Why shaving a double coated dog isn鈥檛 such a good idea


Double-coated dogs have two layers of fur, the harsh topcoat and soft undercoat.  These coats grow independently of each other and to different lengths.  The soft undercoat is shorter and grows much faster than the topcoat.  The undercoat sheds and is released twice a year.  The topcoat is longer and tends to grow at a slower pace.

Examples of double-coated dog breeds

         Golden and Labrador Retrievers

         German and Australian Shepherds


         Siberian Husky


         Border Collies



         Cavalier King Charles

Reasons why it you shouldn鈥檛 shave a double-coated dog

Shaving can create skin problems

Your dog can develop razor burn, hot spots, and or irritated skin due to excessive licking and scratching following their groom.

It does not make a dog shed less

Double-coated dogs shed their undercoat twice a year and the rest of the shedding is normal hair turn-over, seen in all animals with hair, including ourselves.  Shaving can seem to help shedding but it is a temporary fix and the dog will still shed, just shorter hair.

It damages the condition of the topcoat and cycle of the hair

Shaving makes the shedding unpredictable at times and in some cases, never ending.  The topcoat can take up to tow years to fully grow back.  Severe cases can lead to alopecia, which means the topcoat may not grow back to normal length or it may not grow back at all in some spots causing patches.  This can also require you to continue to shave the dog for the rest of its life.

It can alter your dog鈥檚 metabolism

The undercoat provides warmth in the winter and cools them in the summer.  If your dog has a well-groomed coat, with no dead/loose undercoat, the coat keeps them warm in the winter by providing insulation and keeps the dogs skin dry.  In the summer, it provides a sort of air conditioning system.  Removing loose undercoat allows air to get to the skin making them much cooler while keeping the top layer.

Your dog can become susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer

Shaved skin is exposed to sun rays and too much sun exposure can be very harmful.  Precautions such as clothing and or sunscreen must be taken to protect the skin.  If your dog isn鈥檛 shaved or severely matted, his/her coat will regulate their temperature. 


It is important to weigh all relevant factors before shaving a double-coated dog.  You may be doing your dog more harm than good if you decide to have it shaved.