Long haired dogs require a great deal of upkeep, but their unique looks make them a stylish addition to many homes. If owners do not mind the regular maintenance that these breeds require, as well as the tidy up around the house(!), they are more than worth the effort with the love and affection that will be returned in spades.
Here, we look at the 10 best long haired dog breeds in the world owing to their natures and endearing characteristics, as well as their looks.
The Komondor’s unique look sets it apart from all other dog breeds on the planet. Whilst not a look for everyone, they are still fantastic companions for families or those simply looking for company. They need very little walking as their favourite activity is simply hanging out with one of their owners on the sofa in front of the TV having a cuddle. Like all dogs however, they do still need some exercise.
Originally a herding dog from Hungary, Komondors were fantastic at rounding up sheeps on farms, but now making excellent guard dogs owing to their protective nature. Their coats once provided them with camouflage against sheep so they were free to ward off wolves and other predators on the farms they worked.
If you are after a long haired dog, but want a breed that needs little maintenance, this is the dog for you. This is not just because their low energy requirements make them exceptionally easy going. It is also because their coats do not need regular brushing. Whilst they still need grooming, it is a bath that he is often in need of as their thick, heavy coat will often hold in a great deal of dirt making him smelly, as well as uncomfortable. Given that their coat, when clean, can weigh up to 15 pounds, any extra dirt can be very painful for them. Their cords are also prone to tangling so this needs attention too.
Other than that, this affectionate and caring pooch is welcome addition to any home.
The Afghan Hound
The Afghan hound is instantly recognisable. Their regal looks will impress wherever they go with their doting owners. Their long silky coat obviously requires a lot of attention, but luckily those who buy these pups often buy them with their looks at the forefront of their minds so do not mind the regular maintenance needed.
The constant grooming is reflected in the dog’s proud nature and they are known to be independent creatures in character. They are also incredibly intelligent which made them brilliant hunting dogs, the purpose for which they were bred having originally come from the mountains – hence their impossibly long coat that kept them warm in long cold winters. They are also very fast canines so are quite a sight to behold when their fur is blowing in the wind when they are running at full pelt.
Apart from their coat, one of their most endearing characteristics is their humour and gentle natures. They therefore make wonderful family dogs despite their hunting dog background. Their independence means that separation anxiety is not something to worry about, but they love it when their entire pack are home and paying him attention. No one ever regrets adopting an Afghan Hound and bringing such a furry animal into their homes.
The Shih Tzu
These little bundles of fur are originally from China hence its exotic sounding name. Shih Tzu means Little Lion when translated which reflects its character. They are proud breeds who can be stubborn at times, though in the main they are very good natured, especially when around their owner, or pack leader.
In fact, they are predominantly adopted for their loving and affectionate character and they constantly shower their owners and other family members with attention. This comes from his breeding as they were purely bred simply to be companions to humans with no other intention in mind.
They are therefore full of charm, which takes away from the pain of their long coat upkeep. Owners often take their Shih Tzu to a groomer as their coat will often require more than just a daily brush. Owners can learn, however, how to maintain their coat in time, which even the dog itself will grow to enjoy owing to the extra one on one time spent with their favourite person.
There are very few people in this world that can resist the charms of a Shih Tzu and their loving ways. Even those that prefer a big dog, will be won over by this little bundle of joy.
The Bearded Collie
A Bearded Collie is an instantly recognisable dog that was originally bred in Scotland to be a herding dog. They are consequently extremely bright as well as attentive to their owners so they have fast become a firm favourite for families in search of a dog with a long hair coat.
It is his coat that gives his appearance so much charm as they are are shaggy as opposed to sleek like a number of other long haired dog breeds on our list. The shaggy nature of his coat makes him quite difficult to groom, which unfortunately he needs regularly. A daily brush really helps keep tangles at bay.
Sensitive by nature, they love being part of a home with lots of family members as they can suffer from separation anxiety, which coupled with their high energy can manifest itself in quite destructive behaviour. Bearded Collies like nothing more than to be taken for long walks with the rest of his pack or playing in a garden with them. He is fantastic with children as he is kind and affectionate.
They can be known to be stubborn if they are not trained early enough, but they are one of the most intelligent dogs out there. In fact, they have been known to learn hundreds of commands, making them a wonderful companion.
A Havanese is a welcome addition to any family – even those that are not so keen on the constant grooming that a Havanese coat requires. They are playful and friendly as well as permanently cheerful and affectionate. They are active so love to be walked by their owners. They are therefore perfect for any home that has the time to attend to its physical activity as well as grooming needs!
Originally the pet of choice for Cuban families in the 19th century, they remain popular dogs to this day owing to their cute faces with big brown eyes and long eyebrows giving them a wealth of character from the outset. His long coat needs a whole load of love and care, which a Havanese will love as it means that his owner will be showering him with attention which he craves. These pups unfortunately suffer badly from separation anxiety, which is something to bear in mind if you thinking of purchasing one.
However, owners are likely to suffer from separation anxiety too as a Havanese is simply wonderful to be around. Given their loving natures, the daily upkeep of their coat seems like a very small price to pay for having a Havanese as a companion.
The Lhasa Apso
This quirky looking pooch has looks that aren’t everyone’s cup of tea owing to their long flowing fur. One thing is for certain however, their fur is almost as soft as silk. They originally hailed from Tibet where they were used as both watch and sentinel dogs in Buddhist monasteries. They were perfect for these roles as they have excellent sense of smell as well as being incredibly intelligent. In addition to this, they are quite independent as well as very strong.
Their coats, obviously, need a great deal of attention from owners. It is one of the thickest coats out there and needs almost constant brushing! Furthermore, their fur seems to hold on to smells more than other breeds so they also need regular bathing in addition to being brushed down.
Their quirky looks are reflected in their sometimes quirky natures as they can be known to be mischievous as they can be irritable and stubborn too. This is balanced out by their quick wits and wish to appease however. To ensure that they are not mischievous throughout their lives, owners are recommended to start training early on in their puppyhood as well as mixed with other dogs to make sure they know where they are in the pecking order.
This little cutey of a pup is also an extremely friendly breed that will charm anyone with its kind and loving nature. A Maltese loves being around people and can often be seen following their owners around the home watching what they are up to at all times. He is therefore a great companion especially to those that perhaps are looking to adopt a dog to counteract any loneliness.
His long, white coat means that he does need a fair amount of grooming, but as he is one of the smaller breeds of long haired dogs out there, it does not take too long to brush his hair out – owners try to do it daily if they can. They’ll love it too as it means spending time with their favourite person – you!
They’re a smart breed too so are easy to train and bizarrely make good watchdogs, despite their diminutive size. They are protective over their homes and its inhabitants. They are known to be fearless which can get them into trouble at first, but owing to their ease of training, they soon learn where is a good idea to investigate and where not to go.
Once people adopt a Maltese, they tend never to look at another breed every again in their lives.
The Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog, with its shaggy black coat and brown and white markings on their faces, are instantly recognisable – not least as they are absolutely huge. Owners of these pooches need to have enough space in their homes to house their giant frames, but they are otherwise fairly easy going and make brilliant additions to any home.
His coat does need a lot of maintenance. Many owners go to groomers at least once a month and they need brushing almost daily to keep tangles and matts at bay. Without doing so, they are prone to skin infections under the tangles as they become breeding grounds for nasty bacteria. Owing to being one of the most gentle dogs around however, grooming this kind natured dog is a breeze and the perfect opportunity for cuddles and bonding time.
They love to walk and stay active though they will never beg for activity like some pooches. They descended from working dogs so if you have sheep to herd or carts to pull, then a Bernese is your dog! Otherwise, he makes a great watchdog owing to his devotion to any family members in his home.
One thing is for certain, whilst their upkeep costs may be more expensive than some breeds given their size as well as their thick coat, they are wonderful family dogs that are utterly charming to be around.
The Rough Collie
The rough collie is the type of collie made famous by Lassie. They’re a large breed that can come in two or three colourways. Whatever colours that an owner finds, they will never be disappointed with the looks of this ludicrously handsome dog, who probably has one of the longest coats out there.
Given the length of his fur, his coat does need a lot of help to maintain and stay looking healthy. Owners need to regularly brush their Rough Collies, even if they haven’t been anywhere near water which can make their coat exceedingly tangled. This means trying to find at least five minutes a day to dedicate to brushing through their fur. Owners also need to ensure that they don’t just concentrate on their Bearded Collie’s back. Instead, they need to brush the fur on their legs, underside, tail and jawline too.
They are very active as they have come from a line of working dogs so you will need to have the time to dedicated to their walking as well as keeping their intelligent brains working. If you have a lot of space, all the better as they can run around to their heart’s desire, sniffing out all sorts of interesting things.
Whilst they are very smart, they are also very friendly so they are the perfect addition to a family who wants a companion for everyone.
The Pomeranian is a beautiful long haired dog breed – no question about it. Their fluffy coat makes them easy to identify, plus they are small too making them perfect for those that want a long haired dog but are a little short of space. Also, those that are a little short on time too will do well to take in a Pomeranian as they do not suffer from separation anxiety and are happy to spend time on their own.
They make fantastic companions too, owing to being full of life and having a great deal of energy. They love to explore and discover new things so that you will never be bored when you bring a Pomeranian into your home.
His coat is not only long haired but also a double coat making him extra fluffy. It does mean that regular grooming is required to make sure that his handsome looks remain free from matting and tangles. Many Pomeranian owners look at their grooming times with their dog as an ideal time to bond and spend quality time with their pooch. Plus, a Pomeranian will lap this up as yet more time to spend with their owner and display their energetic personality.
All in all, a Pomeranian makes a great addition to any home.
There is therefore a long haired breed of dog for everyone. Whilst the majority will require a great deal of care and attention spent on their coats, there will be a size of dog with a nature that suits any family needs or household requirements. Plus, long haired dog breeds tend to be the most handsome of dogs out there, so whilst they may need that little bit more time spent on them, owners will also reap the rewards in the amount of complimentary comments they receive from onlookers. These ten breeds in particularly give would be dog owners something to think about before making their final purchase.