Some dogs have thick, long, flowing coats while others have short, dense, hard, shiny hair. Dogs with short, smooth coats require very little grooming and upkeep, and for many people that makes them the perfect family member. No matter what purpose you're hoping a new four-legged friend will fill, there's a suitable breed of dog with short, smooth hair.
Small breeds with short, smooth coats often used to serve as hunters and watchdogs. Some of the small short-haired dogs were bred specifically as companions and friends. These little guys tend to be extremely high-energy, possess a strong prey drive and learn new commands and behaviors with little effort. The smallest dog breed in the world, the Chihuahua, often boasts a short, smooth coat, although there is a long-haired variety as well. Dachshunds, toy Manchester terriers, miniature pinschers, toy fox terriers, Jack Russell terriers and pugs all have short, smooth, glossy coats.
Boston terriers, French bulldogs, Italian greyhounds, whippets, basenjis, beagles, Staffordshire bull terriers, miniature bull terriers and Australian kelpies all have one thing in common: a short, dense, low-maintenance coat. Additionally, most of these medium-sized dogs weigh between 20 and 40 pounds. They're not tiny, but they're not giant by any stretch of the imagination. These guys are the perfect size for many owners seeking a friend large enough to hike, play ball and be active, but not large enough to require large amounts of food, "large dog" pet deposits or a ton of exercise.
American pit bull terriers, most hounds, dalmatians, Entlebucher mountain dogs, pointers, and boxers were all bred for very different purposes. All possess a short and smooth coat with a wide range of color options, from spots to stripes to white to black and everything in between. Almost all the large, short-haired dogs were bred to work, and through the centuries these breeds have performed jobs such as chasing prey, catching prey, pointing prey out, treeing prey, pulling carts, protecting the family, finding lost people and many other jobs.
Extra-large breeds with short, smooth coats tend to be "molosser" breeds, or breeds with thick, solid, heavy bone structures, lots of muscle mass, a square, heavily jawed head and thick skin. The American bulldog, Great Dane, Dogue de Bordeaux, Tosa Inu, and most other mastiff-type dogs fall under the molosser heading. The greyhound is an exception. While greyhounds typically only weigh 65 to 85 pounds, their 27-to-30-inch height marks them as an extra-large breed. Even though extra-large dogs require lots of space, they typically have low energy levels and can thrive in smaller houses and apartments. Greyhound lovers often refer to their dogs as "45-mile-an-hour couch potatoes."
Since 2001, Kea Grace has published in "Dog Fancy," "Clean Run," "Front and Finish" and an international Czechoslovakian agility enthusiast magazine. Grace is the head trainer for Gimme Grace Dog Training and holds her CPDT-KA and CTDI certifications. She is a member of the APDT and is a recognized CLASS instructor. She's seeking German certification from the Goethe Institut.