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Grooming the Double-Coated Dog

Dogs come in all shapes, sizes AND coat types. A 'double-coated' dog has long, guard hairs under which there is a denser, woollier, and usually much softer undercoat. The more denserthe undercoat, the fluffier a dog's coat tends to be and the more grooming they need to prevent tangles and mats from forming.

The outer guard hairs serve to repel moisture and dirt, while the softer undercoat acts more as an insulation that keeps dogs warm during winter and cool in summer.

Should I shave my double-coated dog in the summer?

Even though you may think your double-coated would be more comfortable with his or her coat shaved for the summer, that's not true! Shaving a dog removes the barrier that protects it from the damaging UV rays of the sun and that insulating layer that actually helps to keep them cool.

At Dodge City Grooming, rather than shaving, we recommend a thorough brush out and bath, with a scissoring or trimming of paws and ears (if required) to keep the dog comfortable and looking well-kept. Tidying the paws also lessens the amount of dirt your dog will track into your home and vehicle.

Shaving - or 'comfort grooming' - may be considered for some geriatric dogs or those with physical impairments, if a bath and brush at the groomer and/or regular at-home grooming may be difficult for them. 

Water Loving Dogs

If your double-coated dog loves to swim, then you will know that matting of the undercoat can be a big problem. A matted coat takes a long time to dry and guarantees an ever-lasting 'doggie smell.'

If the matts are very close to the skin, they hurt! And matts can cause a variety of health problems including: dry itchy skin, rashes, flea bites, hot spots, or abscesses, all of which will require veterinary medical treatment.

Weekly at-home grooming with a tool appropriate for your dog's specific coat type will help to remove dead hair and lessen the matting. Regular visits to the groomer will also make a big difference.

Ask us what grooming tools are right for your specific breed of dog and how often your canine companion should come in for professional grooming.

Some examples of double-coated dogs that should not be routinely shaved:

  • Akitas
  • Australian Cattle Dogs
  • Collies
  • Corgis
  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • Huskys
  • Keeshonds
  • Newfoundland Dogs
  • Saint Bernards
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Shiba Inus
  • Golden and Labrador Retrievers
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers (pictured left)
  • Pomeranians.
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