This is Poppy a goldendoodle before and after her haircut. Quite a transformation I think you will agree. In fact she looks like a different dog entirely. Perhaps the barber went a bit too far. I’m sure some people would say that she looks a lot better with long hair! However, she probably feels a lot better without it. Was the cut for the benefit of the owner or the dog?
There was a mad rush on Monday by people to get their haircut. I was one of them. It is pleasurable to have a decent haircut after doing it yourself or not at all for so long. My girlfriend cut my hair which I actually enjoy but she’s not good at it so I have to accept a pretty poor haircut for quite a long time.
Taking a philosophical point of view about dogs and their haircuts, I am prompted to ask whether they need them at all. They must have a natural hair length which for this breed is probably what you see in the first photograph. So the reason why it is cut is at least partly because their owner wants it cut. Perhaps they prefer the appearance of the dog with shorter hair. Or perhaps with the warmer weather coming on it makes the dog feel better and their owner believes that this is what their dog wants.
Or perhaps it helps avoid skin parasites such as ticks attaching themselves to a dog because the parasite becomes more visible and can be dealt with more promptly. There are certainly health issues. I am thinking of lion haircuts for cats. A lot of people don’t like them and think that they are unfair on the cat. Another problem is that cats have to be anaesthetised, at least partially, for the haircut to take place. This presents a possible danger to the cat because anaesthetics are potentially quite dangerous.
There is a third issue which is that arguably dog breeders sometimes create dogs with hair that is too long. The question is would a dog have a coat this long if they had been created by natural selection rather than artificial selection or selective breeding as is the case with all dog breeds and cat breeds?
If dogs and cats are given a coat which they can’t maintain themselves there has to be intervention by people and that seems unnatural to me. There is an argument that dog coats should only be as long as necessary and not beyond the point where they can’t be maintained by the individual dog themselves.