Clipping/Trimming a husky for summer

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aka garbage- disposal
Barked: Tue Oct 6, '09 4:13am PST 
Hi all.. Does anyone clip/trim their husky's fur for the summer? I live in Australia and Mojo (the collie) gets shaved for summer because his immune system can't deal with the heat. I've never had a husky, so I don't know if they can also be shaved or not. Last summer Maya seemed really affected and with her thick I felt so sorry for her but i was too scared to have her shaved just incase you are not supposed to with huskies. This year, I've found this group, so I thought I'd ask you. Has anyone ever done it? Is it beneficial to do? I've been thinking of also getting a little wading pool as well this yr. How do you help your huskies cope with the summer heat? here, it gets to about 43 deg and very humid, esp february. If not a full shave, how about trimming the hair a bit? thanks for your advice smile

Snow dogs love- the beach
Barked: Tue Oct 6, '09 5:58am PST 
No no no, please don't. Please do me a favor and research info on shaving a huskies coat. I'm not an expert on this breed by any means but every thing I have read and all the husky breeders that I talk to all tell me that shaving their coat is by no means good for them. A husky is a very adaptable and hearty dog. They can withstand extreme cold temperatures as well as extreme heat. Dogs do not sweat. They lose body heat from their mouths when they pant. That's how they drop their body temp. Their not like humans. In the summer we wear less clothes to stay cool. A husky does not need to. The double layer coat they have actually works to insulate them and keep them cool as well as protect them from the sun. It also is a defense from parasites and insects. I don't know if it is true or not but I've read that shaving a huskies coat can be deadly. On top of a being a health risk when you shave their coats it never grows back the same and it can change their appearance. Now you are probably going to get some comments disagreeing with me cause there are some people who do shave their huskies with no problems. The choice is ultimately up to you. I'm just stating what I've read from researching this topic. I live in Florida and trust me it gets hot. So I have done a lot of research in this area. I have not read one beneficial thing about shaving a husky. As far as just doing a little trim, I've never really looked that up so I'm not sure. A small pool for them to splash around in is a great idea. My pup loves the water. He loves the pool, the beach, the lake, anything as long as he is wet. It's a great way to cool them down and burn some of their energy as well. I hope my info was helpful to you. If you google search "clipping your husky" or "shaving your husky" you should find some good info on this topic. Good luck with everything.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Tue Oct 6, '09 6:46am PST 
Shade and water is good. You have to make sure you get all of the shedding undercoat brushed out. Some people do shave Huskies but it takes two shedding cycles for the hair to grow back and it will look wonky and matt while growing back.

The undercoat will grow back 1st, it may grow back unevenly, and you will have split ends while growing back so the coat will seem strange and course.

There is a lot of anecdotal information stating that one should never clip a husky. I found no actual studies on this matter. It does seem to take two shedding cycles for the coat to be as good as new and I think this is where the idea comes from that it ruins the coat. It doesn’t but if you clip every summer, it will never manage to grow back all of the way and it will look different.

I was short last summer, my hair is coming back, but we are going to try leaving it long this year and see how it works. It looked pretty strange and uneven for months. I had to be carefully brushed on the short places, because the hair wanted to matt.

There are a lot of strong feelings about clipping huskies. If you chose to do so, don’t let anyone tell you that you have ruined your dogs coat for all time, you are a monster for clipping your dog, you don’t care……. Here is a thread I started in the grooming forum that became quite heated http://www.dogster.com/forums/Grooming/thread/631600


They call me- Snags!!
Barked: Tue Oct 6, '09 8:17am PST 
yea, don't shave them... Makes this beautiful breed look ridiculous!

Toby hangs outside when it's hot as can be, lays under trees, in the shade, loves his doggie pool, and he stays cool... Trust me, they are SMART dogs and will find the coolest grassy area, with some dirt..

Member Since
Barked: Mon Apr 22, '13 8:06pm PST 
Hi Sorry it has taken me so long but I just saw your post and thought I would add my 2 cents worth. I live in Australia too, in Queensland in fact, and I have a gorgeous husky called Zoey who is 6 and a half.
I disagree with others who say not to clip your husky. I had to have Zoey clipped in November last year because she got a paralysis tick and spent the night in hospital. After she had been clipped by the staff in the hospital, another paralysis tick was found so very glad that they had her clipped. I had never considered clipping her previously because I had read all the posts about not clipping huskies.. but let me tell you, after Zoey had recovered from her ordeal she was a different dog. She was so happy and was running around like a puppy. Her fur grew back quite quickly and evenly I might add, and she is still beautiful and soft so I had her done again last month. I have to say that I would much prefer her to be happy and I'm glad that my hand was forced otherwise she would still be weighed down with all that fur. Can I also say that it is a lot easier for me to check for ticks now as well. Not only that, she is a house dog and while her fur is short, she is not shedding everywhere.

Barked: Wed May 8, '13 3:53am PST 
I live in Australia as well, in Townsville QLD, and our last summer heat wave was a stinking hot 42 degrees C. Shaving a husky does more harm than good in heat, our vet explained it to me by saying that a husky's coat not only keeps the heat in during cold, but also traps in cold air during good. Taking it away can actually overheat your husky more so than leaving it there. Remember that Siberian huskies are initially from Siberia, where summers get just as hot as they do here down under. They survived there with their thick coats, as long as you give them plenty of water and shade they'll survive here smile

Genetically speaking (I study this for a living), there are huskies who's undercoats will never grow back properly. It's an inherited trait linked to their DNA and unfortunately there's now way to tell if your husky will have that trait or not. If the undercoat doesn't grow back properly, you leave your dog at risk of multiple skin disorders, not to mention melanomas which are so common in huskies in Australia that it's saddening. Ultimately it's a personal choice, but the only thing I ask is that you research the risks before you go through with it.

Edited by author Wed May 8, '13 3:56am PST


Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sat Jun 1, '13 7:34am PST 
(snip)Genetically speaking (I study this for a living), there are huskies who's undercoats will never grow back properly. It's an inherited trait linked to their DNA and unfortunately there's now way to tell if your husky will have that trait or not. (snip)

Shadow,please provide links to any studies proving your statement.

If you study this for a living, what is your title and credentials.( I would be very interested to learn about your field because I didn't' find any credible studies on clipping permanently affecting a healthy dog's coat)

It seems very unlikely that cutting the top off of hair would affect the hair root but if there is actual proof and an explanation I would be very interested to learn about it.
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Sat Jun 1, '13 7:00pm PST 
I've seen the dogs whose undercoats don't grow back. I don't know why there's such denial that this does happen. Occasionally it turns out to be something like a thyroid problem, but often it's that shaving messed up their coat. Not just Huskies either, but any double-coated breed. Pomeranians, Shelties, Golden Retrievers, Chows, Old English Sheepdogs... I've seen it happen to all of them.

I would be interested to see evidence of genetic basis for it. I don't have a reason why shaving sometimes damages the coat, but it very plainly does happen.

The best way to keep a Husky cool is to keep them bathed and brushed out. The undercoat is what you really want to keep thin, which makes shaving counterproductive. Shaving takes away the guard coat and leaves primarily undercoat with sharp, cut off guard hairs underneath. It'd be like if you were wearing a wool sweater under a light athletic jacket. You wouldn't strip off the jacket and go around in wool - you'd take the sweater off.

It's been over 90 degrees for the past three days and my dogs have been fine, although notably happier since their bathes and brush outs earlier this week.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sat Jun 1, '13 7:46pm PST 
Ember, I'm not saying I think Huskies should be clipped for summer.

If there is a credible study or proof of a genetic marker, I would like to know about it.

I like big mud- and I cannot lie
Barked: Wed Jun 19, '13 12:14pm PST 
Ember... Perfect analogy with the wool sweater and athletic jacket!

Someone shaved Teeko in the winter, before I got him. I have no clue why, but the poor boy was in our swimming pool in January because he heated up so quickly.

5 months later, he's doing much better. His undercoat blow is crazy because it grew back so thick after being shaved.

He'll be fine eventually, but ...