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I have been thinking about shaving my dog for a little while now, any ideas on if its bad or good?

I live in the Florida Keys and it gets very hot down here. My dog spends most of her time laying on the cold tile floor in my house to keep cool. I have also found that the ticks down here flock to her coat. I am constantly picking them off of her. I use tick shampoo, advantix, tick collars, treated my yard. Nothing seems to work! Luckily the ticks don't seem to transfer anything to her, more of a disgusting annoyance.

I obviously don't have to mention the shedding, but it seems to get worse and worse!

Please help. I am out of ideas, but I don't want to make matters worse.


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"any ideas on if its bad or good?"

It's bad. Please look it up. The hair protects the dog's sensitive skin from the sun and provides shade and ventilation.
Ticks are part of life. We all have to live with them.
German Shedders SHED.
I am wondering if a GSD is the right dog for you if you aren't prepared to deal with all of the above.
 

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Do you mean shave or trim? I have the groomers "shave" my senior plushy at the start of each summer. But it isn't a shave, really, it's a buzz with the clippers. Head and tail get a slight trim, but her body gets cut back from about 4" to about 3/4" long.

She seems so much more comfortable in the summer heat and prances proudly when she gets her annual "do!"

I better check the link!


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I have been thinking about shaving my dog for a little while now, any ideas on if its bad or good?

I live in the Florida Keys and it gets very hot down here. My dog spends most of her time laying on the cold tile floor in my house to keep cool. I have also found that the ticks down here flock to her coat. I am constantly picking them off of her. I use tick shampoo, advantix, tick collars, treated my yard. Nothing seems to work! Luckily the ticks don't seem to transfer anything to her, more of a disgusting annoyance.

I obviously don't have to mention the shedding, but it seems to get worse and worse!

Please help. I am out of ideas, but I don't want to make matters worse.


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Good article. I think I leave enough hair, and have some of the others reasons, like age and matting. And she's a long coat, where they are describing the stock (double) coat of the GSD.... Like Jack has :)

OP, do you have a pic of your dog? I'm wondering whether the article describes your doc?


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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your insight, very helpful. I have had German Shepards my whole life, and expect the shedding, but have NEVER had the tick issue. I will keep reading up on it


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I was told to never shave our shepherd in Florida! their fur keeps them cool. =)
 

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Since you have had GSDs you know about shedding. The only thing that works for me is daily brushing ... which reminds me, time to get brushing.
Advantix II seems to work better than Frontline.
 

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Not much you can do about the tick issue other than spraying your yard with pesticides. Be thankful you have a white, though. You can see the ticks almost immediately whereas our colored brethren have a bit of a harder time.

You can also try flea/tick sprays.
 

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I'm a professional dog groomer so I just wanted to add some insight. I never recommend shaving GSDs unless it is vet recommended. Previous posters are correct about it making them hotter. Imagine a bald guy, he gets sweaty and hot quicker because there's nothing on his head protecting his skin. Same thing with a GSD.

Also dogs can get sunburn especially a dog that isn't supposed to be clipped down short. A white GSD especially because they have more sensitive skin. As for the shedding, we all know its the undercoat that tends to kill. When you clip them down the first thing that grows back is the undercoat. Hello sheddy baldy dog. Also dogs with fur (not hair) are not designed to be clipped down. So sometimes I have seen dogs whose hair did not grow back at all. I've seen it grow back in patches, different colors, different textures.

Off my soap box I go lol
 

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I shave my long coated sables belly and in between back legs and a little of the butt floofies, down to the skin. She sure seems cooler, we did live in GA where last summer the heat index was well over 100 from June 1st to September something. We trained schutzhund and she definitely seemed more comfortable and it cut down on the shedding some. She sheds a ton constantly, even though I keep her coat healthy with good food and supplements and brush her almost every day. I get huge brush fulls out each time, not sure how she's not bald. Will never own a long coat again. I even tried the whole bathing and using a metro forced air dryer every 2 weeks since theres one at my clinic, and not really much of a difference, she just has that much hair. The hair being gone from her belly would also help to allow her to cool herself in a few inches of water, versus the water just getting on the outside of her coat and creating more insulation. Hair always comes back in normally, unfortunately :D

The groomer I worked around in GA would shave down about 8-10 dogs a day in the summer, all different breeds. The owners said the dogs did better in the heat so I'm not sure how I feel about shaving:crazy::crazy::confused::confused:

The hair should grow back in normal as long as there is not an underlying metabolic condition. I shave spots to the skin for surgeries and hot spots on tons of different breeds for work and it always grows back on the normal dogs. So I'm talking 300 + animals in the last year. Only one I saw it didn't grow back in was a cat actually, not a dog.
 

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A dog has a coat for a reason, it does insulate for both hot and cold. HOWEVER, and a big however is for it to be comfortable for the dog and to do its jobs, you should be able to run a comb through the entire coat. If a comb can go through the coat without mats, snarls, etc then it is not going to insulate the dog for heat and cold. More like a person wearing a dirty matted fur coat 24/7.
I do many dogs daily and most folks seem to think if they brush the outside top layer of the coat, the coat is fine. When they bring the dogs in and we say" um, the dog is pelted to the skin, the mats are at skin level and can't be brushed out" they will say" but we brush the dog all the time". Yea, the top layer.. We get dogs that have stickers, pieces of barb wire, are so matted they can't separate their hind legs, their ears are matted to their necks. This is a daily thing and yes, we do recommend shaving them. A matted, dirty coat will not insulate at all, it will give the dog major skin issues plus keep them hot and nasty.
 

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The hair should grow back in normal as long as there is not an underlying metabolic condition. I shave spots to the skin for surgeries and hot spots on tons of different breeds for work and it always grows back on the normal dogs. So I'm talking 300 + animals in the last year. Only one I saw it didn't grow back in was a cat actually, not a dog.
I've seen many dogs whose hair did not grow back. Young healthy dogs included. It's definitely not as common as the hair growing back a different texture, usually coarse. It loses its soft top layer and can grow back as undercoat only. Shaving a small spot on the leg for surgery versus the whole dog is completely different ball game.
 

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We should have a sticky somewhere: "Do not shave your German Shepherd."
 

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The hair should grow back in normal as long as there is not an underlying metabolic condition. I shave spots to the skin for surgeries and hot spots on tons of different breeds for work and it always grows back on the normal dogs. So I'm talking 300 + animals in the last year. Only one I saw it didn't grow back in was a cat actually, not a dog.
Funny, I've shaved more than a few huskies or malamutes or shepherds for surgery and had the hair grow back thin or patchy or lacking proper guard hair thickness or undercoat.



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I think that people who are bothered with hair and prefer a shaved dog should own a breed that has short hair, rather than a German Shepherd. It is really sad to see gorgeous longhairs shaved or clipped. Some people would be proud to have a beautiful dog. I would love to have one.
 

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I shave my long coated sables belly and in between back legs and a little of the butt floofies, down to the skin.
This is what I recommend for people who want to shave their coated GSDs.

The groomer I worked around in GA would shave down about 8-10 dogs a day in the summer, all different breeds. The owners said the dogs did better in the heat so I'm not sure how I feel about shaving:crazy::crazy::confused::confused:

The hair should grow back in normal as long as there is not an underlying metabolic condition. I shave spots to the skin for surgeries and hot spots on tons of different breeds for work and it always grows back on the normal dogs. So I'm talking 300 + animals in the last year. Only one I saw it didn't grow back in was a cat actually, not a dog.
I clip down a LOT of dogs for the summer, and yes, the hair grows back in 99.5% of cases, and no, clipping the hair does not make them hotter. I don't shave them bald. On dogs with white or light colored coats, I like to leave at least an inch of hair. Dark pigmented dogs can go shorter. As long as the owner uses common sense and provides shade, shelter, and water for their dog, he will not be any more prone to heat than a dog with a thick, heavy coat. Look at desert-dwelling wildlife. They do not carry long, thick, heavy coats to protect them from the heat--they have short, close-lying coats. I'm not saying you SHOULD clip your longcoated dog, and truth be told, I don't know if I'd have the heart to clip a GSD. However, every single time I've done a summer clip on a longhaired dog, the owner reports that the dog seems more comfortable, more lively, and happier.

As to the hair growing back--in a few cases with elderly dogs or dogs with thyroid or other health issues, the guard coat grows back extremely slowly, or grows back patchy, with thin spots. When this happens, I recommend NOT to clip the dog again, but to keep the dog on a regular bath/brush/conditioning regimen to stimulate proper hair growth. It may take a year or more for the coat to return, and in extreme cases it does not regrow at all in certain spots. But if you have a healthy dog on a good diet, the risk of this happening is quite small. I've been grooming for over 20 years, and right now I can only think of three dogs whose hair refused to grow after being clipped. All three were dogs in their teen years.

Having said all that, I still wouldn't want to clip down a GSD. I do recommend the underside shave on longcoats, in fact I just did three of them the other day. Clipped from armpits to belly to groin, trimmed leg feathering and butt floofies. Done properly, you can't even see the missing hair unless the dog rolls over on his back.
 

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I had a groomer shave a foster (in spite of me telling her not to, just to cut out mats and clip to even out). It was a blondish dog and he looked like a giant rat after the shave, horrible. His skin was so fine and sensitive, he could not go out into the sun for quite a while. I would never do it to the dog.
 
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