What does it mean if a dog is double coated? Essential Tips

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What does it mean if a dog is double coated?

Double Coats on Dogs

A double coat is exactly as it sounds, your dog has two coats! If you hate shedding, you’re going to be in for a lot of vacuuming. Normally, a dog with one coat just has one layer of hair regardless of if it sheds or not. In the case of double-coated dogs—most famously Huskies, they shed a ton. The undercoat of these dogs is highly dense and fluffy/soft. Then, there are longer hairs that reach out beyond the undercoat to create the top layer. As a result, double-coated dogs always look very fluffy.

One of the greatest misconceptions about double coats is that dogs such as Huskies and Golden Retrievers must be hot with all of that hair, especially when you consider the Husky which hails from the cold climates of Siberia. Many people mistakenly believe that it would be wise to shave some of that fluff off to alleviate some of the heat, but don’t do this! As professional groomers, it hurts our hearts to see a poor dog who has had their double coat scissored down for no reason.

The reason for keeping the coat is simple, double coatsexist to regulate temperatures for dogs—cold AND hot. It’s hard to imagine ahuge furry coat would actually keep a dog cool in high temperatures, but it’strue. The purpose of the outercoat is to resist the current climate. In otherwords, it’s like an insulator, and insulation works to keep cool temperaturesin just as much is it keeps it out.

If it’s 100 degrees outside, that’s well beyond your dog’s normal body temp, the fluff helps to keep that heat from getting into the inner coat and onto the body. Pretty cool, huh?

How To Tell If Your Dog Has A Double Coat

If you’re unsure if your dog has a double coat there’s an easy way to find out.

Simply part your dog’s hair with your hands or a comb.

You should be able to see 2 different layers of hair: the topcoat and the thick undercoat.

Some dogs will have more of an undercoat than others and Newfoundlands usually don’t have their full undercoat until they’re at least 18-24 months old.

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You might find it strange that some dogs with long, flowing coats like the Maltese and the Yorkshire barely shed, while other dogs with short coats seem to leave tufts of fur wherever they go.

The difference in shedding prowess is not the length of the coat, but whether a dog has a single or double coat.

A single-coated dog has a layer of fur that looks more like hair, while a double-coated dog has two layers; a top coat, and an undercoat. The top coat is sometimes called the guard hairs, and these coarse, tough hairs protect the undercoat from dust, burrs, and grime.

The undercoat is a softer, downy layer that provides insulation. The undercoat is usually shed twice a year, in conjunction with the seasons. Some dogs have denser undercoats than others, depending on their breed and purpose.

Dogs who were bred for cold climates, like Huskies and Samoyeds, have very thick double coats to keep them warm. In contrast, dogs with thinner single coats, like Greyhounds and Pit Bulls, don’t have much of an undercoat at all.

No matter what type of dog you have, though, it’s important to brush their fur regularly to prevent matting and tangles – especially during shedding season!

If you’ve ever wondered how to tell if a dog has a double coat, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the difference between single and double coats, as well as how to tell the difference between the two.