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  • Lab/Other Shave Downs....

    Just curious....do a lot of people request shave downs on Labs and other big breeds that don't usually get groomed? I had a lady ask me to shave down her Yellow Lab yesterday. I hated to do it, but it's what she requested. I do live in Florida, so many people think it's better to keep their dogs in shorter styles to keep them cooler. It's my understanding that it's the opposite. Dogs need their fur to keep them cooler. I'd like to hear some responses to this one.

  • #2
    we do have people who ask for their labs,pugs,jrts and other similar breeds to be shaved down. but from my understanding its more for shedding control purposes versus actually keeping the dogs cool.
    just like people who hunt alot have their dogs kept short so they dont have to brush the dogs out afterwords or untangle knots from hair that is tangled up with the little burrs and such....
    JMHO
    Hound

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    • #3
      a lot of people want their labs and stuff shaved down..mostly for shedding purposes.
      i hate doing at and most of the time i would just recommend a good bath and we can get a lot of the hair off....
      i have not mastered the shave down on labs and it always looks choppy and takes me a very long time!!!

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      • #4
        I know this will spark a huge debate, so I'm not going to say anything beyond this unless it's positive....but I won't do it. IMO it doesn't accomplish anything. My regulars don't really shed so it's unnecessary.
        There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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        • #5
          Yes, lots like them shaved

          Especially in the South. And they usually like a reverse shave, which looks pretty bald! Heck, I do a little Yorkie in a shave - INCLUDING head! - that makes her look like a black and tan Chihuahua! But guess what?? Mom likes it because she walks the dog a lot, and does not like using typical flea control, so this way she can check through the dog and use less poison on her. Pretty good reason, I think.

          I just make sure that I check with owners that the shaved dog doesn't stay out a lot and won't be subjected to sunburn, but most of these are housepets, whether they are Labs or Pugs or whatever.

          Many short-coated breeds have thicker coats than you would think. While I believe that double-coated breeds can be immensely relieved from the heat by a shave-down (despite the current fad denying this), I don't think smooth-coat breeds get the same result.

          HOWEVER - sometimes these pets swim in pools (or lake, etc) a lot, and the drying time is MUCH faster when they are shaved. Sometimes their owners just think they will be cooler. Some of them swear their dogs SEEM cooler, and I'm sure that some are, although probably not most.

          And if it's a shedding problem - well, I recommend better food, but if owners don't want to do that and the dog is shedding primary coat, then a buzz it is! If the shedding is the secondary coat, owners get shown a Furminator or a Laube deshedder, and they often buy one.

          So there are many reasons to shave short coats, even Pugs! And usually a 7F is not short enough - they want a 5F reverse, or a #10 forward, or even a 7F reverse (horrors! but I've done it!), and are very happy with it. You can also use 8-1/2 on some coats, or a #9.

          And to think I used to be a purist.....<shaking head> LOL.

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          • #6
            Yep lots of Lab shave downs. I'd say I have about 50% shaves and 50% deshed. I'd rather deshed but it really just boils down to what the owner wants.
            ~*~Robin~*~
            "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

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            • #7
              Oddly enough I live in Northern Mich and we have an abundance of short hair and other large breed shave downs.As I tell my clients I will do it but I do not recommend it.

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              • #8
                We shave a lot of Labs and others with that sort of coat. The owners do it to cut down on the constant shedding.

                It must work because the owners bring them back on a regular basis for another shave. They say it helps.

                Who am I to argue with the owners?

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                • #9
                  Hair growth

                  We have a few labs that get shaved. We don't recommend it and try to discuss deshedding first..... an important point that has not been mentioned here is the risk that the coat may not grow back properly.... sometimes it will come back in "patchy or thread bear". The older the petgets or if the pet is hypothyroid increases this risk.... Inform your clients! This is also a good tool for convincing them to try deshedding first..... a few of our dogs really need it to stay cool and are primarily house dogs.....

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                  • #10
                    I do a lot of shave downs on Lab and the such. Whatever they want I'll do, I have to shave our pug down during the spring and summer months to keep an eye on her skin for bites and stings didn't notice one a few years ago and she had a horrible reaction and almost died this way I can see the lump come up as soon as it happens. She looks fine and she grows back in the winter. I will offer a good bath and shed out but most of the time they want them shaved and I'll do it.
                    "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,
                    and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck
                    www.wagmoresalon.com

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                    • #11
                      I had one lady call and ask to have her lab shaved down once and when I tried to talk her into deshedding instead, she said that the vet had tried that and he was shedding more than ever. The vet I was working for at the time would have the kennel help do all the bath only dogs and they would wash it fast and cage dry it with almost no brushing. So I told this lady that if she would try my deshedding and didn't like it she could bring the dog back and I would shave it at no additional cost. Not only did she love it, she rebooked her dog on a regular basis for double the cost of a bath.

                      This tactic didn't work every time, but I ended up doing more deshedding and less shaving.

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                      • #12
                        I have a lady that has come to me 3 times to shavedown her CHIHUAHUA. I had to ask her twice the first time to make sure I was hearing her right. His name is peanut and he is an inside dog. She says she wants it done because he sheds. IDK sometimes.

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                        • #13
                          its very popular here too, i dont like doing it really and always go ever the problems that can come with it but people still do it. I shaved down a rottie last week and i did not enjoy it at all lol. I did realize that i would never do it to my rott though lol. It looked...........wrong

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                          • #14
                            I like the article. I will use it. I hate shaving double coated dogs and try my best not to. I'm so thankful that I told the owner where I work "when we're busy enough I hope we can tell people 'no" and gee, one week we were way booked and he told someone with a German Shepard "no." Someday I will be busy enough I won't have to worry about it. Until then, educate first, then shave if they still want it done (and nearly pray for it to look stupid 3 months later.)

                            As for the heat issue, I've started asking people when it comes up..."do you think it's normal when you sweat?" They, of course, say "yes." Then I explain that it is normal for their dog to pant. It is their way of cooling off like us sweating. We live fine in the south. So do most dogs. Somehow putting it in human terms often works. (also - ear pluck probably = eyebrow pluck; quicking a nail probably = getting into the pink of your nail.)

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                            • #15
                              Yup, I shave lots and lots of short (well, FLAT really) coated dogs. Labs, pugs, beagles, chihuahuas, etc. Some people do it because they think that the dog is cooler but most of my customers like it for shedding reasons. Sure, the dog still sheds but it's much smaller hairs and makes for easier cleaup. I really don't mind at all, in fact many times in the past I've shaved my own beagles. Anyway, it's their dog and their money, and if I don't so it they are going to take their money down the road to someone else. I don't honestly understand the reasoning behind NOT shaving someone's dog for them. It's not hurting the dog...
                              Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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