However, for one particular Finnish Lapphund, with his particular needs and circumstances, shaving was the answer he was looking for. So in case you are wondering approximately what your Lappy looks like under all that coat, it is my pleasure to introduce Silmu, a Finnish Lapphund living in Helsinki.
With his rather magnificent coat
And without his coat
Looking quite wolfie, don't you think?
Silmu's owner, Elina, has him clipped in May before the beginning of summer because of the density of his undercoat since he was neutered. For a bit more information about what can happen to a Lapphund's coat after neutering, have a look here.
Silmu is 10 years old and suffers badly from the summer heat. He lives in a flat which gets very warm - and if it's anything like the upstairs rooms of my house, I feel for him because my bedroom has been 30 degrees at night. Not good. They also live in an area prone to large numbers of ticks carrying encephalitis and lyme disease. Although numerous ticks can find their way through Silmu's heavy coat to the skin everyday, they have proven very hard to detect until they have already attached and started to swell.
Elina agrees that, in general, a Lapphund should not be clipped or shaved. However, for this dog in these circumstances, it works best. These days Silmu is a very cool, happy and tick-free Lappy in the summertime. And, luckily, his coat grows back just in time for winter.
From top left:
June (1 month after clipping); September (coat just starting to return);
December (undercoat has grown back and top coat is on its way);
January (in full coat ready for the super-cold Finnish winter)
Thank you so much to Elina for letting me share hers and Silmu's story. You can see more of Silmu on Elina's instagram @elinaalina