Dog grooming techniques

Our dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and their coats are as unique as they are. Each coat requires a different grooming routine but before you get the brush and shampoo out, it’s important to understand your dog, their breed and their coat.

Here are some top tips on how to groom and maintain your dog’s coat, depending on their fur.

Smooth coat

A smooth-coated dog doesn’t need much grooming, which makes them ideal for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time or money on fur maintenance.

They do shed, so brushing their coat a few times a week can help get rid of any excess hair.

Smooth-coated dogs include:

  • Greyhound
  • Doberman
  • Weimaraner

Different dog breeds coats require different grooming techniques

Curly coat

Dogs with curly coats often boast tight curls or loose waves. These breeds have hair rather than fur and this tends to be non-shedding.

It is quite common for their curls to matt and tangle, so daily grooming is key to a healthy coat.

Curly-coated breeds include:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Airedale terrier
  • Poodles

Wire coat

A wire-coated dog’s fur is often stiff and stands away from the body. These coats are quite fussy and need both a stripping comb and a slicker brush to be groomed well.

You might want to consider taking your dog to a professional dog groomer who will know how to look after the coat.

Wire-coated dogs include:

  • Fox Terrier
  • Border Terrier
  • Jack Russell

Double coat

A dog with a double coat will need more grooming than some of the other breeds. As their coat is made of short and long hair, with different areas needing different amounts of attention.

It’s important to remember that if you have a double-coated dog, that they should never be shaved as this can permanently damage their fur. Brushing and bathing a dog’s thick fur can help keep their coat clean and healthy.

Double-coated dogs include:

  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Shiba Inu

Long coat

Breeds with long coats need regular grooming to keep their fur neat and free of mats. As the seasons change, a properly groomed coat and healthy skin will help regulate your dog’s temperature to suit the environment.

A long-coated dog can have its hair bobbed for easier maintenance, especially if they prefer outdoor adventures over showing off their locks in a show ring.

Long-coated dogs include:

  • Afghan Hound
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Yorkshire Terrier

Short coat

Short-haired dogs are slightly different from their smooth-coated friends as their sleek fur has more texture and you can put your fingers through it.

These dogs have two layers of short hair, making it quite dense but it’s still quite easy to groom as it doesn’t tangle! Brushing a short-coated dog once a week will keep their fur looking smooth and shiny.

Short-coated dogs include:

  • Pug
  • Labrador
  • Beagle

If you’re ever confused about how to groom your dog, what sort of brush is best, or if you have the right shampoo you can ask your vet or approach a professional groomer. Once you learn the best techniques to care for your dog’s coat you will be able to provide the grooming routine they need to always look their best.

Looking for more dog advice?

Find the information you need as we support you through every step of your journey with your canine companion.


Need dog insurance?

Dog insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your dog gets injured or falls ill.


We know pets

Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award winning FCA-regulated pet insurer, founded in 1998 to provide industry-leading pet insurance and first-class animal care to create a better life for every animal.
As one of the UK’s largest pet insurance providers, Animal Friends works with vets, veterinary professionals, and partners pioneering the latest veterinary technology & healthcare advancements to achieve our vision.
Our policyholders have helped donate over £8.5 million to more than 800 animal charities worldwide and by educating and inspiring others to act on current events and responsible pet ownership, Animal Friends is driving positive change for animal welfare and conservation.