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Shaving dogs



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 26th 08, 09:23 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Default Shaving dogs

There is a young lady at the dog park with a Husky. She's about to shave
the poor dog down because her dad doesn't want to deal with the dog hair,
and now that it's no longer cold, he says the dog doesn't need it (in fact
that the dog would be more comfortable without hair). I think we've
discussed before how the whole coat is part of the thermoregulatory
mechanism of dogs, and shaving can impact their ability to control their
body temperature, adversely. She may be able to convince her dad if she can
show something along the lines of a study (or half a dozen) that demonstrate
this. I checked the archives, but couldn't find anything, and generic
Google searches aren't yielding it either. If anyone has the information
handy, could you please let me know?

Suja


  #2  
Old March 27th 08, 06:58 AM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 590
Default Shaving dogs


"Suja" wrote in message
...
There is a young lady at the dog park with a Husky. She's about to shave
the poor dog down because her dad doesn't want to deal with the dog hair,
and now that it's no longer cold, he says the dog doesn't need it (in fact
that the dog would be more comfortable without hair). I think we've
discussed before how the whole coat is part of the thermoregulatory
mechanism of dogs, and shaving can impact their ability to control their
body temperature, adversely. She may be able to convince her dad if she
can
show something along the lines of a study (or half a dozen) that
demonstrate
this. I checked the archives, but couldn't find anything, and generic
Google searches aren't yielding it either. If anyone has the information
handy, could you please let me know?


I want to say that there is a great deal of contraversy about this subject -
from my research I don't think there is a definitive answer to it.
The samoyed people are very certain that shaving a dog is detrimental to
their ability to remain cool - and because their hair is pink and protects
their pink skin I can certainly see where sunburn could be a very serious
problem in Samoyeds.

However, SOME keeshond people, and my Keeshond owning vet ( and two other
vets I asked incidentally) believe that we have "overcoated" many of our
dogs and that shortening the coat can help keep them cooler in summer
months. All agree that you have to leave some hair - you can't just shave
the dog - you have to trim the dog shorter. I've seen some really cute
pictures of retired show keeshonds running around in lion cuts. Their
owners claimed they were happier in the heat without the hair.

so this past summer, i cut Toks hair. I'm not convinced he was any more
comfortable. its not grown back properly. I think a good weekly raking out
of the undercoat is just as effective on keeping him cool. And its also
very good to keep the hair off the floor.


  #3  
Old March 27th 08, 08:14 AM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 7,732
Default Shaving dogs

In article ,
Beth In Alaska wrote:
so this past summer, i cut Toks hair. I'm not convinced he was any more
comfortable. its not grown back properly. I think a good weekly raking out
of the undercoat is just as effective on keeping him cool. And its also
very good to keep the hair off the floor.


The question about whether or not there's actual research is
a good one, and I'm curious about the answer, too.

Personally, I'd never clip one of my dogs' coats, but that's
personal bias. Anything I've heard about this has been
anecdotal or taken the form of oral recommendations from
vets or veterinary researchers, which is not what Suja's
looking for.
--
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis -

Prouder than ever to be a member of the reality-based community
  #4  
Old March 27th 08, 12:29 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 1,121
Default Shaving dogs

Suja wrote:
There is a young lady at the dog park with a Husky. She's about to shave
the poor dog down because her dad doesn't want to deal with the dog hair,
and now that it's no longer cold, he says the dog doesn't need it (in fact
that the dog would be more comfortable without hair). I think we've
discussed before how the whole coat is part of the thermoregulatory
mechanism of dogs, and shaving can impact their ability to control their
body temperature, adversely. She may be able to convince her dad if she can
show something along the lines of a study (or half a dozen) that demonstrate
this. I checked the archives, but couldn't find anything, and generic
Google searches aren't yielding it either. If anyone has the information
handy, could you please let me know?



I can't answer the question about actual research on thermoregulatory
mechanisms, but couldn't a trim be offered as a compromise? The idea of
shaving makes me wince. A good summer haircut could be sporty and
comfortable (and less to vaccuum).


--Lia

  #5  
Old March 27th 08, 04:24 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 81
Default Shaving dogs

Beth In Alaska wrote:


I want to say that there is a great deal of contraversy about this subject -
from my research I don't think there is a definitive answer to it.
The samoyed people are very certain that shaving a dog is detrimental to
their ability to remain cool - and because their hair is pink and protects
their pink skin I can certainly see where sunburn could be a very serious
problem in Samoyeds.

However, SOME keeshond people, and my Keeshond owning vet ( and two other
vets I asked incidentally) believe that we have "overcoated" many of our
dogs


I think this is absolutely correct. Compared to the rough collie of 75
years ago, the current rough collie has a massive amount of hair and
they retain too much of it to be comfortable in the summer.

I've never bought the idea of the hair being necessary to protect the
dog from heat. Dogs have an internal temp of 102 and, for the vast
majority of the time, the environment has a lesser temp. In warm
environmental temps (60 & above) the dog (depending on his breed & coat)
is trying to remove heat from his body. Insulation is good for keeping
heat in but (duh) lousy for letting heat out. If a slick haired dog,
say a Viszla, has been running hard and is hot, throwing an insulated
coat on him will not make him cooler.

I've known a couple Pseudo-Smoothies - rough collies sporting crew cuts
because their owner wanted to show obedience in the summer. When she
tried to work them when they had their long full coats, they would often
overheated. With their crew-cuts, her collies were much more active and
she was able to cool them off more effectively.

She said they always grew a normal coat afterwards but maybe that's
because they were trimmed long (2-3 inches all over). I know that
sometimes hair doesn't grow back right if it's shaved. That happened
after Pablo's surgery last summer. The vet shaved a 6" x 6" spot on his
rump and, as near as I could tell, the undercoat came back ok but about
half the guard hairs grew back. I know that this certainly doesn't
happen all the time. My WAG is nearly half the rough collies coming
into rescue have such badly matted coats that they have to be shaved.
And from what I've heard, the majority of them grow a lovely new coat.



and that shortening the coat can help keep them cooler in summer
months. All agree that you have to leave some hair - you can't just shave
the dog - you have to trim the dog shorter. I've seen some really cute
pictures of retired show keeshonds running around in lion cuts.


The pseudo-smoothies were, IMHO, really cute. Since their undercoat &
guard hairs were the same length, their hair was poofy which made them
look like puppies.

Now back to the husky mentioned by Suja. If I understand the reason
for cutting the husky's hair, it isn't to help him stay cooler but to
reduce shedding. Now it's true that shaving the dog to the skin will
completely stop the shedding but the dog will look really stupid and
will be susceptible to sunburn, insect bites, and other irritants.
Trimming the coat down will, IMHO, not do diddly squat to help with the
shedding. While the dog might feel a little cooler, I don't believe it
will affect the shedding rate. The dog will still have the same number
of hairs and will still shed them.

Chris & her smoothette, Lucy
  #6  
Old March 27th 08, 06:12 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 942
Default Shaving dogs

ChrisJ wrote:
Beth In Alaska wrote:


I want to say that there is a great deal of contraversy about this
subject - from my research I don't think there is a definitive answer
to it.
The samoyed people are very certain that shaving a dog is detrimental
to their ability to remain cool - and because their hair is pink and
protects their pink skin I can certainly see where sunburn could be a
very serious problem in Samoyeds.

However, SOME keeshond people, and my Keeshond owning vet ( and two
other vets I asked incidentally) believe that we have "overcoated"
many of our dogs



I think this is absolutely correct. Compared to the rough collie of 75
years ago, the current rough collie has a massive amount of hair and
they retain too much of it to be comfortable in the summer.

I've never bought the idea of the hair being necessary to protect the
dog from heat. Dogs have an internal temp of 102 and, for the vast
majority of the time, the environment has a lesser temp. In warm
environmental temps (60 & above) the dog (depending on his breed & coat)
is trying to remove heat from his body. Insulation is good for keeping
heat in but (duh) lousy for letting heat out. If a slick haired dog,
say a Viszla, has been running hard and is hot, throwing an insulated
coat on him will not make him cooler.

I've known a couple Pseudo-Smoothies - rough collies sporting crew cuts
because their owner wanted to show obedience in the summer. When she
tried to work them when they had their long full coats, they would often
overheated. With their crew-cuts, her collies were much more active and
she was able to cool them off more effectively.

She said they always grew a normal coat afterwards but maybe that's
because they were trimmed long (2-3 inches all over). I know that
sometimes hair doesn't grow back right if it's shaved. That happened
after Pablo's surgery last summer. The vet shaved a 6" x 6" spot on his
rump and, as near as I could tell, the undercoat came back ok but about
half the guard hairs grew back. I know that this certainly doesn't
happen all the time. My WAG is nearly half the rough collies coming
into rescue have such badly matted coats that they have to be shaved.
And from what I've heard, the majority of them grow a lovely new coat.


and that shortening the coat can help keep them cooler in summer

months. All agree that you have to leave some hair - you can't just
shave the dog - you have to trim the dog shorter. I've seen some
really cute pictures of retired show keeshonds running around in lion
cuts.



The pseudo-smoothies were, IMHO, really cute. Since their undercoat &
guard hairs were the same length, their hair was poofy which made them
look like puppies.

Now back to the husky mentioned by Suja. If I understand the reason for
cutting the husky's hair, it isn't to help him stay cooler but to reduce
shedding. Now it's true that shaving the dog to the skin will completely
stop the shedding but the dog will look really stupid and will be
susceptible to sunburn, insect bites, and other irritants. Trimming the
coat down will, IMHO, not do diddly squat to help with the shedding.
While the dog might feel a little cooler, I don't believe it will affect
the shedding rate. The dog will still have the same number of hairs and
will still shed them.


When we brought Harley (Bernese Mountain Dog) home from the stable and
the whole bot eggs drama unfolded I clipped his extremely dense and
woolly black coat down to maybe 1/2", acting on the advice of my vet.

He definitely seemed more comfortable, but he'd also been bathed
(twice), gone over with a coat king to pull out some of the undercoat,
was spending most of his time inside in the A/C, there were no horse
flies attacking his ears and in the yard there was a 55 gallon stock
tank in the shade where an overheated dog might cool himself down. So
who knows?

My neighbors have their solid black chow/husky cross clipped down every
spring. She gets this sort of lion cut. Her head, neck and
shoulder/chest are trimmed but left longer and everything else is buzzed
close.

Except for her tail. That fur is off limit to groomers these days. The
very first time they'd taken her to a groomer and asked for a lion cut,
the guy shaved her tail, except for a tuft at the tip. It was awful.
These days her owner is careful to specify that the tail is to be left
alone.

I suspect that she is more comfortable, as much because her shorter coat
dries faster after a dip in the pool, as because of short fur being cooler.

  #7  
Old March 27th 08, 06:16 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 2,421
Default Shaving dogs

Julia Altshuler said in
rec.pets.dogs.behavior:

I can't answer the question about actual research on
thermoregulatory mechanisms, but couldn't a trim be offered
as a compromise?


A full or partial shave would probably only delay the
inevitable. The dog will shed just as much no matter the coat
length. In fact, the owner's father will probably find the
shorter shed hair way more annoying than the natural.

Plus, the stress of the shaving may bring on some initial heavy
shedding.

--
--Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
  #8  
Old March 27th 08, 09:12 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 324
Default Shaving dogs

I've never bought the idea of the hair being necessary to protect the dog
from heat. Dogs have an internal temp of 102 and, for the vast majority
of the time, the environment has a lesser temp. In warm environmental
temps (60 & above) the dog (depending on his breed & coat) is trying to
remove heat from his body. Insulation is good for keeping heat in but
(duh) lousy for letting heat out. If a slick haired dog, say a Viszla,
has been running hard and is hot, throwing an insulated coat on him will
not make him cooler.


**Warning: The following is based solely on intuition, but may include
points worth considering.**

I think you're missing the possibility of the hair acting as a radiator.
Sticking up hair increases the surface area over which heat can be disapated
in to the cooler environment. (this is comming from my physics background
rather than my biology back ground now).
Guys who vary between having and not having a beard can think of how cold
the 'coated' part of your face gets when you shave in the winter. Its not
that its being exposed to more cool air, rather its loosing more heat
because the stubble is pointing straight out from the skin.

There is of course the competing, insulating effect of the hair, which is
mostly dependent on its ability to trap air pockets. The balance between
this is going to have an impact on the dog's thermoregulatory ability (i.e.
adjusting how he 'holds' his hair to either hold in the air or allow the
hairs to act as little radiators).

I think a big determinant will be the skin underneath. Is the dog going to
be prone to a sun burn if you shave him? What's his skin like? If there is
little to no pigment in the skin, I think you're just asking for trouble. In
this case the skin isn't designed for direct exposure to the sun, and will
likely burn much more readily.

Dale


  #9  
Old March 27th 08, 09:17 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 7,732
Default Shaving dogs

In article a5UGj.773$9X3.109@edtnps82,
Dale Atkin wrote:
I think you're missing the possibility of the hair acting as a radiator.
Sticking up hair increases the surface area over which heat can be disapated
in to the cooler environment. (this is comming from my physics background
rather than my biology back ground now).


We can infer that dog hair is not particularly heat-
conductive or it wouldn't be very effective insulation
against the cold. It's hollow, or at least husky hair is
hollow.
--
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis -

Prouder than ever to be a member of the reality-based community
  #10  
Old March 27th 08, 11:44 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
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Posts: 324
Default Shaving dogs


"Melinda Shore" wrote in message
...
In article a5UGj.773$9X3.109@edtnps82,
Dale Atkin wrote:
I think you're missing the possibility of the hair acting as a radiator.
Sticking up hair increases the surface area over which heat can be
disapated
in to the cooler environment. (this is comming from my physics background
rather than my biology back ground now).


We can infer that dog hair is not particularly heat-
conductive or it wouldn't be very effective insulation
against the cold. It's hollow, or at least husky hair is
hollow.


Not sure I follow this. The radiative abilities are a function of surface
area. (I admit heat conductive ability are a part of the equation, but
hardly the major part). This is why the radiator on your car has all the
little fins on it, its to give it a large surface area to volume ratio.

Insulative ability is a function of the ability to trap air, which is a very
good insulator.

Dale


 




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