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Shaving/Clipping a BC

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Have any of you shaved or clipped your BC's fur short? Callie is a long haired BC/Lab mix and has very soft fur that stays oil and dirt free on its own. She dries really quickly after getting soaked and loves to be wet.

 

I'm wondering if it'll grow back just as lovely after a while if we shave her for the summer. Not all the way shaved down, just considerably shorter so she can enjoy the summer without being as hot as she'd otherwise get. We don't care what she looks like for the summer as long as she's still comfortable, but if she looks goofy I'd like to eventually have my cutie back. :-p

 

I'm also guessing that we'll have to take extra precautions to make sure she doesn't get sunburnt. Is that a valid assumption?

 

Thoughts?

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Nooo, do not shave her. It will not grow back nicely. It has something to do with the way the undercoat and normal coat (overcoat...?) grow together. I'm not sure. There are plenty of threads on here about this, I believe. You can shave her belly and that will help quite a bit without making her look ridiculous when the hair grows back.

P.S. Yes, she is adorable, and she looks as if she knows it. :P

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She's a cutie pie! :wub:

What about just shaving her belly and underneath, and leaving the upper coat be? I've seen that done often to good effect, and I do it for my Aussie in summer.

The reason dogs have guard hairs is to protect against sun, water and dirt. If you shave her, her fur will just be that fuzzy undercoat that picks up every bit of dirt and has no protection against sun.

~ Gloria

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I thought about shaving my previous male BC when he got older but I couldn't bring myself to do it. My long-coated dogs I trim their feet, a little up their legs, thin out their butt feathers and shave the tummy with a 7 blade. Some people I know do have their BC shaved down and they like it. She looks nice, I think, but I don't know if her coat changed or not.

Years ago my family had an Afghan Hound that had terrible allergies. We finally broke down and got her shaved every summer. It made life SO much easier! I thought her coat improved when it grew back in, but mid-way it would appear curly and people thought she was a curly coated Afghan Hound!!!

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I agree with not shaving her. I get Tess groomed occasionally and they get out all the dead hair from shedding and just trim her up a bit and shave a bit of her belly. She always looks really nice afterward and she's never had a problem staying cool.

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My three border collies have had long coats and I have never shaved them. Their comfort in the heat has been an indivual thing, Brody the smallest of them hated the heat, my current does not seem bothered by it, we live in southern Spain and he was perfectly comfortable last summer.

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I have found over the years that my long coated dogs have generally tolerated the heat better than my smooth coated dogs! I would definitely not cut the coat.

 

But I do concur with those who recommend shaving the belly if your dog really has issues in the heat.

 

Also, if she loves getting wet, you can get a small tub and fill it with water and let her dunk in it when you are outside. We do that for our Dean Dog (smooth coated) because he has terrible heat tolerance. He really appreciates the tub of water and knows to use it when he is starting to get too hot. Tessa (longer coated) enjoys that water tub, too.

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I'm about to give Kenzi a "summer clip". I'm going to trim her belly, leg and butt fur with the goal of cutting down on dirt and mud that she picks up. Going to leave the rest of her fluff alone. My fluffy dogs have never seemed to have issue with getting too hot - even the mostly black one in my avatar.

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Thank you all so much for your insights! I'm so glad I asked before we took her in to be groomed because I want her protected from the sun and we'd be pretty sad if she didn't get her gorgeous silky fur back after a shave/short clip.

 

For those of you doing some summery grooming on your pups, could you post photos of the end results? I'd love to see exactly where and how you trim/clip so we can get her as de-furred as possible but still leave the nice coat. I've never had to groom a dog so much before A) because I've never had such a shedding beast B) because I've never been so active with a dog and we don't want her to be hot and miserable.

 

She'll be taking LOTS of dips this summer - she loves the beach and there's one that allows dogs nearby (I posted a few updates on her photo thread in the gallery, if you're interested) and we bought a kiddie pool for the driveway last year so we're those people that set up a pool for their dog and treat her like a kid (I secretly can't wait until I can toss the baby and the dog in together to play, but that'll have to wait until next year).

 

She seemed to love last summer, but she was really too small to be outside for long periods of time and would get exhausted from just a short walk. Now that she's all grown up and so active, I'm not sure what to expect from her this summer.

 

Thanks again for all of your comments and ideas! :)

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I shaved Duke last summer. I think his coat grew back in better than it had been to begin with. I can still feel his guard hairs under the fur-they are maybe half an inch long. But the coat he has is fine-it didn't soak up water, he wasn't cold etc.

However, I won't be doing it again. He was disgustingly ugly. And for fear that it won't grow back so nicely next time.

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@Riika - I googled "Shaved Border Collie" and saw a picture of a skinny, goofy looking thing with a GIANT fluffy head. It looked so funny.

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I trim belly and butt to about 1/2 in. did that last summer and his coat grew back perfect. Just did it again. I'll try and get a pic today.

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I don't have the best photos but here is her not groomed:

 

IMG_1029_zpspldsgp2d.jpg

 

And here is groomed:

 

tessgroomed_zpsdjmhaxle.jpg

 

It isn't a huge difference but in the first photo you can kind of see how fluffy she is and how unruly the hair in around her ears and neck.

 

In the second she's a lot slicker because they de-shed her really well so all of her winter coat is gone (helps with dog fur in the house too). They trim up around her ears and face, also the fur on her feet and legs. Also her butt hair which I love, because I can't stand when it gets long. They trim the hair on her chest and then they shave her, it reminds me of when they shaved her belly for her spay surgery.

 

I don't really *know* that it helps with the heat, she's always been pretty good about that, but it definitely helps with the shedding and I just like it because she looks really nice, her fur is really soft, and she smells good. It's expensive so I usually just get her groomed twice a year, but for her that's plenty.

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I don't know if I plan on doing anything clipping at all this year. But here are three pictures of Duke. Before shaving, after shaving, and two days ago.

DSC_5561_zps0c3a3c3f.jpg

 

IMG_8764_zps36a2afdb.jpg

 

DSC_6478_zpsfesnxn0h.jpg

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Trimmed Kenzi up today. Basically shaved the lower half of her legs and her belly. Also trimmed the fur down on the insides of her legs - basically all the dirt collecting fluff :D Ended up with a big pile of fluff but except for the legs you can't really see a difference when she's standing. And yes, once we got past the dreaded foot shave and nail trims she totally fell asleep!

post-4525-0-93173700-1431192940_thumb.jpg

post-4525-0-10385800-1431192962_thumb.jpg

post-4525-0-45813000-1431192990_thumb.jpg

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Here are Meg and Quinn with their summer clips to minimize dirt they bring in the house. I don't have any before photos sorry. I trim all leg hairs, I only clip the belly hairs, not totally shave as I want some protection when they are out working. Tail is left alone, but the pants are trimmed short and any wispy wild hairs are trimmed.

post-8591-0-95868800-1431224124_thumb.jpg

post-8591-0-32023100-1431224149_thumb.jpg

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I had both my girls fur cut to about an inch or so the last couple summers of their lives. We live in a 40 yr old mobile home, no insulation, not designed for air flow of any kind and very little shade. Sammie in particular was miserable, especially trying to sleep at night. I'd hear her panting all night long.

 

So I had her clipped all over. That night she slept peacefully, and for all the rest of the summer. Her coat grew back in just fine. Shoshone was much more comfortable, too. Her coat did great with regrowth as well.

 

I would not ever shave a dog, but with a one inch clip all the way around, both my girls were happier. Didn't make a difference in their looks. Clipped them in June and by October they were pretty well grown back.

 

Ruth and SuperGibbs

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I think it's okay to trim and brush more than usual. What's most important is making sure your dog has access to a healthy amount of water and shade.

 

Your dog's coat is probably doing more help than harm, so I would keep it intact. It keeps your dog cool and shelters their skin from the sun. Kind of like human hair.

 

I would just brush her very thoroughly at least once a week. It's important to get all of that winter fur out so she has a chance at cooling off more efficiently. I've never had to shave a dog's belly or feet, but that might be helpful?

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Thanks again for all the suggestions and the photos! We actually got to see her in the 85 degree heat this weekend because we did an all-day outdoorsy lunch and dinner on my parents' patio. She laid in the shade most of the time (she had the option of going in the AC in the house but didn't want to be in there at all) with plenty of water and she got soaked a few times by splashing from the kiddie pool.

 

She's all black except for her white chest, so the outer coat was pretty hot to the touch but if I ran my fingers underneath, she was actually pretty cool under there. I think we'll probably go with a trim to shorten the top coat a little bit and probably shave her legs and belly, but not bare because I don't think that would feel nice laying on a hot surface accidentally with a naked belly. I'm not sure what we're going to do with her pants, but probably shave them too because it's already really wiry, course fur and it's super thick and gets matted as soon as it's groomed, so as long as she has some fur to sit on I think she'll be happy to have that shaved too.


We won't be doing the grooming ourselves because she doesn't let us go near her with clippers or scissors (but she's an angel for anyone else trying to groom her) so we're thinking of scheduling her for an appointment in early June so I'll probably update her picture thread in the gallery with some post-grooming photos.

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