Beards are a decidedly human feature, but fabulous facial hair is not restricted to mankind. Many animals around the globe sport some type of beard, including our canine companions. Canine facial hair comes in many lengths and textures, and while this list may not be inclusive, it offers a glimpse into the hairy world of bearded dog breeds.
While many find the massive stature of the Bouvier des Flandres to be imposing, the breed’s profuse beard gives them an air of jovialness. The Bouvier, along with the equally-bearded Briard, were originally bred as herding and farm dogs, and are still used as working dogs today.
The moderately sized bearded collie is undoubtedly one of the most well-known of all bearded breeds. Bred to herd sheep and cattle in its native Britain, the breed is often kept as a family companion. The profuse, wiry beard of the German wirehaired pointer protects delicate lip tissue as the dog retrieves downed birds in the field.
Some small breeds, such as the Brussels griffon, sport massive beards. This small breed dog, hailing from Belgium, requires extra grooming to keep its beard full and fluffy. The Lhasa apso also demand routine grooming to keep their beards clean and free of painful mats. One of the smallest of all breeds, the Yorkshire terrier, also grows a long, flowing beard when in full coat.
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