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Some characteristics of a dog’s coat

A dog’s coat is made up of two main types of hair – the coarser and longer guard hairs and the short, soft undercoat. The hair grows from hair sacs in the skin. The hair sacs open into a duct of sebaceous glands. Their secretion – sebum – coats the dog’s skin and coat. The sebum layer protects the coat from drying out and excessive moisture. It also has bactericidal properties. The hair grows to a certain length, dies and is pushed out of the hair pouch by the new hair that replaces it.

This process occurs continuously throughout the dog’s body, so that for most of the year the coat of a healthy dog looks even. Twice a year, a massive coat replacement – feeding – takes place in the dog’s body. This process is regulated by hormones and is linked to seasonal changes in ambient temperature and daylight hours. If a dog is feeding without stopping, this is probably a symptom of a disease.
There are six main types of dog fur. The care of different coat types varies.

The first type is the normal coat.

This is a coat of medium length and density. This is the coat of, for example, Labradors, German Shepherds, Spitz and Labradors. These dogs are brushed and the tail and mane are combed with a comb. A fluff comb or a wire brush with dense bristles can be used during feeding. The dog can be accustomed to a vacuum cleaner, which is excellent for removing unwanted hair. Dogs with a normal coat are usually bathed once or twice a year, after feeding, and brushed at all other times if necessary.

The second type is the long coat.

This is worn with pride by breeds such as Afghan Hounds, Collies, Spaniels, Setters and others. This coat must be brushed daily with a rare brush. The more often you brush this coat, the better.
In addition to brushing, long coats should be trimmed on the paws, comparatively on the ears and around the ears where they are often mattedand curls up into clumps. Each breed of long-haired dog requires special coat care, so it is best to ask your breeder for more detailed recommendations.

Third type – smooth coat

Smooth-coated dogs (Doberman, Dachshund) have minimal undercoat, so it is best to comb it out during feeding with a massage comb or a hair comb (similar to a clothes brush), and down combs are not suitable here. The shorter the coat, the easier it is to maintain. But don’t think that dogs with smooth coats don’t shed: if you don’t brush their coats, they’ll collect a lot on the carpets.

The fourth type is the non-shedding curly coat.

Poodles, Bedlingtons and Keribouterriers wear this coat. These dogs need regular clipping and bathing, about once every two to three months. If the coat is not monitored specifically, it will not be able to regenerate and will curl up into clumps. The dog is first shorn at 14-15 weeks. The dog should be accustomed to this procedure from an early age.

Fifth type – coarse coat

This is probably the most difficult type of coat in terms of maintenance. The coarse, wire-like coat needs to be brushed or clipped with a special machine. This procedure requires time, skill and patience on the part of both the dog and its owner.

The sixth type is the atypical coat.

This type of coat is found in several exotic breeds, such as Poodles or Miniature Poodles. The care of these breeds requires specialist attention and consultation with the breeder. Even hairless breeds, such as the Mexican Hairless Dog, require regular light grooming.


Combing is the most common and simplest procedure. Almost all breeds of dogs (except some exotic breeds) need to be combed and brushed. Even if the dog you think it’s pretty clean, don’t be shy about brushing it for at least 10-15 minutes every day. Not only do you remove dirt and dust from the coat, but you also massage the dog’s skin, improving its blood circulation. For each type of dog’s coat, there is a specific type of brush.

Any dog other than a shorthair shall be brushed with a thin comb to comb out knots and tangles. Particular attention should be paid to the long hair on the ears (spaniels, setters), on the muzzle (schnauzers, parlours) and on the hind paws (pants). Then take a brush with dense bristles and brush again on the ears, muzzle, throat, under the tail, on the paws and behind the ears. In these areas, the fur can be carefully trimmed with a pair of blunt-nosed scissors, as long as it is within the standards (for example, do not cut the bangs of indoor dogs and terriers, as they can see through the tight fur covering, and if you remove the fur covering, the dog’s eyesight may be impaired).

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