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  • Can you ruin the coat

    Do you believe that when you clip the hair of some breeds that it won't grow back the way it's suppose to? Do you think it ruins the coat? Have heard this over the years by different people and would like to hear what you all think.

  • #2
    Yes...chows, poms, samoyeds, keeshounds....grows back like brillo

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    • #3
      Yes

      You definitely can. Saying this as someone that primarily grooms terriers. When you clipper, you remove all of the coarser guard hair, and leave only the softer undercoat. Hand stripping and carding is the only way to preserve the coarse hair and remove the softer undercoat. All you have to do is feel the coat texture of a terrier that is hand stripped verses one that is always clippered. Know how that Westie head hair always lies flat and limp on pet dogs? It's from years of scissoring, no plucking.

      Yes, some dogs just have cr*ppy coat textures to start with, and yes, I do clipper pet terriers. However, I also do some carding and stripping to try to maintain some of the correct texture. This would also hold true for the other breeds that are supposed to have stripped or carded jackets, such as Cocker Spaniels. Just for the record, I always thought hand stripping was 'mean', that it must hurt the dogs. So far, I've only had one dog that objected, and it was only mildly. Most terriers seem to not mind it at all- must be that temperament that goes with the group. ;-)

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      • #4
        I vaguely remember reading on the old message board that an underlying reason for coats not growing back is the pet's health. Hypo/erthyroid, Cushings, allergies, etc. Also that the hair has a cycle of several years before it grows back correctly. I could be wrong. I'd like to see what others say. I was also told that hair wouldn't grow back correctly on some breeds when I worked at a petsomething....Helly???

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        • #5
          I'm no expert, but I have read and I believe it is true that if you shave a coat that certain types of hair actually take a long time to grow back and some not so long.

          Example- if you shave a double coated dog who is solid black, the color of their coat is not a rich black after shaving because you have exposed all of the undercoat which is usually a grey in color. So when the dog is growing back the undercoat grows much faster than the guard hairs. The guard hair is where the rich dark black color would come from. It may take a few years to completely regrow the black guard hairs.

          I shave down a husky mix every 10 weeks. He appears to be completely regown, but I know the difference. The owner says it regrows exactly back to his original coat. But if you pet him, you will still feel prickly guard hairs still regrowing.

          Now the terrier type coats that get handstripped I believe is also the case when they are shaved, their softer hair regrows, but the harsh wire coat takes much longer to thicken up. But if the harsh wire hair is stripped and the coat is rolled it becomes more harsh. I am using the term "rolled" only as this is what I'm told. I have only handstripped a few times and I'm not an expert here, but I can see the difference in handstripped vs. clipped as far as the texture goes. I prefer to keep them wire like if I can, but that's not reality for pets.

          I went to a school that would frown upon ever shaving any double coat, so I felt like it was very taboo of a groomer to do so at first. I did alot of reading about it and I decided that it's only hair, it will regrow. It just will take time.

          When I have an owner asking to shave their dog for the first time, I atleast just do my duty to explain what the dog will look like for the first time, how they may take a long time to regrow properly, and that it doesn't completly stop shedding. If they still want it, I happily clip them short.

          It's also important for them to know if their dog has any medical conditions that the hair may not regrow at all, or may come back patchy. I think that it's about their thyroid imbalances, or immune issues.

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          • #6
            I've done chows and shelties who's coat never came back the same.all that grew back was the fuzzy under coat.I always warn the owners there's a chance there coat won't grow back the same.

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            • #7
              It may take a long time to grow the hair out back to its original state in dogs like chows, samoyeds, etc, but it doesn't ruin the coat permanently. I give my beagle a mohawk and her hair grows back just the same within a few months. Actually, I'm surprised at how fast it grows, right now it is growing out because I want to practice doing cutesie hearts, etc. on her hips. My coworker had me do her pit/lab/shepherd mix and wanted a star, which I botched so she got a heart. lol So now I want to practice on my poor guinea pig/beagle.

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              • #8
                Well I have an example, I groom a Westie, in fact he was here today. He is nearly 4 years old. He had never been groomed until four months ago. His first owners...well lets just say he is in a GOOD home now. Anyway, he has a BEAUTIFUL coat. I'm sure it has to do with the fact he has never been clipped. The first time I groomed him well it was interesting, the water scared him, the brush scared him, the dryer YIKES and NO WAY were you going to get the clippers near him. I am proud to say with my patience with him, he now trusts me. He is fine for his bath, you can brush him all day, and the dryer---well he tolerates it. It pisses him off for about the first 2 minutes, then he is okay with it. And the clippers, well today I got to tip his ears, do a sani, and shave his feet. He would have let me clip his back too, but I have talked mom into not clipping him. I just card him and take some length off. He is the prettiest Westie I have ever seen. His tail is a little long, but he seems to have come from good genes.

                So my opionion is it doesn't "ruin" the coat, but it does take a long time for certain breeds to re-grow their natural coat back. I have a sheltie (my own) that I shaved off last spring, he was seriously over weight when I adopted him, and it was too hot for him to excercise much. It has been a little over a year and he has just now re-grown his natural coat. Meaning his guard hairs have grown out now too. And he is slim and trim and feels so much better.

                Scoop

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                • #9
                  I have done a lot of lab shave downs if you will believe that, and it grows back to a normal lab coat, but some dogs that have gotten this groom consistantly over years tend to have a softer texture to them. I have seen a select few golden retrievers that have never grown back the same after a haircut, and a few samoyeds and american eskimo dogs too, but I notice that most of them eventually go back to normal after a while.

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                  • #10
                    Absolutely not. I do not believe you can damage something that's already dead by cutting it. Hair grows from a follicle inside the skin, and is comprised 100% of dead cells. The cells that comprise a hair shaft are the same type of cells that comprise a toenail. Does cutting a toenail cause the nail to stop growing? Ever? Even if you cut it all the way back to the toe? If a nail is cracked, and the vet pulls it, doesn't it still grow back? For that matter, when we strip a coat and pull the hair completely out, doesn't it grow back?

                    I have yet to see any research that defines by what process cutting dead hair above the skin can affect the follicle that is under the skin. I have heard a great many groomers theorize on possibilities, but not one has offered solid research or studies to back it up. Not one veterinary dermatologist that I've asked has ever suggested that cutting hair will cause the coat to stop growing, or cause new hair to be altered.

                    Terrier coat is not ruined by clipping, you just have to wait long enough for the hair you cut to be replaced by it's normal growth cycle. That can take a year, maybe longer. But the coat is not ruined. It will regrow. If you strip out the hair that's been cut, the new hair will be normal, coarse terrier hair.

                    Double coats are also not damaged by clipping. Again, you have to wait out the entire growth cycle. Sometimes it can be up to two years, in some individual animals it might be as long as three.

                    If a dog's coat does not regrow normally, grows in sparse or patchy, or changes color/texture when it comes back in, the dog's owner needs to start looking at what factors influence coat.

                    Diet is one. If the dog is not getting proper nutrition, the coat isn't going to grow well. It may be dry, harsh and brittle. It will often be subject to breaking and thinning.

                    Allergies and parasites also need to be addressed. Allergies that cause scratching can lead to yeast infections. External parasites; fleas and mites, can be responsible for poor growth because of scratching and yeast, too. And many times, dogs with allergies or flea bite dermatitis are treated with steriods, causing an aquired Cushing's syndrome. The alopecia is caused by the steriods, not the clipping. Wean the dog off the steriods and use a nonsteroidal treatment to control the itch, and the hair will eventually grow back normally.

                    Internal parasites rob the dog of nutrients, and as a result cause poor coat quality.

                    In some breeds, there is also genetics that come into play. Pomeranians, for example, can suffer from a disorder called Black Skin Alopecia. It is sometimes revealed by clipping when it's in it's early stages. But it is not caused by clipping. If the dog was never clipped, it would still have the disorder, and it would still lose it's coat eventually.

                    But the biggest factor in poor regrowth is metabolic/hormonal/autoimmune disorders such as hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease and diabetes. There are also other diseases, but those are the big three, and they sometimes occur together. Hypothyroidism is especially rampant in many of the breeds that people often associate with post clipping alopecia. But you can't blame the clipping for a thyroid problem, and not clipping won't solve the problem. It just makes it less obvious, at least for a period of time.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you Crystal and Helly. Well said.

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                      • #12
                        I has a customer with a welsh terrier. as a puppy the first few grooms were done by a German groomer and she clippered him, when the customer came to me I did the first few grooms with a clipper also. His black saddle was gray! ( yes i have before and after pics and differences in coat between clippering and hand stripping )

                        Then I learned to Hand strip (thanks to a different customer that wanted her terriers hand stripped only! she let me practice and learn on her fox terriers) I then convinced the welsh owner to let me start hand stripping her dog.

                        While clippering didnt change the texture of his wire coat his saddle after 1 year of hand stripping came back to black.

                        I did alot of reading on hand stripping sites and what they said was clippering of terrier and nordic breeds crushes the hair folicals and that is what creates the coat change with texture and color.

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                        • #13
                          I believe clipping dogs that aren't meant to be clipped does ruin the hair. I have a client with a sheltie who wanted us to shave him. He had thinner hair to begin with so we would shave the belly and scissor his butt up because we didn't want to wreck the rest of his hair. Well the guy decided to go to the other groomer in town (we are the only two shops in town) and she shaved him. He came back to us about 6 months later and he had a patch on his back that didn't grow all the way in. We just did him again (3 months later) the patch was still there and the rest of his hair was sooo thick. He has never been a thick haired dog, but now will be! So, since his hair was patchy and ruined by the other groomer we ran an adapter over him to keep him fluffy since the owner wanted some hair off. We won't usually shave a husky, shepherd, collie, sheltie, etc... unless we know someone else did it before or if they haven't ever been shaved we tell them that the hair won't come in the same. Once we tell them that they usually change their minds!! Shaving those breeds is not something we enjoy doing!! People just think their dogs will be cooler. They will be cooler if they get a bath and all the undercoat is brushed/blown out!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SuziJ View Post
                            I did alot of reading on hand stripping sites and what they said was clippering of terrier and nordic breeds crushes the hair folicals and that is what creates the coat change with texture and color.
                            I cannot see, unless you are digging into a dog's skin with force, how you can crush a hair follicle. If you have been properly taught how to handle a clipper, you know that you are skimming above the dog's skin, not digging down into it. I think the statement above is rubbish.

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                            • #15
                              I know for a fact that it alters the coat on spaniels, almost all the spaniel breeds. The coat will come in wooly and thicker.

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