How to Shave a Double Coated Dog

Hard
30 - 60 Minutes
6 Months

Introduction

First and foremost, you should not shave a double-coated dog unless your vet recommends it. Doing so will rob Howie of the only protection his skin has from the cold and from the heat of the sun. Once you shave him down, it can lead to numerous skin issues such as dry skin, eczema, and sunburn. It can also result in his coat not growing back properly, leaving him with a patchy mess. Keep in mind too that having a double coat helps to keep Howie cool in the summer just as much as it keeps him warm in the winter. Shaving him in the summer will have the opposite effect by making him hotter rather than cooler. However, some veterinarians recommend shaving certain areas of the body or the whole body if there are injuries, infections, or skin conditions that require shaving in order to receive proper treatment. 

Dog's Perspective

Howie loves his coat. It keeps him nice and cool all summer long and warm during the cold winter months. He sees no reason for you to shave him down skin level. In fact, doing so is liable to land you in the doghouse for a very long time. Don't do this just to make yourself feel better for 'helping him' to stay cool, as it won't work. Be sure to shave a double coat only if recommended to by a veterinarian. 

Caution & Considerations

  • You should only shave a double-coated dog if his hair is so matted you cannot groom them out or if he has a medical condition for which his vet says he needs to be shaved. Never shave a double-coated dog for aesthetic purposes, as this can cause irreparable harm. 
  • Be sure you buy good quality heavy duty clippers and use a sharp blade for shaving, as the coat can be thick and difficult to get through otherwise. 
  • You may need to use several different guides in order to get all the way down to his skin. Don't be afraid to switch guides out as appropriate.
  • Use shears to cut around sensitive areas. Clippers may cause injury in areas that are not meant for them.
  • You may need to shave any areas that grow faster than the rest if you want him to have an even coat while it grows out.
  • His coat will grow at different speeds, but by the time it has fully grown back in, it will look just as good as it did before you shaved it, if not better. 
  • Remember to only shave a double-coated dog if absolutely necessary. 

Conclusion

As you can see, you really shouldn't shave a double-coated dog. However, there are times when it is the only choice. Take your time, work in layers, and stop to take frequent breaks. By the time you are done, your dog will probably not be very happy with you, but give him a few treats and let him know what at "good boy" he has been and he will likely forgive you!  

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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