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Old 06-13-2009, 04:13 PM
arizona2009 arizona2009 is offline
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Default Shaving a shepherd?

I was thinking of shaving my German shepherd this summer as the heat in Arizona gets a bit rediculous. However I see lots of mixed opinions on the subject, as some think it will ruin the coat, cause irritation, or even is just plain torture on the dog. But it seems most people want to shave their shepherd so they dont need to groom him as much, or dont want to worry about his shedding, thereby leading most responses to this subject being quite opinionated and not really based on any real facts. Is there anybody out there with experience in this area that could help?
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:34 PM
AGonzalez AGonzalez is offline
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I'm from AZ originally and we never shaved long haired dogs...it's much easier to keep them indoors with the AC going or with a kiddie pool in the yard then it is to grow all that hair back. Double coats like a GSD has come in all wonky when they are shaved, I wouldn't do it personally.
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:29 PM
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I'm anti shaving ..... at least with Goldens . Their undercoats are for a reason .
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:43 PM
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GSD's are a double coated breed and should not be shaved except of some kind of medical reason.

Groom a lot to assist through the spring coat blowing and getting the undercoat out. Keep the hair between the paw pads clipped close to assist with their cooling system through their pads.

The outer coat also helps with heat reflection, shaving would defeat that purpose.

And by the way, I had to shave a patch on Dante's butt for a hot spot 3 years ago - took FOREVER for it to all grow back in and it does not lay the same as it did before!!!!
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:49 PM
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I live in AZ with a Chow, and we never have an issue keeping him cool. He's an indoor dog, but obviously goes out to do his business and for walks (though we wait until it's cooler) and he has never had an issue with his being unable to cool himself. It does help to make sure the dog is well groomed (all the way to the skin).
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:03 PM
Athebeau Athebeau is offline
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The thing is anytime you cut the guard hairs you have the possibilty of changing the coat texture. We see it a lot in Newf's as they are scissored extensively for dog shows. Scissoring has ruined the coats in some Newf's in the area's they are scissored for example paws, ears, chest, pants etc.

What we normally recommend for double coated breeds is a full groom to get the under coat out. Then every week for a couple weeks to bring the dog back for a complete brush out as there is coat that has been loosened which will still be coming out but wasn't ready at the time of the grooming process. Or the owner is advised to brush out at home. During a normal grooming session all groomers clean the pads on the paws & tidy or at least should and for some big coated breeds such as Newf's the belly's are shaved after their show career to help keep them cool. We shave our Newf's belly's from chest down and they are much cooler.

If you groom at home when you have your Shepherd suds up take a brush over him. This gets a ton of undercoat out. If you have a hv dryer when semi dry start blowing & brushing then blow out until 110 % dry then take a slicker and line brush then a rake etc.

There are a few double coated breeds that even when the owners have been warned the coat may not come back in properly still insist. It is after all their choice The owners have been very happy and have advised their dogs are much happier, they had less shedding (perhaps just shorter hairs) and the dogs are cooler. We also had a Newf that was 12 years old and HATED being groomed. So for her shaving her was a blessing, she was happier, cooler and she didn't have to be groomed as often or stand as long. Her coat did not grow back in properly the first year, but after that she did grow back in properly.

Last edited by Athebeau; 06-14-2009 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizona2009 View Post
I was thinking of shaving my German shepherd this summer as the heat in Arizona gets a bit rediculous. However I see lots of mixed opinions on the subject, as some think it will ruin the coat, cause irritation, or even is just plain torture on the dog. But it seems most people want to shave their shepherd so they dont need to groom him as much, or dont want to worry about his shedding, thereby leading most responses to this subject being quite opinionated and not really based on any real facts. Is there anybody out there with experience in this area that could help?
We lived in Tucson for a couple of years and our shepherd did 100% fine with the heat in full coat. She appreciated having a kiddy pool to cool her paws in, and liked coming inside during the heat of the day. We would walk after dark, but then I didn't like walking during the day either.

One thing we have found while we fostered dogs down there, is that light colored dogs with no undercoat or who have been shaved are in extreme danger of sunburn. The nasty peeling kinds. GSDs have lighter undercoats, and I imagine this would be a danger for them if shaved.

My mother in law shaved her red chow mix one summer, and the poor dog got horrible sunburns every time it went outside all summer long. We had to smear sunscreen all over its fur to keep it safe, and that created a greasy, goopy miserable dog that nobody wanted to pet.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:20 AM
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I would never shave a double coated dog, a cringe when I see it.
From what I've read, the double coat works as insulation, it keeps them warm in the cold and cooler in the heat, shaving it off can permanently ruin the way this works, I wouldn't risk it.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrose_s View Post
i would never shave a double coated dog, a cringe when i see it.
From what i've read, the double coat works as insulation, it keeps them warm in the cold and cooler in the heat, shaving it off can permanently ruin the way this works, i wouldn't risk it.
exactly!!!
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:16 AM
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I wouldn't shave a double coated dog.
I have a husky and live in texas.
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