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Thread: What is a Double Coat

  1. #1
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    Default What is a Double Coat

    Okay, this might seem like a really basic question but this term is often used on here and I'm just not sure exactly what a double coat is. I know a Samoyed's have them but I don't think Jenna has got one. Not sure really.

    I know it might be hard to describe but can anyone enlighten me?

    My only other dog was my Holly, a Lab, so really I have no experience of a long haired dog let alone a double coated dog. Jenna is getting her adult coat at the moment and is starting to shed a bit (not as much as my Lab yet) but she is really good at letting me brush her so we're getting quite a bit off that way. Still haven't invested in a Furminator yet. I really should stop wearing black
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  2. #2
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    Supposedly it is distinctly an underneath coat which has finer hairs and and outer coat which is the longer coarser hair in Pugs.

    To be honest, I have a dog with a thick coat and the other has a thin coat. Is one a double? Not sure, it is simply thicker than the other Pug's coat and his hair is also longer.

    I wash them weekly and spend a large amount of time with my Pugs and I have never really figured out how one is meant to be 'double coated'. One simple seems to have longer and thicker fur. Just like humans.... I have thick hair and others might have thin hair.
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  3. #3
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    A double coat consists of a soft undercoat and a coarse top coat. The single coat has only the topcoat. I know what you mean, I wear navy to work....with a extra coat of dog hair!!!
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  4. #4
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    Tkay

    It could be worse - you could have a black and white dog that sheds. Undercoats are fluffy warm fur like layer under a longer more hair like layer. At change of seasons, a dog will shed copious quantities of both. I'm not sure if Labs have an undercoat. I suspect they have a "mild" version of it compared to samoyds. Most cattle dogs have a very obvious double coat, when you peel back the fur, there is a fuffy layer underneath that makes it hard to see the skin. I think Frosty has this. I can't explain how she keeps warm otherwise plus over the top of her, it's quite hard to get to see her skin. Her coat overall is very short.

  5. #5
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    Anne gave a good definition.

    As said in the 'Snow Dog' thread, it gives them the ability to adjust there own body temperature.
    Breeds like Poms, Huskys, Samoyeds, Collies, Shelties, Akitas, Malamutes, 'Eskimo dog', Aussie Shepherd, Bernese Mountain Dog, Pyrenees(sp?), Keeshound, Newfies and the Saint Bernard all have double coats. You'll obviously be able to notice the link in their coats. I would say the pup in your sig is definately double coated.

    That list is off the top of my head!
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  6. #6

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    Anything that has more than a smooth coat, and I mean Boxer, Whippet, GSP or Weimeraner etc type smooth hair.

    So pretty much most dogs have a double coat, but it is more exaggerated on some than others. Kelpies, Cattle dogs and Labs have a double coat, German Shepherds most certainly do, almost rivalling a Siberian Husky for shedding undercoat!

    Go have a rifle through your dogs coat. Particularly in the neck ruff area. Anything not smooth-coated will have an undercoat to some extent. You will see it as fine soft hairs under the heavier, coarser hairs. Sometimes it is so fine that it is near-on impossible to spot, but it is still there!

    Notable exclusions are Maltese, Silkies, Chinese Crested Powderpuffs and Afghans who have a sort of reverse double coat where the top coat is missing and the soft silky underoat is long and full creating the whole coat. Also wool type, low shedding coats like Poodles and Lagottos which have little to no topcoat.


  7. #7

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    Apparently Labs have a waterproof undercoat or double coat to keep them warm when they are retrieveing from water. But I don't know much about it to be honest.

  8. #8

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    Turn the hose on your girl for a few seconds - I'm sure she won't mind if you pick a warm day! You'll see the harder topcoat will repell the water, and if you part her hair you'll see the dry softer coat underneath.

    If you comb her with a metal fine tooth comb, you should end up with a comb full of soft undercoat, which will look quite different to the short straight hairs that she leaves on all your clothes and furniture...

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone. I guess Jenna has got a double coat then, but it's not particularly dense. I can quite easily see her skin when I part the fur, but your right Natty I do get very soft fur coming off when I comb her. She loves to play with the water when I'm hosing the garden (No restrictions here yet) so I'll have a check of her fur next time.

    Interesting, thanks
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  10. #10

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    'Cause she's still so young she will have more fluff than topcoat, but it will gradually change. Plus you get to have fun trying to get her wet to the skin through her undercoat when you try and bath her!

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