View Full Version : Length of coat/ears

27th November 2007, 03:49 PM
Might be an odd question but I was just wondering whether frequent trimmimg leads to the slowing down of growth of their coats/ears?

Benjy and Jessica both have fairly short coats and, compared to other Cavaliers I've seen, the shortest ears ever! I am worried that I have stopped them from being able to grow these beautiful long ears and luscious coats because whenever they're groomed they are trimmed.

Is this possible? Or if I don't trim them for a while will they start to grow again?

27th November 2007, 08:36 PM
My Jasper has had short little ears ever since my father decided to trim them! It doesn't really pose a problem for us though, as he is old and the long ears used to get in the way. I don't know for sure if the ears/coat usually would grow back in long though, this is just my personal experience!

27th November 2007, 08:48 PM
A lot of show breeders say trimming permanently destroys the look of the coat -- makes it go very curly, some say dry and coarse as well. It does take *forever* to grow back in on most dogs. So most likely you aren't seeing that it is permanently short but how very long it is going to take to regrow -- could be well over a year if let entirely alone. I have a very heavy coated female whose feet were trimmed by a groomer even though I had said not to touch them :mad: and a year later they still are not even a third the length they once were, and she was probably only a year old at the time :(. They also thinned and trimmed some of her coat and that has never come back in the way it was initially but she was so badly cared for (she's a rescue and was in terrible shape) that it had to be neatened up to some extent.

Additionally, coats vary widely. I have two dogs with very heavy coats and two with very lightweight coats. The light-coated dogs are twice as old as my rescue with the heavy coat and her coat is much longer than theirs ever has been or probably ever will be and was when she was only one. The light coated dogs have quite tight coats on their backs and sides; all the length is in the feathering.

To me it sounds like you probably have a lighter-coated dog anyway and one whose coat grows very slowly. I would really consider whether you need to trim the coat -- this isn't a breed that is supposed to be trimmed at all (groomers who don't know this incorrectly trim them like cockers all the time!). If people want to trim I suggest a knowledgeable groomer familiar with how this breed is supposed to be groomed (seems that 95% haven't got a clue in their heads about cavaliers which is shocking for professionals and is one of my real grumpy points!) who can neaten up the hind legs if you have a dog whose feathering gets pee on it regularly, likewise belly hair in the same situation, trim feet if they are an issue, and maybe, if the coat is heavy, thin it -- not cut it! Some take length off of ears but I think the longer and fuller the better -- IMHO the ears and tail are the glory of the breed! :)

Once it is cut, you have probably permanently changed the coat though at least in consistency, going by what experienced show breeders say.

28th November 2007, 06:34 PM
Although your question interested me, I wasn't going to post because my experience was with Molly's feet... but then I just read Karlin's post and had to add my 2 cents worth.

I took Molly to the groomer to get her nails clipped and also asked if they could trim between the pads. I thought the woman understood what I said, but English was not her first language. She did what I asked and the next thing I know, she's trimming the fur on the tops of Molly's feet! I was pissed! And maybe what pissed me off the most was the fact that I was standing right there and couldn't stop her... but I didn't realize she was going to do that and she did it so quickly! I said, "No! Not the tops!" She apologized, but once she had started, it seemed she had to do a little trimming to all 4 paws so they looked like they matched. I totally agree with Karlin's "pet peeve" (no pun intended! :D) about professional groomers not knowing how to groom the different breeds! I was really upset! (And still am, apparently.) :x

Anyway, now that I've gotten that off my chest... it has probably only been a couple of months since that was done, but I feel like Molly's fur is never going to grow back. Maybe it's just because I was so happy to see her fur started to grow out and look "Cavalierish", and now it's not even close to looking that way on her feet. :( I hope I'm just being impatient, but given Karlin's experience, it sounds like it might be a long time before it comes back.


28th November 2007, 09:45 PM
Actually, my experience is the opposite. Holly both has a very full coat AND one that grows astonishingly quickly. Her ears can be literally shaved, and back out at nearly full length six months later. Amber's coat is much thinner (but she chews knots in it, grr) and I notice that her coat grows back much more slowly after being trimmed. Now with her I try to snip out bad tangles myself rather than getting her groomed... but she'll be going to the groomer shortly to get neatened up in the difficult areas (tummy, underarms and under ears). Thankfully my groomer listens to me...

22nd December 2007, 11:36 PM
I know this thread is a bit older, but I was looking for info on this and am glad to see the range of answers. I have a very good friend who breeds and admitted she knew little about Cavaliers. But she took the time to look them up and research for me. Lily knotted up one of her ears bad and when I used my matting brush it took a lot of the fur out. She was lopsided. I made the mistake of asking for them to be evened out. Her ears were VERY short for a Cav to begin with and now seem as of they will never grow back. She does the underarms for me as I can't seem to clean that up well, but she shaved them last time. Kind of irked me because I don't want anything trimmed on Lily unless it must be. I think the Cav coats are gorgeous if well kept through brushing and such. I haven't found any groomers in my area that have a clue about them and that bothers me. I try to keep her neat and clean on my own and just take her in to get her pads trimmed, nails trimmed, and a good bath. Sometimes we trim the hair inside her ears that gets all oily, but that is about it. I love her coat and want those ears back!!!! :)

23rd December 2007, 01:28 AM
The best thing to do is write down exactly what you want done, and be really firm.

The main reason I never take my dogs to groomers (the second reason is cost) is because I do not want them trimmed, at all, and I hear so many horror stories about what happens to cavaliers because someone new did the dog, or someone who didn't know not to trim, or whatever, and it takes ages for coats to regrow. It seems to be a universal problem with the breed. My mom said when she had Lucy groomed that they never trimmed her coat, but it is obvious they were trimming it, because while it isn't short, it is clearly trimmed. They obviously would just kind of do what they thought should be done... :eek:.

23rd December 2007, 03:35 AM
I'm glad people have brought this topic back up - Amber doesn't have a very heavy coat, and eventually I'd like to show her for fun, but she had a litter about 4 months before I got her and the puppies chewed up one of her ears, so she looks a little funny right now with one ear longer then the other and I was wondering how long it would take for it to grow back out.

23rd December 2007, 04:47 PM
I love my Cavaliers to be in full coat if at all possible - I know it's extra work but that is one of the reasons why you have them, and it's a good way of bonding and giving them individual attention.

My "oldies" who have very thick coats - both are neutered - do have their bellies clipped, esp in the summer, to keep them cooler, and I also trim under their front legs to stop them from knotting.

I trim underneath the paws of everyone who needs it - saves them traipsing quite so much mud in LOL - and around the paws for those with very long coats, but leave the long hair on top, occasionally thinning it with thinning scissors - but it still looks like the proper slippers.

I also trim inside the ears if that is long to allow air movement.

Obviously for the show ring you are not supposed to trim at all - many just trim underneath the paws again to keep them clean, and around the genitals for hygeine reasons - also makes it easier to housetrain pups, otherwise they can come in and "drip" which encourages them to wee indoors.

The only reason I would go to a groomer is if I couldn't manage nail clipping and/or anal gland emptying myself - many Cavaliers are not able to empty their own glands, and this really does need to be checked every 6-8 weeks as it's extremely uncomfortable for them - and can lead to further problems.

23rd December 2007, 06:49 PM
Ooooh THANKS for reminding me that I really do need to talk to my vets and have them show me how to do -- shudder -- anal glands. :yuk:


I take a little length off Lily's skirt as she otherwise drags it in her urine when she pees. I guess I should get a thinning shears for that. I also need a better nail clippers.

26th December 2007, 11:01 PM
I just came across this article written for groomers, by a groomer with over 20 years' experience, which might be useful to keep in mind, as she suggests there may indeed be permanent coat changes (perhaps unwanted) if coats are cut:

When grooming any breed outside of its standard, be sure to spend the time necessary with the client to educate her on the beauty of the breed in its natural coat, and be sure she fully understands that trimming the coat may alter it for life. The pin-straight Maltese coat may develop a wave. The Lhasa's coat may become denser, and color changes may occur.

27th December 2007, 12:59 PM
I want to add my two cents too, I'm a groomer and I do what cleints ask me to do, if i'm unsure or someones instructions don't make sense or arn't clear I always call them and double check. Not all groomers are bad or obsessed with chopping everything off and this perception people have of groomers I find very frustrating. I don't know what planet some of the groomers you describe live on!!
I love a full coat on a cavalier but some people like to clip it off, we used to do this with my old cav as when he went into his senior years he didn't cope very well with the Australian summer and clipping him brought him some relief. His coat grew back VERY fast within a few months he was hairy. I trimmed Marleys paws recently and it took 5weeks for it to totally grow back... it depends on the dog!
In the end its up to you as the owner to go and find a reputable groomer and make sure not only that they understand your requirements but also what that breed requires. I wouldn't just walk into any hairdresser and let them chop at my hair I always check them out first and ask for recommendations by friends, that way you have a better chance of finding someone you like and that will do a great job.

27th December 2007, 02:05 PM
I found this article really interesting. I find it worrying that you have to be carefull when picking a groomer out for your dog, i would have thought that they would be fully trained in grooming all kinds of breeds. Even though Candi is only a pup i honestly cant see us getting her coat trimmed not unless it is really really necessary, even then i think i will be panicking. A cavalier's beautiful coat is one of the reasons we fell in love with this breed.

27th December 2007, 11:43 PM
Where i live in australia the only course available is a week long... it doesn't cover most breeds just clipping and some scissoring. Most groomers are either self taught or taught by other groomers who have gone overseas or interstate to gain their qualifications. I myself have to travel interstate next month so I can further educate myself.

30th December 2007, 10:40 PM
I don't know if it is in all states, but here in the US, it is not required (in Florida) to go to school at all. My friend who is a groomer went through a 16 week course learning all about different breeds. However, the Cav was not one she learned about. She knew of the breed but not what is expected of the grooming. I was upset that she didn't do what I asked and expected, but we spoke and she apologized. She has been a friend for 10 years, so we will work together, but I trust no other groomer after I had Lily's coat "hacked" off. :)

31st December 2007, 12:11 AM
I don't understand the postings completly, but a part therefrom.

I had trimming the coat on Josy ears last year in october:


I know it was too much :D But the hair regrowed!!

In February:


and after one year:


The Coat is as long as it has been before!!!!

I have fed brewer's yeast. This is good for skin, coat and claw and so the coat on the ears grow very fast