Though not as common as their short-haired companions, many long-haired dog breeds have gained popularity through “designer” breeding and rescue organizations. We take a look at some of the better-known breeds and a few you may not recognize.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten has been known in Ireland for more than 200 years as an all-purpose farm dog, prized for being agile, quick and able to patrol borders of small farms. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), it shares common ancestry with the Kerry Blue and Irish Terrier, but is distinguished by its soft, silky long coat.
While they can be headstrong and stubborn on occasion, similar in manner to most terriers, the Wheaten is known for being gently, affectionate and responsive to training, according to PetMD. It’s become a popular companion dog because of its good-natured disposition towards children, other breeds of dog and additional pets.
Its coat requires brushing to keep it from matting every other day and because it does not shed, Wheatens require trimming and bathing on alternating months to maintain the shape and look of its coat, according to PetMD.
The Scottish breed, known for herding sheep and differentiated from the Highland Collie because of its long facial hair, the Bearded Collie has been bred for centuries to be a companion and servant of man, according to the AKC.
Bearded Collies are smart, cheerful and extremely energetic, according to PetMD. They are obedient and popular companion dogs who love to play with children and spend time with people. They’re known for their double coats, which are soft and furry underneath with a straight, coarse outer coat.
Because of their active personality, Bearded Collies must be walked often and allowed to play outside. Since the are long-haired dogs, they are more prone to getting burs and dirt stuck in their coat and require regular brushing to keep them mat and tangle free.
Recognized because of its long, silky white hair, the Maltese is a quintessential lap dog known for being lively, playful and fearless in spite of its toy size, according to the AKC. The breed originated in Malta and has been owned royally across the globe for centuries.
Though they may be small in stature, Maltese are feisty, bold and not afraid to challenge larger dogs or their owners, according to PetMD. If allowed to become the pack leader or over-coddled, they may become anxious and bark or snap at strangers and children.
Largely indoor dogs, Maltese do not need outdoor exercise beyond short walks and socialization, according to PetMD. Its coat, which can be floor-length, may be clipped for easier maintenance and must be combed regularly.
Yorkies may be official members of the Toy Group, but they’re naturally brave, determined and energetic, according to the AKC, and have the demeanor of a dog with a larger stature. Named for the English city the originated in, Yorkshire Terriers were used in the ninetieth century to catch rats in clothing miss and belong to working class weavers, according to the AKC. The breed eventually left the working class to become a companion animal of high society European families, and was prized for its long, silky blue and tan coat.
Yorkies are bold, curious and always ready for adventure, according to PetMD. They can be stubborn and assertive to small or unfamiliar dogs and make excellent watch dogs. They love to exercise and are happy to play indoors often, but should also be taken out for walks regularly.
Their coats, which are often floor-length for dog competitions, can be prone to tangles or catching debris if kept long. They should be brushed or combed every other day, according to PetMD.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Blake Handley