A Beginner’s Guide to Shaving a Corgi

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Shaving a Corgi

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Summer is great for so many reasons. For your dog, it means spending more time outdoors. You equally love bringing her along for beach walks, barbeques, camping excursions, you name it.

To manage the blaze of heat and sun, you shed your clothing until you remain with your swimsuit or a pair of shorts. If you don’t require the layers of clothing, surely your corgi can do with a haircut or a trim, right?

While shaving isn’t recommended for all dogs, it can be beneficial for some of them. Thick-coated breeds can easily suffer from the heat and shaving can help them cool off in summer.

Before you roll up your sleeves and shave your corgi, take some time and arm yourself with the right information first. If you make a mistake, you can damage the coat permanently.

In this guide, we shed more light into some of the most important basics you need to know as far as shaving your corgi is concerned.

Do Corgis Need Haircuts?

Source: Reddit

Whether you have a Cardigan or Pembroke corgi, the breed comes with a double coat.

For starters, double-coated dog breeds have two layers of hair:

  • First layer or the undercoat
  • The top coat or the outer guard hair

The first layer or the undercoat is made of dense, soft, and wooly-textured fluffy hairs that sticks close to the skin. The main responsibility of the hairs is to insulate the dog’s skin, keeping the doggie cool in summer and warm during winter. In terms of shedding, this is the layer that sheds much.

The second layer, outer coat or the top coat is made of ‘guard’ hairs, which are long hairs that give your pup its color and are responsible for protecting the dog from harmful UV rays as well as bug bites. In terms of shedding, this layer doesn’t shed as much.

This type of coat structure means one important thing: don’t shave your corgi. It is a mistake to think that by shaving your corgi’s coat, you will be helping him to stay cool, especially in summer. Instead, you will be doing more harm than good.

1. Exposes your Corgi to Sunburn Risks

Dog fur’s top layer protects the animal against the sun’s harmful UV rays and bug bites.

By shaving, you’ll leave them exposed to the elements, and your beautiful pet may develop skin lesions, sunburn, or even skin cancer.

All these are not only painful and expensive to treat but may also take a long time to heal. Your dog may also battle with scaling and dandruff, even after the hair has re-grown.

2. Interferes With the Natural Thermoregulation Process

Contrary to what many corgi owners believe, shaving doesn’t cool your dog. Instead, your pup may end up less intolerant to high temperatures.

As aforementioned, the role of your dog’s undercoat is to insulate the dog’s skin. Shaving removes this layer, interfering with the dog’s heat balance.

In addition, when you shave your corgi, the undercoat will grow back faster than the top coat, leaving the former to take over as the main coat. This soft, dense, and wooly coat will trap heat but will not reflect sunlight. As a result, your dog will always feel warmer and his body temperature will rise during hot weather conditions.

The inability to regulate body temperature can be downright uncomfortable to your dog, leading to stress and panic. This leaves your corgi feeling even hotter!

3.  Shaving Doesn’t Decrease Shedding

Most people are motivated to shave their corgis because they believe it will decrease shedding, but this isn’t the case. Even after the haircut, your dog will still shed.

Since the protective layer will be removed, the undercoat will continue growing uninhibited, causing even more shedding.

Besides, shaving only makes the hair that your dog shed shorter. This worsens the situation because it can be harder to deal with little spikes of hair lying around the house, especially when compared to regular length hair that your dog sheds.

4. Changes the Texture of the Coats, Making it Patchy and Unattractive

When you shave your corgi down to the skin, the undercoat hair will grow back faster, crowding the guard hairs (which tend to grow slowly). This not only changes the texture and color of your dog’s coat in the long run but may also make it appear patchy and unattractive.

In other words, your dog’s coat will not be as luscious and thick like before. Instead, it will be knottier and prone to matting.

Additionally, once you shave the guard hairs, they not only become coarse but things like burrs and twigs will also stick to them.

And if not done right, the shaving process can also expose your dog to uncomfortable matting tendencies and skin irritations like hot spots.  

When is it Okay to shave a corgi?

There are situations when shaving or trimming a corgi’s hair makes more sense. These include:

  • If your dog has a skin condition which require topical treatment.
  • When a vet wants to perform a surgical procedure on your dog. The area of the incision or where the IV is inserted may need to be shaved. This is often done to ensure that the area is clean and hair-free to avoid infection during or after the surgical procedure.
  • For show ring: The AKC allows trimming of whiskers and feet for show. So, if your corgi is a show dog, trimming or shaving certain areas of his coat or body (as per the stipulated guidelines of the show) makes a lot of sense.
  • Corgis come in short-haired and long-haired versions. Long-haired corgis may do with occasional shaving. The ears, butts, and feet are especially notorious for having long fur. Sometimes, you need to trim them to blend with the rest of the body.

Do Corgis Hair Grow Back?

Source: Reddit

When you check online, you will be met with a long list of corgi owners who claim that shaving their pets was the worst mistake ever. These say that after shaving their fur babies to help them cool off during summer, things took a bad turn.

Their dogs took ages to grow their hair back and even those that did featured an unsightly coarse and wooly coat. Sunburn and heat strokes are also some of the outcomes of dog shaving.

Here is some good news though: unless you shave your corgi repeatedly or all over, her hair will grow back. It will definitely take time because of the double coat but it will grow back eventually. It can take several months for this to happen.

But…

A dog’s age matters a lot! The older your dog is, the less likely the topcoat hairs will re-grow. Although the undercoat may re-grow, the guard hairs may not. So, your senior dog may have to live with patchy, frizzy, scruffy appearance.

How to Trim Corgi Hair

What You Need

  • Trimming shears
  • De-shedding brush
  • Slicker brush
  • Soft-wire brush
  • Leave-in conditioner

Directions

  • Give your pet a bath. This should be done not more than once a month to protect the skin from drying out. Once done, let the dog air dry herself. You can also blow dry for faster results.
  • Grab the de-shedding brush and run it over the coat to get rid of loose hairs. Brush in the direction of the fur.
  • Apply some leave-in conditioner on the coat and go in with the slicker brush. Maintain the same direction as your dog’s fur.
  • Trim the butt area: Next, use the trimming shears to trim some of the furs in your corgi’s butt. Cut small portions at a time, only removing long bits. Refrain from cutting too deep lest you remove inner hair.
  • Trim the feet: Repeat step four for your doggie’s feet. Even out the fur as much as possible.
  • Trim the body: To give your dog a voluminous fluffy look, trim the rest of her coat by evening things out then fluffing it out by line brushing. Simply start from the bottom of the hairs and brush them out with a soft wire brush.

Best Corgi Haircuts

There are three common haircuts to give a corgi. These include the following.

  • Fluffy Look: This is where you cut the fur evenly then fluff them out. The end result is a voluminous attractive look.
  • Modest Trim: When temperatures soar, you can lightly trim the entire coat leaving only the ears and fur around the dog’s face. So, the rest of the body will have shorter hair than the ear and the face.
  • Leave It Natural:  As the name goes, this is where you do nothing. Just let the doggie spot her natural length of fur.

How Do You Shave A Corgi Butt?

Source: Reddit

Corgi butts are known universally for being fluffy. While they look incredibly cute, they also catch lots of unwanted stuff like feces.

Without trimming the hair back there, you risk having a smelly dog or one with matted feces that end up in your home. Thankfully, with a greyhound comb, ten-blade, and trimming shears, you can get the job done to perfection every time.

First, position the dog in a standing position then raise her tails (if she has it) and cut the fur around her nether regions with the ten-blade.

Simply get rid of the fur for ease of elimination. This should be a clean shave to make sure the feces and urine pass through without sticking to the fur.

Next, brush the hair around the butt to the center using the greyhound comb.

Use the trimming shears to trim long and uneven hairs.

 Repeat the process- combing in different directions until the fur is shorter and even.

A Groomer Shaved My Corgi: What Next? 

You would think that groomers know which dogs to shave and which ones not to until you hear stories of owners whose dogs were shaved by mistake.

One Reddit user once shared a photo of her beloved corgi who was shaved all over save for her face and head. The poor thing looked so ugly.

If you’ve suffered the same fate, the best thing to do would be to wait for the hair to grow back. You better hope that the shave wasn’t too close to the skin to damage the hair.

After a few months, the coat should be back to its healthy normal self.

Instead Of Shaving Your Corgi, Learn How to Keep Him Cool in the Summer

If the goal of shaving your corgi is to keep him cool during the hot summer heat, you should understand that there several things that you can do to achieve your goal without having to damage your pup’s coat. These include:

  • Circulate cool air around your dog’s environment or space. Open the windows, turn on a box fun, and keep the AC at reasonable temperatures.  
  • Ensure your corgi has access to clean, free-flowing water at all times. Ideally, get his water bowl filled to the brim and strive to carry a portable water bowl with you on walks.
  • Brush your corgi’s coat regularly to eliminate dead hair. This way, you will help him prevent matting and enhance better air circulation.
  • Prepare your dog cooling tasty treats by making him popsicles with his favorite foods or stuffing his favorite treats in a kong or other appropriate toys.
  • Avoid leaving your corgi alone in the car, even with the windows open. And if you take your corgi for long car journey, ensure the AC is on, the windows are open, and that you carry with you plenty of water. Remember to also take regular breaks for fresh air.
  • Give your corgi regular baths to keep him cool, clean, and free of pests
  • Keep your dog’s paws trimmed of excess fur. Remember that your dog’s sweat glands are located on his feet, so doing this can go a long way in helping him sweat with ease, cooling him off.  
  • Plan your walks: Avoid taking your corgi out in the midday sun. Evening and early morning walks will be cooler and more pleasant for your furry friend.
  • Ensure that your corgi gets plenty of shade. If there are no natural shaded spots in your garden, you can always create one by placing a board, metal sheets, or cloth over an area to keep the sun out. A cooling doggie vest can also come in handy in keeping your dog cool when he is in the sun or heat.
  • Get dog boots: Hot surfaces can hurt your pup’s foot pads, especially sand and tarmac. So, if you feel that these surfaces are too hot for you, there are high chances that your corgi is feeling the same and getting him doggie booties will help him a great deal.

How to Manage Shedding In Your Corgi

Finally, if you are motivated to shave your corgi because you want to control his shedding tendencies, know that there are simple tricks that you can leverage to reduce your dog’s shedding without having to shave him.

While you can never completely stop a dog’s shedding, the following tricks can control it:

  • Regular Brushing: Brushing your corgi’s coat regularly will remove excess fur and move oils on his skin around more evenly. Ensure that you use the right brush for the job. Since corgis are double-coated, brushes that are specially designed for double coats are recommended. Check the best options here: 12 Best Brushes for Double Coated Dogs
  • Give Him A Bath: Bathing your corgi will loosen dead hairs on his coat, making them easy to brush off. A bigger percentage of dead hairs will also come off during washing. You can then get the rest by brushing afterward.
  • Take Him To A Professional Groomer: Regular visits to a professional groomer will help get most of the dead hair in your corgi out, keeping his coat looking neat and clean. Of course, you can groom your corgi at home but professional groomers are trained in using the right tools and techniques that are specific to a dog’s breed. They understand how to remove all the dead hair in your corgi’s coat the best way they can.
  • Keep Your Dog Dehydrated: Dehydration lead to dry skin and coat, which can cause a host of health conditions in dogs, including shedding. Keeping your dog dehydrated is a healthy way of controlling his shedding.
  • Feed Him The Right Diet: Malnutrition can cause irregular shedding cycles in your dog. Feeding your corgi quality diet can, therefore, go a long way in keeping his shedding down.
  • Cover your Furniture: Invest in furniture covers to keep your upholstery looking and smelling better during your dog’s shedding season. We also recommend buying car seat covers or blankets if you like traveling with your corgi regularly.
  • Vacuum often: Being diligent in your vacuuming efforts during shedding season is another excellent way of keeping your home hair free.

Closing Thoughts

Corgis are famous for their pleasant and distinctive coats. As an owner, it is your responsibility to keep the coat looking healthy and cute.

Shaving is sometimes necessary to give your dog an elegant look, help her regulate her body temperature, and shed less.

Only shave your corgi if you are confident that you will not cause damage to your doggie’s coat. Otherwise, let a qualified groomer do the job for you.

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Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.