Not all dog coats are the same. Some dogs only have a top coat, while others have both a top coat and an undercoat. These types of coats are known as double coats.
Not sure what type of coat your dog has? Ever wonder why your dog sheds so much? This blog will help shed light on all these questions you have about your furry friend and double-coat dog breeds.
What Is a Double Coat?
If your dog has a double coat, that means they have an undercoat and a top coat. Each coat serves as a different type of layer for different types of protection. The individual coats grow independently from each other; they’re different lengths, textures, and colors.
What Is an Undercoat?
An undercoat is a denser, fluffier coat that is closest to your dog’s skin. This coat consists of shorter hairs and is to protect your dog from hot and cold temperatures. Think of an undercoat as insulation.
What Is a Top Coat?
A dog’s topcoat repels moisture and dirt thanks to the wiry nature of the hair. This coat lays atop the fluffy undercoat and acts like a shield. This double-coated fur offers extra protection to your flurry companion.
How To Tell If Your Dog Has a Double Coat
If your dog is super fluffy, chances are he has a double coat. Also, smaller, terrier-type breeds may have a double coat. However, their top coat is probably wirier than those fluffier dogs. Simply considering how much your dog sheds does not alone indicate if he has a double coat. Here are a couple of methods that can help you see your pooch’s coat type:
- Feel the Coat. With your hands, stroke your dog upwards against the direction of hair growth. Notice a coarse coat, but a softer, poofy-looking coat below? Your furry friend has a double coat.
- Look at What Your Dog Sheds. While cleaning up after your pooch (all that hair!), look closely at the fur you’re picking up. If you notice two different types of hair, that’s thanks to your dog’s double coat.
- Determine Breed Type. If you know your dog’s breed, you’ll know the coat type. Typically, breeds that do well in cold weather (like Huskies) have double coats.
Types of Double-Coated Dog Breeds
If your dog is one of the following—or is a mix that contains one of these breeds—he probably has a double coat.
- Chow chows
- Border collies
- Great Pyrenees
- German shepherds
- Australian shepherds
- Golden retrievers
- Siberian Huskies
- Alaskan huskies
- Shiba Inus
- Bernese mountain dogs
- Mini schnauzers
- Shetland sheepdogs