Groom Guide: Tips for Each Coat Type

What type of coat does your dog have? From registered pure-bred dogs to the most glorious mixed breeds, dog coats tend to fall into several distinct categories. There are tools designed for every coat type. Read on to find what grooming gear will be best for your companion's coat.

Curly Coats

The first breed that comes to mind when you think of curls is probably the Poodle. Some other curly-coated dogs are Bichon Frise, Spanish Water Dogs, Lagatto Romagnolo, and of course, many of the popular poodle mix dogs end up with dense curls. Invest in a quality slicker brush (like the Big G or Big K Slicker) and a good comb (like the #1 All Systems Ultimate Poodle Comb) to maintain those lovely locks and prevent mats and tangles from forming. Use a coat spray to condition and to avoid coat damage while you work

Wire Coats

Many terriers (think Scottish Terrier, Wire Haired Fox Terriers, and such) sport hard coats designed to protect them as they hunt vermin in all sorts of terrain and weather. Sporting breeds like Wire Haired Pointing Griffons are other good examples. Interestingly, due to fascinating genetic combinations, some of the popular "oodle" mixes also end up growing a wiry coat. A slicker brush will help you get through the thick fur, all the way to the skin, to pull out dead hair and prevent mats from forming. Spritz with a coat spray to make the job easier and follow up with a sturdy comb to make sure the brush did its work.

Smooth Coats

Smooth-coated Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, and Dalmatians are easily recognized breeds to illustrate this category. Pet owners are often surprised to find that smooth-coated breeds shed a LOT. This is because the length of the hair growth cycle is short. To help prevent your home, clothes, and car from being frosted with the short hairs of your pet, short daily sessions with tools like the Crown Royale Sporting Dog Shedding Tool or KONG ZoomGroom are a must.

Double Coats

The glorious fluff found on Pomeranians, Australian Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Samoyeds, and many more require some dedication to keep in shape. Look for slicker brushes with long tines to reach from the skin to the tips of the coat. A rake can be handy, especially on the thick neck ruff and longer fur on the back of the rear legs. Finally, a comb with long and wide teeth to go over the pet and make sure every hair is in its place is a must-have. Don't forget the coat spray; it makes brushing more effective.

Long Coats

Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Old English Sheepdog, and Maltese are examples of dog breeds that boast hair that grows to incredible lengths. These breeds are not heavy shedders, but they require dedicated daily brushing and combing to keep all that long hair from becoming tangled unless the hair is trimmed short.

Hairless Dogs

Let's not forget the wonderful hairless breeds! Chinese Crested, Mexican Hairless, and American Hairless Terriers don't require much in the way of brushes but do have specific skincare needs. You can soothe skin irritations with Skin Works cream or Peace and Kindness Spray.