The Wisdom Revolution: Delusion-Busting Dog Science

Canines are liked international and incessantly a favourite topic for tale and delusion. This isn’t unexpected, as canines are our maximum historic inter-species courting. On the other hand, as science advances, a lot of what we concept we knew about canines seems to not be true. New knowledge, incessantly much more attention-grabbing and thrilling than the prior to now believed mythologies, demanding situations us to replace our practices and our pondering.

My husband and I liked to look at the outdated tv display “MythBusters.” A group of skill, starting from Hollywood stunt guys to artful and creative scientists and engineers, would take a look at out a brand new delusion every week seeking to end up or disprove it. It incessantly 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 an important wisdom revolution in grooming. For many of the final century, groomers were running in silos—operating by myself, now not speaking with every different and without a instructional necessities. Groomers used to paintings essentially from their very own properties and without a web. We have been extra remoted or even secretive, feeling aggressive and proprietary with our personal talents and knowledge. Delusion-based practices abounded in the ones days. 

On the other hand, as business presentations, competitions and, post-pandemic, extra on-line instructional alternatives turn out to be to be had, the data revolution in grooming started to achieve extra folks. We’re evolving right into a a lot more collegial, instructional and communicative business. Throughout us, we’re seeing the myth-busting energy of latest knowledge and the morphing of old skool pondering in our business. Product traces, gear, apparatus, and our experience are getting higher and higher. And, our puppy shoppers have the benefit of this growth as smartly.

Whilst all this new knowledge is an increasing number of to be had to extra groomers, our business and the reception it has gained stays asymmetric at splendid. As my grooming and educating occupation has spanned over 4 a long time, the explosion of latest knowledge in our business founded in science is really thrilling to look. However with many fields (now not simply grooming), there’s nonetheless an overly provide perspective of, “I do know what I do know, and it really works—don’t trouble me with that new stuff.” 

Transitions in knowledge aren’t at all times simple or fast, and grooming studies rising pains, as do many different professions. Some wish to hold to their acquainted practices and anecdotes, whilst others are excitedly lapping up any new knowledge they are able to get right of entry to.  

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Let’s check out only some attention-grabbing myths about canines and their grooming which have been “busted” via contemporary advances in clinical knowledge:

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

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

A equivalent not unusual false impression of evolutionary science contains the old fashioned perception that people advanced from monkeys. We didn’t. Simply because the canine and the wolf got here from other traces of the Canidae circle of relatives, people and different primates are cousins, descended from an extinct not unusual ancestor.

As soon as the canine’s DNA was once totally mapped and revealed in 2003, a number of outdated tales in regards to the canine have been myth-busted. The mapping of the dog genome confirmed that the wolf and the canine had a not unusual ancestor as but undiscovered in fossils and archeology, however obviously there within the DNA. Some scientists are calling it “the ancestor wolf” or “proto-dog.” They’re operating to search out extra historic canine DNA to assist fill within the gaps.

Groups of scientists are nonetheless operating on all this, debating single-origin or dual-origin theories. Dog evolutionary science has observed an explosion of discoveries in contemporary a long time, together with migration patterns and the invention of 5 distinct and globally disbursed gene swimming pools. As early as 11,000 years in the past, there have been already 5 distinct canine lineages that gave upward push to dogs within the Close to East, Northern Europe, Siberia, New Guinea and the Americas.2

2. Delusion: People domesticated the canine.

Busted: Domesticated animals are species which might be long-controlled via people and who reside and paintings with us completely. They not reside within the wild, nor can they. All domesticated mammals (together with people) proportion bodily options which might be equivalent, and there’s some thrilling new science that explains why that occurs3—a extra concerned matter for every other day.

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The tale has lengthy been that the canine was once the primary species domesticated via people. As a result of the superb paintings in historic DNA, anthropology and archeology, we now know that the canine as a definite species is way older than as soon as concept (roughly 33,000 to 44,000 years outdated). What science has printed is that our two species are co-evolved and, subsequently, we proportion a courting distinctive in the entire international.

However who domesticated whom? Which of our two species first tentatively approached the opposite, demonstrating the mutual good thing about a partnership? It’s going to alternate your working out of who we, as canine groomers, paintings with to be informed this!

What the evolutionary biologists now say, obviously indicated via 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 saved away different predators and, over the years, they helped us hunt extra effectively. So, they get the evolutionary credit score. Canines are the primary domesticated mammals and canines domesticated us! Canines taught folks the advantages of inter-species friendliness. Canines can even be liable for the very survival of the human species at a couple of issues in our historical past.4,5,6 I in finding it deepens the enjoyment and appreciation in my grooming to understand this in regards to the canines on my desk.

3. Delusion: All dog coat varieties can also be groomed the similar.

Busted: The similar shampoo; the similar shave down, regardless of the breed or coat sort, has lengthy been a broadly accredited grooming business apply. However fortunately, for the canines, this is now converting with extra and higher details about coat genetics and dermatological science. The canines get the good thing about higher grooming as our business innovators put out extra and higher merchandise, gear, and strategies according to this higher science.

Once I started grooming within the early Eighties, there have been few alternatives in grooming merchandise and gear, and the entirety were given shaved. Shampoos and conditioners are actually researched, manufactured and advertised with many extra choices for coat sort, pores and skin problems, breeds and desired grooming results. Equipment and kit are amazingly higher with extra numerous alternatives for each the groomer’s arms and the canine’s pores and skin and coat. 

Absolute best of all, our working out of dog coat genetics has very much advanced. We have now get right of entry to to electron microscopy and complicated dermatology. We all know in regards to the anagen, catagen and telogen stages of hair enlargement, and the diversities between the ones cycles in number one as opposed to secondary hairs.  This get right of entry to to higher knowledge leads us to an advanced working out of essentially the most important genetic distinction within the dog coat, which is what a few of us are calling “Fur vs. Hair,” or genetically pre-determined period (PDL) coat varieties (which aren’t to be clipped) vs. genetically undetermined period (UDL) coat varieties (which grown till lower).

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We additionally now know that on wire-coated breeds (additionally a Fur or PDL coat sort), the microscopic follicles are deeper and extra complicated and the hair shaft is greater. This implies they received’t simply shed out naturally and will have to be pulled or tugged on (hand-stripped) or carded. If they’re simplest clipped, they are able to depart little bits of hair roots throughout the follicles, in the end inflicting one of the follicles to clog, turn out to be annoyed or even die.7

This record is on no account unique of the myths that encompass canines and our occupation. There are lots of others to talk about and imagine, and they’re all a part of our skilled enlargement as groomers. Delusion-busting will have to be an on-going procedure in any box as new science is helping us think again our old skool practices. 

As we achieve additional info and science about what we do and jointly bust extra myths, we assist our professional business business develop an increasing number of right into a revered occupation. And as we upward push in our skill to coach ourselves, we assist carry our standing as professional tradespeople to a pro stage and do issues higher for those superb canines we serve.

Revel in the entire thrilling new knowledge in the market! ✂️



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

Jennifer is the landlord of Love Fur Canines in Glencoe, Illinois, and was once named Absolute best Groomer in Chicagoland via 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 display international for 40 years, the place she realized to groom. Jennifer based the Illinois Skilled Puppy Groomers Affiliation. She is the writer of the acclaimed “Groomers Information To The 15 Coat Varieties” seminars, and a poster and e book of the similar identify. Her academically wealthy webinars can also be discovered via visiting her website online at

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