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Guide to Coat Types

Unless you have an excellent grooming routine at home, most dogs need to be professionally groomed on a regular basis. However, it should be noted that all coat types may change to some degree during the life of the dog – sometimes quite radically.

Age, incorrect grooming and neutering can all cause changes to the texture of the coat and the type of grooming required may need to change accordingly.

Coat Types:

Combination coated dogs such as Poodle mixes that have often been crossed with a double-coated breed can actually be very high maintenance as it often grows quite quickly and tends to matt easily due to the softer coat texture mixed with the curls of the poodle.

  • These breeds should, ideally, be groomed every 3 to 6 weeks.


Double-coated dogs such as Labradors and Border Collies have a downy undercoat that acts as an insulating layer. The outer coat can be wiry or silky and are known as guard hairs. These act as a water resistant layer that reduces wetness in the downy coat and also protects the skin from harsh sun and traps air for ventilation and warmth.

  • These breeds should be groomed every 8 to 12 weeks.


Smooth coats such as Bulldogs, Greyhounds and some Jack Russell Terriers are the easiest to maintain. This is a short coat that lays flat. Although they do still shed they and need regular brushing.

  • These breeds should be groomed when required.


Wooly/curly coats such as Poodles and Bichons are the hardest to maintain as they are often quite thick with a lot of volume. This coat grows continuously throughout the year. Daily combing through to the skin will help keep them matt free.

  • These breeds should be groomed every 3 to 6 weeks.


Long Coats can be silky, such as seen in Afghans and Yorkshire Terriers, or quite course like Old English Sheepdogs. This coat type also needs to be home groomed a few time a week, if not daily.

  • These breeds should be groomed every 6 to 8 weeks.


Wire Coats like many of the Terrier breeds, usually need professional grooming. Most should be hand stripped to maintain the texture and colour of the coat but the technique of removing the dead outer coat takes training and a lot of time to do correctly. Some owners, of course, will opt for the coat to be clipped instead but should be aware that this can permanently change the texture and that once a wire coat has been clipped it is very hard if not impossible to return to hand stripping at a later date.


  • These breeds should be groomed every 8 to 12 weeks.

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