A dog’s coat type is determined by three characteristics: its length, its texture, and whether it is “double” or “single”.
In terms of fur length, a distinction is made between short-haired dogs, dogs with medium-length fur, and long-haired dogs (from 7.5 centimeters). Of course, long-haired dogs, such as the Afghan, Shih-Tzu, or Maltese, are particularly high-maintenance. But even short-haired dogs such as Dobermanns, Boxers, or Pugs need sufficient care, especially if they have a double coat.
Double or single coat
One speaks of a double coat when the hair is smooth and strong on the surface ( top coat ) but has a dense undercoat underneath. The fluffy undercoat is primarily used for thermal insulation. The top coat can be short, medium, or long. The dead undercoat must be removed regularly so that it does not become matted. Dogs with double coats shed heavily, especially during the molting period. Typical representatives are, for example, the Labrador (with a short outer coat) or the German Shepherd (with a longer outer coat).
If the dog has a simple coat, i.e. no undercoat, the texture and thickness of the hair will remain the same. These breeds hardly shed because they are not subject to a change of coat, but their coat still requires regular, intensive care. The fur is often very fine and soft so it tends to become matted. Soft-coated, single-coated breeds, such as Poodles and Maltese, need to be clipped regularly to keep the coat well-groomed.
Dog coat texture can be smooth (Doberman Pinscher), frizzy and curly (Poodle), silky (Yorkshire), rough (Wire-Haired Dachshund), or wiry (Wire-Haired Dog, Fox Terrier). Wire-haired or wire-haired dogs – which include most terrier breeds and schnauzers – should be trimmed regularly. When trimming, dead hair that is still anchored in the skin is plucked out with a trimming knife or by hand. This stimulates fur growth again and prevents skin inflammation.