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Dog Hair Terminology Explained

Dog hair. If you share your home with one or more pups, chances are you've got the stuff everywhere, like allergen confetti. Like sprinkles on your black dress pants. Like decor on... well... everything.

But, while you share your home with a metric ton of the stuff at any given time, do you know what all the many words related to dog hair mean? We've got a list of some of the words used to describe dog coat types, colours and more!

Brindle - brindle is to dogs coats what tortoiseshell is to cats. A mixture of black, brown and other shades.

Corded - twisted, ropy hair, like dreadlocks, but for dogs! Find them on Komondors, Hungarian Pulis and a few other breeds.

Feather or feathering - the long, silky hair that grows on the legs, ears and tails of breeds like Golden Retrievers.

Flat coated - smooth coated dogs, like Dalmations and Great Danes.

Harlequin - black patches on a white background, as in harlequin Great Danes. Sometilmes also called piebald.

Long coat - a term that describes dogs with long hair, particularly in breeds where this isn't the standard, like German Shepherds.

Merle - dark spots on top of a lighter base, sometimes called dapple.

Parti-coloured - spotted coats.

Ruff - the longer, thicker hair that grows around the necks of some dog breeds. Like a doggy mane!

Sable - lighter hairs with black tips.

Stand off coat - a dog with a coat that sticks out from their skin.

Ticking - small dots of colour on a white background.

Wheaten - a pale golden coloured coat.

Wire haired - a wiry, bristly, coarse coat. Relatively easy to groom, compared to other types of longer hair.

Undercoat - the soft, downy hair that grows prolifically under the tough outer hairs of dogs like Labradors.


There are many other terms related to dogs coats and grooming that we will definitely get to in time, but this is a good start. So now you can use the correct terminology to describe that layer of floof that makes your couch look lived in, and your house feel like home!

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