Should you have your double coated dog clipped?

Posted on 13 August, 2017 at 18:20

As a dog groomer I am frequently asked if you should clip a double coated breed i.e retreviers, collies, etc in the warmer weather. People generally want to do this for two reasons:

- to help keep their dog cooler. This is not the case as it hinders the natural function of the double coat. The double coat consists of a top coat (guard coat) which functions to protect your dogs skin and a softer undercoat to keep your dog warm. When the weather is colder they produce more undercoat and when warmer this coat dies off and is shedded. This is by nature's design and functions well. Regular brushing helps to remove this dead coat.

- to reduce shedding. This may result in increased shedding as the coat often grows back thicker producing more undercoat and can mess up the nature function of the coat. It also tends to make the coat more prone to matting.

Some Vets recommend clipping the coat if your dog as bad skin issues so the skin can have better airflow. This is something best to discuss with you vet but I feel brushing out the undercoat would have the same result.

In some cases if your dog is very matted clipping may be the only option.

The downside to clipping is that it can alter their coat resulting in it growing back thicker, coarser and even patchy. This change in coat varies from dog to dog with some dogs showing very little change and others it can spoil the coat. Therefore it may result in them shedding even more and doesn't make them cooler as it hinders the natural fuction of the double coat. By clipping the guard coat which is designed to protect your dogs skin may increase the risk of sunburn.

My recommendation is that if you have had your dog clipped before and are happy with the result continue to do it.

However, if you have never done it I would recommend having your dog deshedded i.e all dead coat is removed. This will result in keeping your dog cooler and reduce the fur left around the home. I also feel it looks nicer than a clipped off dog.

A further way to keep them cool is to clip under the chest and belly only.

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