Becoming a pet owner comes with lots of daily responsibilities and commitment. Every dog needs a certain amount of grooming. However, some dog breeds need more maintenance than others. Breed-specific maintenance is important to be aware of, before adopting your pet. One question that many potential pet adopters have is, what dogs shed the most?
Knowing the maintenance involved will help with choosing the dog that is best for you and your family. To decrease potential allergies, hair on furniture or floors, and other grooming issues, it’s a good idea to research first. Dogs that shed a lot include German Sheperds, Golden Retrievers, and Pomeranians just to name a few.
It will also help you know what pet grooming supplies you will need. Some dog breeds are hairless, others have fur or they have hair. Yes, there is a difference between fur and hair. Breeds with hair have little shedding because their hair continues a growth cycle. Dogs with fur tend to shed more because their fur grows to a certain length and then sheds.
What Dog Breeds Shed the Most?
The following is a list of pure breeds that shed the most. Mixed breeds/designer breeds may inherit traits from either parent; therefore, their coat may take after the mom’s or dad’s breed. Additionally, a puppy’s coat may change as he matures.
1. Akita – originated from the mountainous region in Japan. They have a dense double coat that sheds heavily twice a year.
2. Alaskan Malamute & Siberian Husky – Both these breeds are accustomed to living in very cold temperatures and hauling heavy loads through icy terrain. They have a very thick double coat that is odorless and shed heavily twice a year.
3. American Eskimo – Is a member of the Spitz family that originated in Germany. Because of their white fluffy coat, they are sometimes called, “Cloud Spitz”. They have a short, dense undercoat and they shed constantly.
4. Cardigan Welsh and Pembroke Welsh Corgi – These little guys were bred to be cattle dogs, referred to as heelers. They nip at the cattle’s heels to keep them moving. They have waterproof, short thick double coats that shed constantly and shed seasonally twice a year.
5. Chow Chow – This breed was a favorite of Chinese emperors. Chow Chows have a thick double coat that sheds heavily seasonally. Their coat can be smooth or rough.
6. German Shepherd – Is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They usually have a medium length fur coat that typically “blow out” their coat twice a year, they also shed regularly.
7. Labrador Retriever – Labs are smart and loyal dogs that originated on the island of Newfoundland off the coast of Canada. They have a thick, water-repellant double coat that constantly sheds.
8. Golden Retriever – Goldens usually make wonderful family dogs. Retrievers have a thick water-repellant double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. They also shed moderately on a continuous basis.
9. Saint Bernard – The Saint Bernard is referred to as the genial giant of the Swiss Alps. Their coat can be short or long hair and are seasonal shedders.
10. Pomeranians – Spunky Pomeranians are descendants of the German Spitz. They have a thick double coat that sheds constantly and sheds heavily twice seasonally.
Why do Dogs Shed?
A dog’s coat helps control his temperature, protects his skin, and can keep him dry. Humans have one hair growing in each follicle; dogs have several hairs growing from each follicle. Fur will grow to a certain length, then shed to allow new hair to grow in. It is a natural process for dogs to lose “old” hair by shedding.
The amount of fur a dog will shed will depend on his breed, his health, age, and stress level. Breeds with double coats will get a thicker coat during winter and then they will shed in the Spring. Seasonal shedding of the undercoat is sometimes called “blowing coat.”
Dogs will shed more when they are ill; health conditions such as hypothyroidism, cancer and allergies can cause hair loss. Senior dogs can lose the ability of the hair cells to regenerate, and hair loss can occur. Stress due to surgery, losing a love one, a new home or other major changes in his life may cause him to shed.
How to Control Shedding
You cannot stop a dog from shedding, but you can reduce the amount of hair left in your home and clothing. Brushing your dog regularly will get rid of loose hair. Seasonal shedding will require more frequent brushing. Grooming gloves, slicker and bristles brushes should be used on dogs with double coats. A brisk comb over is best for short hair dogs.
Feeding dogs, a balance diet high in protein and low on by-products, grains and fillers is essential to maintain a healthy coat. Salmon oil is one of the best supplements you can add to their food. It promotes a healthy coat and reduces dry skin.
Bathing your dog monthly will also help wash away loose hair. Always use a shampoo that is made for dogs. Human shampoo will dry out their skin. Completely shaving dogs during seasonal shedding is not recommended. Without his undercoat to protect him, a shaved dog may sunburn. He will not have insulation to protect him, and he will be more susceptible to insect bites and allergens.
Check your dog for fleas and ticks. Dogs that have skin parasites will scratch more, which will increase the amount of fur he sheds. Fleas can also cause an allergic reaction that will also cause more itchiness and shedding.
Other ways to control hair in your home is daily vacuuming, iRobot Roombas are wonderful and convenient for pet owners. Lint rollers or scotch tape can help remove hair from your clothing and furniture. Another recommendation is using slip covers or blankets to cover your furniture and wash them weekly.
Should you Adopt a Dog that Sheds Heavily?
Something to consider before you say no to a big shedder is that dogs that shed less may need professional grooming. Breeds such as Poodles, Maltese Terrier, Tibetan Terrier and Westies will need daily brushing and monthly visits to the groomer. Without proper grooming, their hair becomes messy and matted. So, there will be less shedding, but you will have an extra expense.
If you choose to adopt a dog that is a big shedder you will have to deal with fur in your home, clothes, and car. Developing a daily routine of vacuuming and brushing him will help control the tumble weeds.
The bottom line is adopting a pet will be more work in your life. However, it will be so worth your efforts. He will be a loyal companion that will bring you joy and unconditional love.
Josh Grogan the writer of the best seller book Marley and Me said it the best.
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”
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