Dog hair coat types and choosing between Short dog hair vs long dog hair vs curly dog hair vs mixed dog hair

If you’ve ever considered getting a dog, you might have an idea of the breed of dog you want to get.

You may have even reached a conclusion on the type of dog you want to get based on the criteria you’ve listed. Like, a preference for a tall dog over a short dog. You’d like to get outdoors and active with an active dog over relaxing indoors with a chilled laid back dog breed. Or your desire to spend time grooming a dog with long hair vs. a dog with short hair that can just up and go.

medium size poodle black poodle after grooming

I think that reaching this conclusion is based on someone having some prior knowledge of a dog breed, its temperament, and characteristics. The decision to get a dog is also largely based on how much someone likes the physical appearance of the dog. At least that’s what it was like for me,

I acknowledge the existence of serendipity and the fact that a person could fall in love with a dog irrespective of any prior research or knowledge.  However, I hadn’t considered the number of different variables that can be evaluated when selecting a suitable dog breed that’s compatible with my way of life. 

The importance of choosing a dog hair coat type that’s right for you

When I first started considering the possibility of getting a dog, I certainly hadn’t thought about the importance of knowing the difference between short dog hair vs. long dog hair vs. curly dog hair vs. mixed dog hair.

Recently, I’ve been looking into the best way to decide on what type of dog to introduce into my family. Across the web, you’ll find some tools or quizzes to complete, which can help you decide a dog breed that’s suited to you. The tools require you to select from a list of criteria, then based on the options you select, you are then presented with a dog breed that the algorithm recommends for you.

Prina has a dog breed selector tool that allows you to select options from a filter that can separate dogs based on what type of coat a dog has. Yes, dog coats fall into categories.

I found that the dog breed selector tool on Prina helped a wannabe dog owner like me figure out what breed of dog I’ll be compatible with. If you’re reading this and are in a position like I am where you’re researching before deciding on a dog you want to bring into your life, then the dog breed selector tool may potentially be a good place to start, although I can’t promise on how useful it will be. The tool recommended a Norfolk Terrier for me. Well, ok, If you say so, Prina. I would have never seen myself as a Norfolk Terrier type of person, but I’ll take it.

two norfolk-terrier-dogs

When selecting from the options in the dog breed selector tool on Prina, I got to a section where I was prompted to answer a question about how much shedding would I be prepared to tolerate, and how often would I groom. Hold up! Shedding? I know about the need to groom a dog but shedding?

Whenever I pose a question about what’s required to look after a dog, I get hit with a barrage of unexpected answers and things I’ll need to commit to when I finally get a dog. The decision to get a dog is easy to say. I’m getting a dog. There, I said it. However, the reality of caring for a dog is an entirely different topic for discussion, and one that I’m learning should not be taken lightly.

There are many facets of my personal life that I need to consider as I embark on this commitment. For instance, the amount of time I have, the time required to train, play, bond, exercise, go to the vets, and so on. Also, how emotionally available am I? Also to be considered is what amount of money I’m able to spend, and how much time I will have to commit to dog grooming.

This brings to mind a phrase or announcement that usually accompanies dog adverts around Christmas time. It goes something like, “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.” This is so true. The more I navigate the route of discovery about caring for the well-being of a dog, the greater my awareness and knowledge of the demands placed on a dog parent. 

Ok, so before I unintentionally diverted onto the morally conscious path, I was talking about dog coats and grooming. And to think that I used to believe a dog had fur (hands over my face in embarrassment.) Calling a dog’s hair a coat is something I was completely oblivious to.

How much dog hair shedding can you tolerate

I learned that the frequency and rate of dog hair shedding depend on the dog breed. This knowledge helps me get one step closer to making an informed decision about the breed of canine that I want to bring into my family.

Ok, so dogs shed hair, and dogs need grooming. Noted. Before I run off and get a dog, what else is there to know about dogs? Well, there are essentially four main types of coats that a dog can have, and each will have its own pros and cons. Furthermore, what I’ve observed is that understanding the different types of coats a dog can have will position me to choose a dog that fits my specific life pattern.

Based on my personal preference, I know I didn’t want a dog with long hair; that’s one thing I’m certain about. I’ve been to homes where I’ve seen dog hair on sofas and clothing, and I’ve left these homes with remnants of hair on my clothing.

More recently, the person whom I bought my car from had a dog or a cat that was obviously transported in the back of the car. I’ve had the car for almost two years, and I still have animal hair remnants ingrained into the upholstery fabric from an animal I didn’t own.  Furthermore, I don’t want the duty of having to constantly clean up long dog hair sheddings.

As I explored the different types of dog coats and the effort required to keep a dog’s coat kept and healthy, I found my dog selection compass begin to confirm and point away from a type of dog I know I don’t want and move closer toward a breed of dog that I think will suit my life pattern.  The list below shows examples of the different types of dog coats, according to and the type of dog breeds that fall into the respective category.

Smooth and short dog hair

natural looking doberman

  • Doberman Pinscher

  • Greyhound

  • Labrador Retriever

Medium dog hair

German Shepherd in the Park

  • Border Collie

  • German Shepherd

  • Golden Retriever

 Long dog hair

funny dog with long hair

  • Afghan Hound

  • Shih Tzu

  • Yorkshire Terrier

  • Komondor

Wire Coated

  • Jack Russell Terrier

  • Kerry Blue Terrier

  • West Highland White Terrier

Curly dog hair

Black Baby Poodle with curly hair

  • Bichon Frise

  • Curly-Coated Retriever

  • Poodle

Hairless dog

Pack of black hairless dogs

  • American Hairless Terrier

  • Chinese Crested

  • Xoloitzcuintle

STOP RIGHT THERE!!! Hairless dogs? Low maintenance, no shedding, no grooming, no shampoo or conditioner. Have I found what I’m looking for? That is what I call complete low maintenance. A hairless dog will definitely eradicate all concerns about shedding hair. LOL, haha.

The hairless category marveled me. Not because I now plan to get a hairless dog. No-no-no. I ‘m marveled because I didn’t know there were such things as hairless dogs. I’ve heard of hairless cats and seen them in the media, but not a hairless dog. This was the first time I’ve come across the fact, so I decided to look into this phenomenon further. I discovered the one hairless dog type in particular when reviewing a shortlist of the rarest dog breeds in the world. The breed is the Xoloitzcuintle, and I discovered that it is an ancient breed of South America.

black hairless dog

A hairless dog sounds like your ultimate low maintenance dog breed when it comes to grooming and shedding, right? So you would think, based on the appearance alone. LOL. You should note that hairless dogs are more prone to spots and blackheads, as detailed by Pets4homes. They also need to be bathed more often in order to get rid of dead skin cells and the build-up of dirt and grease. So, with a hairless, yes, there is a reduction in the need to deal with excess hair around the home; however, these dogs require their own unique grooming skincare routine. Hairless dogs also require a special body moisturizer after taking a bath or shower. 

Low maintenance seems to be the keyword that resonates with me when it comes to the subject of dog grooming.  Woman’s Day listed fifteen dogs that are considered to be low maintenance and suggests that these dogs practically don’t need any grooming other than the occasional creaming of the skin to make sure their skin doesn’t get dry.

 15 short haired dogs that are low maintenance

  • Italian
  • Greyhound
  • Daschund
  • Boston Terrier
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Basenji
  • Australian Kelpie
  • Vizsla
  • Boxer
  • Chihuahua
  • French Bulldog
  • Beagle
  • Great Dane
  • Pug
  • Weimaraner
  • American Staffordshire Terrier

My mind tends to wander sometimes, and I was thinking of the opposite’ in that, if you have a low maintenance dog, then there must be high maintenance dogs. I’m imagining a diva canine that requires all the latest doggie goods, and canine name-branded clothing accessories. I’m sure if I looked hard enough, I would come across a high maintenance canine divas.

Short hair vs. long hair dogs and hypoallergenic dogs

Another point that I came across on states that some short-haired dogs are hypoallergenic, whereas some longer haired dogs can carry pollen and dust in their coats, which can affect allergy sufferers. I suffer from a pollen allergy, which is another reason why the long-haired dog is out of the question for me.

Some long-haired dogs and curly hair dogs are so beautiful and amazing to look at. Like the Afghan hound, the poodle and the Tibetan terrier, but I would struggle with a commitment to keep up appearances. I would have to think about using the right type of dog grooming brush or comb, or get a dog deshedder and use it often.

Groomer in a grooming salon trimming a white dog

Mind you, experienced dog caregivers say that a dog grooming session is a time when a man and his dog can bond. This suggestion could be a good point to note in the pro column for anyone considering getting a dog with long hair.

So, if a dog has long hair, then the dog’s caregiver can potentially use the grooming time to bond. Ok. For me, however, this doesn’t sway my opinion in the direction of wanting to care for a long-haired dog. In fact, I prefer the fact that with a short-haired dog, my dog grooming kit doesn’t have to be excessive.

Getting this far into the article, I now certainly know that I don’t want to deal with excessive grooming and shedding; however, having a hairless dog is too extreme for me. I’ve concluded that I’ll be getting a short-haired doggo.

I’m swayed by the idea of low maintenance when it comes to the dog hair length and the dog grooming debate. There are many beautiful short-haired dogs, and the video below shows an example of how to groom a short hair dog.


Final thoughts

Finally, it’s important to know that having a short-haired dog doesn’t mean that the dog won’t shed as much. The main difference is that short-haired dogs’ shedding is not as visible as that of a long-haired dog shedding.

There are things that I didn’t know that I now know, and there are still things that I want to find out and document, like hypoallergenic dog breeds. But I think I’ve reached a  point where I understand the practicalities and responsibilities required to care for a breed of dog based on the type of coat the dog has.

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