The Information Revolution: Fable-Busting Canine Science


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

My husband and I beloved to look at the outdated tv present “MythBusters.” A staff of expertise, starting from Hollywood stunt guys to intelligent and ingenious scientists and engineers, would take a look at out a brand new fable every week making an attempt to show or disprove it. It usually 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 course 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 academic necessities. Groomers used to work primarily from their very own properties and with no web. We have 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 reveals, competitions and, post-pandemic, extra on-line academic alternatives turn out to be obtainable, the information revolution in grooming started to achieve extra individuals. We’re evolving into a way more collegial, academic and communicative business. Throughout us, we’re seeing the myth-busting energy of recent info and the morphing of old style considering in our business. Product traces, instruments, gear, and our experience are getting higher and higher. And, our pet shoppers profit from this growth as properly.

Whereas all this new info is more and more obtainable to extra groomers, our business and the reception it has obtained stays uneven at greatest. As my grooming and instructing profession has spanned over 4 a long time, the explosion of recent info in our business primarily based in science is actually thrilling to see. However with many fields (not simply grooming), there’s 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 aren’t all the time simple or fast, and grooming experiences rising pains, as do many different professions. Some choose to cling to their acquainted practices and anecdotes, whereas others are excitedly lapping up any new info they’ll entry.  

Let’s check out only a few attention-grabbing myths about canines and their grooming which were “busted” by current advances in scientific info:

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

Busted: The canine has all the time been mentioned to be descended from the wolf. It’s even on pet food commercials, so it have to be true! Latest discoveries of historical canine DNA and our higher capability to discover the small print 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 standard ancestor.1

An identical 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 totally mapped and revealed in 2003, a number of outdated tales concerning the canine have been myth-busted. The mapping of the canine genome confirmed that the wolf and the canine had a standard 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 historical 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 a long time, 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 might be long-controlled by people and who stay and work with us solely. They not stay within the wild, nor can they. All domesticated mammals (together with people) share bodily options which might be related, and there’s 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 wonderful work in historical 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 outdated). What science has revealed is that our two species are co-evolved and, due to this fact, 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 advantage of a partnership? It could 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 advantage of 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. Canines are the primary domesticated mammals and canines domesticated us! Canines taught individuals the advantages of inter-species friendliness. Canines could even be accountable 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 concerning the canines on my desk.

3. Fable: All canine coat varieties will be groomed the identical.

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

Once I started grooming within the early Eighties, there have been few decisions 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 sort, pores and skin points, breeds and desired grooming outcomes. Instruments and gear are amazingly higher with extra numerous decisions for each the groomer’s arms and the canine’s pores and skin and coat. 

Better of all, our understanding of canine coat genetics has drastically improved. We now have entry to electron microscopy and superior dermatology. We all know concerning 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 vital 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 varieties (which aren’t to be clipped) vs. genetically undetermined size (UDL) coat varieties (which grown till minimize).

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 bigger. This implies they received’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, ultimately inflicting a few of 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 canines and our occupation. There are numerous others to debate and contemplate, and they’re all a part of our skilled progress as groomers. Fable-busting ought to be an on-going course of in any subject 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 capability to teach ourselves, we assist increase our standing as expert tradespeople to an expert degree and do issues higher for these fantastic canines we serve.

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



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

Jennifer is the proprietor of Love Fur Canines in Glencoe, Illinois, and was named Finest 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 writer of the acclaimed “Groomers Information To The 15 Coat Sorts” seminars, and a poster and guide of the identical identify. Her academically wealthy webinars will be discovered by visiting her web site at


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