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Malamute Shave-down

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  • Malamute Shave-down

    Does somebody do regular shave-downs on a Malamute who could provide a picture of the finished product? Most concerned with the head.

  • #2
    Very few groomer folk...if they have their wits about them, do "regular" shavedowns on a Mal, lol!

    I've done several over the years, by necessity, not choice.

    Please don't shave the head.
    It's not necessary, and looks incredibly stupid, not to mention setting the dog up for a sunburn, and a myriad of other troubles.

    What I do is, do the head last, and make sure every bit of blowing coat is COMBED out, that means cheeks, chin, all of it...then I use a "chemistry" of snap on combs to get it to blend (sort best you can) w/ the body, which is typically in a 7.
    Start well behind the bony part at the back of the an inch or so.
    If you were to have your grooming loop snug up under the chin and behind each ear...start with your longest SO that will take anything off the coat (I only use Wahl SS's, plastic will be useless for this) and run it down the ruff, then switch to the next (shorter) SO comb and with a light hand gradually run down the ruff again. It typically takes me 3 to 5 combs, graduating the "start" place as I move down.
    (This is a whole lot of words for some thing that takes me 10 minutes, lol!)

    The head is going to look matter what you do, but it will all be in better balance in 3 to 4 weeks if you don't leave a big, severe, head on a shaved dog.
    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


    • #3
      Sorry, no pic, but with this type of hair I like blending the head (don't just start shaving at the neck and leave it!) Often I'll start with a 3/4 Andis in reverse from neck to mid head, then same with growth, then #4 in reverse, then with growth to get a blended look, then finish with thinning shears to blend it all in. With the #4 start in reverse before where you started with the 3/4 and in the direction of growth from the middle of head start ahead of the 3/4 since the #4 is a shorter blade. With practice it helps with the blending.


      • #4
        yup, either start shaving way back from the head and blend blend blend after the rest is all done (it's never a good look though, there's not really much you can do about going from boof to skinned!!! lol) or you can take the whole lot off and they still look TOTALLY weird, but they're at least even all over! lol! Up to you and what the client wants really.... I personally don't think the skinned-all-over look was too bad, though they certainly don't look the same anymore! lol.

        Not a mal, but a husky I did all over including the head:


        • #5
          Sorry, its a breed I won't shave. Just did one today that the owner was certain I would have to shave. Some really good product and the HV and she lookes beautiful now!


          • #6
            Malamute Shave

            Thanks for the input guys. I appreciate it. I don't like to shave double coated dogs either but apparently my client (new) does this every early summer because it is so hot here in SC. Will try the tips for blending using step downs with combs .



            • #7
              we have one that comes in covered in hot spots every once in a while..i feel bad for the dog! We do a 9 all over, including the head (no picture sorry) it looks insane and not to happy with it. We left the head once and they said he would just rather have it shaved...


              • #8
                I never leave the head. I shave it. Just go up a couple of blade sizes. If I use a 7 on the body I use a 4 on the head. Boofy heads look just as bad as totally shaved naked heads. If you just use a longer blade they don't look bad at all.

                I have no problem shaving down most dogs. If I don't do it they'll find someone who will. Or worse yet they try to do it themsleves. At least when I do it the dog isn't going to be butchered.

                I don't think it keeps them any cooler. But in hot humid climates it can keep the hot spots under control, and it sure makes removing ticks a lot easier.