<P>36 Copyright © 2012 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com A C L O S E R L O O K As the summer heats up, so does the conversation among groomers about the pros and cons of clipping down double- coated dogs. Summer is the season for clip downs, or is it? There are many groomers hold the position that pet owners are asking for shave downs, and we have the tools and skills to do the job. We should do it. If one groomer refuses, another will accept the client and take home the money. Many groomers agree with pet owners that removing a thick coat is the humane response. On the other hand, a growing number of groomers are reluctant to shave some coats and will attempt to educate the client and redirect them to a less radical solution to the heat problem. Function of the Canine Coat Together the skin and coat of all mammals form the largest sensory organ. Hair is an appendage of the skin; it is not a separate system. The main purpose of dog hair is to regulate body temperature; it holds in body heat in the winter and dissipates heat from the sun in the summer.1, 2 The coat also provides protection from environmental elements and the sun.3 The canine coat features a compound hair follicle where there are several or many secondary (undercoat) hairs and a single primary (topcoat) hair. The longer the hair, the more it can dissipate the heat away from the skin. Light colored hair reflects heat, while dark colored hair absorbs and holds heat. Black, short-haired dogs are the most uncomfortable in the heat and long, light-haired animals will be the most comfortable.2 Profuse or thick undercoat, however, will trap heat next to the skin, regardless of color. It is a common mistake by humans to assume that dogs experience their coats the same as we would experience their coats. Humans have eccrine sweat glands over most of the body that serve thermoregulation. Dogs do not. Dogs pant, humans sweat. When dogs pant on a hot day, it does not mean that they need to have their entire hair coat removed. Heres how one science writer puts it: In the case of man, the removal of clothing during hot weather increases the ability to lose heat by evaporation of moisture. The dog does not have this ability and therefore his insulation is a protection to him during hot weather. If the animal loses his insulation during very hot weather, by having his coat clipped for instance, he runs the risk of not being able to maintain his body temperature. His skin temperature loss probably is not only inefficient but, since he does not perspire, he will probably increase the temperature of his skin and his body temperature as well. 4 Coat Growth and Growth Types Mammalian hair grows in a three-phase process: anagen, or growth phase, catagen, a transition phase, and telogen, the resting phase. Two distinct types of canine coat can be identified by their main growth patterns: Anagen Predominant coats have a majority of hairs in the growing stage at any time. The growth stage is prolonged. Hair growth and shedding occurs in a mosaic pattern, sprinkled throughout the body. These are coats of indeterminate length that can be trimmed with little concern for re-growth. Examples of this type of coat are Poodles and Shih Tzu. Most of the low shedding breeds have anagen predominant coats. Telogen Predominant coats will have a majority To Clip or Not to Clip A Summertime Converation by Barbara Bird, CMG Barbara Bird, aka BBird, has been grooming since 1971 and opened Transformation Pet Center in Tucson, Arizona in 1977. In the salon, BBird specializes in Bichons and scissored trims, hand stripping of Terriers, and cat grooming. She has been writing and speaking to groomers for over a decade, and received the Cardinal Crystal Achievement Award as Grooming Journalist of the Year for 2006 and 2007. A regular contributor to Pet Age magazine, Barbara also writes for The Bichon Frise Reporter. She has authored and self-published three books, including Beyond Suds and Scent - Understanding Pet Shampoos and Conditioners. She has also developed a line of aromatherapy products, The Scented Groomer. Website: www.bbird.biz GroomBlog: http:// groomblog.blogspot.com Compound Hair Follicle </p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/1/1/">Cover-Page</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/2/2/">Quadruped-Pet-Care</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/3/3/">Groomers-Choice-Pet-Products</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/4/4/">Pet-Silk-Products</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/5/5/">Golden-Paws-School-and-Consultation</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/6/6/">Oster-Furst-Aid</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/7/7/">Plaqclinz-Groomer-Oral-Care</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/8/8/">B-Air-Dryers</a></LI> <LI><a 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