Shaving a dog for grooming purposes is not natural in any sense. Let’s get that straight.
You could be doing more harm than good.
Although that harm is minimal for short-haired dogs, double-coated or long-haired breeds can face irreparable damage to their coats and mental health.
Therefore, avoid shaving long-haired or double-coated breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Huskies, German Shepherds, Great Pyrenees, Chows, Newfoundlands, Border Collies, Afghan Hounds, Rough Collies, Irish Wolfhounds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and so on.
Shaving them can lead to sunburns, skin allergies, poor temperature regulation, and damage to the coat.
Why Should You Not Shave Your Dog?
Before going further ago about What Dog Breeds Should Not Be Shaved, let’s first discuss why not to shave dogs.
According to AKC, It’s a general misconception that shaving a dog keeps it cool.
Dogs have a distinct way of getting rid of excess heat from their bodies. They pant, sweat through their paws, or cool down by exposing the blood vessels to the air in their ears.
Even when you shave a dog entirely, it’ll have little to no effect on heat dissipation.
Instead, it will be prone to sunburns, dust, injuries, and poor insulation.
Experts don’t recommend shaving a short-haired dog for the same reasons, let alone a double-coated one.
A dog’s skin under the coat is always protected from the external environment. Removing that protection exposes it to the sun.
Since it isn’t used to all that, the exposure will lead to some nasty suburbs. Prolonged exposure may also cause skin cancers.
Dogs have some dust stuck in their coats at all times. That’s fine. The coat is there to protect the skin from the particles.
Remove that coat and they will get attached to the skin directly. Not all dogs develop an allergy to that. But when some do, they develop red skin patches that are painful, scratchy, and therefore, uncomfortable.
3. Ingrown Hair
The hair will grow back after shaving. If you’re not careful, a few strands may grow inward, causing painful infections, lesions, and red spots that may develop into acne later.
4. Shave shock
This is another menace that arises from shaving your dog. The coat you shaved may never grow in its full glory. It can be patchy, rugged and rough, or completely out of character.
A dog’s coat has two layers. Shave shock arises when you disturb their natural occurrence.
5. Poor insulation
A dog’s coat acts like an insulation sheet. Remove that and you make it prone to both warmth and cold.
This becomes counterproductive for owners who want to keep their dogs cool.
Obviously, it has repercussions for the dog as well. Maintaining or regulating temperature as before becomes harder.
List of Breeds That Should Not Be Shaved
I’ll put down a list that includes the breeds already mentioned and new ones.
- Alaskan Malamute
- Siberian Husky
- Alaskan Husky
- Shiba Inu
- Australian Shepherd
- German Shepherd
- English Shepherd
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Polish Lowland Sheepdog
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- The Great Pyrenees
- Old English Sheepdog
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- Bearded Collie
- Rough Collie
- Border Collie
- Smooth Collie
- American English Coonhound
- Scottish Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Parson Russell Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Pembroke Corgi
- Welsh Corgi
- Yorkshire Terrier
And so on.
Does Shaving Reduce Shedding?
One of the common misconceptions about shaving is that it reduces shedding.
I understand that high-shedders are a problem and some double-coated dogs shed year around. However, I hate to break it to you that shaving does not reduce shedding at all.
It’s a natural process that’s specific to a breed. That means it’s engraved in its genes. We cannot alter that just by picking clippers or a shaving machine to do away with the coat.
You may argue that shaving has reduced shedding for you. It might have but that effect is only at the beginning.
As the dog starts growing its coat back, it will start shedding at the same rate as before. So, there’s no need to shave to reduce shedding because it doesn’t work this way.
Does Shaving Cure Allergies?
There are allergies on your dog’s skin and you think they are because of the hair. It isn’t.
Dogs develop allergies to saliva, dust, flakes, dandruff, and any hair product you’re using, but not their own hair.
Therefore, shaving is not the solution.
In fact, that could further complicate the problem. Shaving the hair can lead to dryness of the skin which will, in turn, prompt the dog to lick more. As a result, the allergic reactions will get a boost!
How to Care for Double-Coated Dogs?
Caring for double-coated dogs is all about managing their hygiene.
1. Groom them regularly
Use slicker brushes and detangler sprays to declutter the dog’s coat. Use firm strokes enough to pull out any hanging undercoat without hurting the dog.
- Do not force the hair out. You know it won’t end up well.
- Always brush before bathing the dog.
2. Use coat-specific shampoos and conditioners
Shampoos for long hair are available out there that make your work easier. You use them to soften individual strands so that they easily give way to the slicker brush to pull out the undercoat.
When bathing your dog with those shampoos, make sure that you work all the way down to the skin. That will help you detangle even the remotest hair possible.
After shampooing, apply a coat-specific conditioner. Normally, dog shampoos come with conditioners from the same brand.
3. Brush after bathing
The reason why I’m suggesting that you brush after bathing is to remove any hair that has been loosened. Besides, brushing out wet hair is far easier than brushing dry hair.
4. You can trim the coat
You can trim the coat for better management. However, you shouldn’t reduce the length all the way down to the undercoat.
I highly suggest you avoid areas where the hair length is minimal naturally. Instead, target the flanks and belly and trim the coat.
Trimming them will remove the extra hair all the while saving the dog’s natural protection against the sun and other external factors.
When can you shave your dog?
There are cases where you have no option but to shave the dog. Most of the time, they are medical emergencies.
Shave your dog when
- The hair is matted beyond repair,
- There’s an acute allergy that requires shaving to apply for medicine, or
- A wound needs to breathe.
But do not take these decisions before consulting with a registered vet!
What Dog Breeds Should Not Be Shaved? Conclusion
Double-coated or long-haired breeds should not be shaved because it removes the natural barrier to sun rays and dust. The coats help regulate their temperatures, maintaining a balance so vital to their well-being.
However, you should definitely shave in case of an emergency where shaving has been recommended by your vet.