Double Coated Dogs

Often in the summer months we are asked about clipping double coated dogs due to the heat. A double coat is one that has soft undercoat to keep the dog warm, and coarse guard hairs on top. Examples of double coated breeds are Pomeranians, Golden Retreivers, Huskies, Border Collies, Samoyeds etc. We do not recommend clipping double coated dogs.  For more extensive information on this subject, please see our blog post on Clipping Double-Coated Dogs
 
Clipping a double coat can cause long term problems such as post clipping alopecia (hair does not grow back or grows back in uneven patches), change in texture of the guard hairs, increased volume of wooly undercoat, and even sunburn. It also typically changes colour.  The best way to keep one of these breeds cool in the summer is to brush thoroughly, removing the dead undercoat and allowing air to circulate. The coarser guard hair will protect the dog from the sun.
 
 
Post clipping alopecia - the long term result of another groomer clipping a double coat
Line brushing on a Golden Retriever. Brush in layers down to the skin level to remove undercoat
 
 
There are no magic tools for removing undercoat, at least none that don't damage the coat. An undercoat rake, a wire slicker brush and a steel comb are all the tools you need, and none are expensive.
 
Keeping shedding and overheating under control is simply a matter of regular brushing (once or twice a week) and proper technique.  See photo on right.
 
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