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How to Go About Grooming Different Dog Coat Types

Whether you are adopting a purebred puppy or the “mutt” in an animal shelter, the first thing you will probably notice is the puppy’s coat type, pattern, and color.

Of course, their coat changes as they mature, so it’s best to do a bit of research to know what to expect when the puppy grows up.

You may start asking questions like which dog breeds have longer or shorter fur; and which ones have coats in between.

Is there such a thing as hairless dogs?

Are they always shedding?

Are there dogs that don’t shed?

It is important to know that the types of dog coats differ between breeds and require different grooming care.

The type of coat your dog has is the most important factor that affects how you groom them.

Dogs either have short or smooth coats, long coats, wire or broken coats, curly coats, and hairless dogs.

Different grooming supplies are required for different coat types, so it’s best to understand what type of coat your dog has so you can provide your furry friend with the best grooming care possible.

How to Go About Grooming Different Dog Coat Types

Long Coats

Why do you think Komondors are nicknamed the “mop dog”?

Some long-coated breeds can grow their hair so long that it touches the floor!

The flowing hair locks help make these dogs unique and stand out from the crowd.

But it also comes with a good amount of effort to maintain.

If you have a long-haired dog, then you likely know just how much nightmare knots and tangles are!

Since long-haired dogs can easily develop tangles leading to the buildup of mats, they require daily grooming.

Give your dog a bath and towel-dry their coat.

Then blow-dry their entire coat thoroughly while brushing and fluffing at the same time.

Make sure not to miss any snags and tangles.

To trim your dog’s hair, make sure the hair is dry.

Use scissors or dog clippers for thick coats, clipping with the lay of the dog’s hair.

Gray smooth-coated dog

Short Coat

Most pet owners get confused with the terms “short-coated” and “smooth-coated,” but this coat type is actually described as both short and smooth.

This type of hair lies close to the body, making the coat look sleek and shiny—it’s almost as if the dog is covered with silky skin rather than hair!

While some pet owners opt for short-coat breeds because they want dogs with relatively low maintenance, they still require regular grooming, especially during seasonal shedding.

It’s easy to groom short and smooth-coated dogs.

While they don’t need to be brushed daily, it is recommended to give them occasional baths to remove excess hair, and brush them a few times a week using a curry brush.

One important thing to note is to never use a grooming brush intended for long-haired dogs.

Doing so will irritate and even scratch your short-coated dog’s skin because the bristles on those brushes are sharp and tough—designed to work through tangles.

Wire-coated Terrier

Wire Coats

Despite their rough and bristly hair texture, they make a good choice for pet lovers with allergies because wire-coated dogs do not shed.

Therefore, the best way to groom them is through the process of hand stripping to remove dead hair to keep their coat tidy and healthy.

Hand stripping may sound painful but rest assured, it will not hurt the dog as long as the groomer knows exactly what they are doing.

To make this process easier and more effective, pull in the direction of the hair growth and support the skin with gentle pressure.

You need to pluck the longer hair only; it usually measures approximately 2 to 5 cm.

You may try finger cots to help you add grip.

It’s best to work at a steady pace, removing a few hairs at a time.

When using a stripping knife, be mindful not to be too heavy-handed and only use it to assist with pulling the hair rather than cutting.

The process of hand stripping is not painful if done properly, and as a matter of fact, dogs actually enjoy it.

You can let a pet groomer do this for you, and you can try this grooming process at home once you feel ready.

Red Poodle laying on striped sheets

Curly Coats

Curly coats are also known as wavy coats.

They have these adorable curl patterns ranging from soft waves to tight curls, depending on the dog breed.

Curly coats are also prone to tangles so keep the curls trimmed.

For this reason, grooming curly-coated dogs requires special attention.

To maintain a shiny and fluffy curly coat, use a soft and curved slicker brush against the lay of the fur.

Also, during bathing, use specially formulated shampoo and conditioner for curly coats.

Make sure to rinse thoroughly so as not to weigh down the fur with residue.

After bathing, the towel dries, then blow-dry the fur while brushing the coat gently from the skin out.

Always spray their coat with some sort of conditioning before brushing to avoid hair breakage.

Chinese Crested dog

Despite being hairless, these dog types still require proper grooming to maintain healthy skin.

A hairless dog’s skin is more exposed to natural elements such as the sun.

Therefore, they need extra protection from sun exposure and jackets during winter.

Also, just because they are hairless doesn’t mean they don’t catch dirt.

They still require a regular bathing schedule, and with direct sun exposure, they need enough moisture, so you need to use dog shampoo specially formulated for sensitive dog skin.

Understanding dog coat types and the best way to maintain them can take some time and a little experimentation until you get the hang of it.

With patience, you and your furry pal will soon find the routine that works best for both of you in maintaining their healthy coat.


Friday 16th of December 2022

I had mini schnauzers and I wished I'd learned how to just shave them - so they required less frequent professional grooming. They always put their brakes on when they realized where they were going.

Molli Taylor

Friday 29th of July 2022

this is good info. all the dogs i like will need lots of grooming!

Debbie P

Tuesday 26th of July 2022

Thanks for this interesting and very informative article.

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