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Types of Coats 


Curly Coats

Curly Coats!  These breeds are some of the most difficult to maintain. As puppies they have a soft coat which is easy to brush and de-matt. This coat changes anytime between 5 and 15 months (this can vary with each dog). A coat change is when the adult hair begins to come in and this can be a nightmare if you are not on top of it. The new adult hair winds in with the puppy hair and can matt up with just a sideways glance. Often these puppies will require brushing every day.

As an adult these coats require brushing at least once a week. You can use a slicker to go through the coat and your combination comb to check for knots and snags after. A pin brush can also be used in areas where the hair is longer (depending on breed and trim an example of this is the neck coat on a poodle in a show trim.)

Never bath one of these dogs without brushing him/her dry, letting these coats air dry on their own can result in heavy matting. Also be sure to brush these breeds out after swimming, playing in the snow or any activities where plant life could have worked its way into their coat.

It is also very important to maintain ear, eye and paw care. Get to know your dog and check these areas whenever you can. (Remember that floppy ears are more prone to infection and hairy feet can hide debris which can cause injury to the toes).

Smooth Coats

Smooth Coats!  You might think that this type of coat is the easiest to maintain, this is not necessarily true. Because these breeds shed, they must be groomed on a regular basis – otherwise their short, harsh, sticky hairs will get everywhere.

Brush regularly with a curry brush in a circular motion and bathe the dog at hair-shedding times scrubbing the jacket with the curry brush. A shedding blade can also be used to remove dead hair; this tool is to be used lightly though as it’s a harsher blade.

Additionally, it’s important to maintain ear, eye and paw care on these breeds. Get to know your dog and check these areas whenever you can.

Found on: Boxers, Bulldogs, Dobermans, Great Danes, Jack Russells, Pointers, Pugs, Ridgebacks, Weimaraners, Whippets, etc.

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Short Coats 

Short Coats!  These breeds have a slightly longer, denser fur with an undercoat and tend to shed at least twice a year (spring and fall.)

Use the curry brush to work in water and soap while bathing and make sure to rinse out soap well.

A rake can be used to remove excess dead coat in the rump, hip, neck and shoulder areas. Use the combination comb to finish checking for any remaining loose hair.

Eye, ear, and paw care are important to maintain with these breeds, and be careful of floppy ears and hairy feet.

Found on: German Wire-haired Pointers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Flat/Curly Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Shepherd X’s, etc.

Harsh, Wiry Coats

The outer coat consists of harsh, wiry hair for protection and a soft undercoat provides insulation. For the show ring these coats are hand-stripped. Pet grooming is accomplished by the use of clippers. Clipping can soften the harsh coat and reduce color over a long period of time which is undesirable for the show dog but it helps maintain easy care for dogs being kept as pets.

Brush with a slicker and use a combination comb to check for those last little sticky knots. Remove all knots/matts prior to bathing as these can get tighter and out of control as the hair dries.

Eye, ear, and paw care are important to maintain with these breeds, and be careful of floppy ears and hairy feet.

Found on: Airedales, Cairn Terriers, Schnauzers, Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Welsh Terriers, etc.

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