How to Groom a Dog with a Thick Undercoat

Hard
1 - 1 Hour
1 Month

Introduction

If ever there was a challenge when it comes to grooming a dog, it has to be those with a thick undercoat or, as they are often called, a double coated dog. There are those who wonder why you don't simply shave these types of dogs and be done with it.

However, most vets do not recommend shaving these dogs unless it is absolutely necessary. This being said, there is no reason you shouldn’t groom your dog's coat on a regular basis. Unless you want to spend a fortune at your local groomer's, why not learn how to groom your pup yourself?

Dog's Perspective

Your pup's double coat is designed to protect him in the winter and in the summer. Many dogs with a thick undercoat shed or "blow" their coats twice each year. But even so, especially in the summer months, your pup is sure to appreciate having his hair groomed and trimmed when the weather gets hot. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Never shave a dog with a thick undercoat or double coat, as this can lead to sunburn and many other medical conditions.
  • Shaving your pup could leave him with a very patchy coat if and when it grows back.
  • If for any reason you are not sure how often your pup needs to be groomed, ask your vet or local professional groomer.
  • There are a number of spray detanglers for dogs available at your local pet store. These can make a big difference when trying to brush through your pup's coat if you didn't need to bath him first.
  • If you decide to use electric clippers to help with the grooming, invest in a more expensive clipper as they run more quietly and are less likely to frighten your pup.
  • During the times when your pup is blowing out his coat, you may find it better to brush him on a daily basis to help remove the massive amounts of loose hair, keeping it from getting everywhere in your house (well, at least some of it).
  • If you bathe your dog, be sure to rinse all traces of shampoo from his fur and skin. If you don't, it could cause itchy skin or lead to an allergic reaction. 

Conclusion

Not only will you be much happier when you can be proud of the way your pup looks fully groomed, he will feel much better as well. On top of this, you can be proud of the money you are saving by learning how to groom your dog and helping him to look his best at all times.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Max
Terrier mix
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
Terrier mix
5 Years

He has long thick hair with an undercoat down the middle of his back and around his neck like a mane. I want to cut it myself to save money. I have clippers, as I’m a barber , but cutting a dog is totally different than people!! How short can I go, and do I go against the grain?

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Mamas
Great Pyrenees Border Collie mix
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mamas
Great Pyrenees Border Collie mix
3 Years

I have never gotten her groomed before and I would like to know what would be a good recommendation for her. Like should I completely shave her or get her hair trimmed? Or what kind would be best for her?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello and thank you for the question. I would have Mamas trimmed only - not shaved. She has a beautiful coat. You can most likely maintain it very well at home with weekly brushing (or a few times a week) as recommended by the groomer. Remember, the groomer can trim her nails as well - an important part of keeping Mamas well and comfortable. Good luck and enjoy your dog!

Add a comment to Mamas's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Apollo
Timber husky
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Apollo
Timber husky
8 Years

I feel as if he has dermatitis. He itches himself til he is raw. He is also clumping his coat(blowing it) we have several other dogs of the same breed.. please recommend a good shampoo conditioner and anti flea treatment as well as a dog blower/dryer

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I think the best bet is to take Apollo to see his vet. The itching till raw can lead to secondary infection. There could be many underlying reasons (mites you cannot see, a problem with dietary or environmental allergies, etc.) We do have the option to ask a vet here in the meantime: https://wagwalking.com/wag-health. I would not want to recommend a shampoo that could potentially make the problem worse without the right diagnosis. Also, here is an article reviewing blowers, including why use each type. All the best to Apollo!

Add a comment to Apollo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd