Dog Categories by Hair Type
The care and grooming required for your canine companion can vary widely depending on the type of fur and the climate where you live.
Understanding your dog’s hair and fur types can help you provide the best possible care for your new family member and can ensure the right fit for your family and your lifestyle.
Fluffy Dog Breeds
Snuggly and cuddly, dogs with fluffy hair typically require regular brushing and plenty of baths to look and feel their best.
Many of these dogs were bred to work and play in cold climates.
As a result, their thick fur may cause discomfort during the hot summer months and may require trimming or shaving to ensure optimal health and happiness.
Some of the most popular fluffy dog breeds include the following:
- The Shetland sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, has a bright and inquisitive personality. Kid-friendly and agile, shelties are highly motivated to please and can easily learn new tricks. Their double coat consists of a soft, thick underlying layer of fur covered by longer, harder strands of hair.
- Samoyeds are ideal watchdogs and were originally bred in Siberia to assist in herding reindeer and to pull sleds in this frigid environment. Their double coat fur is soft and fluffy. The Samoyed breed is an excellent choice for allergy sufferers thanks to its hypoallergenic fur.
- Part of the popularity enjoyed by the Pomeranian breed is thanks to their fox-like appearance and their luxurious, fluffy fur. Tiny and bursting with energy, these toy dogs have double coat fur and should be brushed several times per week.
Matting can be a serious problem for fluffy-furred dogs.
By brushing their coats regularly and scheduling regular grooming visits, owners can help their pets look and feel their best.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
For those allergic to pet dander, choosing a hypoallergenic dog breed can provide some relief for the sniffling and sneezing associated with these allergies.
While no dog is completely free of the compounds that cause allergic reactions, these dog breeds are less likely to trigger attacks in susceptible individuals.
- Both toy and standard poodles are considered hypoallergenic and produce remarkably little dander. These intelligent dogs are easy to train and usually have curly coats that can be brushed and washed easily. Keeping fur trimmed short can further reduce the risk of allergy attacks.
- Soft-coated wheaten terriers are single coated with soft, hair-like fur that exhibits a slight curl or wave. Friendly and treat-motivated, wheaten terriers are usually gentle with children and may have a strong chase instinct during active play.
- The Portuguese water dog was originally bred as a working dog and has soft, curly hair that dries quickly. Its brave and obedient temperament makes it an excellent watchdog and companion for children.
Brushing and bathing your dog regularly can ensure even greater protection against allergy attacks and can make your pet a more pleasant companion, especially in cramped indoor areas.
Low-Shedding Dog Breeds
Shedding is a perennial problem for most dog owners.
Brushing can help to catch some of this excess fur before it ends up on carpets or furnishings.
In many cases, however, choosing a naturally low-shedding dog breed can provide added protection for mild to moderate allergy sufferers and can reduce the time and effort needed to keep indoor areas clean.
- American and Irish water spaniels are generally docile and friendly. While not hypoallergenic, they do shed less than many other dogs and have a soft and curly coat that may require trimming in the summer to ensure optimal comfort.
- The Chihuahua is a tiny dog with a big personality. Assertive, stubborn and highly affection, Chihuahuas can thrive in relatively small apartments. Proper training is necessary to reduce unwanted barking behaviors. Due to their small size and dense fur, single-coated short-haired Chihuahuas barely shed at all, especially when brushed on a regular basis.
- Large and majestic, the Pharaoh hound has short hair with little or no curl. This reduces the amount of shedding and provides a regal appearance for this elegant animal.
Selecting a low-shedding dog breed can help you manage clean-up chores and can ensure a more positive attitude toward your beloved pet.
Hairless Dog Breeds
Only a few hairless dog breeds have been developed.
Ironically, hairless dogs are not necessarily hypoallergenic.
Most pet allergies are caused by dander rather than fur.
Spending some time with the animal prior to adoption can help your family determine if a particular pet will serve as a trigger for allergies.
- The Xoloitzcuintle, better known as the Mexican hairless dog, is affectionate and happy by nature. A small amount of fur may be present on the head, tail or paws. Xoloitzcuintle dogs are hypoallergenic and may require special care to keep their skin supple and moisturized.
- The Peruvian Inca Orchid dog has a similar fur pattern to the Xoloitzcuintle. Wary of strangers, these medium-sized dogs quickly warm up to their family and can be quite protective.
Your veterinarian can provide advice on the best treatments and most effective bath-time techniques to ensure the health and safety of your hairless dog.
Short-Haired Dog Breeds
Short-haired dogs typically require less grooming than their long-haired counterparts.
These dogs may have a sleek or elegant look and vary in size from tiny to giant.
Here are some of the most popular short-haired dog breeds.
- The Boston terrier is an excellent playmate for younger children and is small enough to adapt well to apartment life. Small and intelligent, Boston terriers are easy to train and impossible not to love.
- Dalmatians are elegant and sensitive dogs that bond deeply with their owners. They may not be the best choice for homes with small children, however, as they can be easily upset by changes in everyday routine. Their distinctive spotted fur is exceptionally short and easy to manage with occasional baths and weekly brushing.
- Originally bred and trained as hunting companions, Vizsla dogs are sweet-tempered and affectionate. They require plenty of outdoor exercise and are usually both task-driven and treat-motivated, making them relatively easy to train.
- Neapolitan mastiffs are giant-sized dogs with calm temperaments. Gentle with children, these pets require only an occasional brushing and bath to stay clean and healthy.
For families that do not require a hypoallergenic pet but want a relatively low-maintenance pet with simple and easy-to-manage grooming needs, short-haired dogs are an ideal solution.
Medium-Haired Dog Breeds
Medium-haired dog breeds are generally considered to be those breeds with hair of more than one inch but less than two inches in length.
These dogs can be fluffy and cuddly but typically do not experience matting and tangling of their fur to the degree that longer-haired dogs do.
- Border collies are considered by many experts to be the smartest of the dog breeds. Clever and ingenious, they are also known as the escape artists of the canine world. Their fur is thick and requires regular brushing to prevent mats and to remove any dirt and debris that may have collected during the border collie’s various adventures.
- The St. Bernard is well-known as a mountain rescue dog. This patient and loving pet has medium-length hair and may be prone to drool, especially around mealtime. Intelligent and careful, the St. Bernard is an excellent choice for families with younger children.
- Fluffy and playful, the Australian shepherd is one of the top-rated breeds for families. As their name suggests, these medium-sized dogs were originally bred to herd sheep and may show some of the same instincts when interacting with younger members of the family. Managing this behavior can ensure a more harmonious relationship for everyone in your household.
Depending on your skills and confidence level, you may be able to trim and even out the fur of your medium-haired dog.
Regular brushing can also help to keep your dog’s fur clean and healthy in between grooming visits.
Long-Haired Dog Breeds
Long-haired dog breeds may have widely differing types of fur, including single and double coats and curly, straight, wavy, silky or fluffy hair.
These pets typically need frequent grooming at home or by a professional to reduce matting and ensure the most beautiful and healthy coat.
- The bearded collie shares the same patient and obedient temperament as its shorter-haired cousins. The long hair that frames its face, however, provides a unique and delightful look for these herding dogs.
- Yorkshire terriers, often referred to as Yorkies, are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. thanks to their hypoallergenic status and their bright, cheerful personality. Easy to train and hard to resist, Yorkies are a good choice for those residing in smaller homes or apartments.
- The distinctive look of the Afghan hound has made it a favorite among the show dog set. This affectionate and loyal dog requires frequent brushing and regular visits to the groomer to ensure that its long, fine hair does not become tangled or matted.
Daily brushing can help prevent mats and tangles for long-haired dogs.
If your pet frequently explores new areas during the summer months, a shave or trim may be useful in preventing burrs and brush from sticking to your dog and causing small tears or breaks in the skin.
Smooth-Coated Dog Breeds
Many smooth-coated dogs project an air of dignity and elegance unmatched by their fluffy counterparts.
Some of the most popular of the smooth-coated dog breeds include the following:
- The Labrador and golden retriever breeds are extremely popular in the U.S. thanks to their sweet disposition and playful demeanor. These medium-sized dogs are faithful companions and can be taught to obey commands and perform tricks with relative ease.
- Known for its quirky and outgoing personality and its distinctive face shape, the pug is an affectionate companion with a stubborn streak that may seem larger than it is. Pugs are highly treat-motivated, however, and can be trained to reduce this inherent tendency.
- Beagles have soft, smooth coats and enjoy regular brushing. These even-tempered pets can keep up with even the most active children, making them an excellent choice as the family pet.
Smooth-coated dogs may enjoy gentle brushing and regular baths.
Be careful not to use brushes with sharp bristles, however, as these dogs can often have delicate skin that can be injured by the use of these grooming tools.
Curly-Haired Dog Breeds
Poodles are one of the best known curly-haired dog breeds, but many other dogs have curly or wavy coats that require special attention during bathing or brushing.
Curly-coated dogs tend to be fluffier than other long-haired breeds and may be more susceptible to matting thanks to the natural wave already present in their fur.
- The Kerry Blue terrier is a standout not only for its unique blue-gray coat but also for the beautiful ringlets of curls that make up its fur. Early training can curb the Kerry Blue terrier’s tendency to bark. This terrier requires frequent baths and daily brushing to keep its fur in top condition.
- Originally bred by the Magyars for use as sheep herding dogs, the Puli is highly motivated to please its owners. Care must be taken when introducing the Puli to small children to ensure that this working dog does not attempt to herd them to an unreasonable degree.
- The Welsh terrier strongly resembles its Yorkshire terrier kin. The tightly curled fur of the Welsh terrier, however, sets it apart from the crowd. Despite its small size, this dog may be somewhat wary of or aggressive toward other dogs. A firm hand and early training can provide the guidance needed to ensure harmony at the dog park.
Careful brushing can help curly-coated dogs look their best.
Professional grooming visits may be required to remove mats and to manage tangles for these fluffy and appealing pets.
Wire-Haired Dog Breeds
While most other dogs have soft and silky coats, wire-haired dog breeds feature a rough, bristly outer coat of fur covering a soft and fluffy undercoat.
Some of the most popular breeds of wire-haired dogs include the following:
- The border terrier is known for its wiry coat and for its tenacious temperament. They can be animal aggressive if not properly trained but are considered one of the best breeds for children. The border terrier’s affectionate and intelligent nature and its adaptability have made it a preferred choice as a therapy dog.
- Brussels Griffon dogs bond deeply with their owners and require plenty of attention and affection to be happy. Kid-friendly and animal-tolerant, these toy dogs are an excellent choice for smaller apartments and condominium living.
- Scotch terriers are clever and determined hunters. As a result, they may not be the best choice for families with young children. Regular exercise and proper grooming is necessary to ensure the most even temperament for these small dogs.
Most grooming experts recommend plucking as the most effective way to trim or smooth the hair of wire-coated dogs.
A professional groomer can often complete this process more quickly and with less difficulty than a novice.
Choosing the right pet for your home and your family can help you ensure a lifetime of love and laughter.
Considering the grooming needs of your new pet can help you to achieve the right fit for your lifestyle and your available free time.