Dog coats are very different and are grouped by coat length, thickness, texture and color-pattern. Some of the definitions of the coat can be used to describe the particular variety of breed. For instance the Kerry blue terrier or Wired haired terriers. Knowing what type of coat and what color will make your choices for grooming and grooming products easier.
There are three types of hair that grows on a dog. They are the undercoat, guard hair or top coat and whiskers. Human hair grows one hair from each hair follicle while dogs can have one hair or many from one follicle. The undercoat is a thick downy layer that is below the top coat. The undercoat hair is the hair that grows in clumps from one follicle. The top coat is longer, coarser, water repellent hair serving as protection from the weather. Whiskers are longer and thicker versions of regular hair spaced sparsely. They contain nerve receptors, are used for warning, protection and are very sensitive.
Dog coats length is divided into four groups. The hairless that has little to no hair, short coat that is 1/2 to 2 inches in length, medium coat that is 2 to 3 inches in length and the long coat that is at least 3 inches in length. Coats come in single where there is not undercoat and double where there is a top coat and an undercoat. Double coated breeds usually shed twice a year except if the climate is very warm in which they will shed constantly.
Dog coats textures come in basically five types. A corded coat that has long curls similar to a hairstyle humans wear called Dreadlocks. A curly coat has curls and lots of them like a poodle. Smooth coat is fine, short haired coat such as a smooth coated Dachshund. Silky coat is a longer coat that is smooth, shiny and has a soft feel to it. Wiry coat is a rough coat make out of single and double stiff hair. Other descriptive terms that are used may be: broken coat (wirehair), brush coat (short, straight and stiff), coarse (unrefined), fluffy (long and lots of feathering) and open coat (thin haired coat).
Dog coats color and dog coats pattern are as follows:
- Blue (diluted): a metallic blue-gray
- Blue: black puppies that lighten some when maturing such as the Kelly blue terrier
- Blue Ticking: black roan on white
- Blue Merle: grey on black marbled
- Chocolate: milk to dark chocolate brown tones with possibly some reds.
- Cream: range of yellow to white
- Fallow: a sandy to cream color
- Fawn: brown to red with possibly red or black tips on hair or pale grey brown.
- Gold: reddish yellow to yellow gold such as Golden retrievers.
- Grizzle: grey blue
- Lemon: pale yellow usually registered as golden or red.
- Liver: brown ranging from chocolate to red brown
- Red: wood tones as in cherry or mahogany
- Silver: extremely diluted blue
- Wheaton: pale yellow
Dog Coats Patterns:
- Belton: dog coat pattern with white with tiny spots
- Blenheim: red and white varietals of certain breeds
- Boston: black and white pattern as in the Boston terrier
- Brindle: striping usually black on a lighter background such as brown or tan.
- Dappled: markings of different colors with no one particular color predominate.
- Merle: a coat that has a base color with another color diluted to different degrees. Sometimes called marbling, Australian shepherds exhibit this coloring a lot.
- Double Merle: the marbling can be two different colors.
- Peppered: mix of white and black hairs giving a salt and pepper look.
- Ticking: is where spots form on a white base coats. Dalmatians are born white and their spots develop over time.
- Roan: mixing of white and colored hairs instead of spots. Dogs can be both Tick and Roan.
There are a lot of different products for grooming your dog. Knowing what type of hair and the color will help you save money and buy the best products for your pup.