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Should you shave a border collie?

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Hey all just wondering what your thoughts are about shaving border collies i have gotten so many different feed back on why you shouldnt shave your bc but then people say that you should? I live in qld and the summer gets really hot, she is always panting so not sure what to do?

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Here's my opinion.

 

Fur acts as insulation; it slows the flow of heat from inside to the outside and from the outside to the inside just like insulation in your house. If you remove the fur for the summer you will allow the body heat to escape easier but you'll also make it easier for the heat to get in. My sugestion is to remove the fur that is thick where the body does most of its colling; the body cools through the pads, panting, and blood vesels in the pelvic area and belly. So clip the belly fur. If you remove the fur on the back you remove an insulating layer that helps protect from the sun's heat. Some may say remove the black fur because it absorbs heat; before you do this take a look at the color of the skin under the black fur and ask yourself if that will absorb less heat.

 

Mark

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Originally posted by Powder Puff:

Hey all just wondering what your thoughts are about shaving border collies i have gotten so many different feed back on why you shouldnt shave your bc but then people say that you should? I live in qld and the summer gets really hot, she is always panting so not sure what to do?

qld? Sorry I'm ignorant, but where is that? When the dog is acclimated to high temperatures, his coat will still be long, but should thin out... although older dogs sometimes don't lose as much fur as they should. I've also heard that you aren't supposed to shave them and it makes sense given the following:

 

The coat insulates them from direct sunlight on the skin and radiant heat. The exposed black fur heats faster because of the radiant heat (darker colors absorb more of the light's energy, light colors reflect it), but better the fur heat than the black skin as the underside of the fur still provides some insulation between the exposed layer and the skin. Wetting down their fur is a good way to keep them cool, or provide a small kiddie pool and shade. BCs don't sweat so if the temp is over 100 the absence of a coat makes little difference since there's no temp gradient between the body and the atmosphere that the coat would insulate. If the temperatures are less than 100 but still hot and humid and direct sun isn't as much of an issue, no coat would allow faster convective and conductive heat loss.

 

That's confusing.

 

OK, in the northeast of the US (where I live most of the time) where elevations are generally low, humidity is high, temps are moderate and sunlight is partial most of the time, I'd consider shaving as a last option. Places like these you'd be more comfortable in the bare minimum because radiant heating from the sun on your skin isn't as much of an issue. In the southwest where temps are high, humidity low, elevation high, means severe radiant heating from that thinner atmosphere and direct sun, people are more apt to wear long sleeves even if it's over 100 degrees out because radiant heat is more of a problem than conductive heat, I would (and did) leave my dog's coat on and monitor him closely, provide water for splashing and drinking and AC when necessary. The fur holds the water nicely and if the humidity is low, the dog is basically walking around with his own 'swamp cooler' unit. During a long hike in 90 degrees in the Sandia Mountains, I kept pouring water on my dog's coat to keep him cool and it kept his panting at a reasonable level. Feeling his back, it was COLD! REALLY COLD from all that evaporative cooling.

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darker colors absorb more of the light's energy, light colors reflect it

 

Kind-of... The color we see is what's reflected; what's absorbed is dissipated as heat. IR wavelengths cause more heating than the visible so the absorbance of IR is more important than the absorbance of visible in terms of heating.

 

I've often wondered why the people who live in the African deserts wear black clothes instead of white.

 

Mark

 

P.S. I assumed that qld = Queensland

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OK I did some looking and found this...

 

Does black clothing keep you cooler?

 

An extensive and detailed study (Walsberg, Campbell, & King, 1978. J. Comp. Physiol. 126B: 211-222) examined different colors of bird plumage under different temperature conditions--with the added wrinkles of examining whether the plumage was fluffed or flattened, and varying the wind speed.

 

Summary of results

 

.....black clothing absorbs sunlight and the heat radiating from your body, but if it is loose-fitting, and there is wind, the wind convects the heat away faster than it is absorbed. White clothing reflects sunlight, but also reflects internal heat back towards your body, so the net effect under identical conditions is less cooling than if you wore black.

 

Interesting, black-loose fitting clothes are cooler under hot conditions with a slight breeze. This could be applied to black fur.

 

Mark

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Originally posted by Pipedream Farm:

darker colors absorb more of the light's energy, light colors reflect it

 

Kind-of... The color we see is what's reflected; what's absorbed is dissipated as heat. IR wavelengths cause more heating than the visible so the absorbance of IR is more important than the absorbance of visible in terms of heating.

Correct... kind-of

 

The reflection is the result of the properties of the material exposed, and the constant for this is called emissivity, e. Since Kirchhoff's law states that emissivity and absorptivity of a surface are the same,

Rate of absorbing radiation=absorptivity * the rate at which radiation is incident on the surface. (asterix is the sign for multiplying)

 

Absorptivity and emissivity are functions of wavelength but in natural light a range of wavelengths exist and so this dependence is ignored and the average is used. IR wavelengths are reflected just as the rest of the light spectrum. It is called IR (infrared) because it is below the red wavelengths which are the largest that humans can see. Ultraviolet, (UV) are shorter wavelengths than the human eye can detect, but in physical nature they act similar and are averaged in with the visible light spectrum to determine the emissivity and absorptivity of the surface. So although IR waves are absorbed more readily than UV rays, some are absorbed, some are 'reflected' (even though we cannot see them) and all are considered in the final value of the emissivity/absorptivity of the surface.

 

Excellent reference: Boles & Cengel, Thermodynamics

 

and that was probably way more than anyone else wanted to know.

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Originally posted by Pipedream Farm:

.....black clothing absorbs sunlight and the heat radiating from your body, but if it is loose-fitting, and there is wind, the wind convects the heat away faster than it is absorbed. White clothing reflects sunlight, but also reflects internal heat back towards your body, so the net effect under identical conditions is less cooling than if you wore black.

 

Interesting, black-loose fitting clothes are cooler under hot conditions with a slight breeze. This could be applied to black fur.

 

Mark

Only if it is windy and convective cooling is significant, otherwise the clothing absorbs the heat and it is conductively transferred to your body faster which is at ~98 degrees than to the atmosphere of greater than 98 degrees.

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I got Tess a wading pool and filled it with cool, fresh water every morning and then put it in the shade. She was THRILLED. Of course, it took us two weeks to convince her that the pool would not eat her alive. But that's just Tess. :rolleyes:

 

Anyway, provide a cool place and your dog will probably be fine. Clipping belly hair might help, but providing something cool to lay on or in might help too. Sure helped Tess. My mother-in-law's dog gets terribly overheated very easily. Tess was able to play and play and play when we had our "heat wave" last summer.

 

I would never shave Tess. She'd look funny and also I am worried the hair would not all grow back. It probably would, but eek! what if it didn't...

 

Allie & Tess

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Since "windy" is a subjective term let's put a real value on it.

 

From the study discussed above:

However, with an increase in windspeed (again anything above 3 m/s), fluffed black plumage is the best at reducing the amount of heat transmitted to the skin.

 

3 m/s is about 7 mph.

 

The reason I was talking about IR is because of the relative amounts of IR energy emitted by the sun as compared to visible.

 

Solar Emission Spectrum

emission_spectrum.gif

Don't forget that the atmosphere absorbs much of shorter wavelengths.

 

Mark

 

P.S. As a photochemist this is a very interesting topic to me. What are you studying?

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Hey all thanks for all your help, she is a chocolate border collie but is mainly white there are some pictures of her in the photo gallery. Underneath her white coat she is really pink and also under her chocolate she is a really light brown. We have a pond which she loves laying in but not sure how the fish feel about it I cant convince her to get into the pool she is not to sure about it.Qld is in Australia.

 

PS thanks again for all your help.

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Originally posted by Pipedream Farm:

As a photochemist this is a very interesting topic to me. What are you studying?

I'm 6 credits short of a degree in aeronautical engineering and about 30 short of one in chemical engineering. I decided to switch a little late :D

 

I suppose the black vs white clothing would also depend on the strength of the sun's radiation. Altitude, distance from the equator, surrounding surface reflection. Since radiation from the skin at a certain temperature would be constant.

 

The article on black clothing is interesting. I hadn't heard of that before, but it makes sense. Like nearly every question in the natural sciences the answer is a big "Well, it depends...." on x, y, z, or in my case Cl, alpha, L, D, etc. :rolleyes:

 

Oh, and if the dog is mostly white, I really wouldn't shave it for fear of sunburn!

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My BC wasn't too keen on water until he observed the Lab jumping in the pool with reckless abandon. And when the tennis ball flew in, that was just too much! So he jumped in, found it was nice and cool and then discovered splashes. Ooooh splashes. If no one's there to splash for him he'll stand on his hind legs and paw at the water til it splashes up and then he bites at it. He'll occupy himself with this for more than an hour. I've had to drag him out before for fear of him getting hypothermia.

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I'm 6 credits short of a degree in aeronautical engineering and about 30 short of one in chemical engineering. I decided to switch a little late.

 

BS, MS, or PhD?

 

Mark

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Guest Wolverine

re: Degrees

 

BS - We all know what that is!

MS - More of the Same

PhD - Piled higher and Deeper

 

 

re: Shaving a Border Collie

 

Just what I would want; a BC that looks like a Mexican Hairless (Chihuahua)... :rolleyes: Actually, we have our dogs groomed according to the weather here in Connecticut, allowing coats to grow longer in the winter and trimming them a bit shorter in the summer. But not everyone takes their dogs to a professional groomer every 6 weeks (or to the vet every 1 to 2 months, just for a check-up), as we do, so I really can't offer any advice on the issue.

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As you all know, it's hot and humid in Hawaii. No, it's no summer day in Chicago...our humidity is not THAT bad. But it's pretty constant. 80's - 90's, humid, light breeze (if we are lucky). With that, I don't know anyone that has shaved their Border Collie out here.

 

Those folks that hobby herd always have a big muck bucket filled with water for the dogs. At obedience trials, folks usually wet down the dogs for the long sits and downs. For agility - I'm lucky that our class is at night, but for the day classes/trials, there is usually a slip and slide or a mist "hose" that the dogs lay in after running. And everyone has one of those EZ up tent things that weigh a ton, but keep you in the shade. Sometimes I'll put a wet towel over the crates too.

 

We don't have AC in the house and the dogs are fine in the summer. They pant a bit, but they have water and we keep the activity level down until it's cooler in the day.

 

Denise

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Powder Puff, I'm in Qld to, where are you?

I clip, I have weighed up the for and against but the three I've had all seemed happier shorn in summer. My little Tia is very shy and sensitive so I was apprehensive about clipping her but she loves it. They bound around like puppies for a couple of days. If you want to go to a groomer they can just take a little off at a time. I also wet Tia's head in the really hot weather. We are trying to coax her into the pool, it'll work once she realises she has a place to stand. If I had my way I'd re design the whole thing so it had a little walk in beach!

Sally

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we used to clip, will see how this year turns out tho :rolleyes: we have gone the grooming brush option and brushed out most of the thick undercoat which seems to make sparty a lot more comfy and dry a lot quicker qfter swimming!!

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hey sparty the grooming brush option did you do that yourself or pay someone to do it? Ive tried to do it myself but the hair never seems to stop coming out, is this normal?? She doesnt stop molting!! If you did it yourself what type of brush did you use? I have a rubber one which does get all the loose hair out.

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it kinda looks like a rake about 12 to 16 teeth u can get them at most pet shops no cutting edges on it so shouldnt damage the top coat it is called an undercoat thinner i cant check as im overseas at the moment on my father in laws azerty keyboard grrr will check on the 6th when im home if u havent found one by then lol

and yes the hair just keeps coming out!!! i had a fur ball the size of sparty almost i did him every 2-3 day for a fortnight then once a week in the beginning you could see skin, but that was because he had a never shedding undercoat issue lol well shedding a hair or 2 at a time!!

kira also had a lot of hair come out she has a beautiful coat but it thinned it and not so boofy now

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are they like a wire teeth?? Yeah i cant believe how much hair comes out, the breeder told me that she would only shed 2 a year and since i have gotten her she hasnt stopped! she is now 1. But i might get this brush and see how it goes.

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nope they are like solid metal cones about 5mm diameter at base down to a 1mm point (not too sharp tho)sparty hates the wire brush thingy he hides if i pick it up by accident lol

if u can wait for a week or so i can send a pic we are in sunny belgium at the moment

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