three phases in the hair growth of dogs

three phases in the hair growth of dogs

Dog Hair Growth Stages

Dogs, just like humans, go through different phases in their hair growth cycle. Understanding these stages can help you better care for your furry friend's coat and ensure that they have healthy, luscious locks. In this article, we will explore the three main phases of hair growth in dogs and provide insights on how to support their hair growth process.

Canine Hair Growth Cycle

The hair growth cycle of dogs consists of three distinct phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Each phase plays a crucial role in the overall health and appearance of your dog's coat.

Anagen Phase

The anagen phase is the active growth phase of your dog's hair follicles. During this stage, the hair follicles are actively producing new hair, allowing it to grow longer and stronger. The duration of the anagen phase varies depending on the breed and individual dog, ranging from a few months to several years.

It is important to note that different areas of your dog's body may have different lengths of anagen phase. For example, the anagen phase for the hair on your dog's head may be longer compared to the hair on their paws.

Catagen Phase

The catagen phase, also known as the transitional phase, follows the anagen phase. During this stage, the hair follicles start to transition and prepare for the next phase. The catagen phase is relatively short, lasting only a couple of weeks.

During this phase, the hair follicles shrink, and the hair stops growing. The old hair is pushed up towards the surface of the skin by the formation of a club hair. At this point, the hair is no longer receiving nourishment from the follicle.

Telogen Phase

The telogen phase is the final phase of the hair growth cycle. It is a resting phase where the old hair remains in place while new hair begins to grow beneath it. This phase lasts for several weeks to a few months and is crucial for the overall health and strength of the hair.

During the telogen phase, the new hair pushes out the old hair, eventually causing it to shed. Shedding is a natural process for dogs, and the amount of shedding can vary depending on the breed and individual dog. Regular brushing during the telogen phase can help remove the loose hair and prevent matting.

Hair Growth Process in Dogs

The hair growth process in dogs involves a continuous cycle of hair growth, shedding, and regrowth. Understanding this process can help you manage your dog's coat and identify any potential issues.

Hormonal Influences

Hormones play a significant role in the hair growth process of dogs. The two primary hormones involved are testosterone and estrogen. These hormones determine the length and thickness of the hair and regulate the growth cycle.

Different breeds of dogs have different hormonal levels, which contribute to variations in coat length, texture, and shedding patterns. For example, breeds with high testosterone levels tend to have shorter and denser coats.

External Factors

External factors such as nutrition, grooming practices, and overall health can also impact your dog's hair growth process. Providing a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, regular grooming, and maintaining good overall health through regular exercise and veterinary care are essential for promoting healthy hair growth.

Additionally, external factors like weather conditions and seasonal changes can affect your dog's coat. Some dogs may experience increased shedding during certain times of the year, while others may grow a thicker coat in preparation for colder weather.

three phases in the hair growth of dogs

Tips for Supporting Hair Growth in Dogs

Now that you understand the three phases of hair growth in dogs, here are some tips to support and enhance your furry friend's coat:

  1. Provide a balanced diet: Make sure your dog's diet is rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that support healthy hair growth.
  2. Regular grooming: Brush your dog's coat regularly to remove loose hair, prevent matting, and stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles.
  3. Use dog-friendly grooming products: Choose shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for dogs to maintain a healthy coat.
  4. Avoid excessive bathing: While regular bathing is important for hygiene, excessive bathing can strip the natural oils from your dog's coat, leading to dryness and brittleness.
  5. Provide a stress-free environment: Stress and anxiety can impact your dog's overall health, including their coat. Create a calm and safe environment for your furry friend to thrive.
  6. Regular veterinary check-ups: Routine check-ups with your veterinarian can help identify any underlying health issues that may affect your dog's hair growth.

By following these tips and understanding the different phases of hair growth in dogs, you can ensure that your canine companion has a healthy and lustrous coat. Remember, each dog is unique, and their hair growth process may vary. If you have any concerns about your dog's coat, consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice.


The hair follicle can go through cycles of growth, regression, and rest throughout a person's life, each with specific changes. Mice have a classification system for these cycles, while dogs do not have one, even though hair loss related to cycle interruptions is common in dogs. We used similar criteria and staining techniques to categorize the stages of the hair cycle in dogs as in mice. We found that certain staining techniques were most effective. We examined skin biopsies from healthy beagle dogs and found that a significant percentage of follicles were in anagen, catagen, and telogen stages. Some follicles could not be categorized due to imperfect orientation. This guide could be useful for studying hair loss disorders and possibly understanding their causes, as well as for research projects requiring the comparison of hair cycle stages.