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I am absolutely fuming!!!

I have a beautiful, old (tattoed) long-haired GSD!
When we rescued her, she had been so neglected that her hair was so badly matted between her hips and legs that she could hardly walk properly. It took us hours and hours to brush it all out.
Whenever it is time for her to be groomed she makes a huge fuss by running away and whining. My heart breaks every time we need to brush her and I must admit that being too soft - I seldom do a completely thorough job.
So this time, after putting it off for a while, I decided to take her to the parlour to have it done.

WHAT A MISTAKE!
We returned to fetch her, only to discover that they had <span style="color: #FF0000">SHAVED</span> her back legs, top of the tail, hips and lower back AFTER WE SPECIFICALLY TOLD THEM NOT TO GO NEAR HER WITH A SHAVER!!!
When I told the parlour owner that I was unhappy with what they had done she simply replied - "I'm sorry. I never told them to do that. But at least now all the knots are out."


As far as I know long-haired GSD's have long hair for a REASON and that it helps protect them from cold as well as HEAT. IS this true?
I have also heard that shaving them can do damage to the hair follicles and permanent damage to the undercoat. Is this accurate?

I have not told Layla (my GSD) how ridiculous her new "mullet cut" looks and will save her the embarrassment, besides - she seems quite happy with her new "hair do" so for now I'll just hide all mirrors. Hehe!


On a serious not though, am I making too much of this or am I correct in believing that it is NOT a good idea to shave a long-haired GSD and thus have right to be angry?
Have any of you shaved your GSDs?

Any input would be appreciated.
 

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Did you pay for it? I would not have paid them.

I've heard that it is a bad idea to shave a long haired animal because their hair acts as insulation. However, my Mom shaves her himalayans every summer and their hair grows back just fine. It should not damage the hair follicles and should grow back just fine.
 

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We had two rescues that were shaved - one on purpose to get the fox tails out and the other the foster dropped him off just to be groomed. Hair grows back pretty quickly.

I personally wouldn't do it if not necessary, but if the hair is really matted sometimes it is better to cut the fur off rather than try to pull the knots out. As for damaging the hair follicles and undercoat that is an urban myth. Have had a few surgical shaves on fosters that were all the way to the skin and the hair grew back just fine.

I would be made, but that is one reason I don't have my dogs groomed.
 

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I would be mad too!
But her hair should grow back fine.
I know alot of animals that had to be shaved bc of how bad their fur was matted.
Im sure it will be fine !!!
 

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If you specifically told them not to... they shouldn't have. However, if the hair was really matted, it may have need to have been done and now you can groom her and not ever let it get that way again.

A seriously matted dog can cause real health problems just so you know.

What do you mean your dog is tattoed? do you mean in the ear? I just found it odd you threw that in there.... LOL
 

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I would be quite upset with the groomer if I took my dog in, specifically told them I did not want them to shave or trim any of the hair, and then came back to find they'd ignored my instructions and shaved parts or all of my dog. Personally, I would have complained to the manager and I would also have refused to pay for their services, as they did not perform the services requested.

AS far as the fur is concerned, it is correct that fur protects dogs in both the heat and the cold. If the coat is well-groomed, it can trap air between the layers of fur, which helps insulate the dog from both the cold and the heat.

I don't think that shaving does damage to the hair. I think that's a myth.
 

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If I told a groomer not to shave my dog or "go near it with clippers," and I came back to pick up my dog, and it was shaved, I would be a little more than annoyed.

If there were mats in my dog's coat that required them to be "cut out," I would hope the groomer would call and say, "there are some mats that we would like to cut out or shave. I know you said - 'no shaving,' - so I wanted to see what you wanted us to do."
 

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Reminds me of when we lived in Florida. My wife took sarge to get groomed. They taled her into shaving him completely!!! He had his main and fur on his head and his tail. The rest of him was PINK!!! I almost fainted when I came home from work and this lion looking PINK critter came to greet me at the door. My wife said they told her it would be cooler for the summer. I reminded he lives in an AIR CONDITIONED HOUSE.

His fur grew back fairly quickly so I wouldnt worry about too much but I do understand how your feeling.
 

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I'd b very mad too, but think that this is one of those thing that will make you laugh in a couple of weeks. Why not to share some pics with us
?
 

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Originally Posted By: SouthernThistleIf I told a groomer not to shave my dog or "go near it with clippers," and I came back to pick up my dog, and it was shaved, I would be a little more than annoyed.

If there were mats in my dog's coat that required them to be "cut out," I would hope the groomer would call and say, "there are some mats that we would like to cut out or shave. I know you said - 'no shaving,' - so I wanted to see what you wanted us to do."
Exactly. They should have called to ask first. I hope you negotiated a lower cost for the job.
 

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Originally Posted By: GSD-Mom ...
I have also heard that shaving them can do damage to the hair follicles and permanent damage to the undercoat. Is this accurate?
...
On a serious not though, am I making too much of this or am I correct in believing that it is NOT a good idea to shave a long-haired GSD and thus have right to be angry?
Have any of you shaved your GSDs?
I feel you have a right to be angry because they didn't contact you after you said you didn't want the dog shaved. And yes I think you're making too much of the actual shaving. IMHO when you have an older dog (or maybe even a young one) that is extremely matted, you have to make grooming easy on them. If she was too matted to groom easily, without a lot of pain, then shaving was probably the right solution.

I've had longhairs shaved before and it never did any damage to their coats when they grew back in.

In fact you'll find many owners of OESs which really have a LOT of hair and undercoat keep their dogs clipped/shaved.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all so much for the feedback. Feeling much better now that I hear most of you are in agreement that it will not do any permanent damage to her coat. (Can't remember exactly where I read that it would, but DO remember seeing it somewhere.) Anyway - just glad to hear it should grow back normally.

I think the reason I was so upset with the parlour is because we specifically said to them that there may be parts where they MIGHT need to CUT some of the knots but we did ask them to stay away from CLIPPERS and rather use scissors if necessary.
I can even excuse them shaving a little between her legs (as this is the area we really battle to get to) but to have her BACK shaved (an area that is easy to get to and that we brushed regularly) was just unacceptable.
Anway - we did pay .... the FULL amount but I can assure you that is the last they will see of us. Next time I'll try find someone who specializes in GSD grooming.
Just relieved to hear its not really bad for them.

Thanks for the feedback. Will try post pics as soon as she lets me
 

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Originally Posted By: Branca's MomIf you specifically told them not to... they shouldn't have. However, if the hair was really matted, it may have need to have been done and now you can groom her and not ever let it get that way again.

A seriously matted dog can cause real health problems just so you know.

What do you mean your dog is tattoed? do you mean in the ear? I just found it odd you threw that in there.... LOL
HAHAHA!!!! It IS odd that I threw it in there, Tammi. Not exactly sure why I did. Probably being a bit of a snob, trying to emphasize that they SHAVED a "pedigree"!!!
LOL!
 

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I think it may hold some true in other breed with softer coats. A friend of mine took her Samoyed to be bathed and they shaved it... Who shaves a Samoyed???!!! The coat was never as soft as before, but GSD coat is naturally way more thick and hard than the one of her dog, even after the shaving.
 

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Quote: As for damaging the hair follicles and undercoat that is an urban myth.
Actually NOT an urban myth - it's just not a common occurrance, if you talk to any long time groomer, they'll all have stories of this happening with some clients, if it happens to be your dog with a patchwork coat, there's no treatment.

Hand stripping & working through knots & blowing out the coat is alot more work and time than shaving - the parlour owner should've apologised (profusely), offered to not charge for this visit & offered additional free visits. If she did none of these things, go back today & demand your money back, if she's a licensed shop, send a letter to the licensing agency etc.


Quote: But at least now all the knots are out.
This is not an appropriate statement to make to an upset owner.
All the knots would've been out if they had done their job properly as well.

Quote: I never told them to do that.
What did she tell 'them' - maybe she needs to take responsibility for her staff & her apparant inability to communicate clearly.

There are times when it's simply just kinder to shave out the knots especially in sensitive areas such as the belly BUT when you dropped the dog off this should've been discussed; the person accepting the dog should've done a quick examination to assess the degree of matting.


Quote:she seems quite happy with her new "hair do"
Yah for Layla - probably a sign that she did have enough mats that it was pulling at her skin.


Quote:On a serious not though, am I making too much of this or am I correct in believing that it is NOT a good idea to shave a long-haired GSD and thus have right to be angry?
Have any of you shaved your GSDs?
If she had been completely shaved & you live in a (still) sunny climate, you would need to watch her for heat stroke as a result of the shaving.
There are reports every year of shaved down dogs that die or are treated for heatstroke when owners mistakenly believe that their newly clipped husky etc is now cooler


Unfortuantely you can own a grooming shop without actually having any kind of licence, in many places, you can also groom without any training (apprenticeship or college).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Originally Posted By: Alto

Quote: As for damaging the hair follicles and undercoat that is an urban myth.
Actually NOT an urban myth - it's just not a common occurrance, if you talk to any long time groomer, they'll all have stories of this happening with some clients, if it happens to be your dog with a patchwork coat, there's no treatment.
Thanks, for clarifying Alto. I was convinced I had read that somewhere.

Originally Posted By: AltoIf she had been completely shaved & you live in a (still) sunny climate, you would need to watch her for heat stroke as a result of the shaving.
There are reports every year of shaved down dogs that die or are treated for heatstroke when owners mistakenly believe that their newly clipped husky etc is now cooler
We live in South Africa which is known for its sunny & HOT climate and are in the middle of summer here at the moment. Fortunately, she wasn't shaved entirely - mainly just the lower half of her body so I'm not panicking too much but will certainly keep an eye on this.
Thanks for the advice.
Learnt a very important lesson today and will be contacting my local GSD Federation for referrals next time I want to take her to the parlour!!!
 

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As the hair grows from the follicle that is below the level of the skin, there is no way that shaving can damage the follicles or the undercoat. The individual hairs will have a blunt end until it grows out and that can for a time give the fur a coarser feel, but it is purely temporary.

I'm no groomer, but I do have to deal with severely matted fosters, and I will say that clipping is much easier and seems to cause less skin damage. Scissoring matts out, especially with a wiggly dog, you can easily accidently cut the skin. With a big hairy dog, I would clip too.

They should have talked to you about this beforehand and been very clear about their plans though.
 

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How badly matted was the hair? I know the areas shaved can be NIGHTMARES to untangle unless there is a weekly brushing/maintenance. Otherwise the time it takes to untangle (and stress/pain for the dog) is really extreme so shaving does make sense.

What I used to do with my long haired dog, is ONCE A WEEK, pick an hour long tv show I always watch, lay my dog down on the floor in front of the tv, and spend the hours hitting the 'bad spots' behind the legs, the tail, and behind the ears in particular. And the rest of the coat in general.

When was the last time you were able to REALLY comb thru to your dog's skin? If you have been anywhere near as busy as I have been the last month, your pup may have been really a matted mess down near the skin and your groomer did the best thing for a dog that clearly doesn't enjoy even being combed by you all.
 

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Originally Posted By: GSD-Mom
We live in South Africa which is known for its sunny & HOT climate and are in the middle of summer here at the moment.
...
Keep an eye on her until the hair starts to grow back - you don't want her to get sunbured on the shaved areas.
 

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I'd be pretty burned, too.

Now so all of you will know how to work out seriuos matts -- work a lot of cornstarch into the coat in the matted area (and plan on working at this gradually - maybe over a few days time). Then use a mat splitter/cutter on the area. Then a rake, then keep working up your grooming tools --- The cornstarch works amazingly well but be very gentle as you work out the mats.
 
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