"Fun fact: all dogs shed. Some breeds are touted as being “shedless,” but rest assured, where there is hair that grows, there is hair that dies, and that dead hair falls out, or is brushed out, or gets caught on a rose bush and is pulled out, but shedding is thing for all dogs unless they are hairless. As humans, we are tasked with managing this phenomenon, and lucky for us there are products to make the process (almost) painless.
Some breeds shed more than others. Short haired breeds, like Dalmatians, shed a lot, all the time. That is because their hair has a short growth cycle. The time it emerges from the follicle, until it dies and is replaced by new hair, is short. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Poodle hair grows exceptionally long, and has a growth cycle that is so long they barely seem to shed at all. There are lots of types of hair in between. Double coated dogs like German Shepherds (also known as “German Shedders!) tend to have a heavy shed of undercoat in the spring and fall.
Besides dealing with the housekeeping issues of shedding hair leaving tumbleweeds all over the place, shedding can be a big factor in coats forming mats and tangles. This is because the dead coat can get caught in the still growing coat as it separates from the follicle. This is especially true if the live coat is damaged.
The exterior of hair shafts is called the cuticle. If you imagine shingles on a roof, you have a bit of an idea of how the cuticle overlays and protects the inner parts of each shaft of hair. In damaged hair, the cuticle can lift, causing an irregular, rough surface on each hair. Shedding coat can become snagged on these microscopic rough edges and become stuck there. This is a simplistic description of one way which tangles can form.
Luckily, there are shampoos, conditioners and coat sprays that can make a dramatic difference in the ability of us human types to get the shed out. Best Shot is in demand by knowledgeable pet stylists because they use a scientifically based three step process that cleans, conditions and smooths the coat to remove loose, shedding and even tangled hair. It works so well that dead coat and tangles can often be blown right out during the drying process. What little dead coat that remains is easily brushed and combed away from the sleek hair that is still growing.
The use of cosmetic grade silicones is key in many deshedding/detangling products because the silicone fills in rough spots in the cuticle, leaving smooth, shiny hair in its wake. Groomers report that EZ Groom Filthy Beast shampoo works great on dogs that need extra cleaning as well as deshedding. This can be handy to tackle those once-a-year farm dogs that show up this time of year for a good spring cleaning.
The key to removing shedding coat is this; use products designed to smooth the cuticle, don’t forget to use a conditioner to replace the natural oils removed by washing, and use detangling coat spray to help your dryer, brush and comb complete the job of lifting dead hair away from the skin. Always work on clean, conditioned coats to minimize coat damage. Wise product choice goes a long way towards effective control of times when shed happens"