Saturday, April 16, 2016

Beards are Gross

I love dogs of all sorts, from super tiny toy breeds to giant Great Danes. Though I don't want to take them all home with me, I love working at a doggy daycare and getting to play with so many different kinds of dogs. Despite their various health issues, I love goofy bulldogs and pugs. I love the delicate skin of hairless dogs, even if they feel like petting my grandma. Joyful pit bull types brighten my day, and it's impossible to not adore a sweetie pie golden retriever.

But I must admit, there is a specific aspect of certain dogs that I'm not fond of; I actively dislike dog beards. Whether it's a Bichone Frise, shih tzu, Brussels griffon, Portuguese water dog, or some kind of oodly-doodle-poo, if it has a hairy face it is not my favorite dog. Shave it off, and we can be friends. There's just...no way to keep a beard clean. They soak up water like a sponge, they always smell funky, and they filter crud out of the environment like a barnacle.

Let's be honest here, dogs in general can be kind of gross. They walk around sniffing the world, spending extra time on particularly enticing smells like poo and dead stuff. While Brisbane will happily roll in rotting sea lion, he doesn't usually touch everything he smells. A dog with a couple of inches of face fluff will be collecting a little bit of everywhere his nose has been. Ew.

I spend a lot of time with bearded dogs are work, and can't help but find them disgusting. There is a raw-fed Maltese who always smells like raw meat that is starting to go a bit off because it's been out for too long. Lots and lots of big doodley poodle mixes that take a big drink, soak up half the water bowl, and then stand there dripping for several minutes. The worst is dealing with a stinky beard when I'm washing a dog because the smell is permanent, no amount of soap or scrubbing seems to make a difference. Wirehair beards aren't nearly as bad, but those floofy ones are just nasty.

Short of shaving the whole mess, is there actually a way to keep doggy beards clean? Constant towels, wiping, and shampooing? What exactly is the attraction? Does a damp face mop actually serve any purpose?

Ok, rant over.


  1. OMG me too! I work at a daycare too and I just can't. I love me a clean shaved poodle face! lol. Especially doodles... they just seem more gross with that nasty beard. (btw did you know you can get Ruffwear discounts with their pro purchase program if you work in the pet industry? Just sayinnn...)

    1. Woah, really?! I knew you could get discounts for service dogs, no idea doggy daycare counted as industry!

    2. Yes I thought only service dogs but they have industry discounts too, pet or like outdoor types. It's real nice 😉 I just got my first harness and cloud chaser. Hehe

    3. It's difficult to describe the noise I'm making right now, but try to imagine a delighted squeal with some hand flapping thrown in there.

  2. I have the same thoughts on beardy dogs. And now I have a beardy dog. Yorkshire terrier mix. She found me, not the other way around, and I planned to shave it originally.

    What I have found is that to maintain a decently bearable beard on her I-

    Clip it tight to the chin. Minimal hangy hairs to catch goo
    Brush regularly, comb eye goobers out
    Bathe weekly with special attention to the face
    Use wipeys if I notice a funny smell

    Between those things she usually smells ok. She still gathers water when she drinks. Thankfully at 5 lbs it's not much water. Her hair type (all over!) is a dirt magnet no matter how short I cut it. That's just how it is. I love her, beard and all though.

    1. Thanks for the tips! Beards on little ones are definitely less icky that giant beards on huge dogs. I have met one bearded dog that I would happily take home with me, a border collie-aussie-poodle mix, so I totally understand loving them beard and all.