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Discussion Starter #1
Haven't been able to find any definitive advice on whether this is a good idea. I've scissor clipped the area around my guys inner thighs, balls, etc. a bit. He's got pretty long hair down there. Any thoughts on shaving him in that area with 1-2" clipper guard?
 

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Unless he is about to have an operation in that area or he is extremely matted, then do not clip or shave a GSD.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well that is of course the orthodoxy but hardly informative. The only other part of his coat I would consider trimming is the pants.

I feel pretty sure air circulation in this area would be beneficial to cooling him.
 

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Well that is of course the orthodoxy but hardly informative. The only other part of his coat I would consider trimming is the pants.

I feel pretty sure air circulation in this area would be beneficial to cooling him.
You'd be wrong about that! The hair actually helps keep them cool, and cutting it of is likely doing more harm than good! Get him a small swimming pool to cool off in, and leave his hair alone would be my advice!
 

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I use a plastic horse trough because a pool would not last long with Gabby and she loves it. Gabby's vet said do not shave GSD's and she takes care of all of the county's K9 cops and many are long haired like my dog is.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My understanding is the double coat works wonders to insulate the skin of the dog from the radiative heat of the sun but mainly impedes cooling (sun aside) once the temperature of the dog equalizes with the ambient temperature in the environment by restricting airflow.

Considering all the blood vessels in the groin area seems that unrestricted airflow over this area would help cool him down during play for example. The sun doesn't reach this area.

My dog is a fairly long haired plush coat. Solid black saddle back,mostly red elsewhere. His pants grow out very long. The hair around his butt and genitals is very thick and dense. Seems unlike elsewhere on the body.

I don't plan to shave down to skin but I think I will keep shorn to an inch or two. The matting is completely under control but the fur is so dense air flow is severely restricted to the posterior groin.

Like everyone else here I don't want to disrupt the structure of the double coat. He does have to go through brutal winters. I'm also not entirely sure that this area in the groin is double-coated, or to what degree it is. Seems a lot different than the rest of the coat.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I should note he's an indoor dog and very lithe physically. Does great in the heat but I can feel how overheated his groin gets when out and about in the heat.
 

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We have our girls tummies,paws, and inner thighs clipped fairly short when they go in for grooming. We've done it for years and they grow out fine. They only go twice a year to the groomer. Both are very full long coats. I emphasize the very, especially Tess.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We have our girls tummies,paws, and inner thighs clipped fairly short when they go in for grooming. We've done it for years and they grow out fine. They only go twice a year to the groomer. Both are very full long coats. I emphasize the very, especially Tess.
Good to hear! Belly fur on my guy is pretty thin so I'll probably leave that alone. He does have very thick and long fur between his pads on the paw. Not sure about the cooling properties of trimming that but I'll give it some thought. I trimmed it extensively during winter because massive ice balls accumulate there when he plays on powdery snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I just roll Pepper on her side and soak her stomach and thighs with the water bottle when were out in the heat.
Ah, that's good advice. I hadn't actually thought of that. I do live beside lake Michigan so he jumps in whenever he gets a chance.
 

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Here is a post from a couple of years ago that I found very informative:


The thermodynamics of coat, heat and humidity from an engineer and owner of an Old English Sheepdog, another breed with an undercoat. forum.oes.org ? View topic - Summer Heat Exposure and Bobtail Coats (the whole post is at the link)

Quote: "Now let's consider what happens when the surrounding temperature matches the dog's body temperature. At this point the dog cannot cool himself/herself by rejecting heat through the skin/coat, nor from "convective panting" as the air passing over the tongue is the same as the body temperature. The only cooling that can be accomplished is through the saliva evaporation described above. While this is becoming serious the evaporation of saliva removes a lot of heat and the dog can survive, albeit uncomfortably, for several hours without fatal distress as long as water is available to prevent dehydration.

As the temperature continues to rise and exceeds the dog's body temperature things quickly become critical. Saliva evaporation due to panting is less effective in rejecting body heat and worse yet this is now accompanied by heat flow through the coat reversing. Heat from the environment is now flowing into the "relatively cooler" body of the dog causing it to rise above it's normal level. The coat's insulating properties are slowing how fast that heat flows into the dog but nevertheless the overall energy balance is that heat is flowing into the dog forcing it's body temperature up.

The dog is now in a nasty, potentially fatal, escalating spiral; saliva evaporation is less effective - heat is flowing into the dog requiring more cooling - the dog has to pant more to cool but panting burns more fuel (food) which causes more internal heat driving the temperature up yet more - saliva evaporation is yet less effective...... As the surrounding temperature continues to rise there will come a point when the heat load entering the body exceeds that being rejected through panting-induced saliva evaporation and the dogs temperature then soars and can quickly become fatal."

Dogs and Heat Strokes | Cedar Breeze Holistic Pet Care Writer is Federally Certified for FEMA's Animals in Disaster program.

Should you shave dogs to keep them cool? Quote:"A Dog's Fur is Made to Protect the Dog from both Cold and Heat: TRUE. A dog's fur is made to insulate the dog from extreme temperatures, especially in heavy-coated breeds; however, that does not mean that shaving will not help keep your dog cool. If you live in a hot and humid climate and have a breed with a thick coat, it may be a good idea to shave them. The increased air flow across their back can cool them just as well (if not better) as the fur insulator, and they will feel much more comfortable without the extra fur.

Dogs Only Sweat through their Paws and by Panting: TRUE. Dogs do not sweat in the same way that humans do because the sweat would not normally be able to evaporate off of their skin through their fur. This DOES NOT, however, mean that shaving just the body of your dog will not help in their cooling off. As I mentioned before, the increased air blowing across their skin will help cool them and keep them comfortable."
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here is a post from a couple of years ago that I found very informative:


The thermodynamics of coat, heat and humidity from an engineer and owner of an Old English Sheepdog, another breed with an undercoat. forum.oes.org ? View topic - Summer Heat Exposure and Bobtail Coats (the whole post is at the link)

Quote: "Now let's consider what happens when the surrounding temperature matches the dog's body temperature. At this point the dog cannot cool himself/herself by rejecting heat through the skin/coat, nor from "convective panting" as the air passing over the tongue is the same as the body temperature. The only cooling that can be accomplished is through the saliva evaporation described above. While this is becoming serious the evaporation of saliva removes a lot of heat and the dog can survive, albeit uncomfortably, for several hours without fatal distress as long as water is available to prevent dehydration.

As the temperature continues to rise and exceeds the dog's body temperature things quickly become critical. Saliva evaporation due to panting is less effective in rejecting body heat and worse yet this is now accompanied by heat flow through the coat reversing. Heat from the environment is now flowing into the "relatively cooler" body of the dog causing it to rise above it's normal level. The coat's insulating properties are slowing how fast that heat flows into the dog but nevertheless the overall energy balance is that heat is flowing into the dog forcing it's body temperature up.

The dog is now in a nasty, potentially fatal, escalating spiral; saliva evaporation is less effective - heat is flowing into the dog requiring more cooling - the dog has to pant more to cool but panting burns more fuel (food) which causes more internal heat driving the temperature up yet more - saliva evaporation is yet less effective...... As the surrounding temperature continues to rise there will come a point when the heat load entering the body exceeds that being rejected through panting-induced saliva evaporation and the dogs temperature then soars and can quickly become fatal."

Dogs and Heat Strokes | Cedar Breeze Holistic Pet Care Writer is Federally Certified for FEMA's Animals in Disaster program.

Should you shave dogs to keep them cool? Quote:"A Dog's Fur is Made to Protect the Dog from both Cold and Heat: TRUE. A dog's fur is made to insulate the dog from extreme temperatures, especially in heavy-coated breeds; however, that does not mean that shaving will not help keep your dog cool. If you live in a hot and humid climate and have a breed with a thick coat, it may be a good idea to shave them. The increased air flow across their back can cool them just as well (if not better) as the fur insulator, and they will feel much more comfortable without the extra fur.

Dogs Only Sweat through their Paws and by Panting: TRUE. Dogs do not sweat in the same way that humans do because the sweat would not normally be able to evaporate off of their skin through their fur. This DOES NOT, however, mean that shaving just the body of your dog will not help in their cooling off. As I mentioned before, the increased air blowing across their skin will help cool them and keep them comfortable."
Yes, this is great!
 

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My girl was shaved on her stomach for spaying, and it honestly looks weird and the fur touches weird and it takes soooooo long for it to fully grow back. Would not recommend.
 

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I’ve attached a picture of my guy from different angles - a long coat just like yours! I’m a groomer by profession and do trim my guy, however I only trim the floof between the ears (with shears and it’s just for aesthetic reasons), and shave the paw pads. While it’s not the end of the world if you shave the sanitary area, I wouldn’t really recommend it, especially going down the inner thighs. Won’t do much good.

You can scissor it down with a pair shears if you are comfortable and know what you’re doing (be careful of the dog’s tuck-up because you can easily slice that open), but other than that, I’d recommend just getting a wet towel and wiping them down, letting him dunk himself in water, use some cold grooming wipes, etc. those will go a long way without running the risk of ruining the coat. Sometimes the fur grows back properly when clippered, sometimes it doesn’t!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I’ve attached a picture of my guy from different angles - a long coat just like yours! I’m a groomer by profession and do trim my guy, however I only trim the floof between the ears (with shears and it’s just for aesthetic reasons), and shave the paw pads. While it’s not the end of the world if you shave the sanitary area, I wouldn’t really recommend it, especially going down the inner thighs. Won’t do much good.

You can scissor it down with a pair shears if you are comfortable and know what you’re doing (be careful of the dog’s tuck-up because you can easily slice that open), but other than that, I’d recommend just getting a wet towel and wiping them down, letting him dunk himself in water, use some cold grooming wipes, etc. those will go a long way without running the risk of ruining the coat. Sometimes the fur grows back properly when clippered, sometimes it doesn’t!
Thanks Spetzio. Your guy's coat is very similar to mine. Pants on mine are much longer though.
 

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Ah! You are right. I forgot to add, I will occasionally trim up his butt to round/shape it and tame it so it’s not super long and sticking out everywhere (with shears), but only very lightly. That back area (butt fluff) is what you’re referring to, correct?

I don’t really have any pics of just that butt area. Where the fur is white on his butt area is where I will round it, but even then it’s not that often and it’s only for or aesthetic reasons. It’s never touched with the clippers
 

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