If you’re owned by a Newfie than you are already familiar with the term “blow coat” or “seasonal shedding”.
If you’re new to being owned by a Newfie or new to being owned by another breed with a double coat than you might be wondering what the fluff is going on with your dog losing large chunks of hair right now.
Rest assured that this is completely normal and your dog is not going to go bald.
Why Do Dogs Blow Coat?
Dogs that have a double coat, guard hairs on the top and a soft, dense undercoat on the bottom, blow their coat to prepare for the upcoming season.
Instead of shedding a few hairs here and there, double coated dogs will lose large clumps of their undercoat.
In the spring this prepares them for the warmer weather ahead and it makes room for new, healthy hair to grow in.
How Often Do Dogs Blow Coat?
Most breeds that have a double coat will blow their undercoat twice a year. Normally the heaviest blow is in the spring and a lighter blow is in the fall.
It’s said that many dogs will start to blow their coat in the spring when daylight increases but some can start the process as early as January.
Puppies will not blow their coat because they don’t have their full adult coat yet.
What Dog Breeds Blow Coat?
Normally any dog breed that has a double coat will blow their undercoat. Some loose quite a few more clumps of hair than others.
Common breeds that blow their coat heavily are the Siberian Husky, Newfoundland, Malamutes, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Pyrenees, German Shepherds, Samoyeds, and Akitas just to name a few.
Some dogs will blow coat more than others, even within the same breed. Dogs that spend a large amount of time outside will normally blow their coats more than dogs that spend a majority of their time in a temperature controlled environment.
How Long Does Coat Blowing Last?
Forever. It lasts forever.
Sometimes it does seem like it lasts forever especially when you brush out a whole entire dog one day and the next day there is still tumbleweeds blowing through your house.
How long a dog will blow their coat depends on their coat and how thick that their undercoat is.
Most dogs will blow their coats from anywhere to a few weeks to a little over a month.
Other things that can determine how long dogs will blow their coat can depend on health, age, genetics, and hormones.
Some dogs have spay coat.
After they are altered their coat will grow in thicker and harder to manage. Some may blow coat more than they previously did before being altered.
I do not have personal experience with spay coat so I can’t give a good example.
Tips On How To Manage Your Dogs Blowing Coat
Managing your dog’s coat when it’s blowing takes time and grooming.
It’s usually recommended to groom your dog daily when they are losing large amounts of hair. You can break the grooming sessions down into 15 minutes blocks.
Using a rake and a comb are the best ways to remove the loose fluff.
Line combing can take longer but it is the best way to remove dog hair efficiently.
Using a high-velocity dog dryer is an excellent and quick way to easily blow the loose hair out before brushing.
Many dog owners will also take their dogs to the groomer when they are blowing coat to get most of the loose hair out
If you’re grooming your dog at home, now is a great time to check their skin and make sure that it is healthy and hasn’t suffered from the harsh, dry conditions of winter.
Take a deep breath, clean your vacuum cleaner filters, and know that this too shall pass right about the same time that mud season comes to a close.
What to do with all that extra fluff
Many people will just throw all the dog hair away but some people do recycle it.
You can send it to someone to clean and process and they will often turn that into yarn that can be made into mittens, scraves or even felted into many different things.
You can save some to offer to the birds for nesting material in the spring. Just make sure that it’s free from chemicals like grooming spray and topical flea medications. If you have longer dog hair you can cut the dog hair up into smaller pieces so that it doesn’t get stuck around little birdie legs.
You can also use dog hair as a deer deterrent around your garden. I’ve done this for the past several years and it does seem to help keep the deer away.
Many people will also put some clumps of dog hair under porches or decks to deter rodents.
Save some hair for a keepsake ornament. I love this idea and Sherman and Leroy both have an ornament with the name written in it and filled with dogs hair. I’ll always have a piece of them.