Hair vs. Fur

All mammals have some sort of hair covering some, much, or virtually all of their bodies. The hair on some animals is known as fur, but it's all the same no matter the name. Hair is made of the protein keratin and dead epidermal, or skin, cells and it grows from follicles in the inner layer of the skin. Human follicles each give rise to a single hair, but animals that depend on fur coats for temperature regulation often have several or many hairs per follicle. The diameter of individual hairs decreases as the number of hairs per follicle increases. Each follicle has an oil gland to keep skin and hair smooth. Dog breeds developed to work in water generally have a high oil content in their coats so that water runs off hair and does not penetrate to the skin.

Dog hair grows in cycles. When it reaches a certain length determined by the individual dog's genetic makeup, it stops growing, then dies. That's when shedding begins. Your dog may be slightly itchy during shedding, as the dead hairs can cause its skin to itch. Owners can help relieve that slight discomfort by brushing their dog's hair.

The following list of breeds are recommended for people who suffer from allergies:

Poodles (all sizes)

Soft coated Wheaten Terriers

Kerry Blue Terriers

Bedlington Terriers

Bichon Frise

Schnauzer (all 3 sizes)

Irish Water Spaniel

Afghan Hound

Portuguese Water Dog


home > articles > Hair vs. Fur

Dog Profiles

Click here for a full list of profiles