About animals

Hair coat



represents the breed

Care coat

Hygiene measures and care for the dog's coat - grooming (Grooming)

Which dog can be considered beautiful? It is unlikely that this question can be answered unambiguously. For some, they are cops, greyhounds, hounds with their lean, lean bodies, for others they are heavy and heavy: a Leonberger, Pyrenean mountain dog, St. Bernard or Newfoundland, for others a rottweiler, great dane or boxer with a short, smooth, glossy coat. In a word, this is a matter of taste, which, as you know, is not debated.

Obvious and undeniably different - a beautiful dog, whether it is an ordinary mongrel or an elite specimen, is a healthy, cheerful and well-groomed dog. And do not expect miracles from hairdressing: no tricks can hide the lack of proper care for the dog.

Thus, the basis of the basics is a properly bred dog. The selection of food, the conditions of detention corresponding to the specific characteristics of each breed, general care - this is the guarantee that both the exterior and the hair of your pet will always be in excellent condition. A hairdresser will only emphasize these aesthetic advantages.

Dog Coat

The coat protects the dog from external adverse effects, helps maintain a normal body temperature. Adaptation to the various climatic conditions in which the dog is kept naturally causes a change in its coat. Different breeds of dogs have a coat that varies in both length and shape. The coat consists of undercoat (down hair), top and top hair. There are also so-called tactile hair - vibrissae, which differ in greater length or thickness. They are located in the form of small beams above the eyes, on the upper lip and under the lower jaw.

Use of combs, combs, brushes, and other tools for grooming

Shih-tzu's long, disintegrating hair care is provided with a brush with long metal teeth and a comb. You should comb the strand after strand with all possible care, just like a hairdresser treats long and smooth hair.

Cutting out the tangles should be done only in case of emergency. A specially designed tool is used for this - a slitter cutter.

Shih Tzu. Groomed dog.

Dog wash

Koltuny should be carefully untangled or trimmed even before the dog is in the water. In order not to reduce the dog’s pleasure from the bathing process, sometimes it’s enough not to bring the untangled knots to its completion, but to complete the operation, and it is absolutely painless, during the final stage - drying. The water temperature should be slightly higher than the dog's body temperature (approximately 39 ° C).

It is most convenient to wash the dog in the bath, while only limbs should be in the water. The shampoo should match your dog's coat.

The use of balm is not necessary at all: it all depends on the individual characteristics of the breed and on the condition of the coat. Shampoo containing insecticides is recommended only in the presence of fleas. Rinse off the shampoo as thoroughly as possible, otherwise the remaining alkali may cause skin irritation. After washing, wipe the wool with a clean terry towel. While the dog is drying, it is better to constantly comb it in separate sections, directing a stream of warm air from the hair dryer. It is best to bathe the dog in the evening, after a walk, to prevent a cold.

During washing, it is very convenient to examine the anal glands, which are located on both sides of the anus. The secret contained in them is quite thick, dark in color. The anal glands should be cleaned of their contents, since overflow of the anal glands leads to inflammation, and in the future can cause the appearance of itchy abscesses.

The veterinarian usually frees the anal glands, but you can do it yourself while bathing, easily clicking on them with the soaped forefinger and thumb. Canine A. Wolf-Talbot argues that if a dog rides on the pope, as if wiping it, this is not connected either with the presence of worms or with increased cleanliness, but only with the fact that the ducts of the anal glands are clogged and, therefore, she needs urgent help.

A haircut

Shih Tzu is extremely intelligent, self-confident and very jealous of her appearance, so she is very patient with the torments of a daily toilet, which you will have to devote a lot of time to if you decide to have this charming dog.

If you purchased Shih Tzu for yourself, then care for it will require much less effort than for an exhibition copy. First of all, you are free to decide how long your pet will have hair. You can simply shorten the hair so that it does not “sweep” the streets, or you can use the haircut that practical Americans do to dogs who finish and finish their show career:

- decorating the hair on the ear is trimmed diagonally from front to back so that its highest point along the front edge of the ear is in the middle of the chest, and the lower along the rear edge is at the level of the elbow joint,
- the mustache and beard are trimmed with a smooth arc, the lower point of which is approximately in the interval between 1/3 and 1/2 of the length of the ear, counting from its base,
- the hair on the head is trimmed in the form of a directly worn beret, paying attention to the fact that the hair above the eyes is well cut (the eyes should be open), but at the same time it is impossible to cut the hair too much at the fracture, and so that the back of the head is well emphasized,
- wool with a wide strip along the entire spine (from the nape to the base of the tail) is trimmed fairly short by the machine,
- from the beginning of the throat to the feet of the forepaws, the hair should be trimmed so that in profile it is a wide flat arc,
- on the sternum and to the groin, a "skirt" is left in front of about half the length of the forelimbs and somewhat shortened to the end of the groin,
- on the sides, the hair is cut short, but so that the transitions to the "skirt" and to the hair on the chest are smooth,
- on the back surface of the front paws, the hair is sheared,
- on the hind limbs, their front surface is sheared from the groin to about half of their height vertically, and then along a rounded line to the bevel, down to the paws, and the back - in a straight line from the sciatic tuber down to the paws,
- the lateral and inner surfaces of the hind limbs should be in the form of straight columns, when viewed from the rear,
- the hair in the anus and genital area is cut short with scissors,
- the sultan on the tail is shortened to a length in harmony with the general appearance of the dog.

Such a haircut will significantly reduce the time for grooming the hair - after all, it can be combed out much easier and faster with a brush with metal teeth (you can just massage it).

As for the other grooming procedures, they are mandatory: as usual, you need to wipe your eyes and ears, beard and mustache every day after each feeding, comb the hair, and also monitor the condition of the teeth and the length of the claws.

Do not wash your dog very often - just one or two baths a month is enough. To do this, use a shampoo for dry hair, which is twice washed with a dog, and then, after thoroughly washing it off, apply a not very oily balm and finally rinse the coat. With long hair, top notes are required, otherwise your pet will have eye problems.

If you nevertheless decided to leave the dog long enough hair, then, having lathered the dog a second time, comb it with a comb: in this way you will remove the already dead hair and comb the tangles much easier. Dry the hair under a moderately warm stream of hair dryer, constantly combing and pulling hair if it is left long. Comb the hair in the directions indicated by the arrows.

After drying the dog, you must trim the mustache and beard with scissors, as well as cut the hair on the body to the desired length and very shortly in the anal and genital areas.

If you want to participate in exhibitions, then taking care of Shih Tzu will be more time consuming. Wool is the main decoration of the dog, and when caring for Shih Tzu, you need to ensure that there is no impression of excessive volume and airiness, especially since the integumentary hair - straight, long, thin, thick, but at the same time heavy - allows this to do.

To care for a dog, you will need a hairdryer with an air temperature regulator, brushes with teeth of various lengths, tissue paper (strips 10x30 cm), small rubber bands, soft shampoo for dry hair, 2 types of hair balm: creamy oily (for example, with mink oil, vitamin E, with an extract from germinated cereal grains, etc.) and an ordinary non-greasy conditioner-antistatic, as well as a whole set of tools for ordinary daily procedures - grooming.

From the first days of the appearance of a Shih Tzu puppy in your house - he, like all domestic dogs, needs to be accustomed to daily cleaning of eyes, ears, combing and cutting nails and, as soon as the hair on your head becomes sufficiently long, to the bow top note.

With the start of the exhibition career, a weekly wash will be added to all these usual hygiene activities.

Wash the dog with a mild shampoo for dry hair, rinse it well and then apply a small amount of pre-diluted oily balm (with mink oil or vitamin E) to the coat without rinsing it. Then the dog is wrapped in a towel, blotted water (it is impossible to rub the coat), a hairdryer is dried under a stream of warm air so as not to “dry” the skin and hair and make it brittle.

Do this in a certain sequence, constantly combing and slightly pulling hair. Start with the extremities, combing the hair from top to bottom from the ends to the epidermis, following the natural growth of the hair, and gradually move to the trunk.

For different parts of the body, brushes with teeth of different lengths are used: with the longest - for hair on the limbs and sternum, with shorter ones - on the dog’s body and head. If you will come across tangles, then you need to unravel them without pulling out the wool (the use of scissors and clippers is extremely undesirable).

When the dog dries, you need to comb the hair from the back of the head to the base of the tail in a straight part, make top notes by lifting up the bangs and hair on the skull, and then pack the clean hair into strips of tissue paper.

You will need at least 25 pieces: 1 + 1 bag for whiskers, 1 + 1 for whiskers, 1 + 1 for ears, 1 + 1 for tow on limbs, 6 + 6 on the body and one on the chest, head and tail.

Making the "top notes"

we fix them with an elastic band for hair

and decorate with a bow or hairpin.

For Shih Tzu, it is recommended to have several (at least two) overalls - nylon for walking and cotton for the house, which are worn over bags for their safety. If they often itch on the hind limbs of these dogs, they should wear “stockings” made of soft leather or dense fabric or special shoes.

The exhibition day will be very difficult for both you and your pet. So that he appears in all the brilliance in the ring, in the early morning he needs to be thoroughly washed, so that his hair is not greasy.

Thoroughly rinse the shampoo, apply a large amount of simple balm to the coat, then rinse with plenty of water. After that, you should dry the dog according to all the rules, but under a stream of hot air, tie top notes, trim the paw hair with scissors, just before parting in the ring, do a straight parting, comb the dog (preferably with an anti-static conditioner) and decorate the top- notes with a bow.

5. Care for the coat

In order for the dog to be clean and outwardly neat, regular care of the coat is necessary. It consists of cleaning, washing and bathing. The dog must be trained to perform all of these procedures gradually, starting from puppyhood.

Cleaning - combing out dead hair, removing dandruff and dust, as well as wiping the ears and eyes should be done daily. The cleaning process provides a certain sequence of actions. The novice dog breeder must accustom himself to them by self-control, since the observance of this sequence is very important.

It is best to clean in the early morning, in the yard, before feeding the animal. Depending on the situation and discipline, the dog may be on a leash or stand free. The sequence of cleaning, starting with an external examination of the dog, is as follows: nose, eyes, auricles, places weakly covered with hair, and claws of paws.

In a healthy dog, the nose is usually wet and cold (except for sleep time when it is dry and hot). No discharge from the nose. If the wake of the dog is dry, the nose and ears are discharged, lacrimation appears, it must be shown to the veterinarian. Scratches and scratches, especially in the groins, indicate insufficient cleanliness of the litter in place of the dog. In this case, the litter must be checked, cleaned or replaced.

In dogs kept in the yard and relatively larger on the ground, the claws are evenly ground. Therefore, they do not rest against the ground, but only slightly touch it. Dogs kept in the apartment spend most of their time on the smooth surface of the floor, they are less moving. Their claws are usually long and abut against the ground. Since long claws cause the legs to be set incorrectly, it is recommended that the claws be periodically trimmed or ground with a small file.

After an external examination, they start cleaning. For this, the owner becomes the side of the dog. He takes a comb in his right hand and a brush in his left. The successive movement of the comb and brush in the direction of the wool starts combing. Its order is this: head (only with a brush), neck, chest, trunk, tail, limbs. When combing wool, there may be places with contaminated or fallen off hair. They must be carefully disassembled with your hands and in no case try to tear out with a comb. A normally conducted combing gives the dog a pleasant sensation, and when she sees the brush in the owner’s hands, she eagerly follows him and stands quietly in the cleaning process.

At the age of 3.5-4.5 months and further, during each spring and autumn, molting occurs in dogs - a gradual change in the coat. It lasts from 3 to 6 weeks. Cleaning should be done carefully during this period. You should not try to speed up this process, as this will lead to skin irritation or skin diseases.

Combing the hair with a comb and brush eliminates dead hair, but it does not eliminate dandruff and dust. Therefore, after combing, these residues should be eliminated.

To remove dust from wool, it is recommended to use light panicles from branches of deciduous trees. The indicated procedure, started from puppyhood without pain, does not cause unwanted reactions on the part of the dog and allows you to quickly remove dust.

To remove dandruff, wool after exhaustion must be wiped with a rough cloth. You can also use household rubber brushes for cleaning felt and drapery products for this purpose. The use of such brushes for cleaning dogs, especially short-haired dogs, gives good results. You can also use a vacuum cleaner.

After cleaning, wipe the ears. To do this, wad cotton wool slightly moistened with a solution of boric acid on the little finger of the right hand and gently wipe the shells.With the left hand, the rubbed ear is slightly pulled up. The humidity of the cotton wool must be determined. If you press on the cotton, excessive moisture will result in a drop of water. This drop will be enough to cause the dog severe pain. The eyes are also wiped with cotton moistened with a solution of boric acid. Combed hair should be collected. Warm clothes (mittens, socks, etc.) can be made from it.

Using a vacuum cleaner to clean a dog

The entire cleaning procedure usually ends with the dog shaking off heavily. As a result, her hair is laid naturally. Nice to see a clean dog. This indicates a loving, caring care of the owner for his four-legged friend.

However, despite regular brushing, body fat eventually causes contamination of the dog’s coat. So, cleaning still does not give the desired results. Therefore, the dog must be washed periodically, as it gets dirty.

Some fans have the opinion that it is necessary to wash only adult dogs in the summer, and puppies should not be washed at all, as this is dangerous for them. This opinion is erroneous. If a dog is kept in an apartment, it is necessary to wash the dog regularly, starting from puppyhood. Dogs kept in the yard are not recommended to be washed in winter. The fact is that in amateur conditions it is difficult to create the necessary environment for the quick drying of wool. Leaving the dog for a longer time in the apartment and then planting it again in the cold means exposing it to colds.

It is also common opinion that a dog needs to be washed less often in winter than in summer. This opinion is based on the fact that in summer there is more dust. This is of course true. But in winter there is an abundance of soot from chimneys, there is a lot of sand and slag at this time, which pavements sprinkle on. Dust from dry wool is very easy to remove with regular cleaning, and soot, which after walking and melting snow remains on the dog’s coat and is rubbed with a brush on the coat during cleaning, is more difficult to remove. This can only be achieved by washing the animal with warm soapy water.

If to keep the coat clean in summer conditions, it is enough to wash the dog once every two months, then in winter this procedure must be performed once a month, and with more snow cover more often.

A dog should be washed at night, not earlier than an hour or two after feeding. This is necessary in order for the dog to walk.

The following items are necessary for washing: a washing trough, brush, comb, bath or liquid soap, a piece of cloth appropriate for the size of the dog (a sheet, burlap or towel). The fabric is intended for rubbing wool. Need a clean litter.

Water temperature should not exceed 30-32 ° (a hand dipped in water does not feel burns). The volume of water is not less than three buckets per adult dog.

The washing procedure is recommended to be applied as follows: having put the dog in the trough (to speed up the whole procedure), take a small jug or mug in the right hand, and a piece of soap in the left hand. Starting from the neck, water is watered, and then with the left hand the entire body of the dog is rubbed with soap (if dry soap is used). If the soap is liquid, moisten all the wool first and then pour soap over it.

In either case, after the soap has been applied to the entire body, the owner is facing the dog in front of the dog. Then, with both hands, using counter-movements along the length of the body, he whips all the hair with his fingers. The whipped hair is carefully combed, and then the places covered with short hair are wiped with a brush. After that, abundantly pouring water, wash off the soap. Particular attention is paid to ensure that the water does not get into the eyes and ears of the dog, so that it does not have any left places. The head should be wiped with a brush moistened first in soapy water and then in clean.

To wipe the hair, the dog must be brought out of the trough to the floor, but before that it is necessary to alternately, starting from the front paws, pour water on each of its paws, lifting it from dirty water. This procedure is necessary. If this is not done, then the dog’s paws, at the level of dirty water in the trough, remains a ring of curled soap. Without removing it, you can cause skin irritation, since any soap contains a known amount of caustic soda.

Before wiping the coat with a sheet or burlap, squeeze the water out of the wool by stroking with pressure. If the situation allows, you must give the dog the opportunity to shake off. After that, dry her entire body and limbs. In conclusion, you need to wipe the auricles in the same way as when cleaning.

Having shaken off, the dog will settle down in its place and, licking oneself, will thereby remove the remaining water. It is not necessary to cover the dog from above, as this will slow the drying of its coat.

If there is a reservoir with clean water in the summer warm days, the dog should be bathed. This procedure cannot replace a wash. The purpose of swimming is to refresh the animal. In addition, and this is especially important, swimming contributes to the physical development of the dog. During swimming, she intensively works with her legs. Such an exercise is of great benefit both for muscle strengthening and lung development.

The dog should be trained in bathing carefully so as not to cause her fright. Some dog breeders use an illegal trick - they throw the dog into the water. They explain the usefulness of this so-called method by the fact that she will immediately learn to swim. The self-preservation instinct will force the dog thrown into the water to work hard with its paws. However, the next time she will not come ashore, much less she herself will not go into the water. She will have a fear of water. It is recommended to proceed as follows.

Approaching the pond, the dog should rest for 10-15 minutes. Then the owner himself must go into the water and begin to call the animal. As soon as the dog is in the water, its action must be fixed with the encouraging team "good" and stroked. Initially, you should not ensure that the dog is in the water for a long time or must begin to swim. For the first lesson it will be quite sufficient if she herself goes into the water. The most dangerous thing is when this activity will cause an unpleasant sensation in the animal and the dog, frightened, will jump out of the water. This is why coercion or choosing a deep body of water should not be used.

Gradually increasing the time the dog stays in the water and the swimming range, use the summer period for its physical development. At the end of the bathing, the dog must not be allowed to "roll" on the ground or grass, as this will cause contamination of the coat. It is best to immediately go on a journey, and if the dog does not dry out during this time, having come home, put it in place, preferably in the sun, so that it dries well. After combing dry hair with a comb, the dog will look neat.

Dog training, common during bathing, on a tray of objects thrown into the water, often leads to bad consequences. Carried away, an inexperienced dog breeder does not notice that the dog is tired, but he sends it again and again into the water.

It should be remembered that the repeated pulling of objects thrown into the water during bathing by a dog is harmful.

Chapter 3. The specifics of grooming dogs of different breeds

Dogs of all breeds, regardless of the length of the coat, in one way or another need to care for her, as well as special exhibition preparation. Dogs that need a haircut or trim to give them a specific exhibition form are classified as “hairdressers”. These are, first of all, poodles, Bichons, wire-haired terriers, schnauzers, black terrier, Kerry blue terrier, Belgian and Brussels griffons, wire-haired dachshund.

Although long-haired dogs such as Afghan, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese lapdog, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, do not need serious hair care, their show preparation does not require a major change in appearance and special styling . Preparation for the exhibition of dogs of each breed has its own characteristics, which tend to change depending on the fashion, so this process is best left to a specialist.

According to the specificity of care for the coat of dogs can be divided into several categories:

2 - smooth-haired: smooth-haired dachshund, smooth-haired toy terrier, Italian greyhound, greyhound, pointer, bull terrier, Great Dane, Dobermann, etc.,

3 - shorthair: dwarf pinscher, chihuahueno, small brabancon, American Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, etc.,

4 - dogs with folded skin: Chinese shar pei, bloodhound, etc.,

5 - dogs with “wild” type hair: husky, husky, malamute, beagle, German shepherd, Belgian shepherd, Central Asian shepherd, etc.,

6 - long-haired dogs with silky hair and a small amount of undercoat: long-haired toy terrier, long-haired dachshund, long-haired chihuahueno, Japanese chin, papillon, falen, king charles spaniel, setter, Russian canine greyhound, taigan, tazri and spaniel spaniel .,

7 - long-haired dogs with a lot of undercoat: Pekingese, Spitz, Chow Chow, American and English Cocker, Newfoundland, etc.,

8 - dogs with long, thin, soft hair: Afghan, Yorkshire Terrier, puffed dogs, Maltese lapdog, Australian Silk Terrier, etc.,

9 - busty dogs with abundant and fairly soft hair: black terrier, briar, bobtail, shearing terriers, etc.,

10 - dogs with a “poodle-like” coat: poodle, bichon, partially colored lapdog, barbet, lagoto romagnolo, Spanish water dog, Komondor, bullets, Bergamo shepherd, etc.,

11 - dogs with cord hair: bullets, Komondor, poodle, etc.,

12 - wire-haired dogs in need of trimming: terriers, schnauzers, wire-haired dachshund, Brussels griffon, Norwich and Norfolk terriers, Moscow dragon, etc.,

13 - curly-haired dogs with short hair: curly-haired retriever.

Wool Structure

The coat of a dog consists of three types of hair, the structure of the coat depends on their presence, quantity and shape.

  • The undercoat (down hair) is short, thin, silky, has a wavy shape, consists of scaly and cortical layers and does not have a core. It forms the lower layer of wool, is covered with other hair and serves to reduce heat transfer of the body. In dogs adapted for keeping in cold conditions, the undercoat is thick, well developed, tightly fits the entire body of the dog and is not blown by an icy wind. Dogs of southern origin and kept in apartments have a rare and short undercoat, and in some breeds it is absent.
  • The outer (covering) hair is longer than the undercoat, tightly covers the undercoat, protecting it from getting wet. The outer hair consists of three layers: scaly, cortical and core. In dogs of warm areas, it evenly covers the whole body, fits snugly to the body, making the dog smooth-haired.
  • The integumentary hair is the longest, thickest and toughest, and covers the most vulnerable parts of the dog’s body with a third layer. Long and thick integumentary hair protects the dog not only from the cold, but also from direct sunlight, which can cause burns. A large amount of integumentary hair is present in the neck area, where it forms a mane, or “collar”, and a burqa on the ears. Passes a strip on the back and upper side of the tail. In long-haired dogs, integumentary hair forms “pockets” on the back of the front and hind legs, “pants” on the back of the thighs and a “suspension” on the underside of the tail. In some breeds (the so-called "busty"), the integumentary hair forms a mustache, eyebrow and beard on the muzzle.

Hair Structure

As is characteristic of mammals, a dog’s hair consists of a stem and root growing from a hair follicle and placed in a hair bag. In the lower part, the hair root is thickened and forms a hair follicle. The hair bulb contains epithelial cells, which, multiplying, move into the brain and cortex of the hair shaft, as well as the cuticle. In the process of hair growth, keratinization processes increase in cells, in cells farthest from the bulb, cells die and turn into horny scales. Dogs are characterized by hair growth in bundles of 3-8 follicles, including one core and several down hair. In different parts of the body, the density of hair is different, usually it decreases from the back to the stomach and generally ranges from 1000 to 9000 hair / cm 2. Breed differences in hair density mainly concern the undercoat, the amount of downy hair can vary from 80% (poodle) to 10% (whippet). A special type of hair is tactile hair (sinus hair, vibrissa) located in small bundles above the eyes, on the upper lip, on the cheeks and under the lower jaw. Outer and integumentary hair forms an elastic dense coat that determines the appearance of the dog. Differences in the ratio and structure of cells of the cortical and core layers of the hair lead to a variety of dog coat, uneven in different parts of the body. The structure of the coat of rocks is fixed genetically. A characteristic feature is the hair shape in dogs, which can be varied:

  1. straight - with a slight gradual bend,
  2. curved - with a large and smooth bend in one direction,
  3. with a break - with a sharp fracture in one direction,
  4. wavy - the hair shaft deviates from a straight axis in both directions,
  5. annular - rounded in the form of a ring,
  6. spiral - rounded in the form of a spiral.

Coat Types Edit

In the process of domestication and breed formation on the basis of mutational changes, breeds with poodle-like curly hair, stiff-haired dogs, breeds with wavy hair, long-haired, short-haired and hairless dogs with a rudimentary coat were bred. The variety of the coat of dogs is determined by several factors: the nature of the coat, the length of the coat, the degree of stiffness of the coat, the degree of curl of the hair, the presence or absence of undercoat. To the touch, hair is distinguished as silky, soft, coarse, stiff, elastic, oily, dry, wadded. The coat of different breeds varies in density, splendor, and the nature of the fit.

Wild type of wool - the initial type of coat characteristic of the wild ancestors of the dog: an elongated straight smooth coat on the neck, body and tail and a short, smooth, very dense coat on the head and limbs. The undercoat can have different density and development. German Shepherd, Huskies, and Hounds have such coat. There are at least three varieties of wild-type wool: normal (husky), shortened (Staffordshire terrier), elongated (keeshond).

Shorthairdogs - characterized by a very short, smooth, straight coat on all parts of the body. The undercoat is absent or underdeveloped.

Longhairdogs - have a long silky integumentary hair on the neck and torso, often it forms a drooping fringe. The development of undercoat in long-haired dogs is determined by the conditions of detention. The coat of long-haired dogs can be straight, wavy or curly. In poodle-shaped dogs, long wavy hair is located throughout the body, the hair can fall in waves, curl with cords or fall into felt-like ribbons.

Wire-haired dogs are completely, from muzzle to tail, covered with long, stiff and protruding hair; their appearance can vary greatly depending on the shape and stiffness of the remaining hair. Hair can be conical, wire-like, spindle-shaped.In most hunting terriers, the hair is thickened to the upper end and has a bend or kink in front of the thickened part, so that the spine forms a dense protective “shell” on the dog above the undercoat.

There are also many transitional forms of coat. MN Sotskaya identifies the following types of dogs depending on the characteristics of the coat:

  1. hairless
  2. smooth-haired (Great Dane),
  3. Shorthair (Chihuahua),
  4. dogs with folded skin (sharpei),
  5. dogs with wild-type hair (Central Asian Shepherd Dog),
  6. long-haired dogs with silky hair and a small amount of undercoat (Japanese chin),
  7. long-haired with a lot of undercoat (Pekingese),
  8. dogs with long, thin and soft hair (afghan),
  9. busty dogs with plentiful rather soft hair (bobtail),
  10. dogs with poodle hair (poodle),
  11. dogs with cord or plate hair (bullets),
  12. short-haired short-haired dogs (smooth-haired fox-terrier),
  13. wire-haired dogs with medium-length straight hair (schnauzer),
  14. wire-haired dogs with stiff curly hair (airedale),
  15. curly-haired dogs with short hair (curly-haired retriever).

Genetic Basics of the Wool Type

Unlike color genetics, the hereditary factors that determine the formation of the type of coat are poorly understood. It was shown that most variations in the type, length, and structure of hair are determined by mutations in three genes: fibroblast growth factor 5 (Eng. fibroblast growth factor-5, FGF5), keratin-71 (KRT71) and R-spondin-2 (RSPO2). These genes are responsible, respectively, for the length of the coat, the curl of the hair, and the distribution of the coat over the body. Dominated by long hair, straight hair, even distribution of wool (bustiness).

Based on selection experiments, scientists have suggested the existence of other loci responsible for the features of the structure of the coat: stiffness, curliness, the presence of rings or curls, folded skin. Rigid, straight, smooth coat, lack of folds dominate. Of particular interest is the inheritance of hairlessness: the dominant allele of hairlessness in a homozygous state is lethal and leads to the death of offspring in the prenatal stage, and living individuals have severe health problems.

Genetic factors such as wool (make)

Genetic factors of the structure of the coat (make)

There is no agreement between scientists regarding the ridge ridge genetics - plots with the opposite direction of hair growth. Robinson believed that ridge was inherited recessively and denoted by code. Other authors claim that the ridge is due to the dominant mutation of the FGFs gene, but the hypothesis seems to be the most promising that two series of genes are responsible for the appearance and location of the ridge, with alleles that are responsible for the presence of the ridge dominate.

Types of Pet Hair

In order to choose the right care for the dog, you need to know what type of coat it has.

  • Normal - typical for such breeds as German Shepherds, Husky, Alabai, Pugs. The hair length is medium, the coat consists of two layers, has a delicate and soft undercoat, a dense main hair.
  • Long - found in Collie, Yorkshire Terriers and other breeds. May have an undercoat or do without it. Wool with undercoat consists of very short and soft hair near the skin and a long outer hair. An example of a breed is the Russian canine greyhound, spaniel.
  • Wire-haired dogs have one important feature - the rest of the hair cannot fall out on its own, therefore it is necessary to carry out the necessary procedures of plucking or trimming. This type of wool protects against external factors. Hard coat is characteristic of many breeds of schnauzers and terriers.
  • Smooth - some types of terriers, Dobermans, boxers belong to smooth-haired breeds. The undercoat is short and slightly pronounced, the main hair is of short length.
  • Curly also has an undercoat, and the rest of the hair is usually very soft and curled. The main hair does not fall out during molting; dogs regularly need to cut and comb their hair. This coat is characteristic of poodles, Portuguese water dogs and other breeds.
  • In addition to the above, there are special, atypical types of wool, they are found in rare breeds - for example, bullets. To conduct competent grooming in such dogs, special experience will be required, it is necessary to contact specialists.
  • And finally, one cannot help but recall hairless dogs - these include the Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican dog) and the Chinese crested dog. The entire coat is a small fluff on the body, which is most often removed.

What determines the condition of the coat

The most important factor responsible for the condition of the dog's hairline is nutrition. The diet should have a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals, otherwise the general condition of the coat deteriorates, hair loss and the formation of bald spots are observed.

  • deworming - parasites in the dog’s body reduce immunity, prevent nutrients from being properly absorbed, which over time leads to deterioration of the coat’s condition,
  • physical activity - lack of activity leads to obesity, the occurrence of metabolic problems, as a result, the condition of the coat also leaves much to be desired,
  • regular care - timely combing, haircut and washing will help maintain the pet's coat in excellent condition.

After a walk, it is necessary to carefully examine the coat and skin of the dog - remove foreign bodies, treat damage, and deal with dirt in a timely manner.

How to bathe a dog

Bathing is not only good for hygienic purposes, it also prevents many skin diseases.

Step-by-step instructions for washing a dog:

  1. Prepare a special tool, shampoo for people is not suitable, as it greatly dries the skin.
  2. First remove large traces of dirt from the dog’s body; representatives of long-haired breeds need to be combed carefully.
  3. Dip the pet with shower water with low pressure. Water should be warm, up to 45 degrees. Check that there are no dry areas.
  4. Lather the dog with shampoo and whip the foam.
  5. Rinse off with water.

After washing, it is recommended to dry the dog first with a towel, then with a hairdryer. It is necessary to train dogs to hygienic procedures from early childhood.

How often do you need to bathe a dog

General hygiene procedures are carried out both as contaminated, and taking into account the individual characteristics of the breed.

  • Once every two weeks, long-haired and small dogs are washed. For large shorthair breeds, washing once a month is sufficient.
  • Wire-haired dogs can be washed less often - the hair structure protects them from dirt.
  • Partial washing is carried out daily - after a walk you need to wash the dog's paws and stomach, and also remove all coarse dirt.
  • With special care, dogs are washed before exhibitions, with concomitant treatment with products to increase shine and improve appearance.


Combing should be carried out regularly, especially in breeds that are not prone to shedding (for example, poodles).

  • the brush should have shorter bristles than the dog’s coat,
  • sudden movements are not allowed - you can damage the skin,
  • can not be combed against hair growth,
  • comb out in the direction from the head to the hind legs.

Be sure to follow the combing technique in accordance with the characteristics of the breed - for example, the wire-haired terriers always comb the “beard” after eating, and the grooming specialist will need help to care for the commanders.

A haircut

It is safest to make a haircut in the grooming salon, but many owners do this at home. Not all breeds require a regular haircut, mainly owners of Yorkies, Spitz, poodles and Pekingese resort to it.

  • Large short-haired breeds will not need a haircut at all.
  • For a haircut, you need to allocate a safe place, first wash the dog, dry and comb out.
  • Usually, when cutting, the hair on the paws is removed, inside the ears, the abdomen and inguinal area are treated with a machine. The fur is leveled on the face.

It is best to teach a dog a haircut from an early age so that she is not afraid of a hairdryer and hairdressing accessories.


Current page: 5 (total of the book is 15 pages)

The nature of the coat largely depends on the constitution of the dog. So, dogs of a strong constitution type, which were previously bred in Germany, had a thicker and tougher coat than elegant dogs bred in England and America.

Modern breeding in many breeds is carried out in the direction of selecting dogs with long hair, which allows you to create complex hairstyles from it. This leads to a change in the breed type as a whole. Strong old-type dogs with stiff hair are less and less involved in modern breeding, giving way to more elegant, but often overly exaggerated dogs.

Chapter 4. Coloring of the skin and coat

At the first glance at the variety of dog breeds, one gets the impression that there is an incredible variety of their color, which is difficult to systematize. In fact, the appearance of various color options obeys a certain pattern. The overall impression of the color is created by the combination of the color of the coat and the undercoat. The color of the outer hair has a greater effect on the perception of the basic tone, and the undercoat on the shade.

Coloring pigments

The whole variety of colors of mammals is due to the presence or absence of pigments - melanins. Pigments perform various functions in the body. They play an important role in cellular metabolism, visual reception, determine the adaptation of the skin to the external environment, protecting the body from ultraviolet radiation. Melanins are present not only in the integument, but also in the meninges, as well as in melanocytes of tumors. Since pigment cells are laid in the nerve roller in the early stages of embryogenesis, pigmentation disorders often accompany severe lesions of the nervous system and sensory organs. This is observed, for example, in white blue-eyed cats and dogs suffering from congenital deafness.

The color of the coat depends on the type of pigment, the shape of the pigment granules and their distribution throughout the hair.

Melanins are presented in two forms: eumelanin and pheomelanin which exist in the form of pigment grains, or melanosomes of various shapes. The perception of color depends on the refraction of light passing through or reflected from them. The chemical composition of eumelanins and pheomelanins is the same: these are polymers of indole-5,6-quinone.

Eumelanin is a complex nitrogen-containing heteropolymer, and it is present in the skin and hair. It is insoluble in organic solvents and resistant to chemical treatment.

Theomelanin is formed only in the hair follicles and is not found in the skin. It is a sulfur-containing compound soluble in alkalis.

Both types of pigment are formed in the body from amino acids with aromatic nuclei - phenylalanine and tyrosine. For the formation of melanin in the hair of mammals, at least eight enzymes are required. So, the first transition from phenylalanine to tyrosine is catalyzed by the 1,2-phenylalanine-4-hydroxylase enzyme, the second from tyrosine to dioxiphenylalanine by the tyrosinase enzyme.

Eumelanin has two modifications: the black - actually eumelanin - and brown (maybe not one), which is a mutant form of black. Eumelanin granules have a slightly elongated ellipsoidal or spherical shape and can vary greatly in size. They give the hair, especially its scaly layer, high mechanical strength and elasticity.

Biophysical characteristics distinguish three modifications of pheomelanin: yellow orange and red coloring (Aliev, Rachkovsky, 1986, 1992). Pheomelanin granules are much smaller than eumelanin and have a spherical shape. The structure of hair cells containing only pheomelanin is characterized by significantly lower strength than cells containing eumelanin (Konovalov, 1983). The hair dyed with pheomelanin is less resistant to mechanical stress.

Both types of melanins are almost always present at the same time, and it is important to note that at the same time one type of eumelanin and one type of pheomelanin can be present. They can be distributed differently through the hair. Thus, in animals of the “agouti” color, or zonal-gray, both pheomelanin and eumelanin are formed in the same hair follicle, which are located along the length of the hair in a certain sequence. In dogs of black or brown color, pheomelanin is present in the hair, along with eumelanin, but is “masked” last, so the hair is black or brown. The biosynthesis of one form or another of melanin is influenced by the conditions of the cell environment.

Pigment grains can be distributed over the hair with different densities and be present both in the cortical layer and in the core. Often, pigment granules containing eumelanin can be destroyed in the hair cells: in such granules, the membrane disappears and the protein base hydrolyzes. In this case, melanin is diffusely distributed throughout the cell. Pigment granules are sometimes evenly distributed in the cells of different layers of the hair, sometimes they accumulate in the peripheral or, conversely, central parts of the layers. They can vary in size. For example, dark outer hair contains large ellipsoid granules, while lighter and thinner undercoat hair contains small spherical ones. Individual melanin granules can group and form clusters of the most diverse shapes.

Fig. 45. Congenital weakening of color

Blue and black terriers

With a uniform and dense pigment distribution, the color tone is intense. The pigment density may be uneven in the outer, integumentary hair and undercoat. The remaining hair is usually thicker and colored brighter. The shades of color depend on these factors. If the core of the hair is intensely colored, and there is little or no pigment in the cortical layer at all, then the main color seems to shine through the tissue paper and looks clarified. So it turns out, for example, the blue color of poodles, Great Danes, Kerry Blue Terriers. This color is a weakened black. Colors such as isabella or coffee are weakened brown. Many colors change with the age of the animal. This can be caused by both a change in the structure of the coat, and redistribution of pigments in the hair, impaired pigment synthesis, and the action of factors that prevent the normal penetration of pigments into the hair.

Fig. 46. ​​Age-related color change

1 - Silver Poodle Puppies, 2 - Kerry Blue Terriers

Puppies of some breeds are already born clarified. In such cases, they often have a weakened skin color, such as a nose, and eye color. Something similar is observed in blue German Great Danes, Neapolitan mastiffs, and Isabella Italian greyhounds.

In a number of breeds, puppies are born colored with normal intensity and brighten with age. Age-related blooming occurs under the influence of specific genes. The most typical representatives of age-related recoloring are silver poodles, carry blue terriers, bedlington terriers, bobtail.

Many light-colored dogs tend to periodically lighten and darken. One reason for this may be normal molting, which is uneven. Intensive loss of undercoat increases the proportion of top hair in the dog's coat, and the color seems brighter. Then a new undercoat builds up and the spine begins to be replaced.At this moment, the coat appears lighter on the outside and darker inside, at the roots of the hair, and after the haircut made at this stage of growth, the dog appears much brighter.

The cortical and integumentary layers of the hair over time partially erase, become cloudy, and therefore the hair before molting can be less bright than freshly grown ones.

Fig. 47. A silver poodle with a black spot that arose on the site of the abscess after a bite

The synthesis of pigments that provide hair coloring is carried out by special cells - melanocytes located directly in the hair follicles. With a deterioration in the general condition of the skin and damage to the hair follicles, often arising from various diseases, the synthesis of pigments may be impaired, and the hair may partially or completely bleach.

Sometimes the opposite process occurs: in the places of former injuries in dogs with a factor of age-related brightening of color, wool begins to grow, painted in a bright tone unusual for this dog. For blue - black, for light red - bright red, for white - red, for light brown - dark brown. Probably, with the growth of new skin at the wound site, young melanocytes begin to function, like a puppy, synthesizing pigments of the same intensity. The genes responsible for age-related clarification have already worked at a certain stage of ontogenesis, and the hair that has grown at the site of the wound remains bright. In some cases, when the skin damage was very serious, melanocytes can cease their activity completely, and the hair at the site of the wound grows discolored.

The distribution of pigments in the hair and body of the dog

In all wild animals, the pigments in the hair are distributed in annular zones: black, yellow, devoid of pigments (white). This type of coloration is called zonar, or “agouti,” after the name of a South American rodent having such a coloration. In dogs, this is a zonal-gray color characteristic of German shepherds, huskies, schnauzers, Central Asian and Caucasian shepherds and many other breeds. Hair zones can have different widths and sequences. So, the end of the hair can be black, the middle of the hair is yellow, and the base is devoid of pigment. In this way, a red color with dark ends is formed, called sable. This color is characteristic of red foxes, red huskies, Irish terriers, collies, Central Asian and Caucasian shepherds and others. Sometimes the yellow and white areas are very narrowed, then it turns out to be almost black, which can be very difficult to distinguish from true black, in which the hair is completely dyed. If brown pigment is present in the sable hair instead of black, then it looks like a solid red, which makes it difficult to diagnose zonation.

Fig. 48. Patterns of distribution of pigment in the body of the dog:

a - primary points of depigmentation (numbers indicate the sequence of spots), b - pigment centers

The uniform (non-linear) distribution of pigments in the hair leads to continuous colors of dogs. They come in four colors of different intensities: black, brown, red and white.

With a white color, the hair is deprived of pigments. They usually have a core filled with air and have low thermal conductivity. It is this, and not just camouflage, that determines the seasonal change in colors of some species of wild animals of the North.

In addition to the actual coloring, it is customary to highlight in dogs colors which means the presence of spots that differ from the rest of the tone. There are two main groups of colors: white spotting and yellow spotting.

In animals with white spotting there is a large variability of this feature. Spots appear when pigment disappears in certain areas of the coat. Depigmentation proceeds strictly naturally. First of all, a white spot appears on the chest, then on the ends of the paws, the end of the tail, on the nape, and so on in a certain sequence. Strictly defined points of the body where white spots appear are called the starting points of depigmentation. In the formation of spotted forms, some places on the dog's body, on the contrary, are especially stable. They are called pigment centers. These include, for example, the ends of the ears and the base of the tail.

Fig. 49. White spotting

When the main background is dark, the color is called piebald by the color of the main color (black-piebald, red-piebald, etc.). When the main background is white, the color is called black spotted, yellow spotted, brown spotted by the color of the main color. White spotting also includes such color options as mottling, smallness and marbling.

Yellow spotting expressed as a tan of varying intensity and length, cheprak, tiger. Tan color widespread among dogs. It is most clearly expressed among Dobermans, Rottweilers, English Cockers, some terriers. Sometimes the tan can be so small that it is difficult to see the yellow dots above the eyes, under the tail and at the ends of the paws, as, for example, in American cockers. Black color is the color in which the area of ​​the tan is increased so much that only the back, sides and upper part of the tail remain black. The most characteristic black color is in Airedale Terriers and Welsh Terriers, German Shepherds, Russian Hounds, Bloodhounds. Sometimes a shabrack can be so small that the dog looks almost red with a dark stripe on its back. Such dogs are common among Russian hounds. Tan and black color can be formed by a combination of both black and yellow, and brown with yellow pigment.

Fig. 52. Tiger dog

Tiger color It can manifest itself in varying degrees: from almost red with rare and thin black stripes to almost black with separate mottles, the so-called black-and-white color, characteristic of French bulldogs and scotch terriers. When replacing black pigment with brown, a tiger dog may look almost red and, like in the case of zoning, correct visual determination of color may be difficult.

Tri-color characteristic of fox terriers, collies, Russian pinto hounds, Bernese mountain dogs, spaniels, is formed from a combination of white spotted color with a tan or cheprak. If you look closely, you can see that red spots in tricolor dogs are always present at the location of the tan, but not on the back or tail.

There is a factor that stops the synthesis of pheomelanin, the so-called chinchilla. Under its influence, red areas of the hair in zonally colored hair become white, the zoning-gray color turns into “pepper and salt”. Light gray or white becomes tan for tan or black dogs, as well as background tiger color. Chinchillas tend to be age-related.

Chapter 1. The evolution of ideas about grooming

All domestic dog breeding manuals published before the mid-1980s recommended combing dogs with all types of hair daily, and wash only before shearing or when heavily soiled. After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the beginning of active contact with foreign dog handlers and groomers, it became clear that in Europe and America there are completely different principles for caring for the coat of dogs of most breeds. A revelation for our dog breeders is that modern hairdressers wash their dogs almost every week and do not brush their hair between washings. This circumstance caused a lot of complaints from Russian older breeders, accustomed to completely different rules for caring for a dog. Quite reasoned, but at the same time, different points of view on this problem continue to exist now. They relate to methods of hair care, the use of certain tools, the frequency of combing and washing, feeding, showing at exhibitions, etc.

Adherents of one point of view believe that washing with soap leads to the washing off of a natural lubricant that protects the coat and skin from external influences. The wool with which the grease is washed off gets dirty faster, gets wet more. Recovery of grease after washing is far from immediate. For healthy dogs of short-haired breeds with "wild" type hair, this point of view is absolutely true, since such a dog practically does not get dirty and needs only to be combed periodically. This approach is also possible for dogs with long-haired breeds with well-formed and not too long hair.

Proponents of the opposite view believe that dogs need to be washed often and make up for the loss of natural lubrication with oils and balms. This makes long hair less brittle and helps it grow to a significantly longer length than with a “natural” content. It is this method that is used to grow super-long wool of show stars from among poodles, Yorkshire terriers, American cockers or Afghani. Very long or too thick wool, which is a pure breeding product, is no longer natural for a biological species. The natural lubricant secreted by the skin glands is usually not enough to nourish the hair and give it elasticity. Therefore, hair is easily tangled, split and broken off. To maintain such a coat in normal condition, it must either be shortened greatly, or the hair should grow normally, additionally “fed” by applying conditioners or oils to them.

The look at the grooming of shorthair dogs has also changed radically. If earlier they were only occasionally cleaned with a stiff brush and wiped with a cloth, now they are also regularly washed, trimmed and sheared.

Dogs of almost all breeds are subjected to cosmetic preparations for the exhibition, regardless of the nature of their coat.

Many contradictions are associated with what is happening before our eyes, a change in the types of coat and hairstyles of dogs of some breeds. A change in the principles of hair care is also associated with the progress of the perfume industry. Soaps and shampoos that existed in Soviet times greatly degreased the skin and dried out the hair, so it was impossible to use them for our heads more than once a week, or even two. Much more meager than a person’s dog’s protective grease, they washed off almost completely, and after washing, its skin was degreased and dried even more. Balms, conditioners and oils were not used then. Among the special dog shampoos, there were mainly antiparasitic shampoos, which often caused severe skin irritation. Therefore, indeed, washing the dog with shampoos led to a sharp increase in molting, the appearance of itching and other unpleasant consequences. The use of folk remedies such as vinegar, beer, onion husk broth, chamomile infusion to rinse the wool gave a very insignificant effect.

Modern human hair care products allow you to wash your hair almost daily, which is recommended by current cosmetologists. The situation is similar in cosmetics for animals. It is thanks to the improvement of the quality of shampoos, the use of balms and oils to reduce the fragility of hair and their nutrition, as well as the improvement of brushes and combs that made it possible to grow such long hair in poodles. Thus, different, sometimes contradictory recommendations for caring for the coat of dogs are generated by a variety of types of hair and hairstyles, as well as the development of cosmetology and the perfume industry.