Hey hey! I’ll make this quick… don’t do it!
Kidding! Well not about clipping them! Firstly we must understand what a Double Coat or Heavy Coat is. If you didn’t read my post, basically, a double coat is two types of coats on the one dog (in a sense). If you part the fur to the skin there is a layer of shorter fluffy, soft hair. Then if you lay it back down the colour of the coat comes from the outer guard hairs which are longer and act as a shield to the skin.
The two comments that owners generally make are:
Why can’t I clip them? It’ll just grow back?
Technically yes and no. I’m no doctor so feel free to correct me where you will. As dog’s age, the guard hairs tend to be a little stubborn at growing back, which, can potentially leave your dog with bare patches and an uneven coat and also, the possibility of the hair not growing back at all. The colour of the dog’s coat comes from those guard hairs as well, by clipping them away you’re also changing the colour of your dog’s coat be revealing what’s underneath so to speak, it’s usually much more dull in appearance. Another thing that can prevent the hair from growing back is a poor diet. I’ve heard of many dog’s coats not growing back and with the suggestion of a diet change, most if not all of the hair grows back.
But it’s summer now, he’ll get too hot if I don’t
Sorry that’s not right either. The purpose of a double coat is actually to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer. The undercoat is like insulation and the outer coat is like the bricks on a house. Your dog will actually struggle more in the heat having its double coat shaved off since the sun would be directly hitting their skin.
Although in most cases, your dog’s hair will grow back perfectly fine, it’s not the main issue I see with shaving double coated breeds. The main issue I have is with tampering with their natural cooling system. Again, the guard hairs are the bricks and the undercoat is the insulation, by removing the guard hairs or even as short as removing the undercoat, we’re preventing them from being able to cool and warm themselves efficiently and exposing their skin to the sun.
So how do I keep my fluff ball cool?
This one’s easy! Brush out all the loose hair! And you don’t have to spend hours either 😉 A little bit today and a little bit tomorrow is enough. Removing all the dead and loose hair is what will help keep your dog cool as it allows for proper airflow. Leaving all the loose hair hanging from your dog is similar to them wearing a jacket or being wrapped in a blanket. They’re no longer able to raise the arrector pili muscles to move the hair away from their skin so this hair just sits there – heating up on them.