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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edit: I just noticed I forgot the word "can" from the title. Oops.

I actually don't have a dog (yet), but was thinking about it in the future. One (of the many, many) things I was wondering about is cleanliness. Most of the time, when I go to pet a friend or family member's dog, I feel like the coat leaves a sort of residue (natural fur oils I guess?) on my hand to the point where I feel I need to wash it afterwards. Is that normal? Is that just how dog coats are meant to be?

I figured maybe I could avoid the residue/grease thing by just giving my hypothetical future dog a wash regularly. But when reading about certain breeds (like huskies, for instance), I saw a lot of people saying it's not a good idea to wash them at all unless they've been rolling around in something foul.

I'm used to having cats who clean themselves constantly, so they always feel soft and clean without me having to do any work. And I'd like to keep my future dog's coat just as nice and clean if possible. Does it just come down to diligent brushing? Bathing? Are some breeds naturally softer and/or cleaner than others? Or should I just get used to wiping off my hands after petting? :p
 

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I saw that too on other people's dogs and for me it's definitely not normal. I wouldn't want to wipe my hands every time I pet my dog... Im not sure if it's because they're dirty, or their coat is not healthy .. But my own dogs never had that. I'm not an oblivious owner, just thinking that my dogs are the best/cleanest whatever, but other people have commented on it as well. Just the other day I had a lady stop and pet Eli and her first comment was not that she is pretty but Wow she is so clean!!
Anyhow, I don't do anything special for my setter's coat and I didn't do anything special for my bm's coat. Baths with shampoo every 2-3 months and almost weekly whole body wash with just water because she goes swimming. I also maybe brush her fur every couple of days.
 

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I wash my little dogs more often than that. I'm mildly allergic to them so when I get itchy into the bath they go! Every couple of weeks here.

Sometimes food isn't quite right and fur gets greasy and smelly. If your dog's fur is greasy or smelly look to the food first and bathe as needed. You likely will find that with a not good enough diet you are comfortable bathing every few weeks but if the food is perfect then every few months. My first dog had a bit of a smell and was a bit greasy so got bathed every month, after she went on home cooked food she didn't need bathing. I bathed her to help with shedding and her coat was shinier and softer when clean.

Main problem with giving dogs baths is rinsing out the shampoo. If you don't get out every last bit the dog will be itchy and very uncomfortable. I've never dried out skin or fur by bathing them.
 

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Yeah, I'm a 3-4 times a year bather for most of my dogs, but exactly what that comes down to varies by dog. Kylie gets bathed every few weeks because her coat DOES get oily/greasy. Thud gets bathed a bit more often because he's got a soft, fluffy coat that soaks up gross. Jack and Bug and Molly shed EVERYTHING out of their fur and just don't seem to have the same issue. Short, harsh, coats seem to be more self-cleaning than others, mostly.
 

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Vitae only gets a bath if she rolls in something, so every 2-3 weeks because she likes rolling in things.
Manna gets a bit waxy? not quite oily but a thin wax, which based on her breed is supposed to happen. (yes some breeds are supposed to have a natural oil or wax while others aren't mostly dogs meant to do alot of water work get this oil/wax to help keep their coats water repellent)
Manna gets bathed whenever she decides that she wants a bath. she sits in the tub and makes gremlin noises until I break out the soap and water. so...every week or so.
 

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I give Ralphie a bath once a month as long as he doesn't stink. He is pretty good about cleaning his own coat, and I try to brush him with a regular brush twice a week which removes a lot of the dirt, mats, and gross. Some breeds seem to be better about keeping themselves clean than others. Some breeds do have an oil that helps to repel water, like labs or other water retrievers, but I've never noticed anything like that on any of our dogs. If they're greasy, it's time for a bath!

Vitae only gets a bath if she rolls in something, so every 2-3 weeks because she likes rolling in things.
Manna gets a bit waxy? not quite oily but a thin wax, which based on her breed is supposed to happen. (yes some breeds are supposed to have a natural oil or wax while others aren't mostly dogs meant to do alot of water work get this oil/wax to help keep their coats water repellent)
Manna gets bathed whenever she decides that she wants a bath. she sits in the tub and makes gremlin noises until I break out the soap and water. so...every week or so.

Haha, that's so funny! I wish my dog liked baths that much!
 

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years in between if it's necessary a good diet and brushing with a brush/hand mitt that fits the dogs coat type, to distribute the oils and remove dirt residue. Double coated dogs you want to add using a rake once or twice a month and seasonal to keep the under coat shedded out so air can pass freely to the skin. let your dog roll in the dirt, run in the ran, play in the snow... Dogs coats are self cleaning and self regulating with grooming... I don't have any experience with dogs that need to be clipped regularly so am not speaking for them..
 

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My golden and my akita x rottie mix would get really oily. I attributed it to them being dirty because if you really pet or scratched them long enough and vigorously enough your hands would get kind of brown lol. I was young at the time and my parents weren't into grooming much so we just kind of accepted that that's how they were. The shampoos my parents bought always made their coats super dry and weird after baths, too.

Now I've discovered good dog shampoos and also have a fiance who's allergic to dogs and not in a very mild way. Grace, the rottie x akita mix, now gets bathed every 4-5 weeks. She has lab in her too, so it was difficult to find a shampoo that would get her clean and a conditioner that would restore her coat quality. I ended up with Chris Christensen shampoo/conditioner (and will never use anything else on any dog again, lol). My poodle mix gets a bath every 1-2 weeks because he rolls in anything he can find that smells bad. When he's due for a bath his coat does get oily.

I agree with the general consensus that if you keep up on brushing and feed a high quality diet (this is so important for coat quality) you shouldn't have many issues with the coat being greasy. If you are going to be bathing often to keep your dog clean, just make sure you use a high quality shampoo and don't forget the conditioner. Rinse, rinse, rinse, and when you think you have it all out, rinse again.
 

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My long and double coated dogs have been infinitely dirtier than the short single coated dogs I have now, all with the same bathing schedule (which is once every two months or so).
 

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Dense double short coated Sassy was much cleaner than long haired Max. The water going down the drain was dirty from him and clear from her. But she smelled and was more likely to be greasy than Max. Max smelled clean between baths.
 

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I find the amount of dirt that dogs bring in depends on where you live. When I lived in a vineyard with clay soils my dogs accumulated huge amounts of grime on their coats. I would end up with dirty fingernails from giving them a scratch-scratch. Note: they were out roaming for several hours a day, and no doubt got wet and rolled in dirt on a regular basis. Might be quite different living on a neat suburban yard.
Now I live under forest on a fairly rough acre block with sandy soils. The dogs drag in loads and loads of sand, but their coats stay clean. I do not bathe them unless there's a good reason to do so (like they rolled in something awful), but the local dirt just doesn't stick.
Labradors. Lots and lots of shedding. One is especially bad. I can reduce the amount of dog hair by regular brushing, but things still get coated with dog hair.
 

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I think it depends on the dog. Certain breeds have the doggy feel, others not so much. It also depends how much time they spend outside, how much they roll around, how much they play/rough-house with other dogs.

Mine both have short coats so they're relatively clean, but they're very active outdoors and go to daycare weekly so I can start to "feel" them after a few weeks. Then they get a bath. They will immediately get a bath after camping or rolling in anything smelly.
 
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