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Whether you already have a double-coated dog or are considering adding one to your home, keep these tips in mind:

Types of Double-Coated Dogs

A double coat is truly an amazing thing! I could (and will) write a whole article on these coats alone, but for now, let’s focus on basic care tips for our long-furred friends. Breeds with double coats include:

  • Huskies
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Chows
  • Pomeranians
  • Great Pyrenees

To Groom or Not To Groom

Double-coated dogs tend to be large breeds. And while they don’t traditionally get haircuts the way other long-haired dogs do, they do require some amount of attention and grooming. It’s not uncommon to fall into the trap of assuming that these breeds are low-maintenance, but this is a mistake. When owners neglect coat care at home, a groomer often ends up with no choice but to shave the matted dog.

There is much debate between groomers over shaving a double coat. I’ve seen many double-coated dog shaved down. The dogs remain happy, and some of them even look super cute! However, the shave-down of a double coat is certainly not ideal.

Maintenance at Home

Aside from when an owner requests it (no judgment there), I can promise you, that we groomers do not want to shave your double-coated dog unless it’s necessary! However, it is our job to do what’s best and safe for your dog, regardless of coat type. Sometimes that includes shaving them short.

Here’s how to avoid that situation altogether: Brush them out at least once a week with a good slicker brush, followed with your comb. Afterward, get in there with a good rake. Double-coated dogs are high on the shedding scale, so we need to be sure their older or shedding hairs can fall out and the new hair growth can come in without getting tangled and impacted. The way to achieve this is by brushing. You may notice different growth patterns during each season, so adjust your brushing schedule accordingly.

Regular bathing is also ideal, but the ideal amount of time between baths can vary for each dog.

If you’re confident and consistent with your home grooming routine, it’s not 100% crucial to bring double-coated dogs into the groomer regularly. However, I would recommend bringing these babies in for grooming every few months, just to just clear all of their coats out.

Dogs like Goldens and Pomeranians will need a trim and cleanup, so don’t shy away from making an appointment, especially if their nails have become long. This type of maintenance is also important so that they become used to the grooming process as they age and it becomes harder for you both to keep up with at-home care.

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