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13 Double Coated Dog Breeds & How To Groom Them

By admin Dec4,2023

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What Is a Double-Coated Dog?

Double-coated dog breeds have a unique coat with two layers of insulation: a dense undercoat and a thick outer coat. They have adorable extra fluff to keep them toasty in cooler months, and the coat beneath allows increased airflow near the dog’s skin and prevents them from overheating in hot weather.

In addition, the coat underneath helps repel moisture away from the skin and helps canines stay clean by keeping dirt out.

The outer coat can be long (rough) or short (smooth). The rough or smooth outer coat is comprised of long hairs called guard hairs. Beneath the outer coat is a soft, wooly undercoat. The fluffier the doggy, the denser the coat underneath.

Double-coated dogs shed a lot and require regular brushing, often more than weekly. Loose fur needs to be removed to avoid matting and tangles.

Double Coated Dog Breeds

Here are some double-coated dog breeds:

1. Golden Retriever

GROUP Sporting
DOG’s SIZE 21.5-24 inches tall
WEIGHT 55-75 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Medium double-coated dog in dark golden, golden, and light golden
LIFE SPAN 10-12 years

Golden retrievers are playful, affectionate, smart, friendly, devoted, good with kids and pups, very trainable, and need mental stimulation.

As Scottish gun dogs that retrieved waterfowl, they needed a double coat to keep their bodies warm when they ventured into water bodies.

They were bred from Tweed Water Spaniels (now extinct), Bloodhounds, and Irish Setters. Their sweet personalities made them instantly popular in England, Canada, and the US. All types of retrievers are well-liked because of their nice demeanor.

2. Labrador Retriever

double coat dog breeds
GROUP Sporting
DOG’s SIZE 21.5-24.5 inches tall
WEIGHT 55-80 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Short double-coated dog in black, chocolate, and yellow
LIFE SPAN 11-13 years

The Labrador retriever is playful, friendly, energetic, affectionate, good with kids and other pooches, very trainable, and needs mental stimulation.

Labrador retrievers were bred with a dense undercoat because they retrieved waterfowl. The coat helps them stay warm. They were developed in Newfoundland, Canada.

Earls and lords from England visited the area and brought Labs home. The Brits refined them with water-resistant short coats because long-haired retrievers’ coats froze after going into the cold water in the winter.

3. German Shepherd

double coated dogs
GROUP Herding
DOG’s SIZE 22-26 inches tall
WEIGHT 50-90 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Medium double coated dog in black, black and cream, black and red, black and silver, black and tan, gray, sable, white, liver, blue, bi-color
LIFE SPAN 7-10 years

The regal German shepherd is affectionate, smart, brave, loyal, good with kids, playful, energetic, a good watchdog, and needs mental and physical stimulation. They are hard workers and wonderful pets. White German shepherds are also beautiful and sweet.

Shepherds were bred with double coats to keep them warm while out herding sheep. Since their herding days, shepherds have served as war, police, and guide dogs.

4. Australian Shepherd

dogs with double coats
GROUP Herding
DOG’s SIZE 18-23 inches tall
WEIGHT 40-64 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Medium double coated dog in black, blue merle, red, red merle
LIFE SPAN 12-15 years

The Australian shepherd is energetic, playful, very trainable, smart, a great worker, good with kids, very trainable, and needs stimulus. Aussies were originally in the Pyrenees Mountains with Basque people.

The Basques brought them briefly to Australia before moving to the US. These brilliant herders were the product of the original Pyrenees doggies crossed with Collies, Border Collies, etc. in the 1800s.

California ranchers perfected the breed that was used for herding and performed in rodeos. Some Australian shepherds still herd in the US. Others are therapy pups, service pooches, drug detectors, and search-and-rescue canines.

Their double coat traces back to the cold Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. Australian dog breeds are adorable and make great pets.

5. Alaskan Malamute

fluffy dog breeds
GROUP Working
DOG’s SIZE 23-25 inches tall
WEIGHT 75-85 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Medium length double coated dog breeds in gray and white, black and white, red and white, seal and white, silver and white, white, sable and white, blue and white, agouti and white
LIFE SPAN 10-14 years

The big fluffy Alaskan Malamute is loyal, affectionate, protective, playful, very trainable, and energetic.

Their double coat developed from living in the Arctic, where they originated. These sled dogs spent lots of time outside hauling heavy loads long distances at low speeds.

6. Akita

big furry dogs
GROUP Working
DOG’s SIZE 26-28 inches tall
WEIGHT 70-130 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Medium length, double coat in black; fawn; red; white; brown brindle; red, black overlay; silver, black overlay; brown, black overlay; fawn, black overlay; red brindle; silver brindle; black, red undercoat; black, fawn undercoat; black brindle; fawn brindle; black, brown undercoat; black, silver undercoat; white, red shading; brown; silver
LIFE SPAN 10-14 years

The majestic and magnificent Akita is intensely loyal, affectionate with family, brave, dignified, and energetic. I’ve been the mom of two wonderful Akitas.

They should be socialized and trained young because they are protective. A spitz-type breed, they were developed as hunters in Japan and have a plush coat under their topcoat.

Northern spitz canines are double-coat dog breeds because they are outside year-round in cold temperatures.

7. Bernese Mountain Dog

what is a double coated dog
GROUP Working
DOG’s SIZE 23-27.5 inches tall
WEIGHT 70-115 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Medium length wooly undercoat in black, rust, and white; black, tan, and white; black and rust; black and white; rust and white
LIFE SPAN 7-10 years

The beautiful Bernese mountain dog is affectionate, calm, sweet, strong, playful, friendly, good with children and doggies, energetic, and very trainable. They hail from Bern, Switzerland, where they drove cattle used to produce cheese and chocolate.

They were bred from Mastiff-type dogs and guard dogs 2,000 years ago by Romans and brought to Switzerland.

Mountain dog breeds tend to have a soft undercoat and a thick outer coat because it’s cold up there.

8. Newfoundland

double coat dog
GROUP Working
DOG’s SIZE 26-28 inches tall
WEIGHT 100-150 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Medium length double coat dog in black, brown, gray, white and black, beige, black and tan, white and brown
LIFE SPAN 9-10 years

Newfies are as sweet as they are gorgeous, affectionate, friendly, patient, good with pooches and children, and protective. They are great swimmers with partially webbed feet.

Newfies worked with Canadian fishermen and saved people from drowning. They still perform search and rescue. Newfies’ double coat was necessary for their forays into the icy water.

Newfies should be brushed daily to prevent matting.

9. Siberian Husky

dogs with soft fur
GROUP Working
DOG’s SIZE 20-23.5 inches
WEIGHT 35-60 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Medium double coat in agouti and white; black and white; gray and white; red and white; sable and white; white; brown and white; black, tan, and white; black
LIFE SPAN 12-14 years

The adorable Siberian Husky is affectionate, friendly, playful, loyal, fast, mischievous, energetic, and good with kids and doggies. Sibes have a thick double coat because their ancestors are from northeastern Asia, where they lived with the Chukchi people and pulled sleds for them in sub-zero weather.

They became popular through sled racing and also famous when sled dog Balto and his team delivered diphtheria serum to Nome, Alaska, by traveling 658 miles in five and a half days. If you like Huskies (and who doesn’t?), look at these types of Huskies.

Sibes do well with weekly brushing.

10. Pomeranian

small dogs with double coats
DOG’s SIZE 6-7 inches tall
WEIGHT 3-7 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Long hair and thick double coat in blue merle, blue brindle, chocolate merle, blue sable, black, black and tan, blue, blue and tan, chocolate, chocolate and tan, cream, cream sable, orange, orange sable, red, red sable, beaver, brindle, chocolate sable, white, wolf sable, beaver sable, tri-colored, black and brindle.
LIFE SPAN 12-16 years

The precious Pomeranian is the smallest of the double-coat gang and also has longer hair. Pommies are affectionate, bold, lively, inquisitive, and protective. Breeders reduced a spitz-type dog to 3-7 pounds, but Pommies retain big personalities no matter how small they are.

Queen Victoria fell in love with the Pommies she saw in Florence, Italy, and brought them to Britain, where they became very popular.

11. Keeshond

softest dog breeds
GROUP Non-sporting
DOG’s SIZE 17-18 inches tall
WEIGHT 35-45 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Long wooly undercoat in black and silver; gray and black; gray, cream, and black; gray, silver, and black; silver and black; wolf gray and black; black; tawny; silver; white; wolf gray
LIFE SPAN 12-15 years

The Keeshond is lively, friendly, protective, affectionate, playful, good with kids and pups, very trainable, and needs mental stimulation.

Kees were bred down to a medium size from spitz-type canines. They were barge dogs from Holland, where they guarded Dutch ships and sailed on them with the crew.

12. Old English Sheepdog

fur dogs breeds
GROUP Herding
DOG’s SIZE 21 inches and taller
WEIGHT 60-100 pounds
FUR AND COLOR Long double coat in black and white; fawn and white; brown and white; blue merle; blue; grizzle; gray; white; blue gray; grizzle and white; blue and white; blue, gray, and white; blue, merle, and white; gray and white
LIFE SPAN 10-12 years

The Old English sheepdog (OES) is gentle, smart, playful, affectionate, protective, and needs mental stimulation. They’re from England and were bred from canines from Russia, Scotland, and other European countries.

They drove cattle to the market. Some OES owners sheared them and made yarn for clothing. Russia and Scotland are northern countries, perhaps explaining their double coat.

13. Great Pyrenees

dog breeds with hair
GROUP Working
DOG’s SIZE 25-32 inches tall
WEIGHT 85 pounds and up
FUR AND COLOR Medium double coat in white
LIFE SPAN 10-12 years

Pyrs are smart, calm, affectionate, patient, and protective. My last dog-ter was a Pyr, and she was perfect.

Great Pyrenees protected sheep from wolves, bears, and sheep thieves in the cold Pyrenees Mountains in Italy and Spain, hence the double coat.

Grooming Tips for Double-Coated Dogs

Grooming double-coated dogs is a little different than regular grooming. A rake brush is a great tool for grooming a topcoat while removing fur from a dense undercoat. Doggies with a soft undercoat should be brushed two or three times a week to prevent mats and to remove dead hair from the thick coat of a fluffy dog.

Hairs from the dense undercoat can get caught in the top coat guard hair, and it’s painful. Avoid mats by using an undercoat rake brush to pull out excess fur from both the soft under coat and the outer coat. Try a coat detangler spray when brushing out knots in the topcoat.

A weekly brushing with a rubber curry comb also helps remove loose hair. A slicker brush removes thicker and longer butt fur.

Can Dogs With Double Coats Be Shaved?

Don’t shave a dog with a thick undercoat because their coats insulate them from winter cold and summer heat. Also, most double-coated dogs have pink skin, making them prone to sunburn.

Talk to your professional groomer about a cut, but most recommend just brushing out the dead hair.


How Can I Tell if My Dog Has a Double Coat?

Pet your dog against the direction of the fur. If you see skin, your dog has a single coat. If you find a short layer of thick, fluffy, soft, and dense undercoat — your pup has a double coat.

Is the Golden Retriever Double-Coated?

Yes, they have thick undercoats.

Do Double-Coated Dogs Get Cold?

Their woolly undercoat keeps them warm in cold weather. However, if a dog is outside all the time, they are at risk for frostbite, hypothermia, etc.

Final Thoughts  

Dogs with two-layer coats are cuties because of their lush fur. Some doggies benefit from daily brushing. Regular grooming with rake dog tools is helpful to get down to the thick bottom coat as they shed.

If your dog is shedding a lot, another way to groom is to give your pooch baths in addition to regular brushing to help remove loose fur and prevent mats.

By admin

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