10 Seasonal shedding dog breeds
Next on the lists here are the seasonal shedding dog breeds that go through seasonal shedding with very full heavy coats.These following breeds are double coated, meaning they have a softer fluffy layer closer to the skin with heavier or coarser layer on top. The undercoat will shed and regrow according to the seasons. The top layer will shed too but there is less of it. During shedding, the undercoat and top layer will often become intertwined and will form mats and clumps. These longer haired and double coated breeds need help to prevent matting with regular brushing during the shedding seasons. The areas that are most prone to mats are behind the ears, chest, groin, rear area, tail and with some dogs, the leggings too.
I will begin with some more common double long coated breeds…
#1- Rough Collie
The Rough Collie became well known through ‘Lassie’, a dog featured in a novel, movie and TV shows. This breed originated in Scotland and is also known as the ‘Scottish collie’ or ‘Scotch Collie’. Mostly long haired with a double coat but there is also the smooth variety, with much shorter hair.
The sizes vary greatly, from 50lbs to 100lbs, most are in the 70-80lb range however. Colours are Sable and White (made famous by Lassie), Tri Colour which is Sable, white and touches of black and Blue Merle which is greys, blacks with white, giving the coat a slightly ‘blue’ appearance.
The coat is long and double, soft under coat for warmth and a harsher coat over layering. The Collie heads, Rough and Smooth, have a long muzzle with erect ears, ideally tipped over at the top. Originally bred to herd and protect sheep, over the years, they have become show dogs and pets mostly. The herding instinct is mostly bred out, but some breeders have been working on correcting that. The Collie has still retained his protective nature, but it’s rare for them to be protective past the point of barking. The Rough and Smooth are great family dogs, but do best in a home with large yard or farm.
The longer haired Rough Collie’s grooming requirements are medium to high, their coats will mat severely during shedding season which is generally in early summer. To prevent matting, regular brushing and combing is necessary with a professional grooming every 3 months for housedogs and for outdoor dogs… Spring and Fall for sure. The Smooth variety is much easier to keep groomed with the ocasional brushing at home, especially during shedding.
On a personal note- Our family had a beautiful Rough collie for many years, until he was 13 years old. His name was Frisco, and he was a Sable and White, about 80lbs or so. Frisco was an outdoor dog and weathered the cold winters well overall. He and his dog friends (Bellows, Lucky and Katie) shared a shed (with dog beds and a doggie door) and the free use of our 4 acres.
Frisco was professionally groomed once a year, usually in May or June, when his heavy coat became too much for him. I was a professional groomer back then and chose to clip him into a Lion coat, leaving a heavy coat in the front half, clipping the back half short, leaving a large Pom on his tail. He really did look like a Lion and loved his Spring trims!
The original shetland sheepdog was more a Spitz type which was later interbred with the larger Rough Collie. Since the early 1900s, the Shetland Sheepdog looks like a miniature Rough Collie. The Shetland Sheepdog is also known as a ‘Sheltie’. There are no Smooth short haired varieties like their larger ‘cousin’ .
The Shetland Sheepdog in it’s present form, has been used as a working sheep dog, but mostly has been bred as a show dog and pet. The size varies between 12-25 lbs or so and the colours are the same as those of the Rough Collie being Sable and White, Tricolour and white and Blue Merle and modified versions of those.
Their coats are double, like the Rough Collie, softer undercoat with long slightly harsher coat on top. Ears are erect, tipping over at the top, muzzle similar to the Rough Collie but not quite as severe, with a softer profile. This breed is considered highly intelligent and can be a great family dog. The Sheltie is a protective breed, rarely aggressive, given more to barking as a watch dog. The Sheltie can do well in apartment, house or farm but needs daily exercise.
Grooming requirements are medium to high, regular brushing at home with Professional grooming every 3 months as a house dog. I don’t recommend any of the smaller breeds as ‘outdoor’ dogs’, especially in an extremely cold climate. Smaller breeds just don’t seem to be able handle extremes of cold, especially on paws, noses and ears.
#3- Newfoundland Dog
As a Canadian, I am proud to call this breed one of our own ‘Canadian breeds’, originating in the province of Newfoundland. The Newfie, as it’s affectionately called, is a large breed ranging from 125 to 175 lbs, with some reaching 200lbs!.
Here in Canada, the only accepted colours for registry are Black or Black and white, while in other countries, Brown is permitted. The Coat is double, heavy and in it’s natural state, somewhat oily for water repellency.
The Newfoundland dog was bred to swim, and also trained to pull in fishing nets and on land, to pull small carts. The Newfie is a very gentle dog, often used as a Therapy dog. Good with children but because of it’s size could knock over smaller children. This Breed has drooping jowls and as result drools a fair bit, especially when panting.
This is not a breed for apartments or tiny houses, they actually make excellent outdoor dogs with the right housing of course. The Newfoundland dog’s coat is difficult to keep groomed and in addition to regular brushing at home (which is challenge), it’s best to have this breed Professionally groomed every 4 months for sure.
On a Personal note- I used to care for a beautiful female Newfoundland dog named Molly during my Pet Hotel years (recently retired). Molly became fast friends with both my dogs, often playing a bit too rough but my dog Sirius knew how to keep Molly on the more ‘polite’ side of things.
Maybe someday, we will own a Newfoundland Dog of our very own..shhh don’t tell my husband ;D In the photo on the right, Molly is sitting on the left while my dog Sirius is standing on the right. They both had similar colouring, but Sirius is a Golden Retriever crossed with both Border and Rough Collie.
The Bouvier originated in Belgium, and is a powerful protective breed, used in herding cattle and sheep, pulling carts in more traditional roles. Today, this breed is primarily a pet and often used for protection in police and guard roles.
The size of this breed ranges from 80 to 120 lbs. Coat colours are similiar to the Schnauzer, being fawn, black, grey brindle or salt and pepper shades.
The Bouvier has a double coat, soft under coat with a curly/wavy top coat, similiar to the Poodle. Shedding hair gets caught in the curly coat, instead of all over the furniture and clothing.
This breed needs early socialization and training due to it’s protective nature. Not a breed for new dog owners. The Bouvier tends to enjoy the company of children, despite it’s protective temperment and is generally a gentle dog. Tails are usually cropped, mostly for traditional reasons. When pulling a cart, the long tail can become entangled, also the curly coat on the tail can collect feces.
Grooming requirements are high, especially during shedding seasons when the softer under coat sheds into the longer top coat. The double coated curly/wavy coat needs regular brushing at home and trims at a Professional groomer to maintain it every 3-4 months. The head is trimmed into a Schnauzer like trim with longer eyebrows and beard. Some owners choose to have their dogs maintained in a puppy like coat, about 1/2 inch length all over.
The Australian Shepherd, is a North American developed breed. The title Australian is due to the early types of the breed having come with European immigrants, entry point from Australia, along with Australian sheep.
The Aussie, as it’s often known, was further developed as a breed in the USA as a sheep and cattle herding dog in sometimes tough environmental conditions.
The Aussie comes in many colours, variations of Black & white with or without copper points, Red & white with or without copper points, Blue Merle, Red Merle with white or copper points. The size for the standard ranges from 30-65 lbs. In the last half century, other sizes have been created like the Miniature and the Toy sizes, which are of course much smaller. The smaller versions do not have the high intensity herding instincts as they have been bred down for size only.
The Australian Shepherd is one of those unusual breeds that is highly intelligent and good at almost anything that the breed is trained for. This breed can excell at Agility, tracking, Frisbee, Flyball, all in addition to it’s innate ability to herd ranch and farm stock. This is not a breed for apartment dwellers or for people who don’t like to move around much!
This breed requires lots of daily exercise and stimulation for their intelligence and athletic bodies. Grooming requirements are medium for their double coats, needing regular brushing at home and Professional grooming at least 2-3 times a year to maintain the coat. As with other shedding breeds, the coat will need more attention during the shedding months.
This breed was originally one of England’s sheep herding breeds, primarily a farm dog so few records were kept of this breed’s ancestry. The Breed gained popularity as a show dog in the later 1800s, due to it’s beautiful coat (when maintained).
The Old English Sheepdog is a large dog, varying in size from 75-100 lbs. The colours are shades of grey, black, blue, or blue merle with white markings.
The coat is double with a water resistant under coat and tends not to shed unless brushed or combed. The Old English sheepdog is good with children and is not an overly active dog, often becoming a ‘couch potato” in urban settings. Like all dogs, this breed should receive daily exercise and mental stimulation. The breed is versatile, being used in Agility, flyball, herding, schutzhund and obedience rallies. The Old English is a dog brimming with character, and seems to have a sense of humour.
Often used in Hollywood movies and TV shows, trainability is high. As a family dog, the Old English Sheepdog loves children. The grooming requirements of this breed are high if left in it’s natural long coat. It can take up to 3 hours to brush and comb on a weekly basis, more if the coat becomes matted. Most owners prefer to keep this breed’s coat trimmed back to a manageable length, to more of a puppy like trim.
#7- Border Collie
This breed originated in an area of the border between Britain and Scotland, hence the name Border Collie. The Border collie is a medium sized dog from 30-50 lbs.
The colours of the breed range from almost every colour available amongst dogs, like merles, solid colours, tri colours, reds, blues, brindles and so on.
The Black and White coat is the most common colour associated with the Border Collie. Double coated like all collies, and has coat types in both the rough medium length hair and the smooth short hair.
The working herding dogs have a wider range of body types as they are bred primarily for their talents and abilities for herding sheep and some in cattle. Show dogs however are bred to a certain physical appearance standard outlined in the Registeries. The Border collie is considered one of the most intelligent breeds in the world but also one of the most energetic. The breed also excells in Agility, Flyball, Obedience, tracking and many activities. This is not a breed for apartment dwellers and should only be considered by people who are physically active and will include their dogs in their exercise regimen.
This breed has become infamous for destructive behaviour when not kept exercised and stimulated mentally as well. The Border Collie breed is motion sensitive, meaning the breed reacts highly to motion, such as a sheep moving it’s feet, a bike’s wheels, a car’s tires and can become car and bike chasers. Early training is required to channel this intelligent breed’s intellect and energy into the right ways. Grooming requirements are medium, depending on the type of coat, rough or smooth. Regular brushing with the longer coats followed by 2 professional groomings per year might suffice. Shedding will cause matting in the longer coats and will of course require more grooming at those times.
#8- Golden Retriever
One of my favorite breeds because we’ve owned two Registered Goldens and now presently own 2 half crossed Goldens. The Golden Retriever was developed in Scotland in the mid 1900s, as a retrieving dog that excelled at retrieving on land and from the water.
The sizes vary from 60 to 75 lbs generally. Colours are varying shades of gold from white gold (cream), medium gold to the darker red golds (mahogany).
The Goldens from European countries have a stockier more muscular body type with a larger head and lighter coat colours. The North American Goldens (Canada and USA), are lankier, taller and range from the yellow golds to mahoganies. The European Golden Retriever has a denser coat while the North American retriever has a thinner coat comparatively. The coats are double, softer under coat with a more water resistant top coat naturally. Their coats are wavy and of a medium length, , some are fuller than others.
Goldens are known for their friendly personalities and their willingness to please. Golden Retrievers from field bloodlines (hunting) have more intense and focused temperaments, needing more exercise and stimulation. Goldens from show or mostly pet bloodlines are wonderful family pets, and great with children in general.
Goldens are known to shed twice a year and it can seem like they are constantly shedding. No sooner have they finished one shedding season, it seems another shedding session is right on it’s tail. We used to joke that it was great that we had gold coloured carpets in the house, so that our Golden Retriever, Chelsea’s constant shedding was almost invisible (until we emptied the vacuum cleaner!).
Their grooming requirements are medium, needing a good brushing every now and then. Mats would form in some areas, like the leggings, behind the ears and tail area but were relatively easy to fix. Many Golden owners these days have their dogs regularily professionally groomed every 2-3 months to keep the shedding down to a minimum or even have them clipped short (not shaved).
Here’s another Canadian breed, the smallest of the Retriever breeds. Originally created in the province of Nova Scotia, as a duck retrieving dog. Often mistaken for a small Golden Retriever, the Duck Toller is generally between 30-50lbs.
The breed’s colours are in shades of red, from golden reds to the richer copper reds. Some lighter shades do show up in the breed from time to time. The coat has two layers of water repellant hair, mostly straight but often wavy around the chest. White markings on the tip of the tail, toes, chest and on the muzzle are accepted and often a desired colour trait.
The Duck Toller is so named due to it’s energetic way of playing in the water, luring ducks into closer range, so the hunter can shoot the duck. The duck becomes curious about this energetic red dog with the prominant white tips, and comes in for a closer look…. silly duck becomes a dead duck. The Duck Toller is also a water retriever, so after the hunter shoots the duck, the dog goes out to retrieve it. This breed has a unique squealing high pitched bark when excited, referred to as the “Toller scream”.
The Duck Toller is a high energy retriever, highly intelligent, affectionate, generally good with children. Due to it’s higher energy and intelligence, this breed needs a job to do. Like the Border Colllie, this breed can be destructive when it’s not given exercise and mental stimulation. This breed can excell at agility, flyball, and because they love water, retrieving out of water and dock diving sports are good choices for them. Their keen sense of smell also makes them excellant search and rescue dogs.
The grooming requirements are medium, requiring weekly brushing at home and 2 or 3 professional groomings per year. Being double coated, this breed goes through seasonal shedding once a year generally, depending on climate.
#10- American Eskimo
Originally known as a German Spitz, in fact that branch still exists in Europe, once imported to the USA after World War I, the breed became known as the ‘American Spitz’. The Spitz was originally bred to guard people and property.
The breed is related to the Keeshond and the Pomeranian, and was known in a variety of colours. However, Americans preferred the white spitz over the other shades.
After World War II, the Japanese Spitz was imported and it is believed to have been interbred with the ‘American aka German Spitz, soon becoming the ‘American Eskimo dog’. The American Eskimo now has three different sizes within the breeds registry, ranging from toy 6-10 lbs, miniature 10-20 lbs and the original size which is between 20-40lbs. The colours are always white or cream.
The American Eskimo is an affectionate dog, eager to please, highly intelligent, but tends to be reserved with strangers. Since the breed was bred to protect, it has retained that natural protectiveness by barking. Early training is needed in making sure the barking does not become a nuisance. I would also say that socialization with people, dogs and cats are needed at an early age too. I have met some American Eskimo dogs that were excessively shy, to the point of being unreasonably terrified of strangers. They need exercise like any breed, to prevent unwanted behaviours and hyperactivity.
The coat is a thick double coat of a medium length, shedding once a year. Grooming needs are medium to low, depending on the length of coat and shedding state. I have groomed some American Eskimo dogs that matted badly when they were bathed by their owners. Weekly brushing at home, combined with professional grooming every 3 months or so should be adequate.
If you are new to dogs, maybe you would like to start reading starting with Healthy Dog and moving through the site. Many dog owners don’t consider the grooming needs of dogs when adopting or picking a puppy from a Breeder. The seasonal shedding dog breeds are gorgeous when properly groomed but they quickly turn into a mess when not groomed. I hope this short list of 10, will be helpful in making your decision whether to choose a shedding breed.
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for the page What is the best dog for me? Part Two
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for the page Dog Dominance Behavior