When it comes to dogs, everyone loves the look of a thick, healthy coat. However, “I want to spend my days cleaning up hills of hair,” said no one EVER. In this edition of Animal Facts, we’re singling out canines that are “extra,” in that they are the Dogs That Shed the Most.
10. St. Bernard
When it comes to shedding, size matters. It’s a given that St. Bernards would be heavy shedders because of their thick, protective double coats, but their sheer size catapults
them into the upper echelon of shedding breeds.
At 26 to 30 inches at the shoulder and weighing from 140 to 180 pounds, the even-tempered Saint is a gentle giant that you should only make part of your family if you don’t mind a messy house or the grind of continually cleaning up drool, mud and of course—hair. Although they shed small to moderate amounts of hair daily, twice a year, they “blow” their coats excessively, usually in the spring and fall.
To minimize the amount of spring and holiday cleaning you’ll have to do, make sure your big buddy eats quality food and gets brushed regularly. Use a rubber curry brush if your Saint is short-haired, or pin brush and 2 in 1 comb if you have a long-haired Saint.
The Papillon’s claim to fame is being a lively lap dog with butterfly ears. This happens to be where the breed gets its name. A lap dog may be precisely the type of pup you’re looking for, but be sure you’re chill with your friend leaving behind a lap full of loose hairs.
Pappys are known as moderate shedders as they have a single coat and shed lightly but continuously throughout the year. Like double-coated breeds, they go through two periods a year of moderate to excessive shedding, the extent of which depends on factors like a seasonal shift in the climate, if you take your pup out for their daily walk in spring or autumn or the temperature is higher or lower than normal, and home cooling or heating systems which mask the outdoor temperature. Dogs that live in regions where temperature changes occur gradually may experience only minimal shedding year-round.
If your Papillon is a heavy shedder, be sure to brush them at least once a day during this time, as many of the loose hairs will become trapped in their coat and may lead to yeast infections if you don’t brush them out. With proper care, your little sidekick will float like a butterfly.
8. Keeshond- Dogs That Shed the Most
While most breeds are either single or double-coated, the Keeshond is in a league of its own. They have a dense double topcoat, coarse undercoat, and an outer coat of longer guard hairs that form a quadruple-layered barrier that keeps them toasty in cold weather, dry in wet weather, and cool when the “heat is on.”
As with all Spitz breeds, Keeshonds shed relentlessly, especially during their seasonal shedding periods. The upside is that their coats are virtually odorless. So while you may have to deal with a lot of fluff, your home will be funk-free.
To keep their coat free of tangles and mats, brush your Keeshond at least once a week (daily during shedding periods) from head to tail. Part the hair in sections and mist with water to decrease static electricity and improve manageability. And, be sure to brush from the roots to the ends to prevent matting.
Fun Fact: The Keeshond is known as the “Smiling Dutchman” because they tend to form a tooth-bearing grin that looks like it’s anything but innocent. Chances are it is, but you never know…
Deciding to include the Siberian Husky on our list was a no-brainer. Any dog described as “Siberian” should come with a disclaimer denying responsibility for property damage or allergic reactions caused by their luxurious fur. It’s not their fault…blame Mother Nature.
Make sure you have a good vacuum because Huskies shed a lot on a typical day, let alone during their blowing seasons. One way to minimize shedding is to move to a cooler climate. Huskies that live in cold areas tend to shed less than those living in warmer regions.
For such heavy shedders, taking care of their coats doesn’t take much effort. Like the Keeshond, the Husky is practically odorless. When it comes to bathing, they clean themselves, like cats, and seldom need baths. Grooming a Husky’s coat is also surprisingly easy. Just brush them once a week—every day during their shedding seasons—and you’ll have one handsome Husky on your hands.
6. Old English Sheepdog – Dogs That Shed the Most
If you’re not afraid of BIG hair or HARD work, get yourself an Old English Sheepdog. They’re large, lovely, and have locks that need LOTS of attention whether on their bodies or in tufts strewn about the floor, the couch, your clothes, well…everywhere.
Sheepdogs shed like there’s no tomorrow. However, there are a couple of advantages to having one instead of other heavy shedders. First of all, their coats are so long and shaggy that most of their loose hairs get trapped in their fur. It must be brushed out. And, unlike most double-coated breeds, Sheepdogs don’t shed seasonally. So, you won’t have the headaches that come with a deluge of fur in the spring and fall.
An essential beauty routine for your BFF should include brushing the topcoat and raking the undercoat at least every other day and bathing your buddy every 6 to 8 weeks.
Cruella DeVil went to great lengths to try to get her hands on the elegant black and white spotted coats of the Dalmatian puppies in a particular Disney film. However, if she’d done her homework, she could have saved a lot of time and energy. You see, Dalmatians always shed. So, she could have created her coats by merely collecting the loose hairs they left behind.
Dals have short, coarse hairs that show no mercy. Not only will they end up all over your house, but they’ll also needle into your clothing, carpet, and upholstery, making them difficult to remove without a little extra time and elbow grease. The bright side is that they only have one coat, so they don’t shed seasonally. And, since their hairs are short and stiff, their molting isn’t as noticeable as other heavy shedders.
You may be wondering why a dog with such short hair sheds so much. Well, the short answer is that hair gets trapped in the long double-coats of most heavy-shedding dogs. But, since Dals have a single layer of hair, there’s nothing underneath to catch the excess. So, it falls off of them and onto everything…Good thing they’re pretty.
Fun Facts: Dalmatian coats are one of a kind… just like fingerprints.
Golden Retrievers have flowing, golden tresses that would make Rapunzel jealous, but that beauty comes with price…piles and piles of hair.
To say that Goldies shed a lot would be an understatement—Goldies shed profusely. Like other double-coated breeds, the hair in their dense, water-resistant outer coat has a downy texture, and their thick undercoat is very plush yet acts as insulation to keep them warm or cool and sunburn free. This distinct combination of fine and furry hair is the perfect recipe for creating an endless supply of feathery plumes that float on air and cling to everything else during the shedding season.
If you have a Goldie, consider yourself lucky. You’ll never have a gentler, more fun-loving, devoted pal. So what if you have to give them a good brushing every day, invest in a quality pet vacuum, and keep a lint brush in your back pocket to whisk away mini messes quickly? They’re worth it.
3. Samoyed – Dogs That Shed the Most
Ever wonder why Samoyeds wear a perpetual smile? The world will probably never know for sure. But we think it’s because they know they won’t have to clean up the fur they shed.
Samoyeds are yet another working breed from Siberia, so they are among the heaviest shedding breeds of the heavy shedders. Also, since they have fluffy, snowy white coats, they shed more noticeably, particularly during “the most wonderful times of the year”—spring and autumn. Although there is no way to stop your Sammy’s shedding, there are ways to keep a snowdrift from turning into an avalanche.
Yes, we’ve said it a few times now, but it bears repeating. Along with proper diet, brushing your pup a few times a week with a slicker brush or metal comb (daily during shedding seasons) is the most effective way to manage molting. Or, if you want to get to the “root” of the issue, use an undercoat rake or de-shedding tool to penetrate surface fur and lift loose undercoat to the surface. A gentle bath with a high-end shampoo before brushing can help separate molted fur from the rest.
If you love your Sammy, you’ll do whatever it takes to make your lives more comfortable. But if the joy of being a human Zamboni starts to get to you, imagine you’re taking a walk through the clouds.
2. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees breed originated in the Pyrenees Mountains, a snowy range that sits between Spain and France. So, the fact that they have a double-coat that protects them from the elements is a given. They’re large, so it’s natural for them to lose more fur and for us to notice it more.
What differentiates Pyrs from other heavy shedders is that they’re deceptively easy to groom. Their dirt and tangle resistant fur doesn’t need to be brushed for as long or often as you might think. You may want to brush your Pyr daily to keep hair from accumulating. However, they only need to be brushed once or twice a week outside of when they blow their coat.
Fun Fact: The Great Pyrenees breed is so old that their fossils dating between 1800 B.C. and 1000 B.C. have been found.
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1. Alaskan Malamute – Dogs That Shed the Most
Our top dog is the Alaskan Malamute, who coincidentally is a native of…you guessed it—Siberia.
Although today they enjoy lives of leisure, Malamutes were originally bred by an Inuit tribe called the Mahlemut to pull loads over great distances in subzero temperatures. Their thick, waterproof coats were ideal for sled work, and they would even use their “corkscrew” tails to protect their faces from brutal winds as they slept. Now the fur that was once the Mally’s saving grace shows no mercy as it falls to the floor, floats in the air, and fills garbage bags to the rims.
If you’re thinking of getting a Malamute, don’t be afraid. One advantage to having a Mally is that they are similar to Huskies in that they clean themselves like felines. So, you won’t have to deal with dirty paws or muddy fur between baths. Malamutes also get “cool points” for having odorless fur that can be spun into yarn.
So, instead of putting those garbage bags on the curb, you might want to hold to a couple in case you want to knit a few Christmas sweaters.
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