Dog breeds that have double coats include the Husky, Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Great Pyrenees, Pomeranian, Newfoundland, Border Collie, Bernese Mountain Dog and more. Dogs with double coats have two layers consisting of a thick undercoat of short, soft hairs under an outer top coat of long, coarse guard hairs. The soft undercoat next to the skin keeps the dog warm, while the outer guard hairs repel dirt and moisture and protect against sunburn. The undercoat will start to shed profusely in spring as the weather warms up. All this dense undercoat needs to be brushed and removed so air can circulate through the guard hairs cooling the skin.
Many people mistakenly believe that shaving their dog will help them stay cool, but shaving a double coated breed can permanently damage the coat and take away their heating and cooling system. It can be an arduous task brushing out a double coat, but shaving isn’t the answer unless the undercoat has become so impacted and matted that it cannot be humanely combed out. Enlisting the help of a professional groomer with the proper knowledge, tools and equipment will go a long way to helping your dog feel comfortable.