Dog Coat Types

Here is some information owners usually ask me about their pets coat types. It’s essential to know what type of coat your dog has as this is a precursor to being able to brush the coat correctly and with the right tool for the job, also the regularity and type of grooming to choose.

There are five main coat types these are Double Coat, Silky Coat, Smooth Coat, Wire Coat and Wool Coat. Here is an explanation of each:

The Double Coat.

This consists of a dense but soft undercoat covered by a longer protective top coat. It has two sub-groups, double coat one and double coat two. The breeds with coat one require much more grooming as they will need removal of dead undercoat with little or no trimming. Couple of examples of dogs with this type of coat are the German Shepherd and the Rough Collie. The Double Coat Two breeds tend to have a longer top coat so generally need extra cutting as well  to provide a shorter style for example the Lhasa Apso and the Shiatsu.

Silky coat

It is the texture of the coat type which is important and not always the length. Breeds with this coat type may need lots of trimming or only a small amount for example Yorkshire Terrier, Afghan hound and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Smooth coat

This coat type is defined by the length being short and sitting tight to the body in grooming terms.  This coat is low maintenance with the main goals being to remove dead shedding hair and give a glossy finish. Breeds include Boxer, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Doberman.

Wire Coat

This coat type has a dense top coat with a soft undercoat.  The coat should be hand stripped to maintain the correct texture and colour nut in many pet groom cases the coat is clipped.  Examples include Border Terrier, West-highland White Terrier.

Wool Coat

Breeds with this coat type require drying and trimming techniques.  The coat is generally very fluffy and requires a lot of daily grooming.  Examples are poodle, Bichon Frise and Irish Water Spaniel.

Dog Pad and Paw Care

Taking care of your Dog’s pads is something often overlooked but regularly doing a few tasks can help prevent several problems encountered by our canine friends, such as infection from foreign bodies and skin issues.

Firstly it is very important to remove the hair from between the pads, this stops items such as grass seeds getting stuck in pads or hair and also stops matting which can in turn lead to skin problems. It is also worth knowing that some dogs can have trouble walking with hair between their pads.

Its best to use Bull Nosed Scissors, as these offer more control and prevent accidental injury as they have no sharp points.

To remove the hair between the pads use your fingers to seperate the pad and carefully cut the hair out ensuring not to cut the pad or skin in the process. The hair between the toes should then be pulled to the underside of the foot and then trimmed.

Taking Care of Your Dogs Nails

Jasmine here from the Barking Beauty Boutique, one of the questions I regularly hear is ‘how do I clip my dog’s nails’ so I’m starting my blog with an article on keeping your dog’s nails in trim.

If you’re in any doubt about anything talked about here you should seek advice from a qualified pet professional.

There are several important things to know about clipping your pets nails:IMAG0666

  • At home when clipping a pets nails, ensure your pet is comfortable with you doing this and not too worried, the experience should be calm and relaxed.
  • Nails should be clipped approximately once every four weeks.
  • You must ensure that the nails are clipped below the pink vein or quick.
  • Clear nails are always easier to clip as the quick is more visible, dark nails are more difficult as obviously identifying where the quick is can take more experience so if in doubt seek advice. Another tip with darker nails is to trim them slightly but more regularly so as to avoid a more drastic cut closer to the quick.

There are various types of cutting/clipping equipment or tools:

  • Scissor cutters – these are much like specialized scissors usually best used for smaller breeds of dog, as they tend to be more for delicate tasks.
  • Plier clippers – these come in different sizes best used for larger breeds or pets with thicker nails.
  • Guillotine clippers – good for use with pets who have thin nails, should not be used for twisted or thicker nails.
  • Nail Grinders – these are good for quickly shortening nails but they do take some getting used to for your pet and yourself as they do require a level of practice and experience and as for your pet, these can be distressing due to the noise and vibration caused.


In addition it is advisable (as well as seeking advice before your first attempt to clip your pets nails) to visit your groomer to observe a clipping, and on attempting a clipping have some coagulant on hand in case of an accident in nipping the quick.


Lastly some dogs also have a dew claw and sometimes clipping or cutting this can be tricky due to its shape and location. The same principle applies though, cut below the quick and if in any doubt seek advice from your groomer.