Dogs have a variety of coat types and this can cause confusion for dog owners particularly new ones. We were lucky enough to have Dr. Joanna Woodnutt available to break some of these down and bring you a list of the different types of dog coats, as well as looking at which types of dogs have each of the coats.
These coats have short hairs that lie close to the skin- such as in breeds such as the Dachshund, Chihuahua, and Labrador Retriever.
Double coats have two layers- a thick layer of fluff to provide insulation and outer tough ‘guard’ hairs that makes the coat water-repellent. This type of coat is commonly seen in breeds with very thick, lush fur, that have been bred for cold weather such as the Husky and the Newfoundland.
Long fur such as in Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds is called a ‘long coat’ type. This type of fur is longer than the smooth-coat dogs and can be either silky (like Spaniels) or coarse (like German Shepherds).
The thick bristles of a wire coat are much softer than they look, but they can easily get tangled. The wire haircoat is most common in some terriers such as the Border Terrier, but can be found in large breeds such as the Irish Wolfhound as well.
Poodles and their crosses have curly coats, originally bred to improve water repellence. These coats need a lot of care!
How to groom different dog coat types
Smooth coats are usually fine with just a daily brush. Soft brushes work well for most dogs, but you can use a rubber comb for those that shed a lot. These coats need the least amount of work
Double-coated breeds need a lot more work on their coat. First, use an undercoat de-matting rake, which should be pulled through the undercoat to carefully remove dirt and tangles before they turn into matts. Next, comb the outer hairs with a metal comb or brush. Lastly, groom with a soft bristle brush to smooth out the hair. If your dog is prone to shedding, you may need a de-shedding brush to help to get all those hairs out before they drop to the carpet.
Long fur coats need brushing with a metal or pinhead brush first- this helps to detangle any areas that have started to matt. A soft bristle brush can then be used to bring out the shine in your dog’s coat.
Wire coats are complicated. They don’t shed much, which means that the old hairs need to be removed by hand, or using a special stripping tool. This is usually done by a groomer every three to four months. In the meantime, grooming a couple of times a week with a slicker brush is all that is usually required to keep the coat in good condition.
Curly coated breeds are often kept clipped short as this makes their fur much easier to deal with. If you choose to have your groomer keep the fur clipped short, a quick daily brush with a detangle comb or a slicker brush is all that is needed to keep the coat in good condition.