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Hi Everyone,

I've had my gsd, Heidi, for two years now. She's a beautiful sable, but her coat has become rather long. When I spayed her a long time ago, my vet actually shaved her belly and part of her back. So now, the hair on her head/neck/shoulders is much longer (some maybe 4-5" long) than the back. I wanted to get her coat trimmed at my groomer, but I was told the only thing they could do is shave her down to 1/8"-1/4" (couldn't tell for sure, but said they'd leave it as long as possible).

Anyway, has anyone ever done this? Heidi is mostly an outside dog (we have an invisible fence on our 3 acres) and I want to make sure her coat is short so she can still stay somewhat comfortable during the summer.

Thanks,
kernel
 

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Originally Posted By: oliver annieI would not shave her down that small.Remember,the coats on most dogs are an insulation from cold,but also from the heat.
100 percent agree
 

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No. German Shepherds are not a breed that needs to be shaved down. Their coat protects them from the heat, cold and elements.
 

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I certainly agree - double coated dogs such as GSDs need all of their hair for insulation against cold as well as heat.
 

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Agree with the above^^ and a daily brushing should be all Heidi needs. Kacie~long coat is just as miserable in the heat as Onyx~ stock coat! They do love their pool for cooling off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
good to know...didn't realize the long hair could protect them against the heat. Since a lot of her hair has never shed and been regrown, I just thought that would help her.

Thanks for all the replies!
 

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As everyone mentioned already, the coat provides insulation from the heat. However, this only works if it is brushed out and tangle free without packed undercoat. If she is a long coated GSD you can get the butt fluff and tail trimmed to help with dingleberries. I'm a groomer and have shaved a few GSDs down before and they don't come out looking all that good IMO.

They could leave the hair longer using snap on combs (provided there is no matting or packed undercoat) but it may be choppy and uneven on a thick coated dog like a GSD.
 

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Most competent groomers (and owners with regular grooming using proper grooming tools) can remove the undercoat, even on a packed coat, so clipping should not be necessary but some owners request it. Heavy undercoat is what makes the dog feel the heat, not the length of the coat which is normally made up of what is called guard hairs. Even the snap-on combs (which fit onto another cutting blade to leave longer length) need the coat to be totally matt free to get an even finish and packed coat act like a matt to those combs, I also agree this is not an attractive alternative.
 

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Quote: ... the coat provides insulation from the heat. However, this only works if it is brushed out and tangle free without packed undercoat.
oh yeah - daily brushing not only helps your dog but it also lengthens the life of your vacuum!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
hmm...I've only been brushing on a weekly/semi-weekly basis. I guess I'll have to bump that up. As far as the undercoat, my groomer does an AWESOME job taking care of that (first time I had it done, I was amazed at what a huge difference it makes).

Anyway, I do think I'll shave or trim down her tail since its really bushy and looks rather bad but I guess I'll leave the rest of her hair to mother nature and hopefully she'll just shed it slowly as needed.
 

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Just something to think about - my friend insists on giving his rottie a shave down to 1/4" every summer, the poor dog scratches himself silly and ends up with a body full of scabs.

I would think your groomer could trim her fur to make it even and more ascetically pleasing.
 

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Just out of curiosity, why did the vet shave part of her back? I used to work for a vet, and saw tons of spays done, and never once did we shave any of a dog's back...
 

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One spring/summer after getting my GSD's coat under control, I shaved her down to 1/2 inch and kept brushing her daily and it seemed to help her. Dogs need the oil in their skin. So I didn't shave her all the way down.
 

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Originally Posted By: KodeeGirlJust out of curiosity, why did the vet shave part of her back? I used to work for a vet, and saw tons of spays done, and never once did we shave any of a dog's back...
well he belly was completely shaved. The back half of her was basically just trimmed down to keep her clean I guess...her coat is very think and she sheds a lot. I never really asked, I assumed it's normal.

I may see if the groomer can at least do a little clipping w/ scissors to smoothen/even it own so its not as abrupt of a change. If they come back saying 1/4" is the best they can do, it's a no go for sure.
 

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With Heidi, leave nature alone and just brush. From back to front for the undercoat, and vice-versa for the top coat. At least 3X weekly.

And wow do they shed, as you well know.

But I am starting to think there are few dogs on earth, are so vesatile regarding hot and cold weather.

As for comfort, Heidi will figure that out and having 3 acres is great, and I am sure Heidi can find a bit of shade.

My hunch is even if you get her trimmed the fur will be back in short order.
 
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