Tuesday 3 April 2012

Fur colours and textures - a question

Friends, I think many of you know Stella and her family in Minnesota (and if you don't you really should).

Well recently Stella's Mom Jo posted about the issue of certain people - very stupid ones in our opinion - not wanting to adopt black dogs in the USA, something that we believe is a problem too on this side of the Pond.

Stella herself is a borador with the most beautiful luxuriant and glossy black coat, one any right thinking dog would envy. I have in the past caught Gail looking at Stella's picture on the computer and reaching over to stroke her before remembering that she is just looking at a bunch of pixels on a screen and that Stella herself is nearly four thousand miles away.

I digress. What I really want to talk about today is my coat.

As you know, I have a paw in both camps on the colour issue. In fact, three camps, with my mostly russet head.

When I was a wee pup, I was soft and fluffy, although even then, a certain incipient stiffness to my coat could be detected. Now that I am a fully fledged adult, my coat is coarse and wiry, both waterproof and conveniently suitable for chasing through the sort of brambly undergrowth where humans hesitate to follow.

But I can't help noticing that the texture of my black patch is rather different from the white bits, and my head is different again.

For example, when my back is being hand-stripped, the black hairs come out much more easily than the white ones, and are in general finer and dryer. If Gail applied as much effort to my 'saddle' as she does to stripping my neck area, then my much admired black patch would be reduced to the occasional sorry looking tuft. Then there's my russet ears. (Not 'ginger', please.) They are quite silky, not that different from my flat-coated retriever chum Jake. Moving down my long and distinguished snout, the reddish brown colour fades, and the texture becomes more woolly, or, if you are being rude, frizzy. Gail tries to hand strip this area too, which I don't mind at all, but inevitably she resorts to scissors as she says the fur around my face and eyes just wants to stay fixed to my skin. Obviously, my splendid beard is left alone.

I am very curious to know whether my friends, especially the multi-coloured ones, also have variably textured coats?

Perhaps, if you can provide enough data, I might consider a scientific treatise on the matter.

Plus, it would be nice to know that I am not a freak.

PS This blog will be quiet for a couple of weeks as Gail is going off cycling on the continent with her London-based friends (including 'midges' Michael, boo hiss) and I am going to 'camp'.


  1. You are not a freak Bertie!! Since I am black, i cant help you much on the multi-color stuff.
    Addy says she likes you just the way you are!!


  2. Bertie - You are definitely not a freak .

  3. Well mate, being a Greyhound my fur is very short, fine and silky. However on the "blue" patch along my spine there is a little wiriness to it. Terrible problems getting adopted for black Greyhounds you know. Can't imagine why; they look beautiful. Deccy x

  4. Hi Bertie - you are no freak , just a very curious fella. When you stop asking questions, you are no longer learning I guess. Your coat sounds normal for your breed, mine is softer close to the skin, then a wiry longer coat pops out. Mum always smothers me with so much rub in conditioner - who really knows what I am supposed to be!!

    Have fun on your blog break while at camp.

    Tail Wuggles, Rubie

  5. I hope you have fun at camp! And you'll be more than happy to know that we were talking about the next dog we would be getting in life being black, so no worries! People are silly!!

  6. Hmmmmm....good question. My hair is all nice and smooth and soft all over. Now my brudder Max (DaOdderWeenie) has very rough, hard furs that won't even blow in the wind.

  7. Bertie you are just freakishly adorable!

    Have fun at camp.


  8. Black dogs are beautiful, I cannot understand why some people don't like t hem. It just makes no sense at all

    By the way Bertie you are such a lovely dog, it makes me want a wire haired fox terrier like you some day. Do you think you could be happy in a city if provided with a lot of walks and possibly days of day care.
    urban hounds

    1. I live right in a city, but I am fortunate to have lots of parks, woods and other places nearby where I can run free, and so I'm very happy. I do have a lot of energy, but luckily so does Gail!

  9. Some people's are so nutty
    Benny & Lily

  10. Perhaps it would be a good idea to take some fish oil capsules to even out your coat a bit. Not sure it would work, but it wouldn't hurt you!

    Cheers and thanks for the nice comments about me , my blog and the black dog/cat issue.

  11. Dawling Bewtie,
    A fweek? Awe you joking? I am sowwy to admit that my jelliness comes out in all it's nastiness whenevew I considew youw pawfect coat. Wiwy, watewpwoof, wusset head,glossy black. All things I dweam of and how a pwopew wiwy tewwiew should be...alas, my coat is soft only a bit wiwy on my back, my wusset(i had as a little pup) has faded to apwicot and I all diwt sicks to me like a magnet, sighh. Now about those idiots(pawdon my language, but I'm outwaged), not wanting a black dog????? Cleawly demented.
    One mowe thing, Bewtie, I also dweam of you taking that caw twipmyou talked about on my bloggie and winding up hewe wif us explowing my new home..we have the woom and thewe awe tons of gweat places to walk and west..hope Gail has a gweat time
    Smoochie kisses

  12. Well I think the way you described your coat that it would be just perfect. If Gail felt like petting a soft spot or a wooly or a silky spot she would not need three dogs, but just Bertie!
    Sweet William The Scot

  13. Our coats have always been clipped, so we have very soft fur. But our legs and skirts that are natural, are wiry. We LOVE black in this house....even if we are difficult to photograph. Oh roxy, has a rather harsh coat with that stiff ridge up her back.

    Enjoy camp.

    XXXOOO Daisy, kBella & roxy

  14. I've definitely got areas that are more wirey and areas that are softer. But it's all (pretty much) the same color!

  15. You look and sound like a perfect WFT to us. Abby has short, smooth boxer-like furs. Jed has super soft head furs, a dense [now blowing] undercoat and a wavy, semi-coarse top coat on his back - that's the water dog breeding. He's a NSDTR.

    When mama did Dane rescue, there were a disproportionate number of black Danes not only in rescue, but rescued from abusive situations. There is something about a large, black dog that brings out the worst in a certain type of slime ball human. Although mama would argue with even calling them human. Blue, black and harlequin Danes seem to be very common in Australia; don't know about the UK. In the U.S., fawn and brindle are by far the most popular and numerically larger proportion of Danes, although blacks, Harlequins and mixes are growing in popularity. The AKC is even moving to allow mantle Danes to be shown in sanctioned matches for the first time. Unbutchered ears are also growing in popularity in the U.S., which is a marked improvement in just a few years.

    Sure hope you have a fun time at camp. Gail is going to owe you BIG TIME for this!

    Jed & Abby

  16. Your just beautiful and lovely Bertie, I hope that Gail enjoy the camp, keep safe and have a nice trip to her :)

    Dog Shock Collar | Puppy & Human Bond

  17. My Mommy would very much like to pet you Bertie, she says you look so soft and silky. My hair is different colors but pretty much the same all over. I will miss you the next few weeks, get some rest my pal.

    Loveys Sasha

    p.s. of course you are not a freak, don't be silly

  18. Bertie try not to worry too much about your handsomeness. We all have differing coats and we pawsonally think they are unique to us.
    WE hope you enjoy camp and wish Gail a safe time.

    Molly, Taffy, Monty and Winnie

  19. When we read your description of yourself, we said -- WTF, that's what a WFT is supposed to be. We have apricot heads (not as russet or gingery as some); a wiry jacket -- JH is black; mine is more gingery; and soft white under bellies. Each part has its own texture. So, dear Bertie, you is what you is --- an adorable pawfect WFT!!! (And your furnishings are great too)

    Wirey love,

    Jake and Just Harry

  20. Hi Bertie, sorry mate can't help you with this one. We are just one basic colour. Stella has a little cream amongst her red hair but it feels all the same. Our angel brother Brucey was black and gorgeous. We have noticed though that black Great Danes are cheaper now than some of the other colours. Just plain weird if you ask us.

    Hope you have fun at camp. We hope Gail has an OK time (cause she is leaving you and couldn't possibly have a totally great time without you could she???). See ya soon. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  21. Bertie no way are you a freak, you are hanson and don't let any one tell you any different. I can't comment on your coat as I'm Tan and black, but mom has started grooming me and Tess to keep costs down, but when I used to be all hand stripped Dave the groomer said the the coat grows at different times. Mom noticed this as sometimes after I had been groomed I would look good but other times I would be what they call inbetween coats! Hope you injoy your time at boot camp!! and Gail brings you something nice back. How could she leave you, shame on her.
    Have a good week
    See Yea George xxx

  22. Bertie Bud...we can't comment on your dilemma since we have 'uniforms' in our pack. That 'stripping' sounds uncomfortable, but we've hear one gets accustomed to it all. Our mom 'rakes' us.
    Wishing Gail a splendid expedition and a safe return. Also, a very happy Easter too!
    Sending lotsalicks

  23. You have a handsome coat and beard Bertie. I don't know much about how to take care of the coat you have...sorry.

    Now Tucker when full grown will have a double coat and his is thick and long and will get longer. Stewie has a very short black and white coat that needs minimal care.

  24. Being all black I am not able to relate my own data for you, but the calico cat that lives here is also russet, white, and black. Each of her fur colors is a slightly different texture & length.

    I hope you enjoy camp while Gail abandons you.

    Nubbin wiggles,

  25. So nice to meet you!!!! As you know from popping over to our blog I am white, white and whiteer so I don't even understand the question you're posing. One color or another, you are a very handsome fella!


  26. Bertie,in our eyes you are perfect! We don't quite understand why humans have such silly ideas!
    We hope Gail has a wonderful trip.
    Catch up with you soon xxx

  27. I'm virtually monochrome, so I can't be of much help, but I do know that you're pawesome! Thanks for your healing thoughts -- keep them coming my way, because I get my test results tomorrow.

    I hope Gail is having a blast with her cycling trip. I look forward to reading about the details of her route.

    Keep on wagging,