At Chris Christensen Systems, a large part of what we do revolves around the four basic coat types, and how to take care of them. If you are not sure what coat type is, or what your breed’s coat type is, this post is for you.
THE FOUR COAT TYPES
All dog breeds can be categorized in one of the four basic coat types. The four coat types are: Smooth, Coarse, Drop, and Wire. Coat type varies by breed, and will change slightly over the coarse of the dog’s life – which is why we recommend different shampoos and conditioners for puppy coat than we do an adult dog. For beginners, coat type can be a good indication on the amount of grooming that your breed will need.
Smooth coats have hair that is short and close to the body. Some have single coats, like Dalmatians, others, like Pugs have double coats. Smooth coated dogs are prone to skin issues such as dry skin and flakes. Smooth coated breeds also tend to be prone to shedding.
To care for a Smooth coat, it is important to make sure you are not only taking care of the coat, but the skin as well. Skin health is very important for Smooth coated breeds. Making sure the skin stays moisturized will combat a lot of the issues that Smooth coated breeds face.
Coarse coats do not have a set length of hair like Smooth coats, and cover a variety of breeds including Poodles, Siberian Huskies, and Pomeranians. Coarse coated dogs need a lot of volume, and most need to preserve their natural texture, which is an important part of their breed standard. It’s important to choose the right styling products for Coarse coated breeds, as anything too moisturizing will cause the coat to fall, and will compromise coat texture.
It is a myth however, that coarse coated breeds cannot use conditioner. It’s a vital part of every coat care routine. (For more on why you need conditioner, click here.) We have conditioners that are designed specifically for coarse coats that will not weigh down the coat, or compromise texture.
Drop coats, like Smooth coats are usually very easy to spot. Drop coated breeds have long, flowy and silky coat. Breeds that fall under Drop coats include Afghan Hounds, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, and Papillons. Drop coated breeds require a lot of moisture to keep the cuticle smooth and flat.
It is vital that these breeds keep their strands strong and healthy to prevent split ends, frizz and tangles. Drop coats require a lot of maintenance to keep their coats in champion shape.
Wire coats are similar to coarse coats in that they need to preserve their texture, which is why our coarse coat products can be used on wire breeds. However, wire coats are special in that to maintain the texture they need, they are bathed far less, and actually tend to use self-cleaning products such as dry shampoo.
Wire coated breeds include all hand-stripped terriers, and any other breeds that have harsh, wire texture to the coat, such as Wire Fox Terriers, and Irish Wolfhounds.