Wondering about the difference between a dog’s hair and fur? It’s all about how we use language and the mammal. Humans have hair, while animals have fur.
Hair refers to the thin strands growing from our skin, while fur is a thick layer of hair on animals. But animals have hair too! A dog’s whiskers, for example.
So, what about German Shorthaired Pointers? Do they have hair or fur? And which one sheds more? Don’t worry! We’ve got all the answers for you.
Hair vs. Fur
Okay, let’s break it down. Hair and fur are two words we often use interchangeably, but they mean different things. Understanding the difference is important, especially when it comes to dogs.
Hair refers to the strands growing from follicles on our skin, including dogs. It has a shaft, which is the part we see, and a root located within the follicle. It can vary in length, thickness, and color.
On the other hand, fur is the dense, thick coat covering the skin of many animals, including dogs. It’s usually thicker and coarser than hair, protects the skin, and helps regulate body temperature.
Structure: Hair is thinner and finer, while fur is thicker and coarser.
Purpose: Hair is mostly for looks and skin protection, while fur provides insulation and protection from the environment.
Growth: Hair grows continuously, while fur grows in cycles, with some being shed and replaced. The length and thickness of hair and fur can also depend on breed and environment.
The German Shorthaired Pointer’s Coat
The German Shorthaired Pointer (also known as the German bird dog) has a unique coat with an alluring blend of hues.
Most of them are covered in coats of black and white or solid liver and white with patches. There are also others whose coats are solid liver colors which is a reddish brown hue. The question is: “Is this coat made of fur or hair?”
As the name implies, a German Shorthaired Pointer is overlaid in a short coat spread out flat. It has a thick undercoat secured by a stiff tuft of guard hairs.
The undercoat is part of a dog’s coat growing closest to its bare skin. It is made of velvety and feather-like hairs. The guard hair protects the undercoat and makes it resistant to water. The undercoat, on the other hand, provides insulation.
When a dog has both the undercoat and the guard hair serving as a top coat, it is said to have a double coat. A German Shorthaired Pointer is one of them.
What would a double coat be described as – fur or hair? While the terms “fur” and “hair” are often used interchangeably, a double coat is more accurately described as fur because it consists of both types of hair. That is why GSPs are referred to as having a fur coat rather than a hair coat.
That being so, the coat of a German Shorthaired Pointer is thick, short, and coarse fur.
Comparison With Other Breeds
When it comes to the GSP’s coat, it’s different from other breeds. For example, dogs like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers have short, dense coats, but the German Shorthaired Pointer’s coat is smoother and shinier.
It’s got a unique texture that sets it apart from other breeds with short hair.
But, if we compare it to the Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky, they have thicker and coarser coats which are more like fur. Those dog breeds are made for cold climates, and their thick fur helps keep them warm.
The German Shorthaired Pointer, on the other hand, is all about speed and agility (it is an all-round hunting dog breed), and its coat is perfect for fast and efficient movement.
Also, don’t forget the GSP’s coat is much easier to maintain than that of the Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky. They have thick double coats that shed a lot, but the German Shorthaired Pointer’s coat is short, dense, and sheds very little, making it a popular choice for pet owners who want a hunting dog that doubles as a great family dog without all the shedding hassle.
Be sure to feed them high-quality dog food and remove loose and dead hair to keep them at a healthy weight and well-groomed.
How Do I Groom My German Shorthaired Pointer’s Fur?
Despite the issue of little hair getting stuck in rugs and going without notice, taking care of German Shorthaired Pointers is not strenuous. Keeping your dog’s coat healthy will be easy if you follow the guidelines below.
The best brush to use for cleaning your German Shorthaired Pointer is one that can conveniently go through its coarse and stiff guard hairs.
A firm bristle brush is recommended for you. Good regular brushing with a soft, rubber brush will dislocate hair ready to shed. This will help contain the number of hair left lying in your personal space. Of course, you would rather prevent the fuss of vacuuming hair from every nook and cranny of the house!
Since it is a light shedder, its fur will only require frequent brushing, about once or twice a week. As a good dog parent, this is another trick you can use to bond with your dog.
While brushing, take care not to do so in a rough manner. Gently brush back and forth through the fur. Keep combing from end to end until you have worked the entire coat.
Usually, German Shorthaired Pointer plays all day and is always found chasing something or running off into the field, which means bathing your dog is very necessary, not only weekly brushing.
Are you also aware that bathing your GSP can help reduce shedding? However, you should not bathe it too often. Your pet can get dry skin or other skin irritations, resulting in your pet losing a lot of its coat’s natural oils. A German Shorthaired Pointer with a lackluster coat is not a healthy one.
Always make use of good dog shampoo in bathing your pet. A hydrating shampoo will work great for your GSP’s coat. In the case of a German Shorthaired Pointer with delicate skin or allergies, make sure to use a product that is non-toxic to its skin.
Conditioners should not be left out of this discourse. German Shorthaired Pointers will not likely have the problem of tangled hair because of the length of its hair.
However, a routine application of conditioner will help your dog’s skin stay healthy and keep its fur vibrant.
You can brush your dog after washing it as it helps dry out your dog’s coat by removing some of the water.
When you’re done bathing your dog, you should let it shake off the water. After that, wipe off the rest with a clean towel made of comfortable stuff. You may decide to make use of a blow dryer. Ensure that the dryer is not heated.
Switch to the warm setting and gently blow out water and loose hair. Pay attention to the ears, head, or any concealed part. Remember, a dryer that is too hot may hurt your dog’s skin and cause irritation.
German Shorthaired Pointers are great with other dogs and small pets, making them a good choice for active families with multiple animals. They are also suitable for dog sports activities, such as obedience, agility, and tracking.
That’s why grooming its fur is very important. If you want a healthy, high-energy dog, keep its skin and fur clean. A clean dog is less prone to develop skin issues that may cause further damage to health if not checked.