This post topic was suggested by one of my blog readers, Catalina. She has a lovely Tibetan Terrier, named Tibby, who you can see here: Catalina's Blog. Tibby is currently sporting a short haircut, and she looks adorable (no, I'm not her groomer, I just "met" her through this blog). She told me that after having Tibby shaved, people gave her grief about it, saying she should just brush her more, so she could have long hair. The part I loved about her note was that though she admitted that she could brush Tibby more, she'd rather train her and play with her. Amen to that!
I want to go on record as saying that lots of people don't have time, or the inclination to brush their dog. Actually most people don't. It's work. It takes time out of your week. It especially is hard if your dog likes to be "a dog". By that I mean, run through the swamps, or forests, or go swimming. That picture to the right, that is my dog flying over a jump. I'll admit it, he has alot less fun than he probably could have, if he was shaved down. I control his environment...because keeping that huge coat up is already hard enough without adding more to the mess. Sometimes I feel bad about that.
When I was fresh out of grooming school, I thought all breeds should look like "they are supposed to". The horror of someone shaving down their Cocker! A Poodle without fluffy legs, how awful! Then, I got a job in an area where half my clientele have a lake home and their dogs swim every day. Many of the rest live "out in the country" with no fences or boundaries. These dogs have the run of acreage (yes, even the little ones). I quickly learned that by leaving extra hair I was just going to cause grief to the dog and the client.
So, I clip down dogs that technically shouldn't be. I'll admit, it's kind of sad to have to shave down a Yorkie that has a beautiful, easy to care for coat. I'll also be writing about the mass Golden Retriever shave-down that is coming to my area very soon. Catalina's comment reminded me that there are many reasons why people choose to clip down their dogs. As long as they don't let the dog get matted and uncomfortable inbetween these groomings, I understand.
Many of my readers will ask, "why did they get a breed that takes coat care, then?" Some people just didn't know what they were getting into. "Breeders" don't always disclose such important information, they just want to sell a puppy. Of course, the #1 reason is usually that many of these breeds don't shed, and even a shaved down double coated breed will shed. For myself (and I'm guessing many of these clients), however, I just love my breed. The 2 Bearded Collies I have right now are still in full coat. The 2 previous ones I had spent the last 3rd of their lives clipped down. I didn't have time, and also, they hated being brushed. Shaving their coat off, didn't change their personalities at all. They were still the same dogs I loved, just with short hair.
So, I guess the point of all this is that not all the dogs I shave down are because of neglect. I'm sure it seems that way. I have some very regular clients that don't let an inch of hair accumulate on their dogs, they just don't like it. If your lifestyle is busy, or you just don't feel like brushing your dog, there are lots of cute short clips to try. Thanks, Catalina, for reminding me of this!