To shave or not to shave??? Busting the myths 8
This will be a short one. Because it's just hair. So it's very simple: do what you please and let others do as they please, given noone is hurting anybody. Just as I don't care what haircut you have, I don't care what haircut your dog has. It doesn't make you a good or bad person. It's just hair - simply and completely irrelevant.
Getting angry at people for shaving dogs and yet being indifferent or even supporting chopping off tails and ears and dew claws and spaying and neutering shows a bit of double standards, no??? I think cutting off internal organs and body parts affects a dog a bit more as cutting his hair, so maybe our time would be better spent discussing those???
And yes, I know there are many good reasons to spay and neuter - but this is definitely something you might want to give it another thought before actually doing it - unlike with shaving. And yet many people spay/neuter without a 2nd thought - and then argument shaving is against Mother Nature??? It might be just me, but I think Mother Nature might have a bit stronger feelings about reproduction organs as about length of coat???
from left to right: smooth, medium, 2x wild, shaved
Even more: I'm afraid dogs' hair is NOT Mother Nature's idea. It's selective breeding that created it. That same breeding that created German Shepherds who can't walk, Bulldogs who can't breath or give birth, many breeds with constant eye problems, breeds with average life span of 7 years etc. So I think your time is better spent fighting those practices instead of fighting people who choose to shave their dogs. I think it's pretty obvious who suffers more here???
Interestingly, everybody fighting hard against shaving never had a shaved dog. Those who did and tried both seem to know the world won't come to an end because of it. Most observe their dogs are actually much happier that way and everybody who tried seems to agree the dogs tolerate heat much better, so I'm just not buying "coat has a cooling effect too" myth - sorry - I need evidence and no, drawings of how the air is circulating is for me not an evidence that coat is cooler as no-coat.
My reasons to shave:
1. No grooming/vacuuming.
2. She seems to love it.
3. Ticks seem to like hair to hang on, so my hairy dogs always get more of them as my smooth/shaved dogs.
4. Tolerating heat better.
5. Better looks: I like to see their body build.
6. Coat grows back exactly like it was in my breeds of choice. I can't talk for other breeds though.
My reasons not to shave:
1. Looks - I like wild Le's hair, it makes me laugh. She has very little and light coat so I don't think it would make any difference for her either.
2. Some dogs might stress about the noise and feeling of being shaved - To might, so I just let it be. For Bu however, grooming is more stressful as shaving, so I just go with whatever I believe we all enjoy more.
Things to pay attention to if shaved:
1. Keep them warm another way if it's cold.
2. Don't let them on direct sun for hours - but please don't do that with not-shaved dogs either!
So why don't I just get smooth varieties of my breeds? Because, again, I don't care about hair. For me, there are TONS of more important traits in a dog as length or color of her hair and I will never let something as irrelevant as hair get me distracted from important things.
More myths busted: Busting the Myths series
Why should there be a problem to shave, I had no idea people were bothered by this?
There is a hot discussion on it right now on Facebook, with many people saying you ruin the coat of the dog for ever by shaving it and that coat is actually protecting them from heat.
Well, I’m not on FB but I did recently read an article on why you shouldn’t shave double coated breeds. Having shaved (not to skin but 1″ long) several of my double coated Bernese, I never saw them experience the negative effects that were discussed…especially, being embarrassed by their new look!!! 🙂 Quite the opposite, they were SO HAPPY, had way more energy and looked like puppies again! 🙂
Yes, those articles get shared obsessively every summer… I find it interesting how many people feel so strongly about not-shaving!
For some types of dog coats it is true. Like samoyed. It can take up to two years to have the same quality hair back. I was suprised when someone shaved a labrador…I mean. Labrador??? but then…I don’t care. I only care if dogs are neglected, have matted fur.
I’m planning to shave Bi when she next starts to shed too. Her hair is perfect BUT twice a year when it’s EVERYWHERE. So I can certainly understand why shaving a Labrador!
Interesting. You think it would help? I have GSD x labrador mix…and so far I haven’t shaved her… And she is spayed so her hair is everywehere all the time. Floating in the air. I have 4 different combs and …it is a never ending story. I did find shower + blow dryer very helpful! my next dog is a terrier, hopefuly not smooth 😀
Sure -- no hair on the dog = no hair off the dog 🙂
I had my Max little Sheltie ‘ s coat shaved. He actually lost a pound. He loves it!
Wow, a pound!!! Bu didn’t have THAT much hair, but she does seem to feel lighter on her feet and most obviously loves it!
Greetings from Riemu! 🙂 He loves his new coat. He had a long dreadlocks and it was very hard to keep it because he hated if anyone tried to touch it. Now we both are happy! 🙂 and I’ve been also heard “a really nice comments” about it.
I can imagine he likes it much better that way!!! 🙂
Are you including yourself in that 2x wild? heehee 😉
I am! 🙂
Well said! I had to search hard for a good working cocker who’s breeder would leave his tail undocked…Finn and I love his long, beautiful tail! It must help with balance too 🙂
Definitely! It makes a huge difference for their balance and the way they move and turn!
Silvia -- you NAILED it as always 😀 The one angle that I did not see mentioned (but I admit to not having time/patience to read ALL of the comments) is whether or not spay/neuter affect the coat so that it changes (sometimes becomes more woolly while it was silky before?) and then these coats do not always grow back as was after a shave. Of course there are hypothyroid dogs that will not grow their hair back and the risk of sun burn if shaved too shor, especially for Merles and dogs with a lot of white, but you mentioned it 😀 So you think hair is irrelevant in choosing a dog ? as I like very short hair this is a freeing thought, thanks ! 😀
Oh yes, certainly -- you can have it short that way or another 🙂 Spay certainly affects lots of things, coat included. Bu is spayed (because she got really depressed after every heat) and her coat got thicker and more curly. But it grows back the same as it was before the shave.
So true, I totally agree with everything in this post!
It´s a complete mystery to me how some people actually believe that a dog will get overheated if you cut his hair short
I have cut Ninjas hair every summer for four years as he has a hard time relaxing at home when when it´s hot outside. He walks about panting all day and all night. When I cut his hair he sleeps as usual again and is happier and more playful again! And he is cuter without all the hair ❤
I agree, I think they’re really cute with this puppy-look!
Very interesting article ..I have dalmatiens …short-haired so no problem winter cum summer but a friend has her Old English Sheepdog shaved every summer and the dog loves it …(we are in France )
Agreed. I know a few heavy coated aussies who get shaved in summer and feel MUCH better afterwards -- the difference is huge actually -- new energy and joy, they’re like new dogs. The coat later grows back to what it was before. I don’t understand why some people get so upset about shaving, it really is bizarre.
Great practical and unemotional answer to a totally made up argument 😉