Shepherds have two layers of fur referred to as a double coat. The first or
undercoat is the fine fluffy hairs that are short and crimp (closest to the
skin). It's the fur that sheds; light and soft. This layer is excellent at
trapping air and insulating the dog. Essentially it keeps them warm in the
winter, and cool in the summer. The
topcoat is made up of tougher guard hairs that don’t shed, and protect your pet
from the sun’s harmful rays and bug bites. It actually insulates them from the
heat. What this means is: do not shave your double coated dog. It’s a mistake
to think you’re helping your animal stay cool, particularly in summer, when
evolution has provided them exactly what they need to survive. By stripping
them of their natural ability to heat and cool themselves, you could be doing
more harm than good.
key piece of understanding in this matter is that, unlike humans; dogs do not
cool themselves through their skin. At most, it is only the pads of their paws
that sweat. Their main mode of cooling comes from panting.
other common reasons folks shave their doubled coated dogs are the thinking
that the animal will stop shedding. Pooches with undercoats shed, no two ways
about it. But even after a shave, while the hair may be shorter, it can still
is, "it'll always grow back". Some of it will, some of it won't, but
it will never look the same again. The older the pooch is, the less likely it
is that the topcoat of guard hairs will grow back. This leaves them with the
undercoat, giving them a patchy, scruffy look. It can alter their coat for the
rest of the dog's life. Not only does it look bad, but you can end up having to
shave the hair continuously from then on and once again, you strip them of
their natural ability to protect themselves.
conclusion, when you shave a double coated dog, you may irreparably impair
their ability to properly heat/cool themselves and protect their skin. The best
way to keep this kind of dog cool and comfortable is to regularly bathe and
brush them. The only reason a person might need to shave their double coated
dog is if the hair is so matted, it's the only option. The double coat keeps them warm in the
winter, and cool in the summer.
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information and discussion on double coated dogs try this site; it is very
Aussies are one of the few types of dogs who seasonally "blow their coat." The outer coat does not shed. The inner coat comes out once or twice per year.