She's approximately 90% golden retriever and 10% chow. This makes her an average sized dog, about 65lbs, golden brown, ears that just flop over, a curly tail and a black/purple tongue.
Her hair, as you can see, can get quite long... and in her fuzzy state, her lineage is very obvious.
The hair, however, can be a problem. It falls off her in chunks at times, especially in the summer. And she's got a tendency for dry skin, which is harder to manage when she's fuzzy. So she needs a haircut every so often to take the bulk of the fuzz off her.
Dog grooming is very expensive. An average sized animal can cost anywhere from $40-$80 per groom, depending on the services you get (haircut, bath, toenail clipping, anal gland expression, etcetera). Yes, there are dog spas for a reason. In any event, I realized that I could buy a clipper for the cost of 2 expensive grooming visits. So I did. Over time, I've more than made up for the cost of the clipper, even after having to purchase new blades.
Allie actually likes the experience. Personally, I think it's because we end up spending a lot of time together (takes almost 2 hours to cut her down). But I also think it's just because she's a good dog. She'll stand (or sit) there as long as I ask her to do so. And when we're done with the clipping, it's time for a bath.
THIS is what she really doesn't enjoy. But she follows along, regardless. Getting into the tub is just a matter of telling her to get in. You can see on her face that she doesn't truly like the water being sprayed on her (and if you've ever seen her shy away from a lake or even a puddle, you get the sense that water isn't her best friend). She tolerates the bath though, again in my opinion, because it's time spent with us.
I just think she looks a bit odd when she's finally fluffed and folded, especially if we go for the "lion look".