Dog Fur vs. Dog Hair

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The terms fur and hair are often used interchangeably when it comes to the description of our beloved canines coats. However, there are several differences among the two. There are more dog breeds that have fur; in fact, there are only about 35 recognized breeds by the American Kennel Club (AKC) that have hair.

How can I tell the difference?

Dogs with a fur coat have will almost always have double coat, though there are some with only a single coat. This means that they have a coarser and dense outercoat to protect them from the elements and a soft, fine undercoat that helps to regulate body temperature. Hair on the other hand is more smooth than fur, it is also, more fine and tends to be longer than fur. Unlike, breeds with fur, breeds with hair only have one coat layer. So have less protection against the elements. Though, fur and hair are both made out of a protein compound called keratin they are very different in texture and thickness.

Is a dog with hair hypoallergenic?

To begin, the term “hypo” means less, not non – in this case, less shedding, not no shedding. Hypoallergenic dogs tend to shed less since they do not have an undercoat and have hair, not fur. But just like humans, these animals will still lose hair. Since these dogs have significantly less shedding they are deemed safer for allergy sufferers.

When thinking of allergens, it is commonly believed that dog fur is the biggest trigger for allergic reactions. However, the reaction is actually caused by pet dander. Dander is the flecks of skin shed by dogs and other animals that attaches to pet hair. Thus, allergens found on our pets are triggered by dander, not the fur. So whether a dog is hypoallergenic has hair or fur they can certainly still release dander into the air.

What dog breeds have hair?

Poodles have had hair for centuries and they have passed these genetics onto their kin both standard and mixed. These include the Labradoodle, Maltipoo, Cockapoo, Goldendoodle, Shih Poo and many more. Other breeds donning hair include, members of the Terrier family, including the Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Portuguese Waterdog, Shih Tzu, Brussels Griffon, Bichon Frise, Havanese and the Chinese Crested.

To learn more about these precious pups and to find out how you can bring home your very own fur-ever friend, please visit: and speak with one of the knowledgeable and caring customer care members today.

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