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Types of Dog Fur and How to Care for Them

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: October 4, 2017
Types of Dog Fur and How to Care for Them

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Each dog is unique, as is the care that they will require. Even if you think it's not that important, knowing your dog's coat type will help when you cut their hair, bathe them, etc. Furthermore, you will better understand how your dog regulates their temperature and whether or not they need an extra coat for protection.

In this AnimalWised article we will work on the different types of fur, defining and classifying each in order to find the one that matches that of your pet. Keep reading and learn what different types of dog fur are there and how to care for them.

You may also be interested in: Tips to Keep Your Dog's Fur White

Wiry Coat

This hair type is considered such when it reaches and exceeds 10 centimeters (4 inches) of length and shows a distinctive thickness. Sometimes we also talk about a wiry coat when referring to a dog with a beard or large eyebrows, fur that is preserved and groomed into a unique and distinctive trait. Some examples of dog with this hard fur are the Schnauzer or West Highland Terrier.

As new hair grows, the old hair dries and becomes trapped in the thick fur of the animal's coat. Your wiry-coated dog will need daily brushing to remove the dead hair. Some dogs with a wire coat have two layers of hair, a wiry, hard one and a second shinier and smoother layer.

How to care for a dog with a wiry coat:

In addition to daily brushing we must clip the fur with hair clippers that allow us to maintain a selected length typical of the breed or by using stripping combs, which will make the hair grow even stronger and harder. Choose a shampoo without oils or softeners so as to maintain the fur's natural features. Washing every 3 or 4 weeks will suffice.

For a dog who participates in shows, you should turn to a professional who has mastered the techniques of trimming and stripping.

Types of Dog Fur and How to Care for Them - Wiry Coat

Curly Coat

Curly hair is very special and unique, and as a curiosity we can note that it grows continuously. For this reason it will need frequent cutting and grooming by those who best know about this type of hair. Curly fur is characteristic of the Poodle, the Spanish Water Dog or the Kerry Blue Terrier.

How to care for a dog with a curly coat:

A curly coat needs more frequent bathing than other type of fur as it is more likely to get dirty; for that reason, we recommend washing it every 20 days or so. Use a special moisturizing shampoo as this hair tends to become dry. During the bath make sure to protect the dog's ears and afterwards dry them properly. Avoid using conditioners that reduce hair volume. Drying should be thorough.

A curly coat should be brushed daily as any knots that may appear will be very annoying to both the animal and us as we will have to devote much time to remove them. As for cutting, this should be done with scissors except for some areas where we can work with clippers. If you have no experience we recommend that at least the first time you go to a dog salon to observe the procedure and take note.

Types of Dog Fur and How to Care for Them - Curly Coat

Short Coat

The short coat is that with a length that ranges from 1 to 4 cm (0,4 to 1,6 inches). This type of hair has a smooth appearance, and it's common in many breeds such as the Pit Bull, Doberman and Boxer.

How to care for a dog with a short coat:

This type of dog fur is the easiest coat to care for and maintain. Bathe your dog regularly but not too often - once every month and a half - as otherwise you could damage the natural protective structures of the fur.

Brush your dog's short coat once or twice a week with a soft brush and pay special attention during the hair molting periods in spring and fall.

Types of Dog Fur and How to Care for Them - Short Coat

Long Coat

A long coat is easy to identify, obviously, because of its length. This group includes the Yorkshire Terrier, for example. Long fur is shedded continuously throughout the year, although in molting periods the fall intensifies.

How to care for a dog with a long coat:

This fur requires daily brushing to avoid tangling. Should this occur, we should cut out the entire strand as untangling it is often difficult.

As for the washing, once a month is enough to keep your dog's coat shiny and healthy. Use a shampoo with softener to try to prevent the appearance of tangles and to make the coat silky and smooth. When finished, dry it with a hair dryer, a hair clip or accessory can be used, but we must be careful not to hurt the dog.

Scissors should be used to trim a long coat. As is the case with curly hair, if you are not an expert in cutting we advise you go to a dog salon to observe the professional technique to do this and then try to replicate the process at home.

Types of Dog Fur and How to Care for Them - Long Coat

If you want to read similar articles to Types of Dog Fur and How to Care for Them, we recommend you visit our Fur care category.

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1 comment
Toni Lindley
i have a husky black and white fur. she loves to roam out side, her white fur is turning yellow. what to do???? Thank you.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Toni,

A dog with white fur who runs around in dirt and mud will end up with some staining. Regular washing will help reduce this effect, but too much washing can damage their coat. There are some dry shampoos and tricks you can use, which we detail in this article - https://www.animalwised.com/tips-to-keep-your-dog-s-fur-white-1265.html.

However, while aesthetic appearance is something we want to maintain, it is not as important as health. We should not prohibit a dog from engaging in their necessary physical exercise regimen, even if it means having a little yellowing on their coat (which is most often normal and does not present serious health issues).

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