While both fur and hair grow from the same type of hair follicle and are made from keratin, they are quite different. For example, dog hair is usually longer and thicker, while dog fur is often shorter and finer, and it grows more densely than fur. In addition, while all dogs shed, regardless of coat type, those with hair shed less than those with fur.
Brittany spaniels have wavy or flat fur that is never wiry, silky, or curly. These dogs have a single coat that doesn’t tend to trap dirt and hold water, so it’s easy to maintain. They shed moderately; however, a weekly brush is sufficient to keep those loose hairs off clothes and floors.
This article hopes to uncover more differences between hair and fur maintaining these different hair types. In addition, we will look at how frequently Brittany Spaniels shed and how to take care of their coats to control shedding.
What Are Differences Between Dog Hair And Dog fur?
As mentioned above, both dog hair and dog fur grow from the same type of hair follicle, and both are made from the protein keratin.
However, while hair and fur are chemically equal, they have numerous differences. Among the main differences between the two are the length, density, and thickness. Dog hair is often longer and thicker, while dog fur is typically shorter, finer, and grows more densely.
In addition, dog fur can grow as double coats in certain breeds like Pomeranians – this coat has a fluffier, longer topcoat and a shorter undercoat.
Another difference between hair and fur is the frequency and abundance which they shed; both hair and fur grow in four phases:
- THE ANAGEN PHASE – when the hair is actively growing
- THE CATAGEN PHASE – the hair has fully grown.
- THE TELOGEN PHASE – when the hair is dormant and attached to your dog. This is also known as the resting phase.
- THE EXOGEN PHASe – when the hair starts to fall out and the follicle moves back to the anagen phase, and the new hair grows again.
Hair on dogs grows unceasingly; it never stops growing to a particular length. This means the hair is always in the anagen phase for longer.
As the entire growth cycle is prolonged, hair shedding is less frequent. However, their coats require more grooming to ensure it doesn’t get too long.
The fur on dogs grows to a certain length, and as the individual hairs reach the catagen phase and consecutive phases sooner, these dogs shed and regrow their fur more regularly.
This explains why dogs with fur shed more than those with hair. In addition, dogs with furry coats require more brushing than bathing to control the number of loose hairs.
People consider dogs with hair to be hypoallergenic and an ideal choice for allergy sufferers. It is worth noting that those with dog allergies are not allergic to the hair or fur but the dander attached to the coat.
Dander is made of skin particles and oil underneath the hair or fur. It is released into the environment during shedding. Since dogs with fur shed more frequently, more dander gets released too. These dogs are not ideal for allergy sufferers, but it can be bearable if you can keep up with the grooming of their coats.
Are Brittany spaniels Double Coated?
Brittany Spaniels have a single coat, unlike most spaniels and retrievers, with dense, insulating undercoats and weather-resistant topcoats.
This means that the Brittany coat is relatively easy to maintain, and they don’t tend to shed as much as double-coated dog breeds. Additionally, their fur doesn’t retain much dirt or water.
One of the downsides to having a single coat is being more sensitive to weather conditions. A single-coated dog may perspire more on sunny days and shiver when it’s windy. Your Brittany may require a dog jacket on really cold days.
Never shave your Brittany’s fur or any dog with a single coat because it makes them more susceptible to sunburns. It takes just ten minutes of unprotected sun exposure to cause burns to a Brittany Spaniel. Keep in mind that their single coat is all they have to protect themselves.
Do Brittany Dogs Shed A Lot?
Brittany Spaniels are moderate shedders; for a clearer picture of how much hair they lose – they shed more than Basenji but less than Golden Retrievers.
They shed about as much as most Pointers. Brittany Spaniels may not be an ideal choice if you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog, but they are not a terrible choice either. If you can keep up with their brushing schedule, you’ll hardly notice the amount of shedding.
Brittany Spaniels shed relatively evenly throughout the year, with some increase in the spring. Shedding is normal for most dogs and necessary as the old hair drops to make way for the new hair.
Shedding is not something to worry about, but it can be an eyesore. Most people don’t like the sight of dog hair on clothes, upholstery, and floors; thankfully, you can easily manage it.
Molting can be worrisome if it’s excessive and caused by poor diet, parasites, or other health issues. So, if you are worried about the amount and frequency your dog sheds, it would be wise to contact your vet.
The Brittany coat is generally low maintenance; all they require is weekly brushing to maintain it. However, these dogs are highly active and love the outdoors, so their coats often collect dirt and debris.
It can also get quite matted after an outing. Brushing is the optimum way to tidy up the coat and remove loose hairs before it drops and floats around your home. So, it is especially worth brushing during heavier shedding times.
Brushing also distributes your dog’s natural oils throughout his coat, making it healthy, shiny, and moisture-rich – which makes the coat shed less than one that is dry or irritated.
The best brush to use on a Brittany coat is a slicker brush – these brushes work best on a short to medium-length coat. It will keep your dog’s coat mat-free and remove the dead, old fur. It also works well on the feathered regions around the underside and legs of the body.
DE shedding brushes are excellent at removing more of the old fur in less time. They generally cost more than a slicker brush, but they make brushing your dog less burdensome.
Grooming a Brittany is easy and quick as it mainly involves brushing and the occasional bath. However, if you prepare your Brittany for show or want him to have a neater appearance, you may want to trim around his neck and head area. This also helps to lessen shedding.
Aside from grooming, Brittany’s require suitable nutrition and exercise. It helps to keep your dog fit and happy, as a less stressed dog doesn’t tend to shed as much as an unhappy dog.
A healthy adult Brittany, weighing about 40 pounds, needs a daily intake of 1109 calories, as they are highly active. Spayed or neutered Brittany’s and older dogs need fewer calories. Growing puppies require more calories than adult Brittany’s. You must consider your dog’s activity level and other factors to adjust his food intake.
Your Brittany should receive good quality nutrition; look for a dog food that is high in protein. Be aware that many well-known dog food brands use too many plant proteins, which isn’t healthy for your dog.
Meat protein is more straightforward for your dog to digest than plant protein. Dogs also require good sources of fat in their diet. Look out for named fat sources like chicken fat. Other fats include fish oil, which offers omega-3 fatty acids to keep your pet’s skin and coat in excellent condition.
Brittany’s can be allergic to common food allergens like dairy products, beef, chicken, eggs, lamb, wheat, soy, and fish. So, look out for these items if your dog has an allergy. Food allergy symptoms include scratching and itching, leading to damaged skin, skin infections, redness, and hair loss.
While many people use terms like hair and fur interchangeably when referring to a dog’s coat, we can now see that they differ in many ways despite having the same chemical makeup.
For example, Brittany Spaniels have fur; they shed, albeit moderately. As a result, there is some increase in hair loss during the spring, but it’s not excessive, and it’s easy to clean.
The optimum way to keep shedding to a minimum is by brushing your Brittany Spaniel. It doesn’t take long to do, especially if you have the right equipment. These dogs are single-coated, making them easy to maintain as they don’t hold much dirt or debris.
The importance of good-quality nutrition cannot be overstated. Food is essential for their overall health; it keeps their coat healthy and keeps shedding low.
Table Of Content