Answer to “Do all Dogs shed?” from your Pet Groomer

Posted April 11th, 2010 by groomer

The age old question… “do all Dogs shed?  The answer is YES (unless they are hairless – that is).  There are different phases, or cycles of hair/fur growth.  Shedding, length of hair, and presence or absence of an undercoat may depend on the timing of those cycles.  The cycles are:

Anagen = period of new hair growth.  The longer the anagen period, the longer the hair grows i.e human scalp hair may stay in “anagen” for 2-6 years while the hair on the arms and legs may only be in anagen for 30-45 days.
Catagen = transition phase
Telogen = resting phase
Exogen = when the hair falls out and the follicle once again enters the anagen stage

Some dogs have a turn over rate of 3-5 years to totally replace their coat.  It’s not damaged, it just grows slowly.   How long a hair follicle will be in active growth depends on different factors i.e. genetic programming (some dogs could be genetically programmed to be in active growth for years while others only for weeks). 

Poodles, for example, are dogs that tend to be low shedding because all of their hair follicles are in the anagen (growth cycle) stage almost all the time; their hair continues to grow and has to be clipped frequently as a result.  Most dog breeds have a coat that is genetically programmed for a shorter growth cycle than those similar to a poodle coat.  Shaving breeds such as the Husky, Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, Keeshond, Collie, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever or German Shepherd , down close to the skin can irreparably cause damage to the coat in the process because of their double coats.

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