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How thin is the coat supposed to get?
  • Adonia1986Adonia1986
    Posts: 451
    So Sakura is 9 1/2 months now and blowing coat like a fiend. I don't think she really lost much puppy fluff earlier and I think she is losing it all now. I have never had a dog before that shed, so I might just be a little over worried about how thin her coat is getting. Here is a picture of her back leg, the area in the middle is the really thin part. She also has thin areas near her legs and on her chest.

    Also, if this is all just due to losing her puppy and blowing coat at the same time, when should I expect her to start regowing some undercoat?Stefanie & Sakura Twin Cities - MN
    Post edited by Sangmort at 2011-09-21 01:31:31
  • Adonia1986Adonia1986
    Posts: 451
    By the way, not refering to the area on her tummy, she is still growing back in from her spay.Stefanie & Sakura Twin Cities - MN
  • mattzmattz
    Posts: 418
    The thin area on her leg looks normal to me. I have a female, and she sheds out pretty thin in the summer time... Especially with temperatures reaching 100+ here in Texas. I noticed her thick coat coming back in during late Fall... Only recently, since about April, has she started shedding heavily for summer time. Seems natural to me!

    How often do you brush her? What kind of brush do you use?

    I think a good way to tell if you're over-brushing is if your dog is itching a lot... Over-brushing can irritate their skin, possibly causing them mild rashes...

    Just my experience!
  • Adonia1986Adonia1986
    Posts: 451
    she hasn't been itching for over a month (when we stopped all poultry/ grain containing products). We only have a slicker brush that she tolerates us using on her only when she is half asleep. So... maybe 10 -15 minutes whenever she will let us. Sometimes it is just a quick swipe or two then shes done. She does not like being brushed so it is not a frequent occasion.Stefanie & Sakura Twin Cities - MN
  • mcsassymcsassy
    Posts: 339
    Looks fine to me...Nova slim lined tremendously for the hot summer heat...all my friends thought she lost weight haha.
  • Adonia1986Adonia1986
    Posts: 451
    I guess I probably never realized just how fluffy Sakura is, and now that her fluff is going away she looks soo tiny (already little to begin with 15.4 lbs)Stefanie & Sakura Twin Cities - MN
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya my shiba has gotten a bit less fluffy she's almost done blowing she did her legs, side of her body, some of her neck, and now she is blowing the rest of her neck area and her back.

    She's probably loosing her puppy fluff and her over coat will be coming in. Patches on her legs look like over coat I think.

    summer they're a bit less fluffy, but come fall they'll blow their coat again and grow a fluffy coat for winter.

    Saya looks even skinnier when she is wet. lol
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Conker's fur gets real thin behind his front legs, on his lower chest and belly, sides and knees when he sheds. Some of it grows back a couple weeks later but for the most part it comes back in when the winter weather arrives.
  • ProtokProtok
    Posts: 8
    Miht'Tor's fur has just thinned out like that, he looked so skinny that my family were wondering if I was starving the poor pup.
    He is now growing some more fur in it's place but he's kept his slender looks, a local vet told me that come winter time he should be getting his thick coat again.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium
    Posts: 130
    Looks fine to me
  • Adonia1986Adonia1986
    Posts: 451
    thats good to know it looks normal :) Right now she looks like she got an aweful haircut with some patches pretty long and fluffy and others harly anythingStefanie & Sakura Twin Cities - MN
  • hey guys! just wanted to know when your shibas really got their maximum "fluff" potential and if anyone has any before and afters of their coat/fluff difference that they can post? I tried searching older forums...but a lot of the photos dont work anymore cause of the third party policy photo bucket change :(( Ryu has recently started blowing his coat (the weather is getting colder in canada now) but he just seems super short haired...not fluffy at all =(

    does the fluff hit closer to when it snows and gets really cold? or is my dude just destined for short hairness. Both of his parents were super fluffy too...this is the latest pic of my dude

  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Right now Juni is shedding her summer coat. She usually don't get her full winter coat until january so she is a bit off. From what I heard, since most dogs spend most of their lives indoors, they don't really follow the seasons that well these days.
  • @Juni thanks so much Juni! I didn't even think about the being indoor aspect. makes a lot of sense.
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 98
    Hey guys, I know this is an old thread, but maybe you have some answers for me. Also @lilikoi you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about Shiba coats, I'd love your input too.

    Bonsai just turned 11 months old, and at the start of May he started shedding like mad. I don't know if it's really a full coat blow, most of his undercoat is coming of as single hairs with only a few loose tufts here or there. Either way, he's still going strong, but I've noticed that his guard hairs seem really thin. Parts of him look almost gray rather than black. I use a zoom groom on him once a day to keep up with the shedding, and I don't see many guard hairs coming off with it, thankfully. In fact it seems like he's mostly undercoat and not much for guard hairs at all, which doesn't seem normal.

    We've had him on sensitive skin and stomach food for quite a while now (on vet recommendation), and I kind of wonder if his coat has suffered for it. When he was really small he had a wonderful full, shiny coat, but as soon as he went off the high protein puppy food it got dull and it thinned out. He looks so skinny now. So two questions I guess:

    1. Is it normal for a shiba's first real shedding experience to be sort of weird? It seems like he's blowing coat and also doing a puppy shed.

    2. Would mixing in another higher protein food with his normal food help him out? Or is he just a smoother coated shiba?

    Below are some pictures for comparison. Maybe he looks totally normal and I'm over reacting, but he's our first shiba, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. I can tell the difference between then and now, even if it maybe doesn't look drastic in the pictures.

    In March, before any coat blow

    Last week
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    Yo! I'm not really all that knowledgeable about coats, but I think it's interesting how drastically shibas can change and I like reading, learning, and comparing other people's experiences! Here's some of the paragraph about coats on the NSCA site:

    "As with many breeds, their coat is the Shiba’s crowning glory. It is a full double coat with the outer guard hairs being stiff and straight and the undercoat soft and thick. This undercoat is shed twice a year, and, without it, the Shiba loses much of its “look.” The guard hairs are supported by the undercoat and stand off from the body at about a 45º angle. The coat on the ventral side of the tail is the longest and should be in an open brush. The skirts are longer than the body hair but usually not as long as the tail. Dogs with a longer tail hair usually have a slightly longer hair on the skirts. These dogs may or may not have a little longer coat on the body. Body guard hairs are longest on the neck ruff and on the withers. There is a range of acceptable coat lengths with guard hairs being about 1 ½“ to 2” at the withers. Dogs with either shorter or longer coat styles within this range must have sufficient undercoat to cause the guard hairs to stand off from the back at about a 30° angle."

    The above does specify how shibas shed their undercoat twice a year and lose a lot of their look without it hehe. Ozzy can definitely look scrawny and sleek when he loses his undercoat. His first real "coat blow" was just after he turned 1, when we visited Texas for Christmas. He'd had some mild puppy shedding before that and I mistakenly thought that was him blowing his coat, but full on coat blows are so much more extreme, you know them when you see them. :)) He does somewhat lose guard hairs too from time to time, but nowhere near in the volume of losing his undercoat. Generally, his guard hairs seem to stay pretty long (an inch or so) even when his undercoat is gone. They just lay flat on his body and have no "fluff" to hold them up, so he doesn't feel plush at all. He really only totally loses his undercoat when we visit Texas. Here in Idaho, he still sheds seasonally, but he holds on to a little bit of insulation compared to in Texas where he loses it completely.

    I've heard it said here and by a couple of breeders that the general rule of coat quality is "first you breed a coat, then you feed a coat." If a shiba isn't born with the genetic good coat quality, there is only so much that nutrition can do. It can definitely add luster and help maintain a healthy coat, but it can't alter what a dog is born with genetically. I don't use a lot of "supplements," but I do regularly add fish oil, about a teaspoon every other day. I used to use more, but have found that a little goes a long way with fish oil, and too much isn't necessarily better and could need to be balanced out by also adding vitamin E. On the days he doesn't have fish oil, I add krill oil, which is more of an antioxidant boost than an omega 3 coat/skin supplement. I occasionally add things like coconut oil or ghee (recommended recently by my breeder) to his food or snacks. When we're traveling a lot and I can't maintain a full raw diet, his evening meals are Acana kibble, which he does way better on than any other non-raw food that I've tried (honest kitchen, nature's variety, taste of the wild...). Ozzy also has some tummy sensitivities when it comes to his diet. He is not the kind of dog that can just change things up or add something new without a slow transition haha, and if he gets into something or has too much of something, he is very easily prone to loose poops or small poops that cause anal gland problems for him. So, I'm really happy with how well he does on Acana. Not sure what food you're feeding, but I definitely don't think all kibbles are created equal hehe, so I thought I'd include that Ozzy does well on the Acana despite some tummy sensitivities.

    Ozzy's coat does get really thin in certain places when he's in full shed, like on his upper front legs / chest. He kind of gets little bald patches where the fur is especially thin. In other spots, like his hips / haunches, he seems to maintain a weird patch of undercoat fluff hahah. It seems like he sheds in stages, and his haunches / thighs are the last to lose their fluff.

    Here are some pics of Ozzy's coat changes.

    His first coat blow in Texas at about 13 months old:

    Compared to same pose in a more recent pic

    A screenshot of his "bald spots" in Texas

    A couple more slender Texas vacation pics from different angles


    Here you can see his weird fluff patch still on his haunch lol

    A pic from yesterday, he's currently lost a lot of fluff but isn't a baldy yet.

    A pic from a couple weeks ago where he looks like a fat giant, but surprisingly weighs the same amount lol

    Anyway, if Bonsai had a good fluffy coat in the past, maybe he's just going through some seasonal changes. I don't think it would hurt to add a bit of fish oil to his diet for some coat and skin health, especially if he gets itchy during the seasons changing or seems like he's lacking luster that he used to have. But maybe he'll be back to fluffy majesty after summer ends hehe. It can be kind of shocking how drastically their coats can change.

    Edit - I saw on your life story thread that Bonsai has also recently been neutered. Maybe it's irrelevant, but maybe not. I don't think it's inconceivable to think that the adjustment / change in hormones can contribute to stuff like his coat and maturity (like initiating first coat blow). Ozzy had been neutered a month or two right before his first big coat blow. So just thought I'd mention that, even though it might be completely unrelated.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2018-05-31 17:50:17
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 98
    @lilikoi Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! I so appreciate it.

    As a puppy we had Bonsai on Taste of the Wild. Since around December we've had him on Hills Science Diet Sensitive Skin and Stomach at the recommendation of our vet. He was burping up his food really often and she thought he might have some acid reflux. We moisten it and he doesn't seem to have a problem with it. But I'm not convinced he wasn't just having puppy issues. Maybe he's grown out of it and I don't even know it. I'm not a fan of the Hills Science Diet for long term so have been thinking about adding in some of the Taste of the Wild back in. But good to know Acana is good for sensitive tummies too.

    I'll look into adding some fish oil too. He doesn't seem to be terribly itchy, but it couldn't hurt. Thanks for Ozzy's comparison pictures, those really help. He really does look so different from one to the next, so I don't feel quite so worried about Bonsai looking thin. Again, thank you so much! I feel tons better.

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