Thinking of adopting a Corgi? Or maybe you have one already and looking for a “deshedding” solution.
I’ve run a grooming shop for over 10 years, and I’ve helped my fair share of corgi owners regain some sanity in their home. Here’s how I get control over their coat, and my favorite brushes for the job.
But first, I’ll explain why they shed in the first place:
They absolutely shed. And they shed a lot.
This medium-sized breed can shed just as much as a larger dog. Keep in mind they’re a double-coated dog (I’ll explain more on that below) that is very dense with fur.
What to expect:
- You’ll be sweeping or vacuuming your home at least twice a week.
- Your clothes and furniture will have hair stuck to them (especially black fabric).
- You’ll always need to have lint rollers handy.
- You can massively reduce shedding by brushing daily with a good brush.
Why They Shed
Shedding is a natural process of hair growth and regeneration. During the process of shedding, mammals tend to lose their weak hair to grow new and healthy hair. The procedure is completely natural and normal for all mammals, even humans. Corgis just have a lot more hair to grow and shed.
The Double Coat
Corgis have what is called a “double coat”. It consists of an inner layer (called the undercoat) that’s soft and keeps them warm. And an outer layer (called the guard coat) that provides additional protection.
Typically, the thick undercoat is responsible for the massive amount for shedding hair. And we can control this better by proper grooming and care (with the right tools).
Twice a year – during spring and fall – you’ll be treated to a seasonal shedding process called “blowing their coat”
Change of Seasons
Did you know your dog’s coat responds to daylight?
As days get shorter in the Autumn, your dog will naturally respond by producing a thicker, warmer coat for the cold months ahead.
As the days get longer your dog will shed that thick coat. This also means that indoor dogs will shed more evenly throughout the year as they’re exposed to less daylight.
That means your corgi will “blow” their coat twice a year, in the fall and spring.
These are peak shedding season that generally last 2 – 4 weeks. During this time you can expect a big increase in shedding hair, and you can help the process out by brushing your dog everyday.
More Grooming Required?
Your Corgi may just need some help releasing that extra hair. To ensure that your pet is well kept, brush your Corgi three times a week and bath them once every month.
Not only does it help reduce shedding, it moves natural oils through their coat, and keeps them clear of painful mats and tangles.
While shedding is a normal and healthy process, there are instances where you should be concerned. Excessive shedding could be the result of health factors that require a visit to your vet.
Food is a major culprit when it comes to excessive shedding, and a poor diet is usually to blame. Your dog’s skin and coat is especially sensitive to deficiencies in their nutrition, so you must carefully select a high-quality and balanced dog food.
High quality foods contain a balance of Protein and Essential Fatty Acids that promote stronger hair follicles and skin elasticity – which keeps the coat healthy and reduces shedding.
A dull coat, flaky skin, and excessive shedding can be be the result of being omega 3 and 6 deficient. Furthermore, up to 30% of your dogs daily protein can be used for the renewal of skin and hair.
Skin allergies may make your dog’s coat itchy, dry, flaky, and cause them to shed excessively. However, the source of allergies can be difficult to pinpoint (it can be environmental or food based).
If you suspect they have allergies, look for symptoms:
- Red, watery eyes
- Constant scratching
- Itchy, red skin
- Patches of fur missing, or scabs from scratching
- Red, inflamed, or infected ears
- Red, inflamed, skin between legs and toes
Stress, Pain, Sickness
Dogs are good at hiding their pain, but it may reveal itself in other ways. Excessive panting, drooling, and shedding could be signs that they’re in discomfort.
You’ll have to find the source of their stress and remove it or help them feel comfortable again. Stress can be related to many different events: loud noises, overstimulation, separation anxiety, unfamiliar places, introducing new pets or people into your home. It could also be pain or illness, perhaps a sprained bone, upset stomach, or disease.
Look for other symptoms that they’re under stress:
- Drooling or panting
- Ears pinned back
- Tail between legs
- Destructive Behavior
Swings in hormonal or testosterone balance can massively affect how your dog sheds for a short time. These hormones are partly responsible for keeping hair follicles strong.
What might cause a hormonal imbalance:
- Recently Neutered or Spayed
- Going into heat
Fleas, Ticks, Parasites
Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can cause your dog to become very itchy and unconformable, which generally leads to more scratching and hair loss. If you suspect your dog has fleas then first do a proper inspection.
How To Reduce Corgi Shedding
The tried and true method still reigns supreme. Brushing and bathing are the absolute go-to methods for controlling Corgi shedding.
Corgis are a double-coated breed, and it’s the undercoat that is responsible for the majority of shedding in your home. So we need to loosen up that hair hidden deep within their coat.
The ideal brush for the job is the Kong ZoomGroom: it’s long and soft bristles comfortably remove ridiculous amounts of hair.
- Work the ZoomGroom in a circular motion throughout their coat.
- Pay special attention to the heavy shedding spots: chest, neck, back legs, and butt.
- After several minutes of this just do a final brush straight down the
entire length of your dog to move all those newly loose clumps of hair
to one spot. Gather the loose hair and dispose.
- Brush their coat out like this three times a week (but everyday during shedding season).
- Bathing with deshedding conditioner will help remove that last 20% of stubborn hair.
Ideally, bathe your dog once every 6 – 10 weeks. Again, this process helps remove a lot of loose and dead hair, along with keeping their coat smelling great.
But we can take it one step further by applying deshedding shampoos and conditioners that slick hair down and allow for easier removal.
Simply bathe your dog like you normally would, but apply a deshedding treatment and allow it work it’s magic for 5 minutes before rinsing.
3. Healthy Diet and Exercise
A dog’s coat is a good indication of its health. A healthy balanced diet promotes skin elasticity and strong hair follicles – which also means a lot less shedding.
Corgies are a working breed, and they need daily strenuous exercise. A Corgi that doesn’t get psychical and mental stimulation can lead to stress and (you guessed it) excessive shedding.
4. Regular Vet Checkups
As mentioned above, keeping your Corgi in good health will certainly have an impact on coat and skin health. Excessive shedding could be the result of health factors that require a visit to your vet.
The Best Deshedding Tools
Every time a Corgi steps into my grooming shop, I reach for these 2 products. They’re super cheap and super effective.
Simple, affordable, and efficient – that pretty much sums it up. No need for fancy tools here, the ZoomGroom is simply a soft-studded brush made of rubber that is extremely effective. It’s so good and inexpensive that I don’t have any other brush to recommend, this is the one you need.
The most efficient use I’ve found is brushing in a circular fashion throughout the dog’s coat, as you work your way through bundles of hair will begin to form and build up. After several minutes of this just do a final brush straight down the entire length of your dog to move all those newly loose clumps of hair to one spot. Gather your giant clump of hair and dispose of it.
While this tool is quite efficient on it’s own, to really maximize the results I recommend bathing your dog before brushing. This is especially true when it comes to shedding season (spring and fall), as you will want to get as much loose hair off as possible. For this I recommend a good deshedding shampoo.
While the ZoomGroom brush is great, what makes it even better is a good bath with a deshedding treatment prior to brushing. This is a common practice among professional groomers and it’s one way to get a ton of loose hair out.
Deshedding shampoos make use of healthy omega’s fats that slick down the hairs and loosen up otherwise stubborn fur.
You might notice an increase in shedding for 24 hours after use. Since you’ve loosened up so much hair it will continue to fall out for a short time, but then they’ll be shed free for a week or two.
Simply wet your dog down and apply a generous amount of the deshedding shampoo, leave it for 5 minutes to let it work it’s magic, and then rinse thoroughly.
Towel or air dry your dog, and while they’re still just a little bit damp use the zoomgroom brush on your dog as you regularly would.
Many of my clients report that their dog is shed free for up to two weeks after this process.