What is the difference between dog’s with fur & hair?

What is the difference between dog’s with fur & hair?

When it comes to dog coats, there are two main types: hair and fur. Many people get confused about the difference, but they are actually quite distinct. Hair is often finer than fur, needs to be brushed to prevent mattes, and given haircuts. Fur can be smooth and short or long and full, and has an undercoat, which sheds. Depending on your dog's coat type, you will need to groom them differently and give them different types of care.

For example, dogs with hair will need to be brushed more frequently than those with fur. This is because their hair can get matted and tangled easily. Dogs with fur on the other hand, don't need to be brushed as often because their fur is shorter and doesn't tangle as easily. If you're not sure which type of coat your dog has, keep reading, we have everything explained!

First thing first, what is dog's coat?

A dog's coat is actually 2 layers: the undercoat and the topcoat. The undercoat is the soft, downy hair that helps keep your dog warm in cold weather. The topcoat is the longer, coarser hair that protects your dog from the elements.

How To Tell If Your Dog Has Hair Or Fur?

difference between dog's fur and dog's hair

One way to tell if your dog has hair or fur is to look at the individual strands. If they are thick and have a coarse texture, it's likely that your dog has fur. If the strands are thin and have a soft texture, then your dog probably has hair.

Another way to tell is by looking at how dense the coat is. Dogs with fur usually have a much denser coat than those with hair. This is because their fur grows in layers, which provides them with more insulation from the cold.

Finally, you can also tell by noticing if your dog is shedding. Dogs with fur release their undercoat and re- grow it depending on the seasons. The surest way to tell if your dog has fur or hair, is to tell by their breed.

List of dog breeds that have fur:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever 
  • Chow Chow
  • Alaskan Malamute 
  • Akita
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Siberian Husky 
  • German Shepherd
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Great Dane
  • Boston Terrier
  • French Bulldog 

List of dogs that have hair:

  • Chinese Crested
  • Basenji
  • Peruvian Inca Orchid
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Border Terrier
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Maltese
  • Shit-Zu

So, now that you know the difference between dog hair and fur, which type of coat does your dog have? And does it really matter? Read on to find out!

My dog has a curly coat what does that mean: hair or fur?

White dog with curly coat

A dog with a curly coat has hair that grows in tight, spiral curls. This type of coat is often found on breeds, such as the Bichon Frise, Poodle, and Maltese. Curly-coated dogs typically don't shed very much, but they do require regular grooming to prevent their hair from matting.

What is the best type of coat for a dog?

There is no one "best" type of coat for a dog. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, dogs with fur typically don't require as much grooming as those with hair. However, they may shed more and their coats can be more difficult to keep clean.

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Does It Matter What Type Of Coat Your Dog Has?

The type of coat your dog has really doesn't matter. Both types of coats are equally effective at keeping your dog warm and protected from the elements. The only time it might make a difference is if you're allergic to dogs.

Some people claim that they are allergic to dog fur, but not dog hair. This is because fur is denser and contains more allergens than hair. However, this is not always the case, and it really depends on the individual dog.

Why is dog fur allergic?

golden retriever laying on the ground

Dog fur is allergic because it is denser in undercoat and contains more allergens  than hair. Allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to a particular substance.

When you are exposed to an allergen, your immune system produces antibodies to fight off the invader. These antibodies cause symptoms such as itchiness, sneezing, and a runny nose.

So, if you're allergic to dogs, it's best to avoid all contact with them, regardless of whether they have fur or hair. But we know it is hard to stand those puppy eyes! Even when your own are full of tears and itchy

Pro Tip: If you're allergic to dogs, the best thing to do is to meet a few different breeds (better hypoallergenic) and see how you react to them. This way, you'll be able to find a dog that's right for you, regardless of their coat type.

So, there you have it! The difference between dog hair and fur. Now that you know the difference, does it really matter which type of coat your dog has? We think not! As long as you're able to find a dog that you're compatible with, that's all that matters.

Is dog hair allergic? 

Yes, some people can be allergic to dog hair. As opposed to fur, dog hair is regarded as hypoallergenic, but still, a lot of people are allergic to it. If you are not sure about your allergies, we strongly recommend you consult with a doctor.

Do all dogs shed?

No, not all dogs shed. Some breeds, such as the Poodle and Bichon Frise, are considered non-shedding or hypoallergenic. This means that they produce less dander (dead skin cells), which is the main cause of allergies in people. However, even non-shedding dogs require some grooming to prevent their hair from matting.

How is grooming different for hair and fur?

Dogs with hair need to be brushed often to prevent matting. You can use a brush with firm bristles to remove knots and tangles. Start at the bottom of the hair and work your way up. Be careful not to pull too hard, as this can hurt your dog. Read our article on grooming dogs with hair

Fur can be very short and smooth and may only require bathing or thick and long which will require brushing frequently to remove loose hair and reduce excessive shedding.  To learn more, pls read: grooming shedding dogs.

Hair needs to be trimmed regularly to keep your pup neat and tidy. You can take your dog to a groomer to have this done, or you can do it yourself at home with the right tools.

two dogs sitting in bath tub with dog grooming products

The growth cycle of dog hair and fur is different 

Hair goes through three phases of growth: anagen (active growth), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). The anagen phase can last anywhere from two to eight years, while the telogen phase lasts for about three months.

Fur has a shorter growth cycle than hair. It goes through two phases of growth: anagen (active growth) and telogen (resting phase). The anagen phase lasts for about three months, while the telogen phase lasts for about one month.

This means that fur grows back faster than hair, but stops growing when it reaches the breeds length.

Does seasonal shedding for dog hair and fur differ?

pet parents brushing on dog's coat

Yes, seasonal shedding for dog hair and fur differs. Seasonal shedding is when a dog sheds its coat in preparation for the warmer months. This usually happens in the springtime.

Dogs with fur typically shed more than dogs with hair. This is because their fur has a thick undercoat that sheds according to the temperature and season. Dogs with hair typically shed less than dogs with fur. This is because their hair is more like ours and grows, which means they need hair cuts.

What is seasonal shedding?

In spring, you may notice that your dog is shedding more than usual. This is because their coat is getting ready for the warmer months. To help reduce the amount of shedding, you can brush your dog more often and use a de-shedding tool. But a lot of dogs shed year round.

How often should I groom my dog?

This depends on the type of coat your dog has. Dogs with hair will need to be brushed daily based on the length and trimmed monthly depending on the cut. Dogs with fur will need to be brushed as needed according to shedding frequency and coat length, typically every 3-4 weeks.

How do you make sure your dog looks and feels their best?

Here are some tips to help you ensure healthy hair appearance of your pet:

- Brushing your dog's hair once or twice a week to prevent knots and tangles, and stimulate hair follicles.

- Use a brush tool to remove loose hair.

- Trim your dog's hair every six to eight weeks.

- Bathe your dog as needed, use Pride+Groom to get the best look and feel.

- Avoid using human hair products on your dog's hair & skin. It can deteriorate the top coat of their body protective layer.

- Talk to your vet if you notice any changes in your dog's hair.

How to take care of amazing pet fur?

Here are some tips to help you ensure a healthy fur appearance of your pet's fur, they are very similar to the ones listed above.

- Brushing your dog's fur three or four times a week to prevent knots and tangles. Season is very important here, in summer you can scale down, whereas, in Spring, your pet tends to shed more.

- Use a de-shedding tool to remove loose fur.

- Bathing your dog as needed, using Pride +Groom’s The Shedder formula.

- Avoid using human hair products on your dog's fur.

- Talk to your vet if you notice any changes in your dog's fur.

Regardless of your dog having fur or hair, your pet can have sensitive skin underneath their wonderful coat! Those pups need extra TLC, read here tips on taking care of dog’s sensitive skin 

Should your dog's Nutrition be based on their coat?

adorable beagle dog


The type of coat your dog has doesn't affect their nutritional needs. All dogs need a balanced diet that includes protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

You should talk to your vet about what type of diet is best for your dog. They can recommend a food that is specifically formulated for dogs with different types of coats

To conclude:

Now, you are a well-educated pet owner that can tell the difference between a dog's hair & fur. Go out there and show off your knowledge to friends & family!Don't forget that both types of coats need to be brushed frequently, trimmed every few weeks, and bathed as needed. And most importantly, consult with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's coat! Until next time, take care of those furry friends of yours!


PRIDE+GROOM was born because 4 New York City dog lovers wanted the same level of grooming products for their dogs that they themselves enjoyed. They looked (hard) but nothing was up to snuff. Or sniff. Like so many, we love our families and take pride in our homes, and we consider our pets to be integral parts of those entities. That said, we could not find an effective way to coif them that was on par with the way we tended to our children, our homes, or ourselves. These beloved pets are allowed on the furniture and in our beds, and yet even when fresh from the groomer, we knew they did not smell or feel as good as they could.

With the development of our coat-specific shampoos, conditioner and deodorizing spray, we think we found just the way to say thanks for being the best and the sweetest MVP of the house.

PRIDE+GROOM is the first dog grooming brand launched under a beauty platform, with formulas made in a clean beauty and scent lab. We know beauty is not only skin deep. We did a ton of research to create the entire line. Each product is formulated with its own unique blend of essential oils sourced from around the world.


Shop our entire line:  www.prideandgroom.com