What is a Double Coat in Dogs?

Shedding. Never ending hair falling everywhere. Furniture, flooring, clothing, bedding, it gets in the smallest places and flies onto anything and everything. Excessive shedding is a good indication that you may have a double coated breed of dog on your hands. It is a natural process for the dogs hair to go through and a very important process for overall health.

What is a Double Coat?

A double coat is a dog with two types of coats, consisting of an ‘undercoat’ and a ‘top coat. The undercoat is the hair closest to the skin, it's thicker, shorter and has a softer texture. It acts a little like a thermal layer, keeping your dog warm during the colder months.

Approaching summer, your dog will ‘blow’ its coat, shedding most of the excess undercoat gained in the winter to get ready for warmer weather to keep them cool. The top coat consists of longer, wiry hairs called ‘guard hairs’. This hair protects the undercoat from getting wet and dirty but also protects the skin against harmful UV sun rays.

These two types of hair are your dogs natural protection, without these coats, it can cause a whole host of problems for your dogs skin and overall health.

Thick coats can trap dirt and heat, making it a breeding ground for bacteria and potential skin irritations. Taking your double coated dog to a groomers is a must. Here at The Dog Groomer we can take out the undercoat effectively in a short amount of time.

How we groom dogs with a double coat.

Whilst double coated dogs tend to shed lightly all year round, they will ‘blow’ their coat twice a year. You will know when your dog is ready because your dog will have tufts of fur sticking out of his coat, get ready for a big amount of brushing ahead. The best tool to use is an undercoat rake. It may take a while to get through the coat, but use long, smooth strokes along the hair to pull out the dead undercoat.

It can take up to a week to fully remove the undercoat depending on how your dog reacts to being brushed. If this process is tedious for the dog, feeding small treats every 10-15minutes will reward any good behaviour.

We start our process with a dog wash and once the shampoo is washed out completely, we use our high powered dryers, to blow out most of the undercoat. We then simply dry and brush the rest of the hair out until smooth and sleek. We finish off with a little tidy trim, nail clipping, a good ear clean and a sweet smelling spritz.

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