Do puppies have fur when they are born? Yes, puppies are born with fur, although the coat texture and sometimes the color are not the same as the fur they will have as they grow into adulthood.
Puppy fur change
Puppies are born with a single coat of hair that is short and soft. These are secondary hairs and the same type of hair that makes up a dog's undercoat. It's designed to help the newborns maintain their body temperature.
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Over time, puppies lose their puppy coat and grow in their adult coat, which includes primary hairs — the longer, coarser hairs that make up the outer coat. This can happen when puppies are just 3 months of age or as old as 1 year, although for most breeds, shedding the puppy coat occurs when puppies are 4 to 6 months old. This can be an awkward time for some pups, and they may look patchy or shaggy for a period of time.
The adult coat may be a single or double coat depending on the breed. In addition, coat color may change at this time. Many breeds are born with fur that is the same color as their adult coat, but some breeds, including English setters and Shih Tzus, may change color. Dalmations are another example, as they don't develop spots until their adult coat grows in.
Puppies born without fur
You know that the answer to the question "are dogs born with fur?" is yes, but are there exceptions? There are a few hairless breeds of dogs, including the Chinese crested, American hairless terrier, Xoloitzcuintli, and Peruvian Inca orchid.
The gene that causes these dogs to be bald is recessive. Newborn Chinese crested puppies, for example, may be hairless except for tufts around the head and feet. However, there are also dogs of the breed born with hair, and they grow to have long hair on their entire body. These are called powderpuff or puff Chinese crested dogs.
Potential medical conditions
There are some medical reasons a puppy may be born without hair or may lose hair right away. If a puppy is premature, it is possible that he may not have developed his puppy coat and may be born without fur. This puts him at high risk of hypothermia, which can easily be fatal.
Another reason puppies may be born without fur is congenital hypotrichosis. This condition is caused by the poor development of hair follicles, and puppies with this condition will remain hairless. Puppies may not be completely hairless and may have thin hair on the head, ears, tail, and legs.
Facts about puppies from birth
Newborn puppies may be born with fur to help protect them and keep them warm, but at birth, they are completely helpless and reliant on their mother for everything. The mother even needs to stimulate the puppies so that they can eliminate. They are able to taste and feel touch, but they cannot hear and are born with their eyes closed. They can move short distances to find their mother to feed but are quite slow.
When puppies are 2 to 4 weeks old, their eyes open, and they start to develop their sense of smell and hearing. By 4 weeks of age, puppies are walking and eliminating on their own, and they have started the weaning process.
- Show Dog Store: Hairless Dogs and The Hairless Dog Breeds: Meet Some Cute Bald Dogs
- PetCoach: Skin & Hair 101: Anatomy & Function in Dogs
- American Kennel Club: Why Do Puppies Shed Their Coats?
- Best Friends Animal Society: Puppy Development: Stages from Birth to Two Years Old
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Breeding for Dog Owners - Problems at Birth
- Hanover Kennel Club: Canine Disease Information: Congenital Hypotrichosis