The Canine’s skin forms a barrier to protect the body of the dog from infections, parasites, and the elements. It also maintains the body's internal environment, preventing loss of moisture and allowing sweat from apocrine glands. Because the skin is on the outside of the body, it is easily exposed to the environment and susceptible to injury and disease.
Puppies are born with a short, soft, and sometimes wooly-like hair. Sometimes the puppy hair, or fur as it is sometimes referred to, is a similar color to what is expected as an adult. Sometimes the puppy fur is slightly lighter when born.
Most puppies of all breeds develop a coarser, longer, and occasionally darker coat by six to eight months of age. Breeds and individuals have different rates of coat development. Factors such as lay length, hormones, average outdoor temperature, and nutrition may influence coat development as well.
Dogs have two types of hair in their coats. The second type of hair is the longer and stiffer outer hairs called primary hairs. Primary hairs are also referred to as guard hairs, outer hairs, or outer coat.
Even though all dogs have the shorter secondary hairs and longer primary hairs, the ratio differs by age and breed.
Newborn puppies lack primary hairs. That is why their coats are short and soft. Usually by six months of age most puppies have developed a good growth of primary hairs so their hair coats are longer and more coarse. Many variations exist amongst breeds as to the exact length, color, and texture of the hair coat. These coat differences are largely the result of the ratio of primary to secondary hairs and the texture of these individual hairs.
Each hair grows from a simple opening within the skin called a hair follicle. A puppy is born with all of the hair follicles she will ever possess. Any future differences or changes of the hair coat will be due to changes within the follicle. Each hair shaft produced by a hair follicle will eventually die, be removed (shed), and be replaced by a new hair shaft produced by that hair follicle. All dogs of every breed continually shed old dead hair from the follicle and replace it with a new live and growing hair.
There is no such thing as a non-shedding breed. The extent or rapidity to which an individual sheds is, however, governed by such factors as age, amount of sunlight, outside temperature, breed, sex, hormones, allergies, nutrition, and other factors.
Breeds and individuals within every breed will shed and regrow hair at varying rates. Indoor dogs, because of artificial heat and more importantly light, tend to shed in a more or less continuous fashion. Dogs kept outside tend to shed for several weeks during major seasonal changes, most notably in spring and fall. Usually they grow more secondary hairs or underfur in the fall for warmth. In the spring they lose the underfur and replace much of it with the longer primary or guard hairs. The hair coat changes in appearance and texture but the absolute numbers of hair follicles and hair does not.
The hair of a dog does not grow continuously, but in cycles.
Canine skin sheds every 21 days. Our dogs cannot groom themselves, they require exfoliating, rejuvenation, and comforting treatments from us to protect them!
Sometimes, we forget that our pets nails need monthly maintenance. We trim or grind (depending on what the pet will tolerate) to a safe distance to insure the quick will respond and recede, but not to cut the blood vessel. Sometimes that will leave the nail still looking long. We have included a chart to better help you understand! We encourage bi-monthly nail trims until the nails are the ideal length. Short nails take time!
Matted hair is an pet parents, groomers and dogs worst nightmare. Lack of proper brushing from the root creates a web that turns into a pelt that attaches to the skin and pulls, creating sore spots and irritation. Sometimes these are very small spots, and sometimes they encase most of your dog. We have groomed many beautiful coats that looked well maintained, only to find out that they were a cast of matted fur, with a nicely brushed top coat. We NEVER want to shave a dog short. It's is a worst case scenario, but in severe cases of matting, brushing it out is impossible and even dangerous to the dog.
We recommend starting at 8-weeks of age. The very first appointment is an introduction to the puppy and the owner to grooming. They will be introduced to a bath, blow drying, nail clipping, and slight trimming around the face, feet and sanitary region. We will warn you though, often times the first puppy groom can look a little crazy. Traditional grooming methods focus on restraint which is exceptionally detrimental to the experience and creates anxiety from the beginning. We ask for patience and understanding as your pup navigates learning all about grooming. You will quickly see a transformation from a silly pup to a well groomed, confident dog who enjoys the process after regular schedule appointments.
Additionally, we take great care in servicing our aging friends, we focus on using products to help preserve the skin and focus less on getting the perfect cut. We use extremely gentle techniques to ensure the best care for our seniors. All of our groomers are certified in Senior Pet Grooming through the AKC and the IPG.