Ever wondered what a dog with a double coat looks like? We cover all the basics on what a double coat is, which dogs have them, why they exist, and how to care for your dog’s double-coated fur both at home and with the help of your groomer.
What is a dog with a double coat?
You are forgiven for thinking that dogs with double coats have owners that dress them up in layers. It seems that mother nature had a similar idea!
Some dogs have evolved to have a fur coat made up of two completely separate layers of fur.
This is what we call the “double coat”.
It has a soft undercoat that basically resembles fluff, and a hard-wearing topcoat of “guard hair”. Each layer grows at a different rate, to different lengths, and even shed independently.
Why have dogs evolved to have double coats?
Double coats on dogs are the result of evolution and exist to aid survival.
Just as we wear clothes to protect us from harsh weather, a dog’s fur coat serves the same purpose; primarily to protect them from the weather.
If you are particularly sophisticated and have owned a down-filled duvet, you’ll know that down is misleadingly light and floofy, yet incredibly soft and warm.
The undercoat’s down-like features create a thick but light-weighted layer of insulation, helping to keep them cozy when the wind bites.
It also acts as nature’s sunscreen.
The outer coat
The outer coat of a dog’s fur makes a great winter duffle!
Without a topcoat that repels dirt and moisture, the downy undercoat would get saturated, weighing the body down and preventing agility during hunting.
The two coats also work together as a clever “cooling system”, trapping cool air so it circulates close to the skin to regulate the dog’s body temperature.
Which dog breeds have double coats?
If you struggle with handfuls of fluff wafting around in your home, that’s your first clue as to whether you have a double-coated dog. Double-coated dogs shed excessively, especially when the seasons change.
Do you spot your dog in this list of double-coated dog breeds?
- Australian Shepherd
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- border collie
- Chow chow
- German Shepherd
- Golden retriever
- Labrador Retrievers
- Saint Bernard
- shih tzu
- Siberian Husky
If not, don’t be fooled… there are more!
How to care for your dog’s double coat.
You’ve already invested in a top-of-the-range pet-friendly vacuum, but shedding is still driving you insane! Unfortunately, shedding is a necessity. It naturally keeps your dog’s coat in tiptop condition and weather-ready.
Investing in your dog’s weekly care-routine can make your life easier.
- Brush your dog’s fur several times a week – Use the right grooming tools to remove dead hair before it finds its way into your carpet!
- Feed high quality dog food – natural ingredients keep the fur and skin moisturized and healthy.
- Don’t be tempted to shave your dog’s fur short – It will still shed!
At the groomers
- Ask your groomer about monthly de-shedding treatments – They’ll prevent the undercoat from impacting.
- Request “light-trimming” rather than full-body shaving – It will tidy up feathery topcoats, minimizing knots and tangles to avoid irreversible matts.
- Ask your groomer to suggest products – they are the experts, they know what your dog needs.
Best Wow Grooming products for double-coated dogs
Here are our top three home-grooming products to help you keep your double-coated dog looking, feeling, and smelling like heaven!
Aloe & Avocado Deep Cleansing Shampoo
Perfect for penetrating thick waterproof fur. Natural ingredients are gentle on the skin, transforming bath time into a luxury pampering treatment.
Long Pin Detangler Slicker Brush
The soft pad and extra long angled pins penetrate into your dog’s thick coat, and you won’t have to worry about snagging or scraping.
The Cruise Long Pin Teflon Comb
Curly or straight fur, it doesn’t matter! This is the ultimate styling tool, reducing static and attending to all the finer details.