Understanding Dog Coat Types and How to Groom Them

What hair types do the dog groomers differentiate?

Short hair 

Short-Haired Dachshund, Short-Haired Hungarian and German Retriever, Dalmata, Dobermann, English Bulldog, Rottweiler, Basset Hound, Transylvanian Hound. The outer coat of these species is short, hardly 1-2 cm, but it is dense and strong. Under the even outercoat, there is a fluffy undercoat.

Smooth hair

Many people mix up short hair and smooth hair, but the two are not identical. The hair of the smooth-haired Fox-Terrier is different from the hair short haired one by having an outer coat that is somewhat longer. It may even reach the length of 3-4 cm and it is not so dense and it is far softer and finer.


Wirehair Hungarian or German Retriever, Airedale Terrier, Welsh Terrier, and the Wirehair Fox Terrier have harder outercoats, which may be said to be similar to touching a wire brush and they have an undercoat.

Stringy hair

Stringy-Haired Dachshunds, Norfolk or Norwich Terriers, Westies, Schnauzers, but even the Irish Wolf Dogs are really bearded champions. Under the hard outer coat, there is an undercoat. The stringy hair ripens more gradually, and this gives it an individual character.

Long hair

Poodles, Maltese Silk Dogs, for example, have only outer coats, they do not have an undercoat. However, there are such long-haired species as well (Tibetan Terrier, Shih-Tzu), in the case of which there is also an undercoat under the long outer coat.

Half-length hair

We used to call the hair of the Long-Haired Collie, of the Kuvasz or of the Bolognese “half-length hair”, and in their case, there is an undercoat under the moderately long outer coat.

Double hair

Yes, there are really these kinds of dogs, primarily the northern types, like the Malamute, the Akita, the Spitz types and the Chow-Chow. They have furs of this kind, that is, there are multiple undercoats between their outer coat.

Flag-like hair

They used to call this hair type also as mixed hair since the different body parts of the dogs have different types of hair. Usually, the fur is shorter on the head and on the back, while on the legs, ears, and abdomen there is a continuously growing, long fur. This kind of hair may be observed in the case of the Spaniels, the Setters, the Golden Retrievers, and the Long-Haired Dachshund.

Bald dogs

They have to be also mentioned when we talk about hair types, since the Chinese, the Peruvian and the Mexican dogs are not fully hairless, usually, on their heads and legs, there may be some hair. Moreover, the Chinese Crest Dog has a hairy variant as well: the Powderpuff.

Felt hair

The Puli, the Komondor is the kings of felt haired dogs, however, the Bergamo Shepherd Dog and the Water Hunting Dogs may be also proud of such characteristic furs. In the case of these dogs between the strong outer coats, there is a lot of undercoat hairs. When the fluffy undercoat hairs are falling out, they form mops with the hairs of the outer coat, and together with them, they form the braids.

We will summarise below the type of grooming the most well-known dog species to require.

Minimal grooming

American Staffordshire Terrier, English Bulldog, Basset Hound, Beagle, Boxer, Chihuahua, Dalmata, Dobermann, French Bulldog, Foxhounds, Labrador, Pug Dog, German Dog, Pointer, Rottweiler, Short-haired Greyhounds, Short-haired Dachshund, Smooth-Haired Fox Terrier, Bloodhounds, Weimar Retriever, Whippet


a bristle brush, rubber gloves, chamois rag, nail clipping scissors

The fact that a given species is included in the group that requires minimal grooming does not mean that the dog does not have to be inspected each day. In their case it is sufficient to groom them for a short while each week once or twice, to caress the fur with rubber gloves and naturally to check routinely their ears, eyes, anus, and nails. Naturally, in the shedding time, greater attention has to be paid to the shorter furs as well.

Regular grooming

Airedale Terrier, American and English Cocker Spaniel, Wiry-Haired Fox Terrier, Wiry-Haired Hungarian and German Retrievers, Norwich Terrier, Golden Retriever, Schnauzer, Stringy-Haired and Long-Haired Dachshunds, Poodle, Westie


a bristle brush, wire brush, soft wire brush, comb, rubber gloves, scissors, thinning scissors, trimming knife, shaving machine, nail clipping scissors

The species that demand periodical grooming demand regular grooming the same way, that is, the fur has to be caressed with rubber gloves and the eyes, ears, the surroundings of the anus and the nails have to be checked. At the same time, every 4-8 weeks they have to be cut or trimmed, in order to allow them to have an orderly fur.

Every day or very frequent hair grooming

Afghan Hound, Akita, Bernese Shepherd, Border Collie, Chow-Chow, Maltese Silky Dog, Russian Wolfhound, Pekingese Dog, Spitz Species, Samoyed, Setters, Shih-Tzu, Tibetan Terrier, Newfoundlander, Yorkshire Terrier


wire brush, bristle brush, soft wire brush, comb, rake comb, scissors, thinning scissors, saving machine, nail clipping scissors, hair dryer

Combing, brushing done daily or several times a week is an indispensable task in the case of dogs that require every day or very frequent grooming, since the dead undercoat hairs have to be removed, this is the only way we may prevent shagging, sticking together, which – if the owner does not pay attention to it – may lead to losing the hair, since one may free the dog of it already only with scissors. The plants, bugs collected in the course of a walk may easily hide in the long-haired fur. Checking the ears, eyes, anus and the nails the hairs have to be also done in the course of daily grooming.

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