Dogs with long hair were usually bred this way to help protect them from the elements at the time when they were working dogs. These dogs also have thick undercoats, which, again, are designed to protect them from excessive heat or cold. This means that if you're opting for a long-haired dog, you're in for lots of grooming!
Not grooming these shaggy dogs on a regular basis could lead to serious matting and skin problems. If you want your pooch as beautiful as the ones below, then arm yourself with patience. However, if you are prepared for the grooming sessions, the pay-off is absolutely amazing. There's no debating that these dogs are drop-dead gorgeous. So here's a list of the different types of long-haired breeds and the things you need to know about them:
Large long haired dogs
Just can't get enough of fluffy, long-haired dogs? Well then, these guys might be the perfect match for you!
Also known as the Hungarian Sheepdog, Komondors have long corded coats which have earned them the nickname of ‘mop dogs.’ Though you don't brush the coat, you'll have to spend lots of time separating the cords every day so they don't form large mats. Despite their cute and playful appearance, Komondors are a powerful breed with a natural protector's instinct. This makes them great with the family, but they can be aggressive toward outsiders and other pets. Komondors need wide open space out in the country and have been described as ‘too much dog’ for many people. Think very carefully before adopting one.
With an aristocratic history, the Afghan Hound has a long silky coat that needs combing through every single day. Despite its appearance, the Afghan Hound is a robust working dog that requires plenty of space and exercise. Its popularity as a show dog has coincided with its rising popularity in the USA, but they're also used as therapy dogs, providing company to people in hospitals, schools, and nursing homes.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Another sturdy and robust working dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog has a thick double layered coat designed to protect them from the cold weather. It will require regular brushing, but you’ll be rewarded with a loving and very intelligent companion.
Newfies have thick double coats which used to keep them warm in the water when they would go to retrieve nets for fishermen in the sea. Much like the Berner's, the Newfoundland's coat will require regular brushing. Be prepared for lots of shedding, and don't forget that you may have to clean lots of slobber out of the coat as well.
The Briard's long, beautiful coat used to protect them from the windy and rainy French winters in the days where they were used to herd sheep. That beautiful coat will require daily combing if you want to keep it clean and tangle-free.
Medium sized long haired dogs
If you love the look of long-haired dogs, but aren't sure you can handle the giants above, then check out these adorable medium-sized dogs!
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier has been a popular dog in rural Ireland for the last 200 years. A great all-around farm-dog, these terriers are quick, agile, and highly protective. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), it's closely related to the Kerry Blue and Irish Terriers, although both have much shorter coats than the Wheaten Terrier. This long-haired breed never sheds, so they need daily grooming. A monthly trim and bath will complete their beauty routine.
Bred for centuries to herd highland sheep, today's Bearded Collies are loyal and intelligent companions. They're highly sociable and great with children. They’re also known for their double coats, with a straight coarse outer coat protecting a soft and furry undercoat. The outer coat protected the Bearded Collie from the freezing highland temperatures. This breed will require daily combing.
The Sheltie's thick double coat used to protect them when they herded sheep in the cold and rainy Scottish highlands. Today, if you want to keep that coat as beautiful as possible, you'll need to brush and comb every single day.
Portuguese Water Dog
These water dogs were bred to have thick fur so they would be protected from the chill of the waters they would retrieve in. Their coats can be trimmed to achieve a "puppy cut", making them easier to groom. However, if you want the longer coat, then you'll have to brush it every day to keep it clean and healthy.
The German Spitz was bred to have a long, luscious coat mainly because it was thought of as beautiful by admirers such as Queen Victoria. The thick coat needs brushing and combing every day to make sure mats don't form in the undercoat.
Toy long-haired dog breeds
If you're more of a small dog person, then we've got you covered with these adorable pooches!
Shih Tzus are the UK's most popular long-haired breed. And with their flowing glossy coats and cute little faces, they're also one of the most adorable (no other breed can pull of a bow in the hair quite like a Shih Tzu.) Shih Tzus are only around 28cm high so their coats usually go all the way down to the floor. Their fringes will often cover their eyes unless it's tied back - hence the famous bow! Despite their reputation as pampered lap-dogs, Shih Tzus have a long history stretching back to ancient Tibet. Buddhist monks kept them as companions, and they were the favoured pets of emperors of the imperial palace and other members of royalty. Today's Shih Tzus still need the regal treatment. Regular baths and daily grooming sessions are essential in keeping their coats in good condition.
Originally bred in Malta, these cute little lap dogs are perfect for people who haven't got the time or space for long, regular walks. A little stretch now and then will be enough for these playful little things, and for the rest of the time, they’ll be quite happy pottering around the house. Much like Shih Tzus, their long coats will reach to the floor unless clipped or trimmed on a regular basis. They're also known for having ‘small dog’ syndrome, and a Maltese is much braver than its size would suggest.
Another cheerful little lap dog, the Havanese is a great companion for homebodies. Their coat is extremely soft and silky and comes in many different colours and shades. Like most other long-haired breeds, a Havanese needs a daily brush, but keeping their coats trimmed will minimize any grooming time.
Despite being another member of the toy dog family, Yorkshire Terriers are tough, fierce, and move in a way that suggests the confidence of a much larger breed. Their long silky coats made them prized companions for European high-society sets and the Yorkshire Terrier still requires the highest standards of grooming and care.
Much like the other dogs in this list, the Lhasa Apso doesn't shed. That doesn't mean that their coats don't require grooming. Because the hair is constantly growing, it'll need every day brushing and combing to keep clean and tidy.
From giant to miniature, long-haired dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes. But, despite their differences in stature, they all need plenty of attention to keep their coats clean and healthy. This may take up a lot of time, and grooming costs can be expensive. Long-haired dog breeds make very rewarding pets, but only if you're willing to put in the work!