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My GSD is shedding like crazy! The avg of 94 in west tx seems to really be hard on him. Everytime I pet him tons of hair comes off and he's always breathing hard. We have one of those big water feeders and a doggy door for him to come inside and cool down. Should I just shave him? Any other ideas on where I should shave him or hair styles that are good for the summer?
 

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H&M I'm feeling your pain. Or, rather, my dog is feeling your dog's pain.

Here in Houston it is already in the upper 90's. A few chases of a ball and a few blocks and poor Liesl is dragging from the heat.

I think we'll try to cut (not shave) some of the thick mane of hair she has around her neck--the rest is short enough already. Anyone have experience with doing this? Does cutting their longer hair areas help with summer heat?
 

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Do not shave the dog. Your dog needs that coat as insulation and protection from all types of weather... hot, cold, wet, dry. Shaving is not going to cool him down.

What type of brushing are you doing and with what tools? How often? What are you feeding? What condition is his coat in? Does he have a bad doggie smell?
 

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Do not shave the dog. Your dog needs that coat as insulation and protection from all types of weather... hot, cold, wet, dry. Shaving is not going to cool him down.

What type of brushing are you doing and with what tools? How often? What are you feeding? What condition is his coat in? Does he have a bad doggie smell?
We dont brush him but once a week with a blue-rubbery type brush meant for collecting hair. We barely switched to Purina dog chow from Diamond because its all he eats. His coat seems to be in a good condition but now that you mention the doggie smell, he is starting to get it more and stronger???

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We dont brush him but once a week with a blue-rubbery type brush meant for collecting hair. We barely switched to Purina dog chow from Diamond because its all he eats. His coat seems to be in a good condition but now that you mention the doggie smell, he is starting to get it more and stronger???

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Dog chow, ouch... feed him better quality food-- that'll go miles with the shedding, smell, coat/skin condition etc. Brush with a brush specifically designed to thin undercoat hair (Furminator comes to mind).
 

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Live with it! A GSD is a heavy shedding dog - its part of the charm of the breed. If you find it too much to put up with, don't own a GSD in the first place!
 

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Definitely don't want to shave him since he'll get sunburn along with losing all the insulation against the heat.

A good pair of clippers, though, with the right size comb can clip the hair shorter without removing all the layers, and I've noticed with my Golden that it helps cool her off and helps controls shedding/scratching/oily fur. My GSD is short haired already so I haven't considered it, but I do know she overheats pretty fast.
 

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I have no idea where you'd get one but they make those dog cooling packs that they can wear. Kinda like a vest? I'm sure someone else knows what I'm talking about and where to get one
 

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There's another good discussion on the White GSD thread. Do not shave your GSD, it will make them hotter and susceptible to sunburn. If he is hot and shedding then take them to a groomer and get a good undercoat blow out!
 

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Do NOT shave a double coated breed. They have that double coat and course guard hair for a reason. Also often times fur grows back weird on double coated dogs - sometimes the undercoat doesnt grow back properly, or it's patchy or wirey

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Is your dog a regular short coat, or a longcoated GSD? If a short coat, shaving him won't really make a difference, and he'll look funny if you shave his hair off. Shedding is his way of getting rid of excess hair that he doesn't need, so help him shed! Get a slicker brush and a Furminator and brush him every day! If you use a Furminator, use a light touch with it, like you are just petting him with it, don't go over the same area for too long and be careful over any bony spots. The Furminator will take off more hair than you mean to if you aren't careful, so use it judiciously.
 

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OK, here's proof that the coat is an insulator. My Italian Greyhound barely has hair so she enjoys the sun. When they are both outside she is the one leaving for the cooler inside while WD continues his sunny deck. With the IG, the sun as direct access to her skin. WD coat feels warm on the outside but underneath he is cool.
 

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Yes, if a dog lies in the sun, he will become warm, and if he has super-short hair like an IC, his skin will warm up faster. It will also cool down faster. That is why it's important to provide shade, shelter and water. Yes, hair is an insulator, and a very thick, long coat will protect a dog from sunburn, but it will also hold heat for a long time.
 

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OK, here's proof that the coat is an insulator. My Italian Greyhound barely has hair so she enjoys the sun. When they are both outside she is the one leaving for the cooler inside while WD continues his sunny deck. With the IG, the sun as direct access to her skin. WD coat feels warm on the outside but underneath he is cool.
ditto. My Weimaraner will seek out the cool concrete under the shade, or even ask to go back indoors, before either of my GSDs.

Check out the other shaving thread that's up right now. It seems to be a bad idea for the double coated dogs (though I did join in there and say that I get my long coated GSD a haircut every summer...I am rethinking that at present).
 

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I don't get this dog shaving. They look totally horrible shaved. Why on earth do people get a shedding breed if they really want a short-hair dog? Don't get it.
A groomer shaved a foster of mine because he was matted mainly on his stomach and butt. He looked like a giant rat, the poor thing, everybody felt sorry for him. His skin was so sensitive that he was not allowed out into the sun for a long time, until his har grew back in some.
What is wrong with people and this shaving obsession?
 

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I don't get this dog shaving. They look totally horrible shaved. Why on earth do people get a shedding breed if they really want a short-hair dog? Don't get it.
A groomer shaved a foster of mine because he was matted mainly on his stomach and butt. He looked like a giant rat, the poor thing, everybody felt sorry for him. His skin was so sensitive that he was not allowed out into the sun for a long time, until his har grew back in some.
What is wrong with people and this shaving obsession?
Ever seen a show poodle?
 

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I think it's mostly because the general consensus is that lots of hair makes the dog hot. Lots of undercoat that needs to be brushed out certainly does. I definitely know what it's like to be frustrated with a sheddy dog. Whoever suggested the Furminator is absolutely correct. Just take some time to brush your pup when the seasons change and maybe consider a food change if it doesn't ever seem to be getting better.
 

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I don't get this dog shaving. They look totally horrible shaved. Why on earth do people get a shedding breed if they really want a short-hair dog? Don't get it.
A groomer shaved a foster of mine because he was matted mainly on his stomach and butt. He looked like a giant rat, the poor thing, everybody felt sorry for him. His skin was so sensitive that he was not allowed out into the sun for a long time, until his har grew back in some.
What is wrong with people and this shaving obsession?
Sometimes a dog will become so matted that shaving is the only option, which sucks. What people don't realize is that if a dog is "mainly matted on his stomach and butt", he is probably matted everywhere else as well. Most people can't see all the coat down next to the skin, and the dog can look perfectly fine at first glance, or someone will part the hair on the dog's back (where it's least likely to mat) and proclaim that the dog is mat-free except for the areas where they can actually see, like belly and rear. Sometimes the groomer doesn't even see it at first glance. But once you are able to visualize the dog's skin during the bath or blow dry, it becomes apparent that there are mats EVERYWHERE. It is not humane to de-mat a totally matted coat--tugging out mats can hurt, and not all dogs will tolerate it, nor will all clients pay for the exhaustive, labor-intensive, time-consuming process of dematting. So shaving is the only realistic option. If the dog hadn't gotten matted in the first place, it would never be an issue.

So after months of the owner not brushing their dog, everyone blames the groomer because the dog looks funny and can't go out in the sun. Grr. Pet peeve.
 

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Sometimes a dog will become so matted that shaving is the only option, which sucks. What people don't realize is that if a dog is "mainly matted on his stomach and butt", he is probably matted everywhere else as well. Most people can't see all the coat down next to the skin, and the dog can look perfectly fine at first glance, or someone will part the hair on the dog's back (where it's least likely to mat) and proclaim that the dog is mat-free except for the areas where they can actually see, like belly and rear. Sometimes the groomer doesn't even see it at first glance. But once you are able to visualize the dog's skin during the bath or blow dry, it becomes apparent that there are mats EVERYWHERE. It is not humane to de-mat a totally matted coat--tugging out mats can hurt, and not all dogs will tolerate it, nor will all clients pay for the exhaustive, labor-intensive, time-consuming process of dematting. So shaving is the only realistic option. If the dog hadn't gotten matted in the first place, it would never be an issue.

So after months of the owner not brushing their dog, everyone blames the groomer because the dog looks funny and can't go out in the sun. Grr. Pet peeve.
Actually, this particular dog, I brushed out the back and the sides myself and could see the skin. The dog did not scream and cry, but I am not a professional groomer, just a rescuer. I rescued and brushed out many longhairs- and so did many others in different rescues I volunteer for - and cut out the mats that could not be brushed out. I volunteered for many rescues in the past 13 years and we have seen a fair share of neglected and matted dogs. We never had to do a full body shave. I just expected that a professional would do a better job than us amateurs. Live and learn, I lost my respect for groomers, they won't be having my business. For the $95 she charged me to shave a 45lbs dog (where the tip and the sides were already brushed), I will do it myself :)
 
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