By Katherine Durr
Most dog owners prefer to have the breed haircut on their dogs. If they own a Cocker Spaniel they prefer to have the “Cocker clip”. If they own a Bichon Friese they prefer a Bichon haircut. There are times when this to not the case. When the owner is dealing with stickers, skin problems or perhaps they just want something manageable. If you could ask the dog what type of haircut he wants I think that his reply would be “anything that makes my owner happy”. But the question is, “When is the dog too old to have a breed haircut?”.
Some people do not understand the difference between the time taken to clip a dog using clippers and the time taken to scissor a dog into a breed clip. So let me try and explain.
When a dog is in a clipper style haircut, during dog grooming the time it takes to wash and dry the dog is usually short. This means that the dog stands in the tub and on a table for a short time. When the dog is dry and ready for a haircut the time to do a clipper cut is relatively short. Usually it is not an issue if the dog has knots. The clippers will cut under the knots to remove them. Then the finishing scissor work is done on a clipper style haircut. The feet and the face must be done. Any long hair that the clippers missed must be cut off. And depending on the groomer, other areas of the dog are done. Normally is will take forty five minutes to an hour for all the stages of a basic clipper cut. And during the majority of this time the dog is asked to stand up.
When a dog is in a breed clip, usually the hair is at a length of at least one to two inches. Depending on the breed and the preference on the owner. The time is takes to wash and dry this length of hair is longer. This means that the dog must stand in the tub and on the drying table for a longer period of time. If a dog is getting a longer haircut, all the knots must be brushed out prior to the cut. This means more time spent standing on a table. For the breed clip it can take between one to two hours for all the stages of the haircut. This includes standing in the tub, on the table to be dried, tolerating having all the knots brushed out, and then standing again for the scissor work.
When a dog becomes older their tolerance level is sometimes less. They no longer tolerate being brushed as much as they did in their younger years. This alone causes them stress. Many times this is due to their bodies being more sensitive. Arthritis makes their joints a little stiffer and they get tired quicker. The longer they are made to stand on a table the more stress is causes them.
Unless our dogs are show dogs, the haircuts we have done on them are done for our own personal reasons. If your dog is twelve years old and can not walk for any distance then perhaps it is time for the dog grooming haircut that takes the least amount of time and stress. It really is true, your dog does not care what he looks like, he only cares what you think he looks like. So tell him he is just as beautiful with that short haircut as he was when he was younger with that fancy one. You will both be the better for it.
Katherine Durr has been a professional dog groomer for over 17 years and is the author of “How to Groom your Mutt”.
Visit her website at Doggie Dews
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