The tale of shearing
Shearing! Yes or no?
When summer is finally over our four-legged friends can always exhale in relief, since our dogs will be more relaxed the cooler the weather gets. It does not matter if it is a Shih Tzu or a Pekingese, they become more vital, mobile and run around a lot more. Some owners of dogs with long hair want to help their dog by shearing them during the warmer months of the year. Since we have been breeding two breeds with long hair for quite some time we can tell you, this is WRONG!!!
The dogs coat has a protective function; it shields the dog from dirt and other environmental influences. Shearing is the worst possible means and can lead to irritations of the skin or even sunburn.
But why do people shear their dogs?
Mostly poor or wrong grooming is the cause.
To the point, a well ventilated and groomed coat (no felt) ist a far better alternative. Skin that cannot breathe because of felting will dry out and start to get scurfy or could get hot-spots.
Mother Nature had a reason to give dogs an undercoat. During the seasons our dogs change their coat from summer-coat to winter-coat. The difference is: winter’s undercoat is finer and thicker. Grooming becomes more time and labour intensive two times a year, when the loose undercoat has to be removed to prevent felting.
Some Shih Tzu owners came to wonder, why their dog that had strong pigmentation in their topcoat when they bought him, suddenly became a white dog after having been sheared for some time. The answer is simple. The topcoat that held all the pigment is gone and what is left is just undercoat that gets thicker and thicker and starts felting sooner.
The effect: the dog has to be sheared more and more often.
But especially a well-groomed, proud Shih Tzu with his long beard that mingles with his chest hair and the typical pigtail, or a Pekingese with his magnificent collar and gorgeous pants, that touch the ground, are a sight to behold.
Self-proclaimed good men and woman talk about animal abuse, when they see our long-haired friends get to keep their coats be it summer or winter.
I hereby refute this statement.
Bathing according to one’s needs
Only an extremely dirty dog should be bathed. Since the coat of a dog has a very special ability! The lotus effect!
This means that dirt and dust that clings to the coat during the day is repelled. You can see it when you check your apartment floor. The insight that a middle sized sandstorm has swept through the house will come to you. The coat cleans itself. The rest is taken care of with brushing. The more frequent you let your dog take a bath, the more the coat will lose this effect, until it is gone completely.
A well-groomed dog will feel comfortable in its skin, does not need a shearing and will only need a bath as required.