Cutting fur off paws?

Discussion in 'Dog Grooming' started by tigerlily46514, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    How do you all handle the fur that grows out onto the bottom of the paw from between their toes? IN THE WINTER...
    i've heard i should keep it clipped short, or else water/ice/snow gets in that fur..... but don't dogs need that fur to keep their lil feet pads warm on the cold snow? so everybody does this, cut the fur short ? I been doing this, keeping it short, but now i'm wondering if Buddy might need that fur afterall on the bottom of his feet? or no?

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    No it's better to keep them cut short. Most groomers shave them with a 10 blade or shorter. I use a 40 on Mud's. That hair can trap ice and snow, so really if it affects them at all it would make them colder. All the long-coated BCs I've known have had fairly hairy footsies, but that hair really doesn't do them any good. Many mushers keep their dog's pawpads shaved to avoid the collection of ice and snow and the like...that's uncomfortable to walk on, plus if anything sharp were to get shoved in the mix they could cut their pawpads. Of course, many dogsledders use boots as well.

    Anywho, yes, clipping the pawpad hair is important. If you want, you could take Buddy to a groomer and ask them to show you how to do it. It's really easy and doesn't really take an extremely expensive clipper to do.
  3. xsara New Member

    I keep them short as well. I simply cut them with scissors once in a while. I protect the pads with a lotion that toughens the paws.
  4. stormi Well-Known Member

    I too cut the hair from underneath my dogs paws. In winter it stops ice freezing in between the pads and in summer it helps against grass-seeds getting trapped. I also belive it keeps my dogs feet better...all that hair between the pads must push the pads apart slightly? You'll also notice your house is cleaner!

    The dogs paw works so that the pads are quite well protected against cold (think of the Arctic wolves walking around on snow and ice all the time). I have never had any problems with walking my dogs when it is cold, but if I needed them to walk on ice for a long time I would use booties to protect their feet.

    Like xsara I use straight scissors to take excess hair growth from around paws.
  5. yvonne Well-Known Member

    I keep Dudes hair short too, it also helps to stop infections setting in. Dude comes to the stables with me and is always treading in all kinds of 'nasties' (dirty lad that he is!)
  6. snooks Experienced Member

    I agree paw fur is better clipped short in winter to avoid painful iceballs. Dogs have additional blood circulation in their pads to keep them from freezing. Fur works by trapping a warm layer of air inside it and insulates. Pads aren't furry so the fur doesn't work to warm them. Paws can get frostbite and should be checked and walks kept short if the temp is below freezing esp if the ground is icy or wind is up. I've never had a problem with freezing weather but 10+ below my dogs kind of pick their feet up if it's too cold. My big dog loves her boots.

    tx_cowgirl what kind of clippers do you use? I've been scissoring and I think a safe clipper would be much easier. I'm not familiar with clippers other than my dogs have come back with clipper burn before. Is the #10 or #40 the clipper guard length? And if it's on they can't be cut right?? I don't want to cut any paws with the clippers. Thanks in advance. :dogtongue2:
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Thought about just messaging you with this, but in case anyone else had any questions, here we are. :)

    Snooks I have several different clippers for horses, dogs, cattle, One pair that I've been very satisfied with for both dogs and horses is my Andis UltraEdge Super 2-Speed. For all over clipping many groomers are dissatisfied with it, but I love it. I've had Osters and Listers and a few other brands as well but I really like the Andis brand. I have several of those. I also like the AGC Super 2-Speed. They make a rechargable clipper if you don't want to mess with cords that works very well, the UltraEdge is great, and they have several others. Andis also carries some much smaller cordless clippers that are for light clipping---specifically pawpads or the potty area or anything other than all-over use.

    Mine are all made more specifically for horses or livestock, but I'm more used to using those than pet clippers...and I'm much more happy with them. To be honest I've only used one pet clipper by Andis and was happy with it, but the horse/stock kind seem to be better made. Could be crazy but that's what I like. ^^ 10 and 40 is the blade length. I don't use a guard but I've never cut a paw or pawpad and my blades are sharp. Clipper burn is caused by someone not using coolant or oil enough. When your clippers get "noisy" (the vibration of the blades wil produce a distinctly different sound when they need oiled--just drop a couple of drops of clipper oil on each end and across the blades, wipe them off on a towel and get back to work. You can leave them on for this.), it means they need oiled. If the clippers have been used a LOT over a sort period of time(for instance, the groomer has used the same clippers all day and doesn't use coolant or oil enough), the blade and sometimes even the clipper will get HOT. It takes quite a bit to be hot enough to clipper burn a dog. It's like a minor sunburn or windburn.

    A 10 blade takes a lot of the length off but still leaves some. This would be good to start out with if you're concerned with getting too close. A 40 blade gets reeeeaaaallly close. I imagine your Goldies are pretty dern shaggy around their paw pads, so eventually a 40 might be good. If I had a video camera I could easily send you a vid explaining paw pad I think your best bet would be to ask a groomer to show you. That's the easiest way to learn. It's very simple and takes a matter of minutes if your dog is used to the clippers.

    At the Andis website you can view their large and small animal products by clicking on the little menu up top. The UltraEdge is under Lg Animal--Horse Products, as well as the AGC Super 2-Speed. In both large and small animal, you can go down to Light Clipping and Trimming to view their smaller, cordless clippers. (There's also some bigger cordless clippers mixed in everywhere else.) Blades usually change quite easily--they just pop right off and slide another on. Under "Blades and More" you can check out the different blades available for whichever clipper.

    Now granted the clippers at a pet store or at a farm supply store will be $30-50 typically, with a few closer to $100. Through a dealer or the website carrying higher quality Andis clippers, the horse ones can go upwards of $200. I think my UltraEdge clippers were $80 when we bought them, plus extra blades and a few other things I think. Just depends on what you buy and where. I definitely think the Andis products I recommended are well worth the money though. If there are livestock shows in your area at anytime during the year, hit the venders!! Many livestock product sellers attend stock shows carrying many clippers. (Including used clippers still in very good shape.) There are also livestock feed stores who usually carry clippers, farm supply stores who should(Tractor Supply Company, Gebo's, McCoys, etc), and not sure where else to go to. Not many stores around here carry the UltraEdge and the AGC Super 2-Speed. We got ours from venders at livestock shows(we know many people who show, and I used to, so we were there anyway). Just for pawpads, I really don't think you have to buy an extremely expensive clipper. Andis does make inexpensive clippers as well that would work well for what you want to use them for.

    As for guards, I just don't like using them. I've never cut an animal but I have used clippers many times. For pawpads guards are kind of useless because you won't be able to get enough hair cut with a guard. But you're right, guards allow you to not cut the dog. The blades can't even touch the skin with a guard, just the hair. Hope this helps and feel free to let me know if you have anymore questions!

    -Clippet--includes oil and five guards, intended for light clipping, corded
    -Lightweight Cordless--intended for light clipping, runs on AA batteries, includes oil
    (the downside--after a year or less, or a few years, depending on how often it's cleaned and used, sharpening these blades or replacing them will be a problem. If Andis carries replacement blades, that's probably the only place you'd find them.)

    There are others as well, but thought these might be more geared toward what you're looking for. Haven't used them before so can't give you a firsthand account of what they're like. For blade sharpening, ask a local groomer or even barber where they take their blades for sharpening. You should be able to find someone who does this.
  8. snooks Experienced Member

    tx_cowgirl thanks so very much for the detail. That's just what I needed. I had a cordless small/cheap oster several years ago and it just bogged down on golden fur. The brand names are very helpful. When I got my dogs back the first time I ever had them groomed they had clipper burn and a laceration on one's ankle (that needed 4 staples). The groomer said happened when she freaked out in the kennel at the vet. I just wanted to be sure I couldn't cut them easily, I never did with the oster.

    I was suspicious about the coincidence and asked about the other scrapes when they showed me the ankle wound. I thought well sheesh did she cut them or burn them, oh that's just a minor clipper burn. It didn't look minor. She butchered their top coats with sloppy scissoring. I was so mad about it that I didn't even want to wait out front for her to come out and explain why my dogs were hurt and they looked horrible. I thought a groomer at our long term vet would at least be competent. oy! :dogtongue:

    I'm trying to find a referral to a good groomer her since one of my dogs is easily scared by rough handling. Hopefully soon, at least I can do touch-ups in the mean time. Again, thanks!!
  9. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Ugh...sounds like a bad grooming experience indeed. To cut the dog you really either have to be rough or have the dog thrash. Not that you shouldn't be careful of course--it is still a sharp blade.

    One thing you can do to ensure your dogs are really good for the groomers is to work on stand-stays that last a while. (Also stand stays on top of something.) Scissoring a Golden that will stand still could take 15-30-60 minutes, depending on the pickiness of the groomer. I have Mud's rear scissored a little and her feathers, and it takes the groomer about 10-15 minutes...bath not included. She's got reeally long, thick hair on her rear end, and you can imagine that traps soooo much. Of course your dog doesn't have to stand stock still for that long, and if a dog is kind of uncomfortable with the whole process, a good groomer will give them breaks as needed. Play with their feet with them in the stand position---most of the groomers I know do nails, paw pads, and pretty much everything with the dog in a stand. I have mine lay for nails and stand for paw pads.

    I would imagine yours are probably used to being handled all over anyway and should be good for groomers. ^^ I would definitely recommend talking to a groomer about your shy girl before you decide on them, which I'm sure you had in mind anyway. Private groomers are probably the way to go, not Petsmarts or PetCos. Private groomers typically learn firsthand from schools or other experienced groomers and know what they're doing. Petsmart/PetCo groomers go to a company academy and learn for 6 weeks then come could be someone with dog experience or a pharmacist who decided to change careers because they just got their first dog. Lol. Not to bash Petsmart/PetCo groomers, some are quite good...but typically you'd probably feel more comfortable with somewhere that just does grooming.

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