Clipping the fur at home

Topics, guidelines and tips for coat and skin care and grooming Chow Chows.

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heinz57Asher
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Clipping the fur at home

Postby heinz57Asher » Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:35 am

Hello other chowchow owners, lovers, whatev.

I have a dog that is a chow mix. She has the ever-shedding, super-thick undercoat. I was wondering about any techniques for clipping the fur down [for the summer weather].

Shes very well trained, and doesn't mind being touched by the clipper at all, having it move through her fur, on or off. [Just sits there like the doll she is.]

My pop and I own a good clipper, we're just having some issues with getting that undercoat without spending god-knows-how-many hours thinning it down a little at a time. [Plus, it kinda looks funny and uneven. But its not nearly as thin as it has been the last several years we sent her to the groomers.]


I've tried googling, and just cant find anything helpful.

It just costs too much to send her off to the groomers every year. Shes only about 7 years old. So we would like to be cost efficient, and buzz it off ourselves. I understand it may take more than one try to get it "right", but any tips would be much appreciated. [We don't mind it looking a little silly, as long as we don't end up spending twentyzillion hours on it.]

Thanks a bunch, you guys! :p

- Asher

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Chow Chow Mama
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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby Chow Chow Mama » Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:05 pm

My only suggestion is to take your time and don't clip all the way to the skin. I have only clipped Holden's hair a few times and it wasn't beautiful but it worked, so I am not one to make grooming suggestions :P
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heinz57Asher
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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby heinz57Asher » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:02 pm

Chow Chow Mama wrote:My only suggestion is to take your time and don't clip all the way to the skin. I have only clipped Holden's hair a few times and it wasn't beautiful but it worked, so I am not one to make grooming suggestions :P


That is what we've been doing. Very carefully, lots of brushing and praising; You know, the good stuff. Thanks for the reply though. :)

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fillyok
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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby fillyok » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:56 am

I don't know where you live, but a Chows coat works as insulation against cold and heat. I know there are some people that have their Chows fur shaved into a lioncut (I had it done on Bear once), but it's not really recommended. She'll be much more comfortable if you just groom her often.

heinz57Asher
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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby heinz57Asher » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:59 pm

fillyok wrote:I don't know where you live, but a Chows coat works as insulation against cold and heat. I know there are some people that have their Chows fur shaved into a lioncut (I had it done on Bear once), but it's not really recommended. She'll be much more comfortable if you just groom her often.


I live in the south, where its extreamly humid all summer, and gets between 96 and 110 degrees F. She comes in after a day of play, when she still has her coat, pants for an hour, and spreads completely on the wood floor to try and cool off. I think its safe to say, we should at least keep it down to like an inch and a half.

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Laura
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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby Laura » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:47 pm

I live in Alabama and won't be shaving mine but they are indoor dogs. They go out to potty and whenever they want to. We also walk in the evenings now rather then the afternoon. I don't have any do it yourself advice but if you search the archives there might be a suggestion on a type of clippers. I would think that the proper clippers would cost as much as having a groomer do it though. Just don't let them do it to the skin though...that can cause all kinds of problems.
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heinz57Asher
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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby heinz57Asher » Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:18 pm

Laura wrote:I live in Alabama and won't be shaving mine but they are indoor dogs. They go out to potty and whenever they want to. We also walk in the evenings now rather then the afternoon. I don't have any do it yourself advice but if you search the archives there might be a suggestion on a type of clippers. I would think that the proper clippers would cost as much as having a groomer do it though. Just don't let them do it to the skin though...that can cause all kinds of problems.


Cost more, but two uses of the clippers will have already saved money from the groomers. And with at least six more years of life in her, I'd think it'd definitely be more cost efficient.

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Ginger Bears Mom
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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby Ginger Bears Mom » Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:03 pm

There are varied opinions at this site and I respect them all. In the long run everyone seems to find what works best for themselves but most specficially what their chow prefers!

At the time I lived in N. TX when I attempted my first summertime clipping, it took me forever! Next clipping I took a good long straight grooming comb and with good scissors I cut off the outer coat and left about an inch of her underdown. BTW before all of this I gave her a good bath and dried her, IMO it was much easier to clip clean hair than dirty!

Clippers, (I have always been very $$$ conscious parents were brought up in the depression) I could not fathom spending 100+ dollars for a good quality electric gadget to groom my dog maybe twice a year (we did not show our dog). I purchased the Oster kit about 50.00, it included a how to VCR tape, okay scissors a comb that I threw out and various shaving lenght adapters, it lasted us about 9 years. Key is to keep oiling the clipper while shaving, to keep it lubricating and not overheating, this was done frequently during the grooming, have a spare set of blades, if when one set dulled you have a backup. Petsmart would have someone come in once a month and sharpen blades, sort of like sharpening scissors. Have not found that in S TX.

I would take GB down to approx 1/4 - 1/2 inch fur, even at 14 years of age she acted like a puppy after every shave, in our heavy hot weather that is the way she preferred it. My husband and I had many disagreements on her cut, one clip I let him choose the length and do the work, a few days later I was shaving more off our little girl because she still kept panting and moping around.

At the time I began to self groom because I did not like the idea of her being muzzeled, she was a very sensitive lady and her feelings quickly became hurt and I could not bear to see the look in her eyes, as I did with our first vet. Chow auto muzzle, never went back there.

Twice a year GB was given a lion cut, left the mane, left the feet, left a pompom on her tail, everywhere we would take her she would have people looking at her with awe, she loved every minute of the praise, Diva she was.

Good Luck!
Betty, Ziggy's Mom
Ginger Bears Mom ~ In Loving Memory, 8.5.93 - 11.16.07

"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next."

dlbolick
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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby dlbolick » Tue May 06, 2008 6:57 pm

Bear was shaved once and I hated how he looked and he looked so unhappy. Since then I've read that you shoudl not shave chows becasue thier coat protects them. Now I just trim with clippers the feathers and lightly around his body. Then I comb out the undercoat and it helps alot in the summer. Tomorrow Bear goes for his bath at the vet and my vet will bath him for only 25$ and that includes a comb out and they do great. Then I continue to comb and tirm him up.. check your vet for what a bath only costs. Then you can do a light trim using your clippers. This is how I cut costs because a formal groomer will charge you almost 100$ for a trim/bath for a chow.[img][img][/img][/img]

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Re: Clipping the fur at home

Postby alfaphlex » Tue May 06, 2008 8:54 pm

heinz57Asher wrote:I live in the south, where its extreamly humid all summer, and gets between 96 and 110 degrees F. She comes in after a day of play, when she still has her coat, pants for an hour, and spreads completely on the wood floor to try and cool off. I think its safe to say, we should at least keep it down to like an inch and a half.


This post is even more reason why you shouldn't clip your chow's coat so low. You say that the temperature gets between 96-110 degrees, but then you say "she comes in after a day of play"... at those temperatures, she shouldn't be outside too long because of heat exhaustion. You might be thinking "well, that's why I want to clip her", but if you're going to clip her so she's "cooler" while you just let her have her "day of play", you're only going to increase the risk of her getting sunburnt or worse yet, skin cancer.

If you clip her to an inch and a half, all you're doing is taking away the outer coat, which is what protects her from the sun's rays because her skin doesn't have natural protection from the sun, but leaving an 1inch and a half of undercoat, which is what keeps the heat in. You can brush off the undercoat, but with only 1inch of outer coat, you'll have even less protection from the sun.

For her safety, you shouldn't let her spend long periods of time outside in the summertime, especially while the sun's out, regardless of how short her coat is. Even moreso with temperatures and humidity that high. You're better off just brushing out all the undercoat more often and leaving her outercoat for protection from the sun's rays, as well as keeping her indoors more for the summer.

If you clip her, she'll still run the risk of heat exhaustion anyway because the weather down there is too hot for any dog, but with a much higher vulnerability to the sun's rays. The easier option isn't always the best. You don't have to send her to the groomers at all. You said that she's ok with you brushing her, which is all you really need to do (the undercoat).
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