Aren’t dogs with long, flowing locks beautiful? Aside from their beauty, they’re also practical for pet owners who want to avoid excess hair on their couches and clothes. Long-haired breeds who shed lightly are great for allergy sufferers and those who enjoy a tidy home.
Grooming Long-Haired Dogs
Though they shed less, long-haired dogs often require more grooming than their short-haired, smooth-coated counterparts. These breeds need frequent brushing in order to detangle their coats and prevent mats. However, don’t lose hope if you’re an owner who doesn’t have time for frequent brushing but still wants a long-haired dog who sheds lightly. The bergamasco is a sheepdog whose hair grows long and forms natural mats. They’re actually supposed to have matted coats! Not only do bergamascos shed minimally, you never have to brush them.
There are many options if you’re looking for a smaller, long-haired, minimal shedding dog.
Yorkshire terriers are among the most popular small dogs. Their smooth, long coats come in hues of tan and gray-blue and provide a variety of grooming options.
Havanese are a great option if color isn’t an issue for you. These small dogs are Cuba’s only native breed and can be just about any color.
If you love well-proportioned, quiet dogs, a shih tzu might be the breed for you. Their coat is snow-white and gray, double-layered, thick and can grow all the way down to their feet.
Medium, long-haired dogs are good options for allergy sufferers who want something in between a lap dog and a long-distance runner.
Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador retriever and poodle. As a mixed breed, their coats can be curly like a poodle, smooth like a Lab or somewhere in between. Regardless of its appearance, though, your Labradoodle's coat will shed far less than a Labrador’s.
The soft-coated wheaten terrier is another medium-sized option. Their coats are a warm wheat color, very soft and guaranteed not to shed all over the upholstery.
A Large Beauty
Perhaps the epitome of long-haired beauty, the Afghan hound, is almost aristocratic in appearance. Though she hardly sheds, an Afghan’s coat can grow well past her feet and requires frequent grooming. This isn’t the dog for you if you don’t have time for regular bathing and brushing.
Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.