There are many different kinds of long haired dogs. More often associated with being a show-dog, they require a lot of grooming and care to keep their coats in shape.
Like all other dogs, they do have a few complications and quirks. So here's a list of the different types of long-haired breeds and the things you need to know about them:
Larger long haired dogs
Also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, Komondors have long corded coats which has earned them the nickname of ‘mop dogs.’ Despite its cute and playful appearance, Komondors are a powerful breed with a natural protectors instinct. Although this makes them great with the family, they can be aggressive toward outsiders and other pets. And given their history of roaming the European planes protecting livestock, Komondors need wide open space out in the country. Michele Welton has written loads of books on dog training and care, and she describes the Komondor 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 lots of attention. 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.
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, and these tough working dogs can grow to be two feet tall. Their long coats will need brushing at least once a week. They can also shed quite heavily, and they'll probably need grooming several times a week during the summer months.
Bernese mountain dogs
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.
Toy long-haired dog breeds
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. Todays Shih Tzus still needs 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 coast 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 are great companions 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.
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!