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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!! I own an English Springer Spaniel named Henry. I really want to get him a shorter hair cut as his feathers and the rest of his fur literally freeze in the winter, but I don’t want to damage his double coat.
I-know literally nothing about grooming but I want the best for my boy. I have heard that a 7F all over is the best short cut for the breed without damaging the coat but I have no idea what that means!!! Does anyone have any idea?
 

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The higher the blade number the shorter the trim. For a pre-surgical shave you would use a 40. A 7F should leave about 1/8 inch of hair. That seems rather short for a winter clip unless you are planning on having Henry wear a sweater all winter. A 5F would leave around 1/4 inch, a 4F would leave around 3/8 inch, and a 3F would leave around 1/2 inch. I tend to keep my poodles at around 3/8 to 1/2 inch on their legs and 1 to 2 inches on their bodies in the dead of winter.

We used to get our Cocker Spaniel trimmed short every winter because he always got spectacular ice balls on his legs. One autumn we missed his shave down, so he went into snow season with proper thick Cocker Spaniel feathering. No ice balls. His long feathers insulated his legs so well that his body heat didn't melt the snow, and the outer layer of hair stayed dry enough that it never collected ice. Alas, my poodles don't have the same snow repellant hair as the Cocker Spaniel did, so leaving their hair long just means bigger ice balls stuck to their legs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The higher the blade number the shorter the trim. For a pre-surgical shave you would use a 40. A 7F should leave about 1/8 inch of hair. That seems rather short for a winter clip unless you are planning on having Henry wear a sweater all winter. A 5F would leave around 1/4 inch, a 4F would leave around 3/8 inch, and a 3F would leave around 1/2 inch. I tend to keep my poodles at around 3/8 to 1/2 inch on their legs and 1 to 2 inches on their bodies in the dead of winter.

We used to get our Cocker Spaniel trimmed short every winter because he always got spectacular ice balls on his legs. One autumn we missed his shave down, so he went into snow season with proper thick Cocker Spaniel feathering. No ice balls. His long feathers insulated his legs so well that his body heat didn't melt the snow, and the outer layer of hair stayed dry enough that it never collected ice. Alas, my poodles don't have the same snow repellant hair as the Cocker Spaniel did, so leaving their hair long just means bigger ice balls stuck to their legs.
Thank you for your comment. My boy gets the ice balls everywhere. His ears, legs, etc etc etc. It’s painful for him. That’s partially why I want him trimmed more.
So which do you think would be best for a winter cut? A 4F? I do generally have sweaters and gear on him but I don’t want him to be cold either.
 

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This article may be informative.
The Double Coated Debate - Groomer to Groomer

Specifically this:


It has much less of a negative impact on the coat if you trim the outer or top coat longer than the natural undercoat. You can still trim a lot of the coat off but not shave so close as to shave undercoat. Leave it at least ½ inch longer than the natural length of the undercoat. Think of it as a roof over the insulation in your attic. You need the insulation to keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter and you also need a roof to keep the insulation from being destroyed by the elements. Remove as much of the undercoat as possible before trimming the outer coat.
 
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