The term “hypoallergenic dog” is by now known as a mainstream description of dogs that are less likely to cause allergic reactions in people due to shedding less hair or dander. One of the traits that makes a dog “hypoallergenic” is their coat. When it comes to dogs, some people use the terms “hair” and “fur” interchangeably, but others use these two terms to distinguish the type of coat that the dog has along with the coat’s different features.
The five main different types of dog hair are:
- Straight, flowing hair
- Curly hair
- Wiry hair
- Corded hair
- Partial hair or Naked
It is important to note that both dog hair and dog fur are made from the same protein, but they are produced on the dog differently.
Dogs with fur tend to have a thicker coat in general. They have top coat and an under coat that shed which causes people with allergies to pets to have a reaction. Dogs with hair tend to have only one layer of hair and when it falls out it does not cause the same allergic reaction in those people who have a reaction to dogs with fur.
Below you will find an assortment of dogs with straight or flowing hair, curly hair, wiry hair, corded hair, or partial hair. These dogs all tend to be categorized as “hypoallergenic” or more tolerable by those people who are generally allergic to pets.
Dogs with Straight, Flowing Hair
Straight, flowing hair on dogs tends to be long, luxurious hair. Dog breeds with straight, flowing hair require frequent trips to the groomer to keep the coat clean and prevent the hair from matting. Grooming will ensure the hair remains clean, shiny, and tangle free. Some long haired dogs will need haircuts, too. Cutting the dog’s hair also helps it to remain free of tangles and matting just like with regular grooming.
The ten most popular dog breeds with straight, flowing, long hair are:
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Bearded Collie
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Afghan Hound
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
- Bernese Mountain Dog
*The last two have long hair, but it fits in the corded hair category.
Dogs with Curly Hair
Curly haired dogs typically have shorter hair than most straight, flowing hair dogs. Their hair tends to feel fluffy. Curly haired dog breeds require frequent grooming, too, in order to maintain a healthy and shiny, tangle-free coat.
Fifteen most popular dogs that are known to have curly hair are:
- Bedlington Terrier
- Toy Poodle
- Bichon Frise
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Airedale Terrier
- Lagotto Romagnolo
- Curly Coated Retriever
- Bouvier Des Flandres
- Irish Water Spaniel
- American Water Spaniel
- Portuguese Waterdog
- Standard Poodle
*With the exception of a few of these dog breeds, most curly hair breeds have much shorter hair in comparison to the straight, flowing hair dog breeds.
Dogs with Wiry Hair
Wiry hair on dogs feels much different from the softness of a curly haired dog breed or the silkiness of a straight, flowing haired dog breed. This hair feels thick, bristley, and rough to the touch. Grooming includes plucking out the dog’s unruly hair with either a stripping knife or your fingers. Wiry hair breeds are also known as broken hair breeds.
The following eight dog breeds are known to have wiry hair:
- Scottish Terrier
- Irish Terrier
- Border Terrier
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Brussels Griffon
Dogs with Corded Hair
Like wiry haired dogs, corded hair is much different from soft or silky hair on canines. This hair can be a bit rougher because the hair is similar in look and texture to dreadlocks. Sometimes these dogs are referred to as “mop-dogs” because their hair closely resembles a traditional mop. These coats can grow long, or they can be trimmed down by a groomer for easier maintenance.
Six dogs with corded hair or dreadlocks are:
- Spanish Water Dog
*The last breed on this list is commonly put on the curly haired dog breed list.
Partial Hair or Naked Dogs
Partial haired dog breeds, or naked dog breeds, or hairless dogs are canines with very little hair. Some people do not like them because their lack of hair means that they are mostly “naked,” but these dogs are excellent companions for people with allergies because of the limited amount of hair and dander.
The grooming required for these dogs is much less than for the previous four types of hair. Some people love to dress up their partial haired dogs to help keep them warm in the winter.
Five most popular naked dog breeds are:
- American Hairless Terrier
- Peruvian Inca Orchid
- Argentine Pila
- Chinese Crested Dog
- Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless)
The dogs listed above make excellent pets for people with allergies. Keep in mind the different styles of hair when looking for a new pet. Straight, flowing hair tends to be longer, curly hair tends to be shorter, wiry hair tends to be course, corded hair tends to be similar to dreadlocks, and partial haired dogs have little to no hair.
Whether you call it hair or fur, it’s important to note that dogs with these styles need specific grooming to care for their hair. The cost of maintaining their coat can be pricey; however, if you’re looking for a “hypoallergenic” dog breed, then the cost may be offset by the ability to have a companion around. Of these dog breeds, which hair type is your favorite? Do you have a least favorite?
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