Updated: Sep 14, 2021
What is a double coat?
A double coat is a functional type of coat on dogs that consists of two layers. It is often seen in working and sporting dog breeds as it provides much needed protection against the elements. The undercoat is like insulation and will keep the dog protected from extreme hot and cold temperatures and the topcoat helps to repel moisture and dirt.
The undercoat is the dense first layer full of short hairs that are typically a woolly texture. The topcoat is the outer layer of longer hairs that are called guard hairs. The denser the undercoat, the fluffier the coat will appear to be and the more grooming the dog will require to prevent matts and tangles from forming.
Double coated breeds tend to shed a lot, so proper grooming is important. If a proper grooming routine is not maintained, hairs from the undercoat will get caught in the top coat, which will lead to matts and tangles that will be very uncomfortable for your dog and sometimes difficult to remove.
Common Double Coated Dog Breeds
Now that you know what a double coat is here's a list of some of the most
common double-coated dogs you've probably encountered:
· Alaskan Husky
· Alaskan Malamute
· Australian Shepherd
· Bearded Collie
· Bernese Mountain Dog
· Border Collie
· Chow Chow
· English Shepherd
· Finnish Lapphund
· German Shepherd
· Golden Retriever
· Old English Sheepdog
· Pembroke Corgi
· Rough Collie
· Shiba Inu
· Shetland Sheepdog
· Siberian Husky
· Smooth Collie
· The Great Pyrenees
· Welsh Corgi
Grooming Double Coated Dogs
There is some controversy surrounding grooming double-coated dogs as many pet owners are not aware of proper grooming methods.
You should NOT shave a double-coated dog.
Some people believe that shaving a double coated dog will keep them cooler in the summer months but as their coat is made to naturally insulate from heat as well as cold shaving the dog can have the opposite effect.
Not only can it permanently destroy the natural beauty and texture of the dog’s coat but it also exposes the dog to harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. This puts double-coated dogs in danger of sunburn as well as overheating, a serious condition that can be fatal if gone unrecognised.
The best thing to keep your double coated dog cool in the warmer weather is to schedule regular grooming appointments to de-shed the undercoat so their fur can act as an insulator.
Brush double-coated dogs regularly.
Besides dogs shedding themselves, grooming is an ideal way to remove dead hair from the coat. Removing the dead hair from their coat will encourage new healthy growth to occur in the hair follicles and the healthier a double coat, the better it is as regulating temperature.
Double coated dog breeds that go without regular grooming will suffer from a compacted undercoat. When the undercoat is compacted it won’t be able to properly protect the dog from overheating because it blocks airflow.
Thick, matted fur can also trap moisture close to the skin causing infections or inflammation.
The best thing to reduce/prevent shedding is regular grooming every 3-8 weeks!
If you have any questions regarding your double coated dog or de-shedding treatments, please feel free to ask us