Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Showers

I don't shower my dogs. Barring extreme circumstance, they are not showered. Baron has had 3 showers in his life, the third being last week when he found a pile of rotting fish that had been laid out as boar bait and thought it would be nice to rub in.

Here he is post shower, doing what Baron does best. He's not a fan of showers, but he tolerates it.


So why don't I shower my dogs? The Nihon Ken have a double coat, the inner coat helps regulate temperature, and the outer coat generally protects the outer coat. A dog naturally secretes oils that protect the coat, keeping it dry and stopping dirt from sticking to it. As you shampoo your dog, you are removing the oils and creating an imbalance in your dog's coat and on your dog's skin.

I won't trash you for showering your dog every week or few days, but the proof is in the pudding. People are always commenting how clean Baron looks, that he smells terrific, and how white his coat is. The next question is always, 'How often do you have to shower him?' I've carried this over to my Shikoku with the same results. They are clean, and they smell great.

The big test for me was when I added Akita to my kennel. Every time I've picked up Akita at the airport for export etc, they have that nasty doggy odor. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get away with my no shower policy, or how their coats would do. Some friends who are long time AKIHO members considered how often you shower all your dogs as a mark of a good caretaker/owner (they shower all the dogs once a week). My Akita's breeder told me not to dare show my pup 'like those NIPPO members', unshowered. Well, I keep the kennels clean, the dogs get a good brushing and damp toweling down, a lot of running through the mountains and rolling around in the grass, and they are clean and smell terrific. Even the Akita. Someone came to my kennel yesterday and said just that.

Anyway, here's another sunset shot for fun.


And a random shot I took at the drive thru... Japlish FTW


8 comments:

  1. I'v showered my now 3year old Akita once :P And it will have to be pretty important if I ever do it again. She smells aboslutely lovely and she is super clean. Although I do sometimes wash her paws if they are very dirty.

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    1. Nice to hear there are other owners out there getting the same results.

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  2. I'd have to agree, I haven't bathed my dogs in years and have only really done any sort of grooming when they shed, and it's amazing how many compliments I get. People will be petting my dogs, say how nice their coats feel and how clean they look, and then ask when the last time I bathed them was. When I respond that it has been a few years the people give me this confused look and say, "Really? I would have thought you did it yesterday with how nice they feel."

    I do remember reading or hearing something a long time ago about humans and bathing. It went along the lines that washing more than every other day was actually bad for the skin and hair since the oils are what keeps them protected. That conditioner is pretty much a product to add a substitute oil to replace the natural oils that were just stripped out. And that by bathing less often (or just using soaps and shampoos less) the body learns to adapt and doesn't feel the need constantly replace the oils that are being lost on a daily basis. It was an interesting concept and it makes me wonder how well it would apply to dogs. At least with dogs they do have the benefit of shedding, which is practically like their own natural way of getting clean (eliminate the dirty coat, grow in a clean one).

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    1. Yes, there is that biannual shed.
      In regard to the less showering for humans, I guess the difference is that we don't have a protective coat, and we sweat.

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  3. Naoki Ikko and SachiJanuary 14, 2015 at 1:22 AM

    I only shower mine maybe one or twice per year, they always smell good for me.
    But I always shower them (without shampoo) after they played on the beach (on holidays) to remove all the sand contained in their undercoat ;)

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    1. Yes, there are definitely times when a shower is necessary for indoor dogs. After swimming in salt water would probably be a good time for a rinse off.

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  4. Same here :) I have a russian relative to the japanese spitz: a westsiberian Laika

    He has a nice coat, also good smelling, fluffy, without bathing. Sometimes he needs a bath, when he rubbed himself in the peed straw from the horses (and he loves this peed straw :/ )

    When people ask me, I always say my dog is teflon-coated. Because even if he plays in mud with other dogs, he is never as muddy as the other dogs xD

    The breeder of my dog told me, that the coat of the WSL isn't as greasy as of other dog breeds. Because of that they haven't this typical dogsmell (even if they are wet). But they need more time for drying, too.
    I could imagine that the coat of the japanese spitz breeds is similar :)

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    1. Does seem that the 'teflon' coat is alive and well in the primitive spitz type breeds.

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