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  • Cold weather question

    Well I have a question for those in the colder regions like myself. A lady calls wanting us to groom her golden retriever that's kept outside. She states that she has it shaved a couple of times a year and usually takes it to a groomer in another town but would like us to do it instead. I told her that it's too cold to shave an outside dog, she replies that he's really matted and needs it done. I repeat myself saying that it's too cold and she should wait until spring. She even makes the comment that he's getting matted and doesn't know why, well I couldn't help myself but to make a smart axx comment . I said well, that's what happens when they're not brushed. Anyhow I make the appointment for her hoping that the dog really isn't that bad and we can do a FFT on it. OK, here's the question (finally). What would you do? We don't have to have the business, but do we do the dog hoping we can save some coat or refuse it altogether knowing it's WAY too cold?

  • #2
    I guess it would be a call once you see the dog. Why not wet shave it with a snap-on comb? I just did a SWCT mix that was a dread-lock mess. Wet shaved with a #2 snap. Left enough coat to keep the dog with enogh coat to stay warm outside. OK, OK, it's not as cold here as in some parts of the country, but my point...it better to have a short coat that can trap body heat, rather than have a coat that is parted to the skin [letting cold air in ]with heavy matts that won't dry. A shorter coat might be able to dry if the dog had a warm dog house to get into. (t
    Just a thought.

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    • #3
      My opinion would be that if the dog can be brushed out I would do that and try to talk the owner into it. If the dog is really matted, then I might shave it because I would think the natural insulation process wouldn't work with the matts. Not sure if this is true, I know there has been a lot of debate over this subject. But I would try to save what I could of the coat.

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      • #4
        I am not in the cold, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't need the business.

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        • #5
          Edited.
          Last edited by pamperedpups; 02-25-07, 05:18 PM.

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          • #6
            In a situation like this I tell the owner if the dog is shaved down, it must be kept inside, or the dog will die. I don't know how cold it is where you are, but we get nights here where exposed skin is frostbitten in 5 mins. And a dog shaved down has not near enough protection from the cold and snow to be out 24/7. I haven't had a situation like yours where they still insist on keeping the dog out; most people will get it done now and keep the dog indoors, or they decide to hold off until it warms up. If they insisted on keeping dog out, I wouldn't feel good about shaving it at this time.

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            • #7
              Does she at least have a temp. controlled area for him to sleep at night? If he is fat, it may not be quite as bad. Also, if you do go ahead, try wet shaving to save length, and see if you can't creatively cut out the mats and clip the rest to blend...it may be a lot of work, but worth it for the poor babe.

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              • #8
                Well I agree with you that shaving a coat down in the middle of winter is not a good idea at all...Also, the vets around here recommend that people with outside dogs to try to avoid bathing during the winter and if they do have to bath them then keep them inside for several hours to make sure they are completely dry...I think I would try to talk her into a bath and brush till spring... Tammy~

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                • #9
                  Hmm, that is a tough one. I have a problem with the whole outside dog thing to begin with, and then you throw in that whole problem. Well, I'm not honestly sure what I would do, but would love to hear what everyone says.
                  Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                  • #10
                    Assuming he isn't totally pelted, maybe you could just shave the mats out and send him home with some bald spots instead of totally bare?

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                    • #11
                      I have had a lot of dogs like that, but have managed to keep their coats and shorten all the long hair off. A lot of people that use to let their dogs go all winter without grooming I have gotten them to come in in the winter and shorten all the feathering off and maybe the body hair some and they end up liking it and continue doing it that way.

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                      • #12
                        Bearmtn gave a good option, if you can trim all that extra long hair/feathers/pants off it will help, but it really just depends on the condition of the actual mats---brushable or needing a shave?

                        I would not shave a dog like that, no way, not in winter. It's surprising to me that someone would even ask that. Wow.

                        Let us know what you decide.

                        Tammy in Utah
                        Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                        • #13
                          I understand where you are coming from and I agree but rememer It's her dog and you need to do what she wants. Even if you don't need the business, because 25 of her friends could be 25 of your clients that you could potentially loose by not making her happy and then the domino effect starts. It's your call. My shop motto is " We groom your dogs the way that you want them groomed" So I would have to comply with her request
                          "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"
                          Nancy

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by plushpuppy View Post
                            I understand where you are coming from and I agree but rememer It's her dog and you need to do what she wants. Even if you don't need the business, because 25 of her friends could be 25 of your clients that you could potentially loose by not making her happy and then the domino effect starts. It's your call. My shop motto is " We groom your dogs the way that you want them groomed" So I would have to comply with her request
                            I do agree with you that it's her dog, do what she wants. I am all about making the client happy, like I said before it's their dog looks stupid, they have to look at it, not me....BUT, this is more than that. I think that this crosses the health and safety line. Perhaps if the dog is in a weather controlled shed, or dog house or something with heat, it's okay, but if that poor thing is outside in the cold, I'm not sure that it would be right to shave it down...after all, it could suffer frostbite, pneumonia, etc...worse case scenario, die!

                            So after thinking about it, to the original poster, unless the dog is in some kind of heated building or something of the like, something it could get out of the cold, then no I wouldn't shave an outside dog in the winter. I saw that you are in WV I think. I am in MD, and if you are in the mountains than it's even colder there...I think it's about 20 degrees outside right now here!

                            Maybe like other menntioned you could come to a compromise...a longer cut, or shave the mats out...or even suggest a sweater?
                            Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                            • #15
                              A golden retriever that is being shaved down several times a year should not be in such bad shape that a simple B&B wouldn't do it. Maybe the hair has not grown back to full length yet. It is very cold here and I won't shave dogs down that don't at least sleep indoors at night. Yard dogs can wait until spring! We get too many subzero nights, windchill worse.

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