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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Work? What's- that?
Barked: Tue Jun 14, '11 2:44pm PST 
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?

Internal heat generated is of a much less quantity than external heat that is coming in at them. And, as Happy said, the double coat traps pockets of cooler/warmer air depending on weather. It's the same principle as to why people in desert climates wear full-body wool clothing - it keeps them cooler. By shaving a double coated breed you're making the problem potentially worse, not better. The only reason that should ever be done is if the undercoat is so horribly matted that there is no saving it.

Additionally I don't see how people can pass off two years worth of time so flippantly as if it's nothing. That is a LONG time for a dog to not have its optimal coat. Particularly in a place that would experience climate extremes during seasons (most of the US...) that leaves them unprotected for the winter. And it leaves them unprotected against the summer because shaving a double-coated breed does not cool them down.

Coyotes live in the desert just fine. Some subspecies of wolves live in the desert just fine. You don't see people running out to shave them to save their lives. Nature designed them well.

Edited by author Tue Jun 14, '11 2:47pm PST


Prayers please
Barked: Tue Jun 14, '11 5:03pm PST 
I believe the main reason most people shave their double-coated breeds is because they lose less fur around the house, not because of the heat. A lot of people don't like/have the patience to groom their dogs every day. At least, this is the answer I have got from most people when I asked why they have their dogs shaved.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Tue Jun 14, '11 8:11pm PST 
(Snip) Internal heat generated is of a much less quantity than external heat that is coming in at them. And, as Happy said, the double coat traps pockets of cooler/warmer air depending on weather. It's the same principle as to why people in desert climates wear full-body wool clothing (snip)

This is counter intuitive, but it may be true. I would want to see a credible source before taking it as gospel. (BOL, I am sure you have one too)

Having worn full body wool clothing in the Deep South. (Period reproduction clothing) I can tell you that the reason it keeps one cool is that once you start to sweat a little, your under clothing gets damp and then the fabric and air keep you cool. This wouldn't work with a dog because they only sweat through their pads and tongue.

I don't dispute that wolves, foxes and coyotes all have longer fur and live in hot climates. I have never had the pleasure of handling or being very close to such an animal so I don’t’ know how dog like their fur is. I would also note that some desert hounds have long silky hair too.

Two years is a long time to grow fur back, however arguing that they will be without optimal protection isn't really a problem for most dogs. Fritz enjoys both the air-conditioning and the heater even with his beautiful husky coat grown out. LOL, he will actually curl up in front of the heater on a cold winter day. (Keeping in mind it is subtropical here and never really gets that cold) He has a nice house to shelter in and doesn’t hesitate to climb in bed with us if he chooses.

Fritz was only clipped once due to very bad matting when he first came to live with me. I have not chosen to have him clipped again. I enjoy his beautiful soft fur. However, if people choose to clip their double coated dogs, fine. As long as they are not bothered by the clipped uglies and provide shelter, heat and cool as needed the dogs will be as happy as any unclipped pooch.

You did prove my point though. Many people get really, really upset when clipping a husky or other double coat comes up.

Have a nice evening.


Barked: Wed Jun 15, '11 4:21am PST 
RE: Internal Heat. If the dog is the AVERAGE Pet activity, you don't need to shave. But having a Nordic breed doing Search and Rescue, I have had to shave a couple times. Both times after a dog heat exhausted during a search and collapsed. (OBviously the coat did the dog no favors) In both instances, the dog was taken to the vet's office, cooled in tepid water, and at that point the coat came off. In both instances the dogs were able to return to work to conclusion with no coats.

Since the internal temperatures during sustained work kept building, the dog was not able to cool adequately and the hair insulated the heat in as the core temperature rose. Once the coat was removed, the dogs were able to sustain work just fine. And here is a picture of the one dog finishing his championship 6 months later.. so it didn't hurt him all that badly. But I do have to say.. I would not shave the coat under any normal conditions and search and rescue is not NORMAL.

Finishing Picture

Work? What's- that?
Barked: Wed Jun 15, '11 7:09am PST 
Yes, even in arid climates dogs seek shelter and rest more during the day and are more nocturnal. So if your dog is doing a job which DEMANDS that it be awake and active during the extreme heat of the day I can see why that might be a very good case for shaving.

But as a general case, for almost all dogs of this nature (double-coated, long-haired), the climate they live in and the activity level does not necessitate shaving and will probably cause more harm than it helps.

Edited by author Wed Jun 15, '11 7:10am PST


Barked: Wed Jun 15, '11 7:55am PST 
The moisture build up in human situations does not apply to dogs, as dogs sweat through their paws, and their cooling is paws, nose, panting, mouths. Radiation cooling to cool points along the stomach and arteries near their skin surface helps. Shaving bellies where they contact cool earth may indeed have value.
In the case of a working dog in Search and Rescue, where they are forced to work in heat, their panting is compromised, because they can't sniff and pant at the same time. Therefore their work compromises their cooling system. Their paws working on hot concrete and asphalt is sending heat INTO their bodies, instead of cooling them. A working dog's cooling system is shut down. When I shave my dogs for working, to KEEP them working, I use a cool vest, which takes advantage of the radiated cooling and arterial cooling points. It allows closer contact, and gives the dog a cooling option not available to them previously when the nature of their work took out their natural cooling system. Concrete and Asphalt are NOT natural to a dog. Protective boots also not intuitive, help sustain their working longer. (Grass is a better option than boots, but in a WORKING dog, not always an option) .

So when the hair comes off, protective clothing goes on. That's just the way it is.

Ball?! Did- someone say- BALL?!!!!!
Barked: Thu Jun 30, '11 11:05am PST 
I understand the don't shave a double-coated dog string. Tyson, double coat from shepherd part, was shaved between his shoulders over a month and a half ago (bit wounds) and his fur is still recovering. What I'm wondering though is if shaving or close clipping their bellies would be worth it? This isn't a problem for T-bone but something I have often wondered.

Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Tue Jan 15, '13 4:08pm PST 
I know this is a zombie thread, but I thought I'd add one more thing.

Due to the length of time it can take a husky's coat to grow back out properly, if said husky ends up at the pound during the process, think about whether he's a likely candidate for adoption.

I'm temporarily (probably) keeping a stray husky until I can find him a new home. Ignorant former owner did a hideous hack job on his fur (or possibly some cruel people did it while he was a stray, but I'm inclined to doubt it). I was able to get pre-adoption pictures online. He was PERFECT then.

Send him to the pound now? Probably a death sentence, because he doesn't "look" right, and too much competition from huskies with nice full pretty coats everyone expects.

So, something to think about before shaving your husky or any double coated dog for that matter.
Flicka ~ CGC

NO-ONE is going- to sneak up on- my Mummy
Barked: Tue Jan 15, '13 5:24pm PST 
Read your other post Ace... hoping you can keep the Boy... and thankyou for doing all you have...

Edited by author Tue Jan 15, '13 5:27pm PST

ARCH Demon RL1, RL2, RL3, RLV

Intimidation- seldom- facilitates- learning
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 4:53am PST 
I don't shave most of my pommies, but they do get clipped down to their undercoat every year. And they appear much more comfortable in the heat AFTER I do this.

My groomer HAS made a mistake in the past and shaved them and Kaluha was shaved because clipping him was far more traumatic than shaving, and it never prevented their coats from coming back in beautifully by the fall.
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