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Long haired dogs are often some of the most striking and attractive breeds around. Their gorgeous locks turn heads – particularly when they’re well looked after by a doting owner. And though dogs with really luscious coats take a little extra time in the grooming parlor, it’s all worth it to see your long-coated pooch looking their best.
However, not all long haired dog breeds are the same. In fact, some share barely any similarities beyond their stunning coats. Sizes, personalities, temperaments, and event coat textures can change drastically between breeds. So if you know you want a long haired dog, there are other factors to consider when picking the perfect pooch for your family.
Some are highly energetic while others are calmer. Some shed a lot while others are hypoallergenic. And some take well to training while others can be more stubborn.
Read on to learn more about these 11 dog breeds with really long hair.
1. Afghan Hound
Known for their silky, long coat the Afghan Hound is an elegant breed that stands up to 27 inches tall. Originally, this sighthound’s thick coat would have kept them warm against the freezing cold mountain temperatures where they’d hunt their prey.
But modern Afghan’s are more pampered, as they require hours of brushing, washing, and conditioning each week. Owners of this noble breed should be prepared to take as much pride in their dog’s appearance as they would their own, as well as regular trips to the groomers.
2. Bearded Collie
The Bearded Collie is best known for its shaggy gray and white coat. Originally bred as a sheep herding dog in Scotland, their thick, double-layered coat would have protected them against harsh northern conditions. It means these big, bouncy dogs need extra care when grooming as they have so much more fur to tend to.
Daily brushing and weekly thorough grooming is advised for Bearded Collies, who love to spend time outdoors exercising and are prone to collecting dirt, burrs, and debris in their long hair. A comb of the overcoat and deep brushing of the undercoat should keep it fresh and detangled. And the good news is, despite their lustrous coat, the Bearded Collie doesn’t shed often.
The adorable Briard is a French sheepdog distinguishable by their long hair that often covers their eyes. Like Border Collies, they also have a thick double coat that’s long and wavy and slightly coarse. Their undercoat sits close to the skin to retain warmth.
Briards should be brushed at least three times a week to remove any stray undercoat that has come loose, and keep their top coat fresh and tangle-free. And though it naturally repels dirt and water,the coat of any dog that loves outdoor activities as much as this dog is bound to become knotted and dirty without regular weekly care.
The corded Komondor looks like it’s covered in dreadlocks rather than fur. But in the dog world, this type of coat is known as flocks or mats. Another herding dog, the Komondor is originally from Hungary where harsh winters meant the breed needed not just protection from the cold, but also to blend in with snowy landscapes.
The corded outer coat develops as the Komondor matures into adulthood, keeping their fine wavy puppy coat underneath for warmth. The corded coat cannot be brushed, but does need regular washing both at home and by professional groomers.
5. Lhasa Apso
The ancient Lhasa Apso originated in the Himalayan Mountains – a freezing landscape that calls for a long, thick coat to keep in the warmth. This tiny breed is thought to have guarded the palaces and monasteries of ancient Tibet, and is known for its beautiful long fur that sometimes covers their eyes.
Like many breeds from colder climes, the Lhasa Apso’s coat is double-thick, with a long straight outer layer and a denser layer underneath. Though the breed doesn’t shed much, they do need a lot of brushing to keep that gorgeous coat clean, fresh, and free from knots. But since this lapdog loves their owners affection, they’ll be happy to spend their grooming time with you.
A long haired breed with a single-layered coat, the Maltese’s hair can grow so long it touches the ground. And though it looks adorable, it is prone to picking up dust and dirt. For this reason, many owners prefer to style their Maltese’s coat into an equally attractive but more manageable style that’s cropped shorter on the body.
The tiny, cheerful Maltese weighs less than 7 lbs and rarely sheds, making them easy and convenient companions. Though longer hair styles will need daily brushing, the Maltese only really needs to see a professional groomer every 6-10 weeks.
Like its Tibetan counterpart the Lhasa Apso, the Chinese Pekingese was bred by nobility as a lapdog that doubled as a guard in palaces and monasteries. Their thick double coat grows long and is especially prominent around their neck, often producing the effect of a lion’s mane.
Daily grooming is advised to keep the Peke’s thick coat tangle free and to remove any loose hairs from the undercoat. As a brachycephalic breed, the Pekeingese can have trouble breathing, especially in warmer weather, so keeping their coat cut a little shorter is advised to aid in their comfort. But however long your Peke wears their hair, it will need to be washed and groomed regularly to avoid matting.
Not to be mistaken with their relative the Komondor, Puli’s are another Hungarian breed with a corded coat. When its outer and inner coats intertwine, the Puli develops thinner mats that resemble dreadlocks, which rarely shed and cannot be brushed.
However, since they’re prone to matting which can pull and become painful, it’s important that the Puli is groomed and washed regularly. The best and most convenient way to keep their corded coat neat and tangle free is by paying a professional, as it can be tricky to do from home when bushing is to be avoided. The other option is to cut their coat short or brush out the mats completely, but then your gorgeous Puli will lose its distinctive look.
9. Shetland Sheepdog
Another Scottish herding dog, the Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, has a long double coat that keeps it warm against harsh environments. They have a soft, dense undercoat and longer, rougher fur on top that can grow to about 6 inches long. But they’re not the best pet for the house proud as they shed all that fur twice a year – so you’ll want a vacuum at the ready.
Whether or not it’s shedding season, Sheltie’s need plenty of brushing to keep that mane maintained. Twice weekly at home is advised, with trips to the groomers for extra care every couple of months.
10. Shih Tzu
Another breed with royal roots, the Shih Tzu was bred by Chinese nobility thousands of years ago. Known for their silky, long coat that can grow long enough to touch the floor, it’s no surprise that this lapdog needs plenty of grooming to stay neat and tidy.
Shorter cuts are easier to care for, but it can compromise that adorable Shih Tzu look. But if you prefer to keep their coat long then daily brushing and regular washing, drying, and trimming are essential. The good news, at least, is that they’re not prone to shedding so that lovely coat will stay put.
11. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier’s long, sleek coat is its defining feature, with many of these tiny dogs wearing their hair in an adorably top knot to keep it out of their eyes. Unlike other breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier’s coat is actually hair not fur, and grows in just one fine, single layer. This means the breed is prone to feeling the cold and often shivers in low temperatures.
Yorkie’s don’t shed much and need a lot of grooming to keep their gorgeous hair in good condition. But in colder weather, owners are advised to dress these toy dogs in coats and jackets to help them retain some extra warmth that their fine hair isn’t able to hold.
Is A Long Haired Dog Right For Me?
If you’ve got the time, patience, and inclination to spend a few hours each week brushing your dog and keeping their long coat in good nick, then a long-haired breed might be a good match for you. Contrary to popular belief, not all long-haired dog breeds are prolific shedders, and some can even make good companions for owners with allergies. But the most important thing to consider when buying or adopting a dog with really long hair is whether you’re up for the task of keeping their coat in check.
It’s not just essential for keeping them looking neat, but it contributes to their overall health and happiness too. And after all, spending some time caring for your long-haired dog’s coat is the perfect opportunity to bond.