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I almost killed his dog! (Long)

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  • I almost killed his dog! (Long)

    A man walks in with his husky this morning. He has an appointment, thats a good thing. I asked him what he wants done, as he has never been to my salon before. He says he wants his dog SHORT. I ask how short while pulling out my trusty hair swatch. He says hes not sure, but SHORT. I ask him to look at the different clipper lengths and he says,"NO!You cant shave her, she will DIE!". Oh my goodness...So, me being the stupid groomer asks why. He looks at me like im a complete retard and says," Because shes a husky." I said ok, expecting more to that story, but that was it. So I had to dig a little deeper. "She will die if she gets her hair cut?" Man says, " Yes, if you use a clipper to cut her hair then she will die". Apparently, after more digging, I find out that "10 different groomers" have told him that if the dogs undercoat gets cut with a clipper then the dog will have a heat stroke and die. But If I can scissor him extra short, that would be great.

    I have heard the arguments involving shaving double coated breeds, but I have never heard they would just... die. How much truth is there to this? I made a mental note to run over to the vet to ask, but I forgot.

    I called the other salon to see what he gets done the last time and it was a Feet,Face,Tail with LOTS of brushing.

  • #2
    There is merit to the statement that the dog could get heat stroke---but any dog could get heat stroke if left out in the sun, no water, shelter, etc. And maybe even WITH water and shelter I suppose.

    But I look at it like a bald man. Imagine that sun straight down on their heads, lol. They usually plop a hat on, problem solved.

    A dog doesn't have such luxuries. I think what I have read is that the dog's core temperature doesn't return to its normal temperature when the dog is shaved down and the dog works out in some way---and this can cause serious problems.

    I actually worked with someone who saw this happen. It was an airedale though, and it was shaved short, and completely exposed to the sun. She came outside and the dog was ...if I recall...having difficulties. I think it either died or got lucky, can't remember.

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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    • #3
      Ok, groomers should be ashamed of themself for telling this man his dog will die if they shave it. That coat will not keep the dog cool, it is ment to keep the dog warm. Huskeys are a cold wether dog. They hate the warm, so be kind and get rid of the coat just don't leave you dog run around like a nut in the heat. Common sense is lacking here with this man.
      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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      • #4
        I have never had anything like this happen in my shop before, but my cousin has a German Shepard that they brought to the groomers for a shave down. It was it's first time ever being shaved and it is an older dog. The dog almost died. It seemed to have some kind of reaction while at the groomers. It collapsed. I had never heard of this until that incident. But I have heard that older dogs that have never been shaved might go into some kind of shock.

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        • #5
          I have asked my uncle ( a vet) about this, he said, other than sunburn there is no danger in shaving dbl coated breeds.

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          • #6
            I guess the odds of it heat stroking without hair, in the sun, no water or shelter, probably would be higher than with a coat, but...they will heat stroke under those circumstances either way.. I always talk the owners out of it if possible, just for the fact that they get hotter faster without the coat,as it helps keep the heat out. some people will "get it" some won't...but no, he won't die without his hair! LOL

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            • #7
              Sunburn can be a real problem if a dog is shaved too short. That double coat is an insulater. I explain it to clients this way...Would you stick your bare hand in the oven to pull out the casserole, or would you use an oven mit?
              Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

              Groom on!!!

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              • #8
                A dog's temp is around 101, it overheats just like us. We have sweat glands and a dog just pants and the vapors cool them. The dog's hair is like insulation to a house, keeps him cool in the summer, warm in the winter, granted the coat is deshedded properly. If you shave the hair, the dog MAY overheat in the sun because the hair protects the dog from the heat of the sun absorbing into his body.

                I deshed most of my double coats, but if mom and dad ask for a shave, I let them know to take extra care of that baby outside in the hot months. Also, I have my double coats come in the winter for cleaning up because I tell my moms and dads if there is undercoat and it's an outside dog, they do more damage to their wellbeing and their skin. The undercoat, if left in the coat, will keep their dog wet and cold in the winter which is no fun for the dog. And for the summer, they need a clean coat because of the undercoat acting like an overcoat if not cleaned out of the fur. Then they most likely will incur major vet bills. So I get my huskies and the like all year round.

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                • #9
                  Oh wow.. A dog can overheat just as easily with all it's hair than without. Yes the coat protects from the elements.. I think that the other groomer just didn't want to shave a Husky... I know I wouldn't want to, but if the owner wanted it, I would...

                  Wow, no a dog can't die from being shaved. As Tammy said, if left outside with no water, sure, but not from shaving the undercoat. Scissoring does the same thing just takes a lot longer and costs a lot more.
                  Becky

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                  • #10
                    Its my understanding that the coat will protect the dog from the sun/heat BUT if it's a thick, matted mess it makes the dog hot as well.

                    The 'scissor short all over' makes me think of an attachment comb, but who in their right mind would do a comb attachment a/o on a HUSKY? Thanks, now I'll have nightmares tonight!

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                    • #11
                      A good comprimise is to shave it from the crotch to the armpits so the dog can lay on a cool tile floor....aaahhhhhhh

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by baddog View Post
                        A good comprimise is to shave it from the crotch to the armpits so the dog can lay on a cool tile floor....aaahhhhhhh
                        Amen, sista.

                        I think of birds, covered in feathers. I have a down comforter, and I am warm (toasty warm!) in the winter, and it's also cool in the summer. I see the hair as the same---it's an insulator.

                        You shave that husky/malamute down and I guarantee you it will walk out the door PANTING, lol.

                        If Helly were here, she'd explain the core temperature issue---they cannot cool down as quickly when their hair has been shaved off. But no, shaving the dog will not kill it in and of itself.

                        Tammy in Utah
                        Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                        • #13
                          well we had a customer tell us his great pyrenees would get cancer if we shaved them...

                          i think everyone disagrees on this. my mother always told me you should never cut the hair (shave) on a double coated dog for the insulation reasons. i grew up in central fl. we had over my lifetime a samoyed, an aussie, a golden, and a gsd. all in full coat, living indoors and out with no a/c on the indoors. they ran and played like normal dogs were a healthy weight and lived long lives (exept for the sammy that bit a little kid protecting her puppies and was put down)

                          now, out here in so cal, everyone wants thier labs and golden shaved because it's so hot.

                          american red cross cpr training teaches that shaved dogs are more suspectable to heatstroke because they have no protection from the sun.

                          if you go out hiking in the desert you're supposed to wear long sleeves and long pants to protect yourself from the sun and dehydration...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by diamienono View Post
                            Ok, groomers should be ashamed of themself for telling this man his dog will die if they shave it. That coat will not keep the dog cool, it is ment to keep the dog warm. Huskeys are a cold wether dog. They hate the warm, so be kind and get rid of the coat just don't leave you dog run around like a nut in the heat. Common sense is lacking here with this man.

                            The undercoat keeps the dog warm the outer coat (guard hairs) help circulate air to the skin to keep the dog cool. Shaving the guard hairs and leaving the undercoat is just like leaving a blanket on the dog all summer. Shaving the dog will not help keep it cool. Now if the customer wants them shaved...then shave.

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                            • #15
                              LOL I think its cute.. I can picture the man saying MY DOG WILL DIE.

                              But like Tammy said, what the man says has merit. A dogs coat helps keep them cool as well as keeping them warm and they definitely can over heat easier if they are shaved. That all assumes that if not shaved the dog is well brushed out.

                              I would be willing to bet that groomers explained that to him (as I do to my customers) and he heard it as MY DOG WILL DIE. LOL People interpret things strangely. Just like all those times the come in and say "My vet said..."

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