Shaving a Pomeranian Overview
There are many features that make this breed so wonderful, one of them being the amazing double coat of fur. One of the nicknames for the Pomeranian is a Ball of Fur. The coat is quite amazing! Puppies have shorter, soft coats. Sometime between 4 and 6 months and ending sometime between 9 and 11 months (generally speaking), 80% of all Pom puppies will enter a phase called the Puppy Uglies. This is when their baby fur falls out very rapidly, leaving them looking quite silly for a short time. Then, the wonderful adult coat grows in. A color change may happen when this occurs.
We have received many emails over the years from owners asking if it is alright to have a shaved Pomeranian. Therefore, let's discuss this....
Will This Affect the Coat?
In many cases, yes...it will. Those who want to know how to make a Pom look like Boo the Pomeranian should be aware of what can happen. Once that inner, dense layer of the coat is cut into, the coat may never grow back again to the wonderful length and texture that it used to be. This most affects the coat if not just the top layer is trimmed, but if the undercoat is shaved into.
Are There Other Affects?
Yes! The Pomeranian is a small, fragile dog (3-7 pounds fully grown). Already needing protection from cold environments, those who have a shaved Pomeranian will find that their pup or dog will need extra protection from harsh elements. Without their fur to offer some warmth, they can quickly lose core body temperature when outside during the winter months (for bathroom and exercise purposes).
Why Shave a Pom?
There are a few reasons why anyone would ever see a shaved Pomeranian.
1) While we do not agree with the method, some breeders will shave their adults. Why? Because they cannot handle grooming the amount of dogs that they have....by shaving the adults, they cut back on the amount of time that must be spent to keep the coats free of tangles and reducing the amount of time spent on brushing, etc. Since they will not be selling those particular dogs, they feel that it does not matter if the fur is clipped down.
2) Some owners choose to have a shaved Pomeranian for the same reason. Perhaps they did not understand the grooming needs before they brought their Pom home...And then when they realized that this cute little breed needs to be brushed and then combed at least every 3rd day, they decide instead to remove the wonderful, lovely coat.
3) Finally, sometimes there is simply no choice in the event that a Pom has been neglected. Many Pomeranains that have been rescued from abusive/neglectful owners or from puppy mills will have coats so knotted that there is no method to save it. In these cases of caring for a rescue Pomeranian, the coat may need to be shaved down quite close as it is the only method of freeing the dog from severe tangles that pull at the skin and block healthy air flow.
There are owners that ask if a Pomeranian will benefit from the top layer being completely shaved off during hot summer months. The answer is no. It is the inner layer that is thick and dense and that is what will cause a tiny dog such as this to overheat (if outside too long in hot sun and especially exercising without water - always walk in the shade or before 10 AM or after 6 PM on hot days and bring travel water with you). But, of course you cannot remove that inner coat. The outer fur is long and wispy...Bring your Pom outside on a windy day and see how it blows in the wind...It does not impede air circulation.
Therefore, shaving down a Pom in anticipation of hot weather is not really productive. See below for trimming advice.
If one does not wish to have a fluffy, furry dog, one should not opt for a Pomeranian. With this being said, their are only a few areas on this breed that should be shaved or clipped down....
1. The area around the anus. This is important for hygiene reasons. With long hairs in the way, owners may find that they feces easily sticks to the bottom of their Pom after a bowel movement. Therefore, for reasons of cleanliness, it is acceptable to shave the small area under the tail so that fecal matter does not attach to the fur. This can also help an owner notice and be more aware of when anal glands need attention.
2. The bottom of the paws. When looking at the bottom of each paw, there should not be any hairs growing out between the pads that extend out further than the pads of the paws. Therefore, one should carefully scissor any stray hairs from this area.
3. The inside of the ears. This is not a shave nor a clip. It is technically a pluck. Any stray, long hairs that are sticking out of an ear should be plucked out. If they are left and more grow, they can hold in moisture and become a breeding ground for bacteria, often causing ear infections.
4. Touch-ups can be done to the outer layer (top coat) only. This makes for a neat and tidy Pom. It can help give this breed the over all "round" look that is so lovely. This is a 1/4 inch or so trim to areas that need it to round out the shaping. Please do not cut into the dense, thick undercoat, as it will affect future hair growth.