Familiarizing Yourself with Your Dog’s Coat

By Margaret H.Bonham
Dogs have some of the most amazing coats, ranging from curly to traight, puffy to wiry, bald to long. Their fur comes in short coats, long coats, and every variation in between. Some dogs even come equipped with dreadlocks! It’s truly hard to believe that the wolf produced descendants with such wide varieties of coats, but it did, and that means you’re going to have to evaluate the type of coat your dog has and what that means in terms of the dog grooming equipment and supplies you’re going to need. In the sections that follow, I fill you in about the differences in the basic types of coats.

dog’s coat

Coat types: Single versus double
Dogs basically have two types of coats:

_ Most dogs have a double coat (also referred to as a two-ply coat) that has a top coat and an undercoat. The top coat is composed of stiffer guard hairs, which tend to be naturally water-repellant. Top coats protect the dog’s skin and undercoat, acting as a natural guard against the elements. The undercoat is a fleecy or downy type of fur that’s a bit shorter than the top coat. The undercoat serves as insulation to keep the dog warm during cold or inhospitable weather. The dog sheds (or blows out) the undercoat twice a year  it’s a seasonal thing.

_ Some dogs have a single coat, in which only a top coat is present without an undercoat, often making dogs with this kind of coat shed less than their double-coated counterparts.

You can tell what kind of coat your dog has in two ways. The first way is easy: Read the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard for your breed and look under the coat listing. The second way is to part the hairs on your dog’s coat to find out whether it’s a longer, harsh coat combined with soft, downy fur. If so, your dog has a double coat. If the hair is more or less even and doesn’t have an undercoat, then your dog has a single coat.

Both types of coats, however, have different issues when it comes to grooming, so be aware that one type isn’t necessarily better than another. Knowing the type of coat your dog has helps you determine how to groom him properly. Knowing whether your dog is going to go through a seasonal shed, or blow his coat, is also important  no sense in being surprised when your dog leaves enough hair on the rug to knit three more dogs his size!
Coat textures

In the same way there are different types of coats, different coats have different textures. Understanding the texture of your dog’s coat is crucial for proper grooming. The following list describes different coat textures:

_ Smooth coats: The smooth-coated or short-coated dog has very short hair that lays back against the dog’s skin. A smooth coat can be either double-coated or single-coated, depending on the breed. These coats tend not to be much of a hassle when it comes to grooming even though they do shed. Dalmatians and Bulldogs have his kind of hair.

_ Wire coats: The wire coat (broken coat) is a type of coat that is wiry on the outside and often has a soft undercoat on the inside, but it can be a single coat. Wire coats are wavy looking, but when you pet them, the hair feels a bit coarse. Think Terrier when you think about wiry coats. These coats usually need to be stripped or clipped, which adds an extra step to the average grooming routine.

_ Curly coats: The curly coats are few in number, but you’ll recognize
them. They’re the Poodles, the Portuguese Water Dogs, and the Irish
Water Spaniels. These dogs have curly coats that require extreme maintenance, including clipping and brushing.

_ Corded coats: Dogs with dreadlocks or corded coats have coats that are twisted into dreadlocks. These coats need a fair amount of work upfront to prevent the hair from tangling into mats. After the cords are twisted, keeping them well-maintained takes time. Dogs with corded coats include the Puli and the Komondor. Poodles can also be corded.

Coat length

Besides different textures and types, canine coats also come in different lengths. Don’t forget that shorter coats in general are easier to groom than are longer coats. Check out the other differences in the list that follows:

_ Hairless dogs: On one side of the spectrum is the hairless or nearhairless dog. These dogs are quite lacking when it comes
to hair, although some breeds like the Chinese Crested actually have some hair on the head or legs (and the Powderpuff variety is a hairy dog!). Butjust because they’re hairless dogs doesn’t mean that you don’t groom them. Although you may not be brushing their hair, their skin requires plenty of attention.

_ Short coats: Dogs with short coats are pretty much the wash-and-wear dogs. Their coats don’t offer them much protection against the elements, so they’re more likely to have problems with cold climates than their furrier counterparts. They may be single- or double-coated. Examples include the Basenji and the Beagle.

_ Medium coats: Dogs with medium coats tend to look pretty good. A medium coat is not so short that the hair doesn’t give the dog protection; furthermore, it isn’t so long that the hair tangles or mats terribly. Mediumcoated dogs usually are double coated with both a top coat and undercoat, but unlike dogs with the long-haired double coats, they’re usually a bit easier to groom (see Chapter 8). Border Collies and Cardigan Welsh Corgis have medium coats.

_ Long coats: Dogs with long coats often are the show stoppers of the dog world. Long and beautiful, they attract oohs and ahhs wherever they go. But all that beauty has a price. Long-coated dogs often are single coated and prone to mats and tangles if their hair isn’t kept up. If your dog has a long coat, you can expect long grooming sessions or trips to the grooming parlor. Afghan Hounds and Irish Setters have long coats.

Coat color

Dogs come in a variety of colors  everything from black to white and every shade in between, or so it seems. And their colors come in many different patterns including bi-color, tri-color, and brindle (where the dog is mottled with brown and black  often looking like stripes). Colors and color combinations depend a great deal on the breed and whether they are acceptable as part of the breed standard.

Some shampoos and conditioners help bring out the best in your dog’s coat. When buying supplies, you can look for the ones that make your white dog sparkling white, your black dog glossy black, or your brown dog look his very best.

Sources:  Dog Grooming For Dummies
 sourece: dog grooming for Dummies
Sources:  Dog Grooming For Dummies

2 commentaires :

  1. Hi, i have a samoyed puppy who has a double coat, similar to american eskimo, huskies, japanese spitz etc. My question is that I'm thinking of buying a dog blowdryer. Can this take the place of daily brushing or does it still have to be done?

    1. Make sure that the blower is a forced air dryer. most of these do not have an internal heat source except the motor. Using a blow dryer instead of brushing can cause several issues. First they should be used only on a well conditioned, damp to wet coat or you are going to dry the skin and hair out. In order for the blower to work effectively you will still need to use your brush and comb. The good news is that you will be able to see the mats and tangles easier because the blower will allow to se the shin and you can brush them out. The bad news is that used incorrectly, you can actually cause matting and tangling of the coat. Blowing the dog out does help with the shedding and really makes the coat "bloom" which makes the dog look gorgeous In answer to your question, you may not have to brush the puppy daily but you are still going to have to brush the puppy at least weekly.