13 Glamorous Long-Haired Dog Breeds Giving Us Life
While pooches generally aren't as prideful as our feline friends, there are many dapper dog breeds sporting fluff for days who certainly have a well-kept coat to brag about—you know, if dogs did that sort of thing. Instead, it is a dog owner's duty to maintain their pup's mane, and lovers of long-haired dog breeds especially need to be attentive to their good girl's grooming needs.
"Ideally, long-haired dog breeds should be brushed daily or at least several times a week to prevent tangles and mats and keep the coat and skin healthy," says Megan McCarthy, DVM, of Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City.
McCarthy recommends long-haired dogs be bathed every other week or at least once a month. But don't get too crazy with the suds—bathing your pup more than once a week can irritate her skin. Of course, if your dog's coat requires consistent upkeep, you can always consult with a professional groomer to see if they're comfortable caring for your specific breed's needs on a regular basis.
Ready for your new floofball BFF? Cue the cool slow motion scene from every movie ever with perfectly-coiffed hair effortlessly blowing in the wind—these long-haired dog breeds are more than ready to fill the role.
Small Long-Haired Dogs
Affectionately nick-named the "lion dog" for their luxurious manes (certainly not for their petite size!), the Pekingese is not exactly the king of the jungle, but they've graced many royal palaces—and regal laps—in their time. Chinese emperors as far back as 200 BC doted on these dainty dogs, and their lovable lion-like locks and penchant for lining laps have both withstood the test of time. A Pekingese is perfectly suited for first-time owners and/or families, especially those with older children or slower lifestyles, and adapt well to apartment life. Despite their royal rearing, they don't need much space to be satisfied in—other than your personal space, that is.
Silky terriers are—you guessed it!—silky. A relatively rare breed, the silky terrier's enviable glossy coat probably makes up half of their 10-pound body weight, but though they be but little, they be but fierce. Fiercely devoted to their people, that is. Like many small dog breeds, "silkies" have big personalities and love to steal the show with their playful antics. On-the-go owners can take advantage of their petite pups and bring them along as able since silkies are people pups!
Lhasa apsos are bringing bangs back, baby!
"Their distinguishing feature is their long straight coat that sometimes covers their face making it difficult to see their eyes," McCarthy says. "Lhasa apsos need to be brushed almost daily to prevent tangles and mats, and some owners opt to clip their hair short several times a year."
Another breed rooted in Chinese royalty, Lhasa apsos stood watch over Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayas and were prized possessions to Buddhist monks and Dalai Lamas alike over the centuries. It's no wonder they still prefer a pampered lifestyle today!
If you look up the recipe for cuteness, stubby legs, roly-poly bodies, and droopy ears top the list. Adorable dachshunds can sport short or long coats, but their hot dog-esque bodies are pretty distinct no matter what. Believe it or not, dachshunds historically brought fear upon any badger in the vicinity, using their long bodies to burrow into holes and flush out pests.
American Eskimo Dog
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's … a cloud-shaped dog? Cloud watchers need look no further than their own backyard—the American Eskimo dog's radiant white floof appears to be stolen straight from the sky. A little ball of energy, the American Eskimo dog prefers engaging activities to keep moving, such as puzzle toys or a game of hide-and-seek, versus being left to run around on his own accord. Though their thick double coats protect them from climate supremes, "Eskies" aren't meant to be left unattended for long outdoors. They want to be where the action is—with you! Lively homes with young children to play with are perfect for the excitable breed.
Known for their soft long locks and an unmissable pep in their step, Havanese dogs are people pleasers happy to be along for the ride. They have no problem calling an apartment home, and are companion dogs to owners of all ages. Really, as long as their people are by their side, the Havanese, much like their impressive coats, are content to go with the flow.
Medium Long-Haired Dogs
The model of pure elegance and grace, Afghan hounds exude sophistication, from their silky straight hair to their long legs and prominent noses. An Afghan hound probably has more good hair days than you, but a lot goes into their sleek 'do. An Afghan hound should be brushed daily and bathed weekly, and it never hurts to schedule a haircut at the groomer to keep their flowing manes manageable. Besides their beauty, the Afghan hound's long locks serve a more practical purpose for pet owners as well—they don't shed as much as many other dog breeds.
In fact, many long-haired dog breeds are well-suited for allergic owners. "Long-haired dog breeds are thought to be less allergenic than short-haired dog breeds because long-haired dog breeds actually shed less," McCarthy says.
These long-haired Lassie lookalikes are an exception to that rule, with thick double coats historically protecting the collie from harsh elements while herding in the Scottish Highlands. Shedding is particularly noticeable in the summer when they essentially "drop" their coats, but what's a little fur between best friends? And the collie will be your best friend. Bred to protect livestock and their owners alike, collies fit right into family life and excel with children and other pets.
A puli's characteristic cords are eye catching, draping their body from head to toe in an impressive mop-like mane. Of course, such a distinct feature does require a lot of maintenance. Puli owners may opt to brush their dog weekly for a shaggy appearance rather than adhering to strict dreadlocks, but those sticking with the natural corded fur should plan to separate the cords ritually from the time the puli is 8 to 10 months old throughout his life to prevent matting. It can take up to five years for their coats to hang at their full length.
Large Long-Haired Dogs
The scruffy, big-boned briard boasts long, wavy hair atop his athletic physique. A working dog by nature, briards enjoy an active lifestyle and are happy to accompany adventurous owners on hikes, swims, long walks, or a pit stop to the backyard for a friendly game of fetch.
"They are very intelligent dogs that are ideal for owners who want an active dog for herding, hiking, or other outdoor activities," McCarthy says. "Briards require lots of activities to keep them occupied."
Old English Sheepdog
Shaggy and often gray-haired, the Old English sheepdog is aptly named and well-recognized today, living up to their name with innate herding instincts that, while good-natured, make them not the best dog for young children. Excitable and eager to learn new things, the Old English sheepdog is happiest in a bustling lifestyle complete with long walks and play time on the daily.
These rambunctious redheads are the life of the party, with a reputation for perhaps a little mischief with puppy-like personalities even in their fully-grown adult bodies. Active lifestyles with athletic parents or children to run around with are best for the Irish setter, but homes with very small children should be wary of the large breed's well-intentioned energy that might knock a wee lad off their feet. Irish setters are family dogs but can have a mind of their own, so parents should be patient and willing to practice positive reinforcement to help their pup pick up desired behaviors.
Large and in charge, the Tibetan mastiff has a protective instinct passed down from a long line of ancestors who patrolled palaces and monasteries in the Himalayan mountains. Their watchful eye is not very accepting of strangers, so if your home has a revolving door of well-meaning guests, it probably isn't well-suited for a Tibetan mastiff. In fact, Tibetan mastiffs can even be aloof to their own people and may thrive on alone time, much like our feline friends. However, they do well paired with other large dog breeds in the home and do hold affection for their families, though it may be most evident in their protective nature rather than any overt outpouring of adoration.