or not even growing back at all.
 

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Since he's double coated don't shave him. Rule of thumb is single coated dogs it's O.K. to shave them, double coated dogs don't shave.

What you need to do is get as much of the under coat out as you can by brushing him, you can also take him to the groomers and ask for them for a deshedding treatment. Specify that you do NOT want the dog shaved, that you only want to get as much of the undercoat out as possible, if they have to clip him for any reason they should call you first.
 

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Ahhh please don't shave him! Double-coated dogs are designed that way for a reason! In fact, double-coated dogs that are shaved often get very bad sunburns and all of a sudden are very susceptible to bug bites. Not to mention, double-coated breeds have their beautiful coats ruined once shaved.
I groom my Aussie myself because it is so expensive to get him groomed. What I do is put on a good movie or t.v. show and get out my rake (
) and get out as much undercoat as I can.
It also has been getting into the 100's here as well. We walk on grass to protect pads, bring water, and play lots of games inside the house. Have you tried any kind of scent-work games?
 

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Since he's double coated don't shave him. Rule of thumb is single coated dogs it's O.K. to shave them, double coated dogs don't shave.

What you need to do is get as much of the under coat out as you can by brushing him, you can also take him to the groomers and ask for them for a deshedding treatment. Specify that you do NOT want the dog shaved, that you only want to get as much of the undercoat out as possible, if they have to clip him for any reason they should call you first.
Pretty much agree with that. Ours gets groomed once a month and he loves it. She trims off some of the shaggy bits but nothing beyond that.

In between, we use a "furminator" which is pretty good at getting out loose hair.
 

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I wouldn't shave, here's my experience: I have a 13 year old Shep/Husky mix. He has been our dog for 4 years now before that he was adopted at the shelter at 1yr old and passed around between friends and family,he's a runner...go figure ;) Anywho since he lived in the desert, he was shaved every year and I continued that until 2 years ago when his coat had a super hard time growing back. Always since I've known him (11 yrs) he has had a super dry christmas tree type coat. Even being on raw and omega fish oil hasn't improved it :( Upon research I did after his coat was having difficulty coming back I learned that his poor coat quality was in part due to the damage done by the many years of shaving him down ( sometimes his previous owners kept him clipped down all year). I say in part because some of the issue could be due to age as well or maybe underlying health issue (looking into that still) but I am pretty sure that all the shaving did some damage to his coat :( Now I just brush him and almost everyday at that, he seems to be quite happy and his coat has finally filled in but it's seriously like touching a dry christmas tree when you pet him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice! What would you all recommend as a good brush for getting rid of the undercoat? We tried a furminator, and for whatever reason, our dog hated it. I don't know if its pulling at his skin or what, but he fusses and tries to wiggle away. Anyone else have good experiences with other types of brushes?
 

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I used to use a slicker brush, an undercoat rake, and a regular pin brush when I had Shadow. The slicker brush to start with, then the undercoat rake, then the pin brush, or the slicker, to get out the loosened undercoat.

When brushing make sure you are getting all the coat down to the skin, if you don't you'll just get the top layer and end up with a dog that looks brushed but one that has a matted up undercoat, I had that happen with Shadow and it took quiet a while for me to get out all the matted up undercoat after it happened. I learned to at least once every three weeks or so, depended on if it was shedding season, to brush his coat in sections. I'd part his fur horizontally across his body and lifting up the brushed out portion and brushing the coat underneath before lifting up that section. His hindquarters, ruff, and shoulders were the parts that tended to try and mat, back and sides not so much.
 

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Just wondering, why do we shave the dogs?
I thought the coat was naturally there.
Do people shave their dogs for fun or do they do it for their dog's health issue?
Any ideas...?
 

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I shave my dogs belly and trim her fluff down in the summer months. I do this because she has in the past nearly died from heat stroke (and this is with me changing her walking schedule to early morning and after dark during summer) and I simply care more about her life than her beautiful coat. I also brush her out daily to get rid of as much loose fur as possible. You do what it takes to keep your dog healthy.
 

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Just wondering, why do we shave the dogs?
I thought the coat was naturally there.
Do people shave their dogs for fun or do they do it for their dog's health issue?
Any ideas...?
I think people probably shave dogs for the same reason they shave themselves of their 'natural' hair- appearance and comfort.
As far as not shaving because there is a protective double coat, the skin seems to be the same whether the coat is single or double, and I think that thick coats of whatever nature may make a dog miserable in hot humid environments such as Texas where I am.
Possible sunburns are a valid concern for both shaved and short hair dogs, they (and you) should not spend excessive time in the sun.
 

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I think people probably shave dogs for the same reason they shave themselves of their 'natural' hair- appearance and comfort.
As far as not shaving because there is a protective double coat, the skin seems to be the same whether the coat is single or double, and I think that thick coats of whatever nature may make a dog miserable in hot humid environments such as Texas where I am.
Possible sunburns are a valid concern for both shaved and short hair dogs, they (and you) should not spend excessive time in the sun.
Actually shaving a single coated dog and a double coated one are not the same.

Single coated dogs that have a long coat can be shaved or cut. Dogs like yorkies, poodles, and shih tzu all have single hair coats, their coats will keep growing if left uncut so shaving the coat into different cuts is fine, it does not ruin their coat or cause an issue for them unless you shave them very short.

Double coated dogs are different. Their coats should not be shaved unless absolutely necessary. Simply brush out the coat to get the blown undercoat out during the spring and they will be fine. When their coat is shaved it does not help them stay cool, since the top coat does that, instead more heat is allowed to get to their skin. When the coat begins to grow back more problems can happen, the coat is often never the same and can grow back sparse, patchy, or undercoat grows back faster then the over coat and the over coat ends up matting.

I had my black, double coated, terrier mix in both New Orleans, and South East Texas and he never seemed to have a problem with the heat despite my not shaving him. What did happen once when he was 10 was that he was shaved when he was out of my care, and for the next 7 years I fought with his coat because it did not grow back the same as it was before he was saved. Before the shaving his coat was very easy care, after it was a struggle to keep the undercoat from becoming impacted.
 

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@Lucillle Just another thought, even if you don't believe the heat situation it does change the coat and has a possibility of ruining the follicles.

I can tell you by both sight and touch what double coated dogs have been shaved on a regular basis or not. The coat gets thicker and often grows in the wrong direction. Huskies often will not grow the hair back at all. I had several clients that had shaved their huskies at one point and in certain areas the hair just never grew back and always had random bald spots.

Aussies coats loose their shine and lightness. It gets impacted and matted a lot easier as well. Makes for duller coats. I saw a lot of shaved double coated dogs working as a bather.

Plus is you shave the dog the hair falling off is more likely to give you hair splinters, which, somehow, are worse than real splinters.
 
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