Dogs That Have Single Coats


Dogs with single coats lack the undercoat of double-coated breeds. They sport hair, rather than fur. That means they also don't "blow" the undercoat in spring and fall, resulting in heavy-duty shedding. While some single-coated dog breeds are touted as hypoallergenic, that's not really true. There's no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, but some people with allergies may be less sensitive to a single-coated canine. Single-coated breeds come in various sizes, so there's a dog for everyone's taste.


  • If you live in a cold climate, your single-coated pal may need a coat for wintertime outings.

The Poodle

The American Kennel Club describes the poodle as "active, proud and very smart." The breed standard is the same for the toy, miniature and standard poodle, with height the only difference. The toy poodle can't exceed 10 inches in height at the shoulder, while the miniature is more than 10 inches but not greater than 15 inches tall. Standard poodles are more than 15 inches high at maturity. Poodles appear in a variety of colors. While the breed is single-coated and doesn't shed, the continuously growing coat requires professional grooming. Without regular trips to the canine beauty parlor, the poodle becomes a shaggy, possibly matted mess.

Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese water dog's coat is quite thick, but it lacks an undercoat. His coat may be wavy or curly. Acceptable colors include black, brown and white, or a mix of white with black or brown. At maturity, male dogs stand between 20 to 23 inches tall and weigh 42 to 60 pounds, while females are somewhat smaller, at 17 to 21 inches and weighing between 35 to 50 pounds. As you can guess from his name, this dog loves the water.

Greyhounds and Whippets

Although the greyhound is best known for racing, he's can make a good house pet if given sufficient exercise. He's also a single-coated breed who appears in almost any shade. The breed standard doesn't specify a height, but mature greyhound weigh between 60 to 70 pounds, with males larger than females. His smaller cousin, the whippet, also appears in various hues and stands between 18 and 22 inches tall at maturity. The Italian greyhound, smaller than either at 13 to 15 inches, can appear in any color except brindle -- dark striping over a lighter base coat -- or with the tan markings generally found in black-and-tan breeds. While these related dogs all have short coats, they do shed.

The Papillon and Phalene

The papillon and phalene are the same dog, but the papillon boasts its namesake "butterfly ears" while the phalene's ears hang down, giving them "moth" ears. No matter which way their ears go, these smart, agile little dogs have long, flowing coats. At maturity, they stand between 8 and 11 inches tall, with proportional weight. These toy dogs are always white and another color, with the nonwhite shade covering the top of the head and ears. A white facial blaze is preferable to a solid-colored face. Regular brushing is all the papillon/phalene needs to keep him spruce, and shedding is minimal.

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