How Double-Coated Dog Owners Deal with Coat Blow

Posted by Kat Tretina

If you have a dog with a single-layer coat, you have never experienced the horror of a coat blow.

Normal dog owners can never understand what double-coated dog owners go through.

All dogs shed a bit year-round, but for double-coated breeds, particularly northern breeds bred to be sled dogs, the coat blow is an entirely different issue.

What is a Coat Blow?

It is natural for double-coated breeds to "blow their coats," a process where their coats switch from their winter coat to their summer coat. Shedding the old hair is essential for new growth.

coat blow

Double-coated dog breeds, such as Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, Akitas, Malamutes, and even German Shepherds have a soft undercoat and a top coat with long, coarse guard hairs. The undercoat is essential for these breeds to stay warm in harsh winter conditions.


When the seasons change, the coats switch so they can adapt to the new conditions. The transition allows them to be comfortable all year long.


Instead of shedding, where only a few hairs come out, double-coated breeds blow their coat and the undercoat comes out in large clumps. You may think that enough hair is coming out to leave the dog bald, but there is always more fur loosening up. You can end up with trash bags full of loose hair during a coat blow.

For dogs who blow their coat, going to the groomer to be professionally clipped is unnecessary. The fur and dead hair falls out naturally and, in fact, double-coated breeds should never be shaved. The hair is necessary protection against the cold, but also against the heat and sun rays.

What Does a Coat Blow Look Like?

Dogs going through a coat blow can often look very raggedy. The hair can clump up to the point where it looks like sheep wool.

Husky coat blow

The coat can blow very unevenly, with some areas making the new coat transition faster than others, giving the pup a very patchy appearance.

How Often Do Dogs Blow Their Coats?

Because most dogs are kept inside as pets in climate-controlled homes, the coat blow process can change.

Husky coat blow

The frequency and severity of a coat blow depends on the breed and gender of the animal, the change in the seasons and whether or not the dog is spayed or neutered. Dogs can have thicker and denser coats after being "fixed."

Managing a Coat Blow

You can help your dog through a coat blow--and keep the hair tumbleweeds to a minimum--by grooming him every day for at least fifteen minutes. Using grooming tools like an undercoat rake, slicker brush, and a Greyhound comb will help remove the loose undercoat and will speed the process along, helping your dog feel more comfortable.

As frustrating as a coat blow can be for a double-coated dog owner, it doesn't make them any less loved! It just means there's a little extra dog hair around the house...

1. Dog Rake

Dog Rake

The Dog Rake by Oster removes dead undercoat and is easy to clean!

2. Slicker Brush

Slicker Brush


You wont find yourself cringing as you brush your dog with the Slicker Brush. It's gentle on your fur baby and won't scratch their skin.

3. Dog Comb

Dog Comb

I love that this comb has round teeth ends. Your dog will feel like he's at a spa with this one.

4. Poodle Pet Comb

Poodle Pet Comb

Groom your poodle's undercoat with a rake designed for poodles. As someone with curly hair, it's important for me to buy products designed for my hair. After skipping the salon for months, I too sometimes look like a raggedy poodle. Don't let your fur baby look like that!

5. Pet Grooming Brush

Pet Brush

The Furryfirst Undercoat Dematting Brush is designed for both cats and dogs. Our cats can get extra furry too!

6. Grooming Brush

Grooming Gloves

These are my favorite! Of course your fur baby will probably think "Wow my parent's hands feel a bit more rough than usual," but it's a win win. You get to pet your dog while you groom him.

7. Double Sided Brush

Bristle brush

I like the typical bristle brush design on this one. The non-slip handle looks comfortable and there's rounded pins so it doesn't hurt your dog. You might even mistake this one for your own brush at a quick glance!

Do you have a double-coated dog? How do you manage coat blow? Tell us in the comments below!

This post was originally published on October 6, 2017.

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How Double-Coated Dog Owners Deal with Coat Blow