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

This dog has post-clipping alopecia. Clipping a double coat can cause the hair to grow back in uneven patches, and change the texture of the guard hairs. It also typically changes color.  The best way to keep a double-coated breed 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.

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

Some groomers choose to use product and a forced air dryer instead of brushing to remove undercoat. While this will remove some undercoat, we prefer to brush and comb, then bath and dry. Line brushing and combing first, then bathing and drying, is more work, but it produces a better, longer lasting result. We can guarantee with our method, that the dog gets clean down to the skin, and shampoo / product is rinsed down to the skin, since the layer of dead undercoat has been removed before bathing.