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Coat and coat structure

Almost all of the dog’s body is covered with fur (except for the tip of the nose and the pads of the paws). The coat regulates heat in the body and prevents the dog from freezing or overheating. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, which coats the dog’s skin and fur. This layer of fat is not only useful as a moisture regulator for the skin and coat but also has antibacterial properties. When the hair grows to the required length, it dies and falls out of the follicle and is replaced by new hair. This is a continuous process, so a healthy dog’s coat looks uniformly beautiful. Dogs feed twice a year, in summer and autumn, when a large amount of hair falls out.

Cleaning a dog’s coat

Cleaning the coat is necessary to remove dander (dead cells in the upper layer of the skin, broken hairs), dust, dirt and parasitic insects. Coat cleaning protects animals from various skin diseases. Cleaning a dog’s coat is accompanied by a light massage of the body, which improves blood circulation and stimulates metabolism. The dog should be cleaned daily, preferably in the morning before breakfast. If the dog becomes dirty after a walk, then additional brushing is necessary.

To clean your dog, you will need a brush, a special comb for dogs and a clean cloth. You can also use a vacuum cleaner for cleaning. Before cleaning, the dog should be thoroughly examined for wounds, scratches and insects (fleas, ticks and other skin parasites). Cleaning should be carried out outside the living quarters. If the dog is very dirty, it should be cleaned with a straw or hay bundle (crumpled paper can be used as a last resort). This should be done carefully so as not to hurt the dog.

Cleaning should start by brushing the coat from the head, neck and torso towards the tail, and ending with the legs. Then, in the same order, brush with the brush in the right hand and comb in the left. Each time, the brush should be held.

Swipe against the hair with a light click, followed by a firmer pressure along the hair shaft. The comb is designed to clean only the brush and should not be used to brush dogs, as this can cause skin damage, irritation and even disease. After brushing, the coat should be cleaned in the same way with a damp cloth. The cloth should be rinsed in water and wrung out well according to the amount of dirt. The dog’s eyes and ears should be carefully wiped with a damp cloth. After cleaning, the area must be cleaned of dog hair and dirt, and any instruments used must be washed.

Almost all dog breeds are cleaned in practically the same way (with the exception of some exotic breeds). However, other procedures such as grooming (combing, bathing, clipping, trimming) depend on the breed, so you should look at the different breed groups according to the coat structure.

Types of coat

Medium-length and thick coat. This is the coat of e.g. Labradors, Labradors, Laika, German Shepherds, Spitz. This type of coat is required brushing, combing and bathing twice a year after feeding.

Long coat. Afghan Hounds, Collies, Spaniels, Setters and other breeds have this beautiful coat type. This coat needs to be brushed daily with a thin comb. Each breed of long-haired dog requires special coat care.

Smooth coat. Smooth coated dogs (Dobermans, Dachshunds) have minimal undercoat and need to be brushed with a bristle brush or a massage brush. You are mistaken in thinking that smooth-haired dogs do not shed. If you don’t brush this type of coat, you will find tufts of hair everywhere: on the carpet, on furniture and on clothes. Frequent bathing is not recommended.

Curly coat. This type of coat (Poodles, Bedlington Terriers) needs a special haircut. They should be bathed two to three times a month. Curly coats must be carefully groomed, otherwise they will not regenerate and will curl into caltrops.

Hard coats. This type of coat is considered to be the most difficult to maintain. Many terriers and schnauzers have this type of coat. This coateither by plucking or cutting with a special machine. The procedure is called trimming and requires a lot of time, skill on the part of the owner and patience on the part of the dog.
Atypical coat. Some exotic breeds, such as Pugs or Commodores, have this type of coat. Specialist advice should be sought for the care of this coat.


This is the simplest of all coat care procedures. Almost all dog breeds need brushing, with the exception of exotic breeds. Brushing should be done daily for about 10-15 minutes. This way the coat will look nice, healthy, clean, not tangle and less frizzy. After combing the coat carefully, it can be brushed again from the head to the tail, finishing with the legs.


Unnecessary hair on the dog shall be removed using scissors or a special clipper. In most cases, owners groom their dogs at home, but in competitions dogs are taken to specialists. If the dog has any skin diseases, they are then shorn by vets.

Before clipping, the first thing to do isgrooming the dog’s coat, removing any mats, then washing and drying it.Dog grooming also has its own rules, standards and fashions, especially when preparing them for beauty contests.


To bathe or not to bathe? Some argue that dogs do not need to be bathed at all, as a dip in the river or, in winter, in the snow is enough for them. Others argue that dogs should be bathed regularly to keep the house clean. There is no single answer, it depends on the breed, the type of coat and the dog owner.

Dogs with a coat are bathed less often than smooth-haired dogs. Before bathing, the coat should be combed, the calluses removed, and the water temperature should be slightly higher than the dog’s body temperature (around 39o C). The shampoo should be chosen according to your pet’s coat type and should be rinsed thoroughly after showering. After bathing, the coat should be dried with a clean towel; if the dog wants to clean itself, let it do so to do so.

While the dog’s coat is drying, it is recommended to brush the coat regularly using a hairdryer, if the dog is used to it. The dog should not be taken outside after bathing as it may catch a cold. If the dog lives outdoors, bathe it only in the warm season. After bathing, lead the dog by its lead to prevent it rolling on the ground and getting wet again. After each bath, the coat becomes slightly matted, which is more noticeable in dogs with a paw pad.


Trimming is the brushing of dead fur. This procedure is carried out on dogs with coarse coats 2-3 times a year, depending on coat growth. The first trimming is carried out when the dog is only 4-7 months old, depending on the weather conditions, to prevent diseases. Trimming is a painless procedure as only the dead hair is removed and replaced by new hair.

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