Oh, My Poor Dog!

Updated on July 19, 2012
K.W. asks from Cressey, CA
11 answers

I have a Keeshond. (Kinda looks like a miniature Husky or a really big Pomeranian) He is 6 years old. Every year, up until this one, his coat has blown out like it is supposed to in early summer and I have been able to comb out all the undercoat without too many problems. This year, however, that undercoat just doesn't want to let go. Does anyone know if there are any products that I can bathe him with that might help it loosen up? What about a certain style of brush? I have a "Furminator", but it doesn't really work all that well. Poor guy is just miserable in this heat. I try to work on it a little every day, but it obviously hurts and, quite frankly, he's getting a little tired of me messing with him all the time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

ETA: Because of the breed he is, you're never supposed to shave them. It can mess up their coat permanently. Believe me, if I could, I'd just shave him every spring, no matter how funny he would look. :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

With Kees. if you were to shave him that would do him more harm than good, his coat is like that for a reason. Maybe it with the early heat and the milder winter, his body J. didnt release. You can wet him down, and you can give him fish oil pills. Not that its going to release the coat, he may not this year. He may wait till next year. There are under coat brushes that can start to pull at the under coat, but you need to know how much he can handle of that. With terriers they have to hand pluck under coat for grooming and those dogs are started young with that.
His coat not blowing doesnt mean he is un-healthy J. means the seasons were not extreme enough to trigger the blow out. My dog is a mutt but i had corgis all my life and if you corgis, they are the worst blow out for small dogs EVER. Some years they did it SO bad I could have made 10 sweaters, some years J. a handful.

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answers from Chicago on

Added - J. read your ETA and we were told the same thing about our Pom. We J. shaved him in June and he already has a full coat again. I'm sure it has to do with his food (California Natural, Salmon) but it grows like a weed, and he's going to be 13 in November.

Why not J. shave him for the summer? We shave our male pom every summer. He looks pretty cute and I'm sure it feels better for him.

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answers from Washington DC on

I would take him to a dog groomer and let them shore him.

Sorry - our dog that died had a thick coat too - year round shedder and when he had a problem in the summer - I took him to the groomer!


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answers from St. Louis on

Are you sure it is his winter coat? Around here we had such a warm winter no animal set his winter coat so there was nothing to blow in the spring.

With my dogs I J. got them a puppy cut if the summers were particularly hot.

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answers from Omaha on

Well luckily I can help. First of all I groomed dogs for a living for many many years. I actually prefered to work with the second coated dogs and large dogs to the little ones. We J. got along better. Plus I could lift a Great Pyrenees and most of the others couldn't. hehe Secondly, I actually have owned a few keeshonds. My favorite dog ever was one. She was aptly named Teddy Bear. :)

First off do you have a good groomer near you? There are a few things I would do to get the second coat off. Surely it should be off by now. I'm kinda shocked it's not all over your house to be honest! Anyways, bath the dog. Then the wonderful industrial grade dryers for dogs would pry blow most of it right out. After the dog was dry I'd take the rake and carefully remove as much as I could. After I thought I got as much as possible out with the rake I'd take a standard slicker brush and carefully pull back the fur the opposite direction it is growing and slowly brush my way forward at the root the entire time and that will pull out the rest of the hair. No that doesn't hurt the dog if done right. Usually they'd lay there like they were kings and queens being pampered. Anyways I hope those directions makes sense. That is the easiest way to remove the fur. Problem is you have to have the equipment. If you plan to have dogs with a second coat it's not a bad investment to get a good dryer, rake and slicker brush. Otherwise I'd take them to a groomer. I charged 45 to remove a second coat from a keeshond but I'm in a big little city. I imagine it's cheaper in North Dakota.

And lastly, I've shaved MANY Keeshonds. Trick is you take it to a professional and they leave the mane alone. Yes your dog will look like a lion a bit. hehe. Then they shave the back and stomach leaving pry at least 2 inches of fur, then shape the tail and legs. They look so freakin cute. It doesn't affect their coloring when you do it like that. It grows back in by fall or usually when you do it in spring it does. Yours might not be in all the way till beginning of winter. But they look like lions. Too bad I can't share some pics or I'd dig some up and you'd see how cute they look.

But when I groomed I also worked with a breeder for keeshonds and he also showed some and he had all his shaved too in spring. They weren't intended for a Nebraska summer as he'd always say. As long as you take the above precautions it will not hurt their coloring. I did have to SHAVE and I mean down to the skin rescues and they'd always grow back in J. fine too. I've actually never seen a problem to be honest with shaving them but to each his own. Only color changing I ever witnessed was graying as they got older.

Well I hope you get this corrected for your baby. If it's hot there like it is here I can't imagine how miserable the poor baby is. If my directions make no sense send M. a message and maybe I can explain it better if you want to do it on your own. Some things are J. easier done than said especially after you've done it so much.

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answers from Chicago on

All you can do is wait until the undercoat is ready to come out and keep him cool and indoors as much as possible. Don't cave to the temptation to shave him, that big coat insulates against the heat J. as it keeps him warm in the winter. (I had a Keeshond for 13 years and knew a few Keeshond breeders, that was their advice.)

Ha, J. read your "ETA", and right you are. Believe it or not, my Kees used to lie in the sun on the blacktop driveway on hot summer days-- I thought she was crazy, but it really didn't bother her.

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answers from Lakeland on

Can you take him to a dog groomer? I am sure they have conditioners to help loosen the tangles. Check your local pet store as well I see all different kinds of dog shampoos and conditioners at PetSmart.



answers from Minneapolis on

Since this is abnormal for him, I would speak with your vet to eliminate the possibility that this is because of a hormone or other physical problem.



answers from Columbus on

There are rake combs or undercoat rakes that will have a longer reach than the furminator. Also deshedding tools might help- look like a big loop blade. Furminators are great, but you are right that it probably does not work as well on longer haired keeshond. Such a cute doggie with all their fluff and happiness!



answers from Houston on

I had a samoyed. In texas.
I shaved him, everyone (mainly the groomer I pad $80 a time to) said "Don't shave him, it won't grow back right"

He ran around like a puppy for about half an hour, he was so happy!
I J. shaved it, myself with an andis clipper, one time in the spring.
It grew back perfectly normally in time for the winter, couldn't tell.



answers from Atlanta on

I've used the Furminator conditioner on my dog that helps the loose hair come all the way out.

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