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Are Pit Bulls Double-Coated? A Look at Their Unique Fur


Last updated on June 11th, 2023 at 04:33 am

Unlike double-coated dogs, Pit Bull breeds have only one layer of fur and shed less frequently. 

Pitbulls have single coats and do not have a layered undercoat like double-coated dogs such as German Shepherds. This means Pitbulls shed less and do not have twice-yearly “blowouts” that come with shedding the undercoat. However, they may still leave fur around the house and furniture throughout the year. Pitbulls have shorter and coarser hair than some other dog breeds, but their coats are relatively easy to care for. In addition, some Pit Bulls have very short and fine fur, making leftover fur less noticeable. Overall, Pit Bulls shed less than double-coated dogs and are relatively easy to care for.

brown pit bull lying on its back on a white blanket

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What is a Double-Coat?

Definition of a double coat

A double coat is a type of coat found in some dog breeds, consisting of two layers of fur. The outer layer is made up of longer, coarser, and often water-resistant hairs that protect the dog from the elements. In contrast, the inner layer, called the undercoat, comprises shorter, denser, and softer fur that provides insulation and warmth. Many double-coated breeds are adapted to colder climates or were historically used for outdoor work, such as hunting or herding, and the double coat helps to protect them from harsh conditions.

Characteristics of a Double Doat

The following are the characteristics of a double coat:

  1. Two layers of fur: A double coat consists of two layers of fur – an outer layer of longer and coarser hairs and an inner layer of shorter and denser fur.
  2. Insulation: The undercoat provides insulation, trapping air close to the dog’s body and keeping it warm in colder weather.
  3. Protection: The outer coat protects the dog from external elements such as water, dirt, and other debris.
  4. Shedding: Double-coated breeds typically shed twice a year, known as “blowing the coat,” as they shed the undercoat in large amounts during the transition from warmer to cooler weather.
  5. Water-resistant: The outer coat is often water-resistant, which helps the dog stay dry in wet conditions.
  6. Breed-specific variations: The thickness, texture, and length of the coat can vary between breeds and even within the same breed based on genetics, health, and climate.

How to Tell If Your Pit Bull Has a Double Coat

Not all dogs have a double coat, and it can be difficult to tell just by looking at their fur. Below are some tips on how to know if a dog has a double coat, including visual cues, physical characteristics, and breed tendencies.

  1. Look at the fur: Double-coated dogs have a dense, fluffy undercoat that provides insulation, while their topcoat is coarser and longer.
  2. Observe shedding patterns: Double-coated dogs shed heavily twice a year to get rid of their undercoat, while single-coated breeds generally shed more evenly throughout the year.
  3. Check the breed: Certain breeds are more likely to have double coats, such as Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds.
  4. Feel the fur: Double-coated fur feels thick and plush, while single-coated fur is typically smoother and less dense.
  5. Watch for grooming needs: Double-coated dogs require more grooming than single-coated breeds, as their undercoat can become matted and tangled if not properly maintained.

Examination of a Pit Bull’s Coat

Single-coated dog breeds, like the American Pitbull Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, has only one layer of fur and differs from double-coated canines. 

Single coats take longer to grow to full length, so they shed less frequently. 

This makes them a great option for those with dog allergies, as they require minimal grooming and brushing, resulting in fewer allergens released into the house.

Explanation of a Pit Bull’s Coat Texture

A Pit Bull’s coat texture is generally short and sleek, with a shiny and smooth appearance. The hair is relatively stiff and coarse to the touch but not wiry or bristly. 

However, some Pit Bulls may have slightly longer or thicker fur than others, depending on their genetics and environmental factors. 

Why Some People Believe that Pit Bulls Have Double Coats

  • The misconception may arise from confusion about other breeds with double coats, such as huskies and German shepherds.
  • The belief may also be perpetuated by misinformation online and in popular culture.
  • Inaccurate information from sources such as social media or word of mouth.
  • Differences in the thickness and texture of fur on different parts of the body lead some to believe there are two distinct layers.
  • Misconceptions about what constitutes a double coat or confusion with other types of fur, such as undercoats or guard hairs.

Comparison of Pit Bull’s Coat to Double-Coated Breeds

CharacteristicPit Bull CoatDouble-Coated Breed Coat
Coat LayersSingle-Coat, no undercoatTwo-layered coat, with an undercoat and an outer coat
Coat TextureShort, stiff and sleekLonger, softer, and thicker, with a woolly or fluffy undercoat
SheddingLess shedding compared to double-coated breedsMore shedding, especially during seasonal coat “blowouts”
InsulationLess insulatingMore insulating, with the undercoat providing insulation and warmth
Water ResistanceLess water-resistantMore water-resistant, with the outer coat providing protection from water and other elements
Grooming NeedsLower maintenance –  requires less groomingHigher maintenance – may require regular grooming to prevent matting and to remove loose fur
Adaptability to ClimateBetter adapted to warmer climatesBetter adapted to colder climates
BreedsAmerican Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull TerrierLabrador Retriever, Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever

How to Care for a Pit Bull’s Coat

Pit Bulls are a popular breed known for their short, sleek coat. While their coat is relatively low-maintenance compared to double-coated breeds, it still requires some care to keep it looking and feeling its best. Here are some tips for caring for a Pit Bull’s coat:

  1. Brush regularly: Brushing your Pit Bull’s coat regularly helps to remove loose fur, dirt, and debris and distribute the natural oils throughout the coat. Use a soft-bristled brush or a rubber curry brush to gently brush your dog’s coat in the direction of hair growth.
  2. Bathe as needed: Pit Bulls do not require frequent bathing, but a bath may be necessary if they get dirty or smelly. Use a gentle dog shampoo, and rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving any residue on the coat.
  3. Check for fleas and ticks: Pit Bulls can be prone to fleas and ticks, especially if they spend time outdoors. Check your dog’s coat regularly for signs of infestation, such as flea dirt or tick bites, and use a flea and tick preventative as recommended by your veterinarian.
  4. Trim nails and paw hair: Regularly trimming your Pit Bull’s nails and the hair between its paw pads helps to prevent matting and makes it easier for them to walk comfortably.
  5. Protect from the sun: PitBulls are prone to sunburn, especially on their noses and ears. If your dog spends time in the sun, consider using a dog-safe sunscreen or providing shade.
  6. Watch for skin issues: Pit Bulls can be prone to skin allergies and other skin issues. Watch for signs of itching, redness, or inflammation, and consult your veterinarian if you notice any problems.

By following these simple tips, you can help to keep your Pit Bull’s single-layer coat looking and feeling healthy and shiny. 

Remember, every dog is different, so be sure to tailor your grooming routine to meet your dog’s specific needs.


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