Why do you not shave a husky?

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

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Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 9:46pm PST 
Yes it does. big laugh

Yeah, the coat will grow back in two or three years, and honestly, Poodles get shaved all the time and their skin is no different than other dogs. You just have to watch out for sunburn. It just seems like such a shame to shave off the beautiful coat of a Husky... isn't that why people get them in the first place?

Momma is the- center of the- universe...
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 11:34pm PST 
There is a man who brings his Golden Retriever to the dogs park. He has already shaved him for this summer, leaving, head, and tail alone. When I saw the dog in the winter, it had a huge coat, fluffy, dull, sticking out, not a proper Golden coat. Perhaps caused by yearly shaving?

All 3 of my dogs have had a spot shaved at some point. Pepper and Snickers grew back pretty quick. But Sonny still looks ridiculous. He has a bald square on the side of one shoulder, and on one leg. It's been 6 weeks! Snickers bald head has grown back.

I use a shedding tool and strip out the under-coat, that makes them feel much better.
Lizzie, CGC

Fence Jumper
Barked: Sat Jun 11, '11 4:26pm PST 
A groomer told me that if my Aussie was shaved her coat would 'grow back in like a brillo pad'. I didn't do it, so I don't know if that's true or not. She has had some spots shaved and they all seemed to come back in fine...


Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sat Jun 11, '11 5:03pm PST 
The undercoat comes in first and has to be carefully cared for or it will get damaged. The guard coat is often dull because it was tipped during the shave.

Some groomers will talk about how shaved dogs get more matted and worse every year, that isn't shaving, it is neglect by the owner. If you think about it, it is pretty unlikley that shaving would damage or change a hair folocle, how could it?

What really bothers me is people telling others that the dog is ruined and will never be the same again. Well I was shaved, (do fur faeries die if the shave was due to mats and a badly damaged coat?)I was never ruined and my coat has come back over the last two years.

Huskies do look odd shaved. I was completely white under my guard hair. It looked like someone had put my head on a different dog and I did get ugly while it was coming back.

I don't think everyone who has a husky gets on because of the beautiful coat. We have personalities that don't quit, a great sense of humor, and are very smart. (maybe not biddable but very smart)Don't forget our adorable woo woo, howls, and the willingness to talk.

Basset Hound- with a Flatty- suit on
Barked: Sat Jun 11, '11 8:53pm PST 
Someone at the dog park has a Husky that got shaved. The owner is a part of a Northern breeds rescue and this Husky girl was so matted when they found her they had no choice. It was a year and a half after the fact when I first saw her, and it looked pretty bad. Her owner was semi-constantly asked if the dog had mange. I had people mention it to me as well, so I'm sure it was thrown around far more than she actually even heard, which she probably knew. confused She had to wear a sweater all the time when it was chilly (it was actually really adorable!!)

She had said that most of her existing hair had grown back in the last 6 months, but it looked a whole lot like when my grandmother had started growing her hair back after her 'stroke' (long story) and other many medical maladies. It was poofy and thin.

She's looking better all the time, but eeee. Don't shave a husky.

Actually, I googled huskies with mange and her coat had many similarities to this mange-afflicted husky's coat:


Her coat was just a bit longer and a bit more varying in the lengths of poofy parts.
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Sun Jun 12, '11 9:15am PST 
To add to what's already been said, if you live in a place with both extremes of climate like here in New England, the coat will not grow back fast enough to protect the dog when the weather changes. Ember was shaved during the summer, I got her in November. She had about an inch of fur at that point. She froze. He coat didn't look even remotely correct until late March.

Wooly (long) coats are more prone to damage from shaving than the standard short coat. But when fur does not grow back at all there is usually an underlying medical cause. If my dog looked like the photo posted above a year and a half after being shaved, I would be running tests, specifically checking thyroid function.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sun Jun 12, '11 9:50am PST 
I agree with Ember, after a year and a half you need to be looking for medical problems. It could be a food allergy, flea allergy, thyroid....

However, there is a rare disorder that might be triggered by shaving or partly triggered that does stop the hair from growing back.

Pip had this problem after he had his knee surgeries. (His coat has always come back fine after a hair cut)

Our vet told us it had to do with the surgical shave combined with two spinal taps. He is finally getting his hair back but it is a bit curly and not just like his old coat.

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Tue Jun 14, '11 12:09am PST 
Coming from mom who was a groomer for many years before health reasons caused her to stop there are Many Many reasons not to shave huskies or any other double coated dogs.

First and foremost the coat may or may not grow back, sometimes with double coated dogs it doesn't at all. Mom used to groom a chow how's coat was shaved at a dog 'spa' who's coat never came back, most he ever got was a bit of nasty fuzz.

Often when shaved a dog can get ingrown hairs as well as the attempted regrowth actually causing skin problems. Issues like sunburn, higher sensitivities to allergens in the environment (think about being allergic to grass and suddenly having all your clothes off and having to lay in it).

Despite popular opinion shaving a dog does not actually make them cooler. Shaving a dog is like taking all the insulation out of your house and sitting in there with no AC in 100 degree heat. That coat is there for a reason. The coat in extreme heat or cold stands up and creates air pockets that are used both to cool or warm the dog depending on the weather. That's why you see people in desert climates wearing full body wool clothing, that hair insulates.

I'll add that for many dogs the shaving seems to depress them, especially huskies who often are rather vain.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Tue Jun 14, '11 4:21am PST 
No, even a person who has been a groomer for 30 years won't have seen a big enough cross section of dogs to positively say that shaving causes whatever.(This is too small a sample with no control groups) There could have been many causes for the dog that didn't get his hair back, most likely there was.

Pip had a hard time growing his hair back from a surgical shave. Most likely the problem was the spinal taps combined with the shave. However, it could have been a drug reaction, stress....any number of things could have caused the problem. (My vet just observed that several dogs he had seen had a hard time getting the hair back and it seems to involve the spinal tap. this is not proof)

The problem I have with the fur insulation theory is that dogs bodies generate heat. Won't insulation hold heat in as well as keep it out?

Comparing a dog to an insulated house in an inappropriate comparison. One is a living thing the other isn't.

Lots of dogs are trimmed yearly and are fine. Lots of huskies are shaved for many reasons and get their coats back fine, but it takes at least two years.

I am always amazed at the huge amount of emotion this topic generates.
Samwise (RB- 7-21-2012)

I'm a simple dog- & just want to- be loved
Barked: Tue Jun 14, '11 6:09am PST 
I may be one of the few dogs who likes to get shaved. When my mommy gets out the clippers, I actually run to her and smilingly wait for her to get the hot coat off. See, I get hot spots if the sun so much as looks at me wrong. As soon as the temperature gets anywhere near 80 degrees, I get a hot spot and have to stay inside. But, even inside my mommy's house, I can get a hot spot. I'm talented that way. confused
So, I'm about naked from early April to late September. Naked but happy and hot spot free. shock
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