Double-Coated dog breeds such as the Collies, Huskies, Golden retrievers, and shepherds do have double coats. The undercoat is soft, plush and thick, while the outer coat is coarser. Most double-coated dogs are genetically made to stay outdoors for a long time regardless of the weather. Unfortunately, these dog breeds will require more grooming, brushing and coat trimming than other breeds.
The insulating undercoat found in double-coated dogs may keep them alive even in the most extreme cold conditions, but keeping such dogs indoor may mean your house may be filled with unwanted hair. Double-coated dogs will shed extra hair that can cling to your clothing, furniture, and your beddings. You need to be careful when shaving these dogs in order to prevent sunburn, overheating and some forms of skin cancer.
Prepare Your Double Coated Dog for Shaving
It is important that you get your dog accustomed to shaving tools. Make use of dog clippers that do not create enormous buzzing sounds, especially those that are very quiet and not too sharp to cause bleeding. Position the clipper near the double-coated dog but don’t put it on her skin, but make sure it is turned on for a few minutes.
Assuring the pet that the clipper wouldn’t hurt her will ensure that she stays calm when you eventually shave her. Do not make use of human hair-shaving clipper to shave your dog, always choose the clipper specifically designed for pets.
Be Aware of the dog’s coat and body
When it comes to shaving your double coated dog, don’t just make an assumption. It is important to know how much outer hair your dog has grown over a period of time. Though it takes a short period of time for dogs to regrow their coat, some puppies may not actually require shaving until they are fully grown. Collies, for instance, are species that can take a longer time to regrow their outer coat, hence they must be matured enough for complete shaving.
Avoid Shaving if the Dog Has Skin Problems
It is unhealthy to shave your double-coated dog when you are treating a hot spot. Shaving a dog with a hot spot can aggravate the problem and make the dog bleed even more. It is important to treat the skin disorder effectively and allow it to heal well enough before shaving the dog. Since most skin problems affect the inner part of the dog’s skin, shaving can expose the wound to adverse weather conditions such as excess sunshine.
Take it Slow
Dogs are more sensitive than humans, especially to shaving, and for this reason, you need to take it slow. You need to take it even slower, especially if it is your first time of shaving your double-coated dog. If you are not using the pet clipper, you may want to use a pair of trimmer and scissors. Go through the outer hair coat with the trimmer first and end the shaving with scissors.
You can also make use of scissors and a clipper if the heavy outer coat is too much to handle. Trim the coat with scissors and then use the clipper to shave completely. Puppies younger than 6 months are particularly sensitive to shaving, hence you may want to wait until they mature enough for shaving.
Do Not Over-shave the Dog
Over-shaving the dog is one of the problems common among first-time pet shavers. At first, you must try and shave the outer coat evenly all over the body. You can always return to parts with longer hair, to avoid leaving some parts more shaved than the rest.
Rushing through the shaving can cause injury on the skin especially when you want to shave deeply into the skin. You need to remain calm to ensure that your dog does not become nervous and try to avoid the shaving further. Do not take too much hair at a go, shave it off slowly but steadily.
Just before you begin shaving the double-coated dog, you want to ensure that twigs, dirt, leaves and other materials stuck in the fur of the dog, are removed. Leaving materials stuck to the fur of the dog can cause damages to the trimmer and may even lead to injuries on the skin.
You need to ensure that the hair is brushed or combed. Experts suggest that you make use of a dense comb to achieve the elimination of tangles on the fur. Do not leave your dog’s hair matted before shaving, a matted hair can cause shaver’s malfunction. A matted hair can cause poor shaving, considering the fact that the hair is too wet to hold onto the clipper.
Do not shave elderly double coated dogs
Many dog owners would say “It’s just hair, it will grow back”. Sometimes, less than half of the hair on older double-coated dogs may not grow back. The fur in most young and an older double-coated dog will not grow back to the same level they were before shaving. When hair does not fully grow back, the dog will be left with the inner coat only. Do not strip older dogs of their natural ability to protect themselves, you should trim them rather than shave them.
Perhaps the best possible way to achieving shaving of double coated dogs at any age is to do it lightly. When you scrape off the outer layer of the skin gradually it helps you examine the inner coat properly if it is necessary to continue shaving or leave it there. In addition to taking it slow, you may want to take advice about the proper shaving materials from your veterinary doctor.
Do not take a gamble on a shaving clipper that has not been recommended or fully certified to be pet-friendly. Make sure you prepare an antiseptic solution to bath your double coated dog, especially if you shave her deep into the skin. An antiseptic solution or disinfectant will ensure that any wound resulting from shaving are well-protected from infection.