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How To Tell If A Doodle Has A Double Coat

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What is a double-coated dog? Do Goldendoodles have a double coat? Can you shave a double-coated dog? In this article, we’re going to answer all of your questions about double-coated dogs. We’ll go over the main Doodle coat types and find out how their genetics come into play. Along with that, we’ll also be sharing a few tips and tricks on how you can tell if your Doodle is double-coated, and what are the grooming requirements for both single and double-coated Doodles. Without further ado, let’s dig in! 

What Is A Double Coat Dog? (Doodle Version)

So, what is a double-coated dog exactly? Double-coated dogs have two layers of coats – a shorter undercoat and longer topcoat (also known as guard hairs). The undercoat is usually denser and has a softer, more wool-like texture than the guard hairs. On the other hand, guard hairs are usually longer, and the hair strand itself is thicker. 

It’s believed that a double coat helps a dog regulate its body temperature, as the undercoat acts as insulation. In the winter, an undercoat keeps a pup warm, while in the summer, it protects them from excess heat and sun exposure. 

Although having either a single or double coat isn’t better than the other, there are some key differences between the two. Mainly, double-coated dogs tend to shed. Naturally, this can make quite a difference in terms of their grooming routine, and might not work for people who suffer from allergies.

As you might know, one of the main appeals of Doodles is that they’re praised as very low-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs. However, it’s not uncommon to come across a double-coated Doodle. Typically, this is more prevalent in pups who have a 50-50 mix of Poodle and another breed. Think of first generation Doodles. 

Doodle Coat Types And Genetics

Genetics play a key role in determining a Doodle’s coat type. As all Doodles are hybrid breed dogs, they can end up with a coat that resembles either of the parent pups. Some Doodles end up with curly Poodle-like coats, some inherit the coat type from the other parent breed. And some Doodles have coats that fall somewhere right in between. 

Harsh Coats

Harsh and wiry coats are more common in Doodles who have a high genetic makeup of a harsh-coated breed in their lineage. These breeds include Golden Retrievers, Collies, Terriers, Huskies, and German Shepherds. For instance, some Goldendoodles can inherit the wiry and harsh Golden Retriever type hair. This is usually more common in F1 Goldendoodles who have 50% of the Poodle genes and 50% of the Golden Retriever genes.  

On the other hand, harsh and wiry double coats are rather rare in Doodles. Most of the time, we can expect a Doodle puppy to end up with soft hair that’s either wavy or curly. One of the main reasons why Doodles were developed is their hypoallergenic and low-shedding coats. This is usually what breeders also strive for when producing new litters.

Mixed Poodle-Type Coats

Most commonly, Doodles inherit softer hair and can come with either fleece, curly, or wavy coats. Depending on their genetic makeup and generation, they can be either single or double-coated. But thanks to the Poodle genes, even double-coated Doodles shed a lot less than their double-coated purebred parents. 

sheepadoodle with a mix fleece coat
Sheepadoodle with a fleece coat.

Doodles that have a higher genetic makeup of Poodle genes are typically very low to non-shedding. They sometimes may have an undercoat, but it’s less common in pups with curlier hair. Based on the data, F1b Doodles usually shed the least compared to other Doodle generations. Making them the most suitable choice if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic pup.

How To Tell If My Doodle Is Double-Coated?

So, you might be suspecting that your Doodle has a double coat, but you’re not quite sure… Some people would say that if a dog looks fluffy, they have a double coat. However, Poodles look super fluffy and cushy, yet they’re single-coated dogs. How can you find out for sure? 

The easiest way to do this is by brushing your Doodle’s hair and comparing the hairs. First find a white surface or a white piece of paper. Then, brush your Doodle with firm strokes, and collect the hair from the brush. Spread the hair out on the white surface and see if the hairs all look the same or not. If you notice two types of hair, one being coarser and the other being softer, your Doodle is double-coated. If the hair looks all the same, you have a single-coated dog.

Additionally, keep in mind that a puppy won’t have the same coat once it’s fully-grown. You can expect a Doodle puppy to start shedding its puppy coat around 6-8 months old. However, as Doodles tend to come in soft coats anyway, you might not even notice the difference. If you’ve decided to adopt your Doodle puppy from a breeder, they’ll be able to tell you the type of hair puppies get. Although there’s always room for surprises, a responsible breeder should have a good grasp of how the puppies usually turn out thanks to proper DNA testing and experience.

Grooming Requirements For Single And Double Coats

Regardless of their coat type, all Doodles require regular grooming. Doodles can be high maintenance, as their coats need regular upkeep – brushing, hair trimming, bathing, you name it. For example, Doodles with curly, Poodle-like hair are prone to knots and tangles. If you’re not regularly brushing the hair out, rest assured, your beautiful Doodle will soon struggle with matted hair. 

Similarly, if your Doodle has an undercoat, it’s important you routinely brush your pup’s hair to help shed the loose undercoat. If loose hair gets trapped, it can again form tangles and eventually result in matted hair. Not to mention, it will trap in dirt more easily, which can lead to skin problems and infections. 

Should You Shave A Double Coat Doodle?

Shaving double coated dogs has been a controversial topic for a while now. Although shaving is usually not an issue for Doodles, it might not be suitable for pups who have very harsh and wiry hair with undercoats. Think of Goldendoodles who have inherited the Golden Retriever coat type. 

If a Doodle has wiry, double-coated hair, it might not be the best idea to shave your pup completely. Undercoat grows back quicker than the topcoat, which will result in an awkward looking hairdo. In addition, your dog will physically feel different when the undercoat grows longer than the guard hairs on top. 

All in all, it’s still rare for a Doodle to have a double coat with harsh hair. Firstly because Doodles are often bred to achieve that low to non-shedding coat. Secondly, as all Doodles have Poodle genes in their genetic makeup, it usually balances out the wiry, double-coated hair from the other purebred parent. 

FAQs

What Is A Double-Coated Doodle?

A double-coated Doodle has an undercoat and topcoat, opposed to single-coated Doodles who have just one layer of coat. It all comes down to their genetic makeup and generation. For instance, if two purebred parents of a Doodle are single-coated, the puppy will most definitely have a single coat, as well. In contrast, if a Doodle puppy has a double-coated parent and a single-coated parent, there’s always a chance that the puppy will have a double coat. However, this is more common in first generation Doodles.

Do Goldendoodles Have A Double Coat?

Although most Goldendoodles are very low to non-shedding, some pups can have double coats that shed. Usually, these dogs have a higher genetic makeup of the Golden Retriever parent. In terms of generations, this is more prevalent in F1 Goldendoodles where the genetic makeup is 50% Poodle and 50% Golden Retriever. If you have a double-coated Goldendoodle, you might notice some extra shedding a few times a year. However, Goldendoodles with double coats will usually still shed considerably less than the purebred Golden Retriever. 

Is A Double Doodle Hypoallergenic?

Double Doodles are generally considered most hypoallergenic out of all different types of Doodles. As their genetic makeup consists more of the Poodle genes, they’re most commonly single-coated dogs who are very low to non-shedding. So if you’re one of the unlucky ones struggling with dog dander allergy, a Double Doodle might be a safe choice for you. 

Can You Shave A Double Coated Dog?

Unless your double-coated Doodle has very harsh or wiry hair, shaving them should be absolutely fine. Doodles not only require daily brushing, but also regular hair trimming to keep their coats healthy and looking beautiful. However, it’s not recommended to shave a double-coated dog who has very harsh and wiry hair. 


In conclusion, Doodles are well-known and loved for their hypoallergenic and low-shedding coats. However, it’s not uncommon that a Doodle has a double coat. After all, they’re hybrid breeds that mix two different types of genes. That being said, compared to some double-coated purebred dogs, Doodles do have a clear advantage in terms of shedding. We hope this article has helped you understand the differences between single and double-coated Doodles, and how it can affect your day-to-day life. 

Does your Doodle have a double coat and do they shed? Let us know in the comments below!

The information on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional groomer advice. Always seek the advice of your groomer, veterinarian, or other qualified animal health provider with any questions you may have.

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