Dog Coat Categories

At The Wag, we provide grooming to dogs in virtually every category. No matter what kind of coat your dog has, or what breed he or she is, our extensive experience with a variety of grooming techniques means that we’ll be able to help ensure that he or she both looks good and feels good year-round.

happy small dog after the groomers
labradoodle after getting groomed
german shepard at the dog groomers
bernese mountain dog dog grooming

Curly Coats

These breeds are some of the most difficult to maintain. As puppies they have a soft coat which is easy to brush and de-matt. This coat changes anytime between 5 and 15 months (this can vary with each dog). A coat change is when the adult hair begins to come in and this can be a nightmare if you are not on top of it. The new adult hair winds in with the puppy hair and can matt up with just a sideways glance. Often these puppies will require brushing every day.

As an adult these coats require brushing at least once a week. You can use a slicker to go through the coat and your combination comb to check for knots and snags after. A pin brush can also be used in areas where the hair is longer (depending on breed and trim an example of this is the neck coat on a poodle in a show trim.)

Never bath one of these dogs without brushing him/her dry, letting these coats air dry on their own can result in heavy matting. Also be sure to brush these breeds out after swimming, playing in the snow or any activities where plant life could have worked its way into their coat.

It is also very important to maintain ear, eye and paw care. Get to know your dog and check these areas whenever you can. (Remember that floppy ears are more prone to infection and hairy feet can hide debris which can cause injury to the toes)

Smooth Coats

You might think that this type of coat is the easiest to maintain this is not necessarily true. Because these breeds shed, they must be groomed on a regular basis – otherwise their short, harsh, sticky hairs will get everywhere.

Brush regularly with a curry brush in a circular motion and bathe the dog at hair-shedding times scrubbing the jacket with the curry brush. A shedding blade can also be used to remove dead hair; this tool is to be used lightly though as it’s a harsher blade.

Additionally, it’s important to maintain ear, eye and paw care on these breeds. Get to know your dog and check these areas whenever you can.

Found on: Boxers, Bulldogs, Dobermans, Great Danes, Jack Russells, Pointers, Pugs, Ridgebacks, Weimaraners, Whippets, etc.

Short Coats

These breeds have a slightly longer, denser fur with an undercoat and tend to shed at least twice a year (spring and fall.)

Use the curry brush to work in water and soap while bathing and make sure to rinse out soap well.

A rake can be used to remove excess dead coat in the rump, hip, neck and shoulder areas. Use the combination comb to finish checking for any remaining loose hair.

Eye, ear, and paw care are important to maintain with these breeds, and be careful of floppy ears and hairy feet.

Found on: German Wire-haired Pointers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Flat/Curly Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Shepherd X’s, etc.

Harsh, Wiry Coats

The outer coat consists of harsh, wiry hair for protection and a soft undercoat provides insulation. For the show ring these coats are hand-stripped. Pet grooming is accomplished by the use of clippers. Clipping can soften the harsh coat and reduce color over a long period of time which is undesirable for the show dog but it helps maintain easy care for dogs being kept as pets.

Brush with a slicker and use a combination comb to check for those last little sticky knots. Remove all knots/matts prior to bathing as these can get tighter and out of control as the hair dries.

Eye, ear, and paw care are important to maintain with these breeds, and be careful of floppy ears and hairy feet.

Found on: Airedales, Cairn Terriers, Schnauzers, Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Welsh Terriers, etc.

Long and Single Coats

These coats (if kept at a decent length) require gentle handling and constant care. With its soft or silky texture, the hair is easily prone to tangles and severe matting.

It’s a good idea to use a conditioner after shampooing these breeds and due to the dry climate here in Calgary, we recommend the use of a spray conditioner whilst brushing. It’s also very important to maintain ear, eye and paw care. Get to know your dog and check these areas whenever you can.

Eye, ear, and paw care are important to maintain with these breeds, and be careful of floppy ears and hairy feet.

Found on: Afghans, Setters, Brittany Spaniels, Cocker & Springer Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Shitzus, Tibetan Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers etc.

Shaving Double-Coated Dogs

Stage 1: Coat is freshly groomed and free from undercoat. This means that cool air can reach the skin and circulate when the undercoat and mats are removed. The sun’s rays will bounce off the coat.

Stage 2: Coat with moderate undercoat. In this situation, cool air is blocked when the undercoat starts growing in, causing the dog to overheat. The undercoat will absorb the rays due to a more porous structure, trapping the heat in.

Stage 3: Coat with impacted undercoat. When the coat is shaved, the cool air flows above the skin. The sun’s rays penetrate whatever thin hair is left, causing the dog to overheat. Since the dog’s skin is only 6-10 layers deep, as compared to a typical human’s skin being 16-20 layers, they will easily sunburn.