Long haired dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes and make excellent companion, working or show dogs. Although they are recognized in dog shows and on the street for their long, silky coats, we’ll dig into their personalities and grooming needs.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has been known in Ireland for more than 200 years as an all-purpose farm dog, prized for being agile, quick and able to patrol borders of small farms. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), it shares common ancestry with the Kerry Blue and Irish Terrier, but is distinguished by its soft, silky long coat.
This long haired dog breed requires brushing every other day and because it does not shed, Wheatens require trimming and bathing on alternating months to maintain the shape and look of its coat, according to petMD. Grooming essentials, such as the Safari slicker brush and Buddy Wash Original shampoo & conditioner, will help keep the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier’s coat looking and feeling its best.
Known for herding sheep and differentiated from the Highland Collie because of its long facial hair, the Bearded Collie has been bred for centuries to be a companion and servant of man, according to the AKC. They are obedient and popular companion dogs that love to play with children and spend time with people. They’re known for their double coats, which are soft and furry underneath with a straight, coarse outer coat that requires regular brushing to be kept mat and tangle free. Rakes specifically designed to reach the undercoat, such as the JW Pet Gripsoft undercoat rake, help maintain double coats like the Bearded Collie’s.
Recognized because of its long, silky white hair, the Maltese is a quintessential lap dog known for being lively, playful and fearless in spite of its toy size, according to the AKC. The breed originated in Malta and has been owned royally across the globe for centuries. Largely indoor dogs, Maltese do not need outdoor exercise beyond short walks and socialization, according to petMD. Its coat, which can be floor-length, may be clipped for easier maintenance and must be combed regularly.
Yorkies may be official members of the Toy Group, but they’re naturally brave, determined and energetic, according to the AKC, and have the demeanor of a dog with a larger stature. The breed was known as a companion animal of high society European families and was prized for its long, silky blue and tan coat.
Yorkies are bold, curious and always ready for adventure, according to petMD. They can be stubborn and assertive to small or unfamiliar dogs and make excellent watchdogs. Their coats, which are often floor-length for dog competitions, can be prone to tangles or catching debris if kept long. They should be brushed or combed every other day, according to petMD. The Andis pet comb is a grooming must-have to maintain long hair clean and tangle-free.
With a dignified presence and a history as an aristocratic dog, the Afghan Hound is covered with thick, very fine hair, according to the AKC. Their coat is one found among animals native to high altitudes and can come in all colors. While the breed is known as an excellent hound, its popularity as an exceptional show dog has risen with its introduction to the U.S., according to the AKC. Afghan Hounds do well as companion dogs, but need regular exercise because of their size in addition to regular grooming because of their long coat.
A member of the toy group, the Havanese is native to Cuba and likely arrived in the U.S. via trading ships. Their coats are known for being long and heavy and can be wavy, curly or straight in any color combination. They require only moderate exercise and are happy to be the center of attention in the home. Havanese are also known for their easy-going attitude, according to DogChannel.com, and will require frequent brushing and grooming. Keeping their coat shorter can minimize grooming time.
Don’t be fooled by the giant mop appearance — the Komondor is used today as a sheep guardian and is known for bring a large, dignified dog. Its long, white corded coat helps protect the dog from the elements and from injury by predators, according to DogChannel.com. Their coats require detailed attention, including separating the cords by hand to prevent matting or tangling. After bathing, Komondors should be dried with a towel, such as the Bone Dry bath towel, as much as possible, as it can take two or three days for their coats to dry, according to DogChannel.com. Because of their large size, Komondors also need plenty of time outdoors and require long walks daily.
Bernese Mountain Dog
One of four varieties of Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is the only one with a long, silky coat. The breed is known as a working dog valued for its intelligence, strength and agility, according to the AKC.
Its uses today include agility and obedience training, herding, tracking and therapy work. Because of their double coats, Bernese require regular brushing but their gentle, easygoing manner makes them a good choice for families, according to the AKC.
A companion dog known for its long, dense coat, Lhasa Apso’s are known for being sturdy little dogs that are extremely devoted to their families, according to DogChannel.com. Their coats require daily brushing to be kept tangle and mat free and can be clipped shorter to be more manageable. The Wahl Arco pet clipper kit makes clipping a breeze, keeping long haired dog breeds, such as the Lhasa Apso, more comfortable and manageable. Although they’re small, Lhasa Apso’s are also independent and stubborn by nature and require a firm hand when training.
Recognized by their flowing, dense coat, Shih Tzus are known for being happy and outgoing small dogs, according to DogChannel.com. Their coats require weekly grooming and brushing several times a week. Ideal for apartment living or elderly companions, they require minimal exercise. Good with older children, Shih Tzus should be watched around smaller children as they can be unsettled with rough or awkward handling, according to DogChannel.com.