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Caitlin UltimoBehavior / Breed Lists

10 Messy Dog Breeds

Looking for a pup but not sure if you can handle the mess that comes along with certain dog breeds? Steer clear —or fully prepare yourself for—the following breeds, all of which tend to be big shedders, droolers or both. And if you’ve already taken home one of these adorably messy breeds, get tips on how to keep them clean.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland

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A massive breed and popular family dog, Newfoundlands are affectionate and loyal companions with winning personalities. With droopy lips, drop ears and a bushy tail, Newfoundlands also have a very heavy coat of hair that requires regular grooming. An active dog that requires daily exercise, owners may want to keep wipes handy to keep drool at bay, says American Kennel Club spokesperson Lisa Peterson.

It’s especially important for breeds with drop ears (like Beagles, Basset Hounds and Newfoundlands) to have their ears cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections. Peterson recommends moistening a cotton ball with pet ear cleaner and massaging the inside of your dog’s ear to get the cleaner deeper into the ear canal. Find out six more dog ear cleaning tips to try.

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog

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Used as a livestock herder and guardian in England, the Old English Sheepdog is a happy, affectionate breed that is excellent with children and is friendly towards other dogs. Intelligent and non-aggressive, Old English Sheepdogs also enjoy learning new things and excel at canine sports. With a full, long and shaggy coat, Old English Sheepdogs require consistent grooming to prevent matting. The massive coat can be a lot to manage for the average dog owner, Peterson says, so some owners prefer to keep their dog’s coat shaved down to a more manageable length.

The type of dog brush you use will depend on their coat. For short-haired dogs, you’ll need a soft-bristled brush or curry comb. For long-haired or double-coated dogs, use a pin brush.

“Your dog’s hair may tangle or tighten into a knot or mat despite your best efforts. If the knot doesn’t respond to brushing, first try pulling it apart in sections by hand,” Peterson said. “If that fails, use a pair of scissors or de-matting comb to separate the knot in sections, taking care to cut away from the skin.”

Try these three steps to untangle matted dog hair.

Collie

Collie

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A loving, nurturing breed known for their herding abilities, the Collie is a large dog with a long, pointed face and erect ears. Most commonly seen with sable and white, tricolored or blue merle coloring, the coat of the Collie can be rough or smooth. Rough-coated collies have immense coats, Peterson says, which will shed and require regular brushing to prevent mats. An excellent family dog, Collies can fare well in the country or city, provided they have enough exercise.

Mastiff

Mastiff

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A large dog with a massive head and jowls that hang down over the chin, Mastiffs are powerful yet gentle. Extremely loyal and affectionate to his family, including children, Mastiffs are great protectors of their domain and will require early socialization and training in order to prevent them from becoming overly aggressive towards unfamiliar people or dogs. While they require minimal grooming, owners may experience a lot of drooling with the breed, Peterson says.

Spinone Italiano

Spinone Italiano

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With a wiry, dense coat and thick skin that enables them to find their way through underbrush and endure the cold when hunting, Spinone Italianos love the outdoors and require plenty of safe room to run.

A loyal and loving breed, Spinone Italianos get along well with children and other dogs and require plenty of exercise to help maintain their active, energetic personality. Owners beware, however. After a drink, their wet and messy beard may leave a trail of water wherever they go, Peterson says. Like all dogs that love the outdoors, Spinone Italianos should be kept clean to prevent any health conditions.

“No matter how much dogs like getting down in the dirt, we need to keep them clean and well groomed,” Peterson says. “A consistently dirty dog can develop skin problems and other health issues.”

Border Collie

Border Collie

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This high-drive breed is extremely energetic and requires exercise beyond just a walk around the block, Peterson says. Border Collies love to play and work and get along well with children and other dogs. A breed that thrives when they have a job to do, Border Collies require sufficient attention and stimulation to prevent boredom. With a long bushy tail and coat that tends to get dirty after a long day in the fields, Border Collies require regular brushing and shed seasonally.

Samoyed

Samoyed

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Bred for pulling sleds and herding, the Samoyed is a hardy breed that excels at sporting events and is lovable towards children and their families. With regular exercise, Samoyeds can fare well in the city or country and tend to be protective towards their owners. With a heavy, weather resistant coat made for cold climates, Samoyeds require regular brushing to prevent mats and may need special attention to keep their white, cream or biscuit-colored coats their light color.

In addition to brushing and bathing, it’s also important to regularly trim your dog’s nails and the hair between their toes. Just make sure you don’t cut past the quick (a blood vessel inside the nail) or trim your pup’s toes, Peterson says.

Bulldog

Bulldog

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A short dog with a powerful build and lots of wrinkles, Bulldogs have loving and gentle dispositions. With a low activity level and friendly nature, Bulldogs make excellent couch companions and may need to be motivated by their owner to go outside for exercise. Their short muzzles can cause breathing problems, however, including frequent snorting and sneezing. Bulldogs are also known to drool quite a bit and will need their wrinkles cleaned.

Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux

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Known as the drooling, messy “Hooch” in the Tom Hanks’ film “Turner and Hooch,” the Dogue de Bordeaux is a French breed with a powerful, muscular build and massive head. An excellent companion with a patient, calm temperament and affectionate nature, their coats are easy to care for but owners should prepare to deal with a hefty amount of drool from the breed.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

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Bred by nomadic Indian tribes for the purpose of sledding, Siberian Huskies continue to serve as both sled dogs and wonderful pets. Good with other dogs and gentle and loving towards children, the Siberian Husky loves to play and run and would do best in the country or suburbs. Because they originated in cold climates, Siberians have thicker coats than most other breeds of dog, and require weekly brushing, according to Peterson.

Looking for more grooming tips? Check out our at-home grooming cheat sheet.


Jessica is a managing editor and spends her days trying not to helicopter parent her beloved shelter pup, Darwin.

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