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My Details

Name: Bev Pickard
Profession: Groomer
About Me: Dog groomer, foster parent, dog guardian, feline caretaker... I work at the Shuswap SPCA and I love my job! Currently have 3 dogs & 1 cat and there's always room for more.

My Dogs

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My Organizations

Groom Room & Dog S'Paw

Full-service dog grooming at the Shuswap SPCA. All proceeds benefit the Shuswap SPCA. Drop in for nail trims and short hair baths. All others by appointment.
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Newest articles

Grooming Through the Winter

“It’s too cold to take my dog to the groomer.”“He needs all his hair to stay warm outside.”Imagine your cold feet in soft, warm, cuddly wool socks.  Now imagine those same socks after you take a few steps in the snow.  They have balls of snow on them that you have to pull off one by one, not just shake off.  Your socks get wet, and before you can get dry you find yourself outside...
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My Comments

Hi Johnna! Great Pyranees are another of those breeds with massive amounts of coat. We have shaved more than one right down because of the kind of matting you are describing. It sounds like you are taking all the right precautions. I would recommend that you have your blades sharpened after this years groom. Dull blades can irritate her skin and cause "clipper burn", which is exactly what happens if you shave with a dull blade. It's from friction, not heat. If you notice any irritation as you are clipping, dust the area with baby powder and that should calm it down. Oil your blades every hour or so and try to keep them cool enough to be comfortable. Making sure she has shade during the worst UV hours of the day (10-2) is critical until the hair grows back. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for shaving her down. If you can have her see a groomer for a bath, brush and undercoat removal in the fall, that would be ideal. It's much better to go into winter with a coat in good condition.
I have a Great Pyrenees with a very difficult coat. Her dreadlocks get dreadlocks and the mats become like boiled wool. The dead hairs don't "fall" off, they cling to the hair that is still attached to her. She will not let me brush her; it hurts too much. I have every kind of tool for this purpose, as she is my 3rd GP. She guards our livestock and is outside in the barn most of the time. Last year I made an appointment with a groomer and when we arrived they refused to serve her. I turned on my heals and headed to Sheepmans Supply, where I purchased an electric sheep sheering tool. It has no gauge on it, so I made one. It works well to give me the depth of coat that I want to keep. I only trim her coat back in early spring, after her winter coat is blown, and then let it grow out the rest of the year. At least it gets the dreadlocks and mats off her and she feels cooler during the summer. This spring was the second time I have trimmed her and I get better at it each time. Do you have any suggestions or warnings I need to be aware of?
I have so much respect and admiration for what you do for animals! :-)
Hi Darrin. Thanks for the question! Groomers and vets have several opinions on double-coated dogs and hair cuts. As you know, shelties are one breed who have the water-repellent top coat and the fluffy undercoat. The undercoat is what protects them from both high and low temperatures. If you take that away, the body has to work that much harder to maintain proper homeostasis, which can put a strain on older dogs or dogs with an illness. That said, it is essential that you maintain the coat. The dead undercoat has to be regularly removed from your dog through brushing, combing or other method. That is not to say that you should never ever shave a double-coated dog, but you have to realize it may take years for the coat to grow back as it was. It can also reveal hair loss that wasn't obvious before. Unless your sheltie is so matted that it cannot be combed out humanely, I would not recommend a short shave. Shelties are a high-maintenance coat and require grooming on a regular schedule. I hope this answers your questions.
Hi Bev good article and reminder. I have a question about long haired dogs and grooming in the summer. Shelties have problems with heat in the summer, and some people tell me you are not to cut their hair back. Shelties hair is a little different and they molt as compared to shedding. Have you had any experience with this?
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Bev Pickard


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Darrin Henry
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