Tony & Dog has received countless requests to clip down of double coated dogs, like: Shetland Sheepdogs, Japanese Spitz, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Greenland Dogs, and our advice against performing a clip- down has met with much negativity.
As the mentioned breeds are double coated ones, clipping down is detrimental to them.
These dogs have two layers of fur. The first, or undercoat, are the fine, fluffy hairs that are short and crimp (closest to the skin). It is the fur that sheds; light and soft. The ones are everywhere on our carpets, cars, sofas, etc.
This layer is excellent at trapping air and insulating the dog. Essentially in temperate countries it keeps them warm in the winter, and cool in the summer.
The topcoat is made up of tougher guard hairs that do not shed, and protect your dog from the sun’s harmful rays and bug bites.
It actually insulates them from the heat. What this means is: DO NOT ALLOW YOUR DOUBLE COATED DOG TO BE SHAVEN.
It is a mistake to think you are helping your best friend stay cool when evolution has provided them exactly what they need to survive without shaving.
A key piece of understanding in this matter is that, unlike humans; dogs do not cool themselves through their skin. At most, it is only the pads of their paws that sweat. Their main mode of cooling comes from panting.
Some other common reasons fur parents shave their doubled coated dogs are the thinking that the animal will stop shedding
Another is, “it will always grow back”. Sometimes it will, other times it won’t.
The older the pooch is, the less likely it is that the topcoat of guard hairs will grow back. This leaves them with the undercoat, giving them a patchy, scruffy look. It can alter their coat for the rest of the dog’s life.
In conclusion, when you shave a double coated dog, you may irreparably impair their ability to properly heat/cool themselves and protect their skin.
The best way to keep these breeds cool and comfortable is to regularly bath and brush them. The only reason a person might need to shave their double coated dog is if the hair is so matted, that would be the only option.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your comments.