Many dog breeds have classic grooming styles, such as the Schnauzer and the Cocker Spaniel. However, how do you know when to keep your pet groomed the classic way, or when to switch it up with a more modern style?
Each dog breed is associated with a certain grooming style. Dobermans are known for cropped ears and a bobbed tail. Poodles are recognized by their curls. And Sheepdogs seem to be perpetually shaking their hair out of their eyes. However, simply because these dogs are known for these grooming styles does not necessarily mean that they must be groomed that way.
When I was a senior in high school, I adopted a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Thor. This breed is known for having long fur on their ears, very similar to that of Cocker Spaniel’s. Naturally, I chose to let Thor’s ears, or her ear fur, grow out into that fashion. Then I noticed a very peculiar thing: Thor would not drink her water or eat her food without someone holding her ears back. Thor did not like her ear fur dropping into her water or food bowl. So, she simply boycotted eating and drinking until we trimmed her ear fur. Now, she eats and drinks just like any other dog.
Some grooming styles can actually be dangerous, such as the sheepdog mentioned earlier. While it is tradition for them to have long hair, the hair should never droop into your pet’s eyes or be able to obscure its vision. Also, if you do not have time to brush or to keep up with your pet’s long hair, a short cut may be the answer. Short cuts are much easier to take care of, and they take less time. If long hair goes unattended, it can result in knots and discomfort for your pet.
My lesson from all this: sometimes it is necessary to deviate from the traditional grooming style to fit your dog’s needs. So what’s the style for your pet: classic or modern, practical or cute?