• Aude Daigneault

Dogs: Types of hair and brushes

Dog breeds can be categorized into 3 types of hair! Each type has its own specifications and a maintenance which must be respected. We have short hairs, medium hairs and long hairs.



Short hairs

Dogs in this category do not require much maintenance. However, regular brushing to dislodge dead hair and a good bath is necessary.


Examples: Bull Terriers, Dachshund, Chihuahua, Labrador…


This category contains also naked breeds. Even if they have no hair, naked breeds need a lot of skin care. A good exfoliant is necessary for their maintenance. It is also necessary to brush the few areas of hair they have! Do not forget to put sunscreen on naked areas either.


Examples: Mexican naked dog, Chinese crested dog ...


Let's find out now, the right brushes to use for short-haired dogs:

  • Soft brushes: Soft brushes remove dirt and dust remaining on the hair, they shine and smooth the hair for a shiny coat. Recommended for short hairs.

  • Rubber brushes: Rubber brushes are used to remove dead hair from short-haired dogs.

  • Combs: Combs should be used after brushing from short to long hairs to the skin to be sure there are no knots.

  • The Furminator : The Furminator allows you to easily remove dead hair, but should not be used daily, as it can create naked areas. Recommended for short hairs.


The dangers of improper use of rakes, furminators and blades...

However, if you don't use it properly you could damage the fur and even your pet. Not all pet stores are well informed about the proper use of these tools ...

Ask your groomer who knows his tools better than anyone else and will be able to guide you.


In this picture, we see several areas slightly exposed and even two very extreme with red and irritated skin. The dog in question is fine and confirmed by the veterinarian that the hair has been cut ... Today, everything grows back!


Medium hairs

This category needs more maintenance, especially during moulting. For its maintenance, it is necessary a brush which penetrates the hair until the under-hair, DO not brush only the surface hair. And finish with a comb, making sure to comb well up to the dog's skin!


Examples: Chow Chow, Husky, Bernese Mountain Dog ...




This category contains dogs with undercoat They are double-haired dogs.

  • The first layer, the undercoat, are fluffy, fine and short hairs (closest to the skin). It is this layer that the animal loses during the moult. It is used to trap air and is insulating for the dog. It keeps warm in winter and cool in summer.

  • The second layer of hair, is the finishing layer, it is made up of guard hairs which do not shed. This protects your pet from the harmful rays of the sun, bad weather and insect bites.


Now let's talk about why people shave their medium hair dogs

  • In summer, because they think the dog will be less hot, ERROR !!! Dogs do not sweat by the skin, but by their pads (a little) and especially by panting if you shave it, you remove its "air conditioning" from the body ...

  • The most common reason .... The dog loses too much hair ... you had to think about it before buying a dog ...

There are several options for hair loss especially when moulting! A good grooming with a mature care, product intended only to regulate the loss of hair during the moult AND a good brushing will do miracles !!



? Did you know ?

A dog with a shaved undercoat, its coat may not grow back or by portion only !? These dogs are not intended to be shaved ... some after shaving will never be as before! Sparse hair, even downright missing, different texture ...


The only reason a person may need to shave their medium hair dog would be medical, for example an extreme skin problem.


Here are the right brushes to use for a deep brushing:

  • Needle brushes (those that look like our hair brushes): Needle brushes, with or without plastic tips, is the brush of choice for medium and long haired dogs.

  • Curry comb: Curry Comb have metallic bristles which are very useful for removing knots and shedding. Brush ideal for medium and long hair. However, always brush gently, as metal bristles can injure the animal if used with too much force.

  • Combs: Combs should be used after brushing from short to long hairs to the skin to be sure there are no knots.

  • Rakes and blades: Rakes and blades should be used with care, an improper use can injure your dog. On the other hand, to remove the moult, they are a most essential tool. Several kinds exist for all types of hair.



In addition, in the medium hairs category, there are that of hard hairs. This type of hair should be epilated for optimal maintenance.


Examples: Airedales, Irish Wolfhound, Westies, Fox terrier ...


Before domestication, the hard-haired breeds rubbed against the abrasive surfaces to relieve their itching and, at the same time, they removed their dead hairs. This natural behavior of the animal therefore explains the development of the technique called "stripping" or hair removal. So the ideal and natural grooming of your hard-haired breed is the manual depilation method.


This technique consists of ridding off its dead hair in small sections. This is the most important since the removal of the dead hair makes it possible to release the sebum (natural oil of the skin of the dog) in order to hydrate its skin adequately. Hair removal grooming should be done every 3 months, at most!


This technique, when done well, is painless for your pet since it only dwells on dead hair. The hair that is removed during hair removal is hard hair, a little unpleasant to the touch. While the undercoat thus revealed leaves, to the touch, a soft and pleasant sensation. Note that the colors of the groomed coat are more pronounced and distinct.


It is important to know that if the hairs are cut rather than depilated, as in a conventional grooming with a clipper, it can occur more frequent skin problems, because the skin breathes less well, such as itching, dry skin ... When you choose for a shaving, of a dog which must normally depilate, this causes denaturalization of the hair. It will therefore be noted that the undercoat will grow back more quickly and with more thickness and it may even become wavy and woolly. In addition, the colors of his coat will become duller.

Please note that once your dog is clipped, it is almost impossible to recover its coat to a coat able of receiving hair removal. So it's a good idea to think about it when you pick up your hard-haired puppy!

!!!IMPORTANT!!!

If you do not know the technique, inform yourself, training courses exist, do not attempt epilation without training, because you could do damage to the animal!


For optimal maintenance, a brush and a stripping comb are necessary. To properly maintain this type of hair, ask your groomer for advice.





Long hairs

This category can be misleading because many long-haired dogs are groomed to keep their coats short. However, here we are talking about the nature of the hair, not the length of it.


Examples: Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese bichon, poodles ...


Keeped long, this type of hair needs a lot of maintenance and grooming to avoid knots that will be easily done, maintenance with brush and comb. Keep it short, you must also brush and comb it regularly, regular grooming will also be required to prevent the hair from getting too long and getting mixed up.


Here are the right brushes to use for deep brushing:

  • Needle brushes (those that look like our hair brushes): Needle brushes, with or without plastic tips, is the brush of choice for medium and long haired dogs.

  • Curry comb: Curry Comb have metallic bristles which are very useful for removing knots and shedding. Brush ideal for medium and long hair. However, always brush gently, as metal bristles can injure the animal if used with too much force.

  • Combs: Combs should be used after brushing from short to long hairs to the skin to be sure there are no knots.

  • Rakes and blades: Rakes and blades should be used with care, an improper use can injure your dog. On the other hand, to remove the moult, they are a most essential tool. Several kinds exist for all types of hair.


A well-done brushing

For a well-done brushing on short to long hairs, you should brush by section to remove knots, dust and debris, then pass the comb from the skin to the end of the hair. If you have knots that you cannot undo with the brush, you can use a detangling rake. Be careful, because the blades on this tool are sharp and can injure your pet. To use it properly, you need to insert the blades between the animal's skin and the knot and then go back and forth to cut the knot. Always protect your pet's skin with your other hand by placing it between the skin and the knot.


The best professionals for your pet's fur are your groomer. Never hesitate to ask questions about the care of your pet's skin and coat. Your groomer is there for you!

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