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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Information Revolution: Fable-Busting Canine Science

Canine are beloved worldwide and infrequently a favourite topic for story and delusion. This isn’t shocking, as canine are our most historic inter-species relationship. Nonetheless, as science advances, a lot of what we thought we knew about canine seems to not be true. New info, typically much more fascinating and thrilling than the beforehand believed mythologies, challenges us to replace our practices and our considering.

My husband and I liked to look at the previous tv present “MythBusters.” A workforce of expertise, starting from Hollywood stunt guys to intelligent and ingenious scientists and engineers, would check out a brand new delusion every week making an attempt to show or disprove it. It typically concerned entertaining explosions, cool robotics or scorching chemistry. 

It seems, the grooming occupation has some “myth-busting” of its personal to do. We’re in the midst of a major information revolution in grooming. For many of the final century, groomers have been working in silos—working alone, not speaking with one another and with no instructional necessities. Groomers used to work primarily from their very own properties and with no web. We had been extra remoted and even secretive, feeling aggressive and proprietary with our personal expertise and knowledge. Fable-based practices abounded in these days. 

Nonetheless, as commerce exhibits, competitions and, post-pandemic, extra on-line instructional alternatives turn out to be accessible, the information revolution in grooming started to succeed in extra individuals. We’re evolving into a way more collegial, instructional and communicative business. Throughout us, we’re seeing the myth-busting energy of latest info and the morphing of old style considering in our business. Product traces, instruments, tools, and our experience are getting higher and higher. And, our pet shoppers profit from this growth as nicely.

Whereas all this new info is more and more accessible to extra groomers, our business and the reception it has acquired stays uneven at finest. As my grooming and instructing profession has spanned over 4 many years, the explosion of latest info in our business primarily based in science is actually thrilling to see. However with many fields (not simply grooming), there may be nonetheless a really current perspective of, “I do know what I do know, and it really works—don’t hassle me with that new stuff.” 

Transitions in info should not at all times straightforward or fast, and grooming experiences rising pains, as do many different professions. Some want to cling to their acquainted practices and anecdotes, whereas others are excitedly lapping up any new info they’ll entry.  

Let’s check out just some fascinating myths about canine and their grooming which have been “busted” by current advances in scientific info:

1. Fable: The canine is descended from the wolf.

Busted: The canine has at all times been stated to be descended from the wolf. It’s even on pet food commercials, so it have to be true! Current discoveries of historic canine DNA and our higher potential to discover the main points of present DNA have confirmed the canine is not descended from the wolf in any respect! The canine is a cousin of the wolf, each having descended from a typical ancestor.1

An analogous frequent misunderstanding of evolutionary science consists of the old fashioned notion that people developed from monkeys. We didn’t. Simply because the canine and the wolf got here from totally different traces of the Canidae household, people and different primates are cousins, descended from an extinct frequent ancestor.

As soon as the canine’s DNA was absolutely mapped and revealed in 2003, plenty of previous tales in regards to the canine had been myth-busted. The mapping of the canine genome confirmed that the wolf and the canine had a typical ancestor as but undiscovered in fossils and archeology, however clearly there within the DNA. Some scientists are calling it “the ancestor wolf” or “proto-dog.” They’re working to seek out extra historic canine DNA to assist fill within the gaps.

Groups of scientists are nonetheless engaged on all this, debating single-origin or dual-origin theories. Canine evolutionary science has seen an explosion of discoveries in current many years, together with migration patterns and the invention of 5 distinct and globally distributed gene swimming pools. As early as 11,000 years in the past, there have been already 5 distinct canine lineages that gave rise to canines within the Close to East, Northern Europe, Siberia, New Guinea and the Americas.2

2. Fable: People domesticated the canine.

Busted: Domesticated animals are species which are long-controlled by people and who dwell and work with us solely. They now not dwell within the wild, nor can they. All domesticated mammals (together with people) share bodily options which are related, and there may be some thrilling new science that explains why that occurs3—a extra concerned matter for an additional day.

The story has lengthy been that the canine was the primary species domesticated by people. Due to the superb work in historic DNA, anthropology and archeology, we now know that the canine as a definite species is far older than as soon as thought (roughly 33,000 to 44,000 years previous). What science has revealed is that our two species are co-evolved and, subsequently, we share a relationship distinctive in all of the world.

However who domesticated whom? Which of our two species first tentatively approached the opposite, demonstrating the mutual good thing about a partnership? It might change your understanding of who we, as canine groomers, work with to be taught this!

What the evolutionary biologists now say, clearly indicated by the majority of the rising proof, is that the ancestor wolf or proto-dog approached us first. They got here to our camps to feed off our rubbish and we noticed the good thing about having them close to our camps. They stored away different predators and, over time, they helped us hunt extra efficiently. So, they get the evolutionary credit score. Canine are the primary domesticated mammals and canine domesticated us! Canine taught individuals the advantages of inter-species friendliness. Canine could even be answerable for the very survival of the human species at a number of factors in our historical past.4,5,6 I discover it deepens the enjoyment and appreciation in my grooming to know this in regards to the canine on my desk.

3. Fable: All canine coat sorts could be groomed the identical.

Busted: The identical shampoo; the identical shave down, irrespective of the breed or coat kind, has lengthy been a extensively accepted grooming business apply. However fortunately, for the canine, that’s now altering with extra and higher details about coat genetics and dermatological science. The canine get the good thing about higher grooming as our business innovators put out extra and higher merchandise, instruments, and methods primarily based on this higher science.

Once I started grooming within the early Eighties, there have been few selections in grooming merchandise and instruments, and the whole lot received shaved. Shampoos and conditioners are actually researched, manufactured and marketed with many extra choices for coat kind, pores and skin points, breeds and desired grooming outcomes. Instruments and tools are amazingly higher with extra numerous selections for each the groomer’s palms and the canine’s pores and skin and coat. 

Better of all, our understanding of canine coat genetics has vastly improved. We now have entry to electron microscopy and superior dermatology. We all know in regards to the anagen, catagen and telogen phases of hair progress, and the variations between these cycles in main versus secondary hairs.  This entry to raised info leads us to an improved understanding of essentially the most important genetic distinction within the canine coat, which is what a few of us are calling “Fur vs. Hair,” or genetically pre-determined size (PDL) coat sorts (which aren’t to be clipped) vs. genetically undetermined size (UDL) coat sorts (which grown till minimize).

We additionally now know that on wire-coated breeds (additionally a Fur or PDL coat kind), the microscopic follicles are deeper and extra advanced and the hair shaft is bigger. This implies they gained’t simply shed out naturally and have to be pulled or tugged on (hand-stripped) or carded. If they’re solely clipped, they’ll go away little bits of hair roots contained in the follicles, finally inflicting among the follicles to clog, turn out to be irritated and even die.7

This checklist is under no circumstances unique of the myths that encompass canine and our occupation. There are lots of others to debate and contemplate, and they’re all a part of our skilled progress as groomers. Fable-busting needs to be an on-going course of in any discipline as new science helps us re-evaluate our old style practices. 

As we purchase extra info and science about what we do and collectively bust extra myths, we assist our expert commerce business develop increasingly right into a revered occupation. And as we rise in our potential to coach ourselves, we assist elevate our standing as expert tradespeople to knowledgeable stage and do issues higher for these fantastic canine we serve.

Take pleasure in all of the thrilling new info on the market! ✂️


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982215004327
  2. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aba9572
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4096361/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival_of_the_Friendliest
  5. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/130302-dog-domestic-evolution-science-wolf-wolves-human
  6. https://www.theatlantic.com/expertise/archive/2012/05/humanitys-best-friend-how-dogs-may-have-helped-humans-beat-the-neanderthals/257145/
  7. https://www.trendingbreeds.com/wire-haired-dogs/

Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, MA, ICMG, PGC, CCE

Jennifer is the proprietor of Love Fur Canine in Glencoe, Illinois, and was named Greatest Groomer in Chicagoland by the Chicago Tribune in 2015. Jennifer is an award successful educator and has been a Grasp Groomer since 1985. Jennifer is a retired schoolteacher who has dabbled within the canine present world for forty years, the place she realized to groom. Jennifer based the Illinois Skilled Pet Groomers Affiliation. She is the creator of the acclaimed “Groomers Information To The 15 Coat Sorts” seminars, and a poster and e-book of the identical title. Her academically wealthy webinars could be discovered by visiting her web site at www.groomersguide.com.

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