Long haired dog breeds – 7 stunning hairy hounds

Hairy hounds; 7 stunning long haired dog breeds - practicalpaw.comIf you are considering getting a dog with long hair, be prepared to make friends with a local dog groomer. Long-haired dog breeds can be found in all of the Kennel Club’s breed groups. They range from tiny toy breeds like the Yorkshire terrier to extra large breeds like the Old English sheepdog.

So if you’re not put off by the thought of additional maintenance, there’s bound to be something to please everyone on our list of long haired dog breeds.

Yorkshire terrier


  • Height; 20 cm
  • Weight; 3.2 kg
  • Lifespan; 13 – 16 years
  • Grooming; every day, even when trimmed
  • Exercise; At least 30 minutes a day
  • Health Issues; Chiari malformation Syringomyelia, Progressive retinal atrophy, Eye infections, Dental issues, Tracheal collapse, Patellar luxation

Yorkshire terrier temperament

Don’t be fooled by the silky coat and diminutive size of the Yorky. They are feisty little dogs native to the UK and were originally bred to catch rats in the Mills and Weaving industries. According to the Kennel Club, Yorkies are classified as a toy breed.

Intelligent and eager to please, Yorkies make good first-time dogs for adult families. However, Yorkshire terriers tend to be vocal and territorial, so they may not be the best choice if you are looking for a quiet dog. What’s more, Yorkies have a very high prey drive, so they may not be suitable if other animals share the home (such as cats, rabbits, and hamsters) despite their size.

Yorkshire terrier grooming

Yorkshire terriers can have two different coat types; silky or soft and come in blue and gold colorings, similar to the picture above.

The silky-coated dogs are the ones that you will see in dog shows. They have fine, straight, human-like hair with no undercoat. In contrast, Yorkies with soft coats usually have shorter hair that is sometimes wavy with or without an undercoat. Whatever type of coat your Yorkie has, they require a lot of grooming. Although Yorkies do not shed, they need daily brushing.

If you choose a Yorkie with a silk coat, then as well as daily brushing, you will likely be committing to weekly baths and monthly trips to the groomers to keep the long silky coat in good condition. Of course, a soft coated Yorkshire terrier stills needs a daily brush as they tend to experience more knots and tangles than the silk coated varieties. Having the coat clipped short by a professional groomer is a good choice to keep the coat under control and any tangles and matting more manageable.


If you want a lot of dog for its size, then the Yorkie may well fit the bill. Happy, intelligent, and spirited Yorkies are a popular choice. Yorkies are affectionate and can be possessive of their owners but eager to please and quick to learn.

If you are happy with a high-maintenance grooming routine and want a small dog that will be devoted to you, then look no further than this diminutive dog.



  • Height; 20 – 25 cm
  • Weight; 1.4 – 3.6 kg
  • Lifespan; 12 – 15 years
  • Grooming; every day, even when trimmed
  • Exercise; At least 30 minutes a day
  • Health Issues; None

Maltese temperament

The Maltese are essentially a lapdog. Although it would be happy to spend most of its time cuddled up to you, it does need up to 30 minutes of exercise a day. As a result, they are an easy choice for apartment living or living in a small space.

According to the Kennel Club, Maltese, just like the Yorkshire terrier, is classified as a toy breed. They are gentle, affectionate, sweet, and playful.

Maltese grooming

The Maltese have a coat of silky straight fur that is pure white. If left untrimmed, it can reach all the way to the ground. They shed very little as they don’t have an undercoat but need daily grooming to prevent mats.

As their coat is long and white, they get dirty very easily, especially in wet weather. If you choose Maltese as a companion, be prepared to bathe them regularly. Of course, regular trips to the groomers will help keep a Maltese coat short, but it will still need a daily brush to prevent knots from forming.

Maltese tend to get staining around their eyes and mouth. Although this isn’t usually a health concern, if you want to keep their coat looking its best, you will need to wash these areas daily. Also, they tend to get an overabundance of hair in their ears that can irritate them. If you do make regular trips to the groomers, they can remove these troublesome hairs for you.


If you want a gentle, affectionate, and playful housemate, then the Maltese may be a perfect choice. But, with a reputation for suffering separation anxiety when left alone, they are not a good option if you work long hours. However, they are devoted, friendly, and lively, making them entertaining and quick to learn.

Shi Tzu


  • Height; 20 – 28 cm
  • Weight; 4 – 7.25 kg
  • Lifespan; 10 – 16 years
  • Grooming; Everyday
  • Exercise; At least 30 minutes a day
  • Health Issues; Breathing issues, Hyperthyroidism, eye issues, Renal cortical hypoplasia

Shi Tzu temperament

The Shi Tzu is a confident and outgoing dog. Mischievous and playful, they originate from Tibet, although they were later developed in China. Bred solely to be a companion animal Shi Tzu’s make good first-time dogs if you don’t mind their additional grooming needs.

What’s more, they are intelligent and eager to please, adaptable, and happiest with people.

Shi Tzu grooming

The Shi Tzu has a fabulous coat that will need daily brushing to keep it tangle-free. Like Yorkies, the Shi Tzu has hair rather than fur and comes in a wide range of colors, including; white, black, silver, red, gold, brindle, or a combination of any of these.

You can opt for a shorter cut that will keep their coat cleaner and tidier, but as shi Tzu’s are very low, shedder mats are still an issue, so keep a brush to hand. Shi Tzu also suffers from tear stains and hairy ears.  Cleaning their faces and removing any hairs that find their way into the ear canal is an extra task that you need to be prepared for.


If you want a lively, outgoing dog that wants to spend time with you, then the Shi Tzu might be the right dog for you. True extroverts will not do well with long periods on their own or are excluded from the family. Affectionate and intelligent, the Shi Tzu is adaptable and a good all-rounder.

Rough Collie


  • Height; 50.8 – 66 cm
  • Weight; 15.8 – 34 kg
  • Lifespan; 14 – 16 years
  • Grooming; Weekly
  • Exercise; At least an hour a day
  • Health Issues; Multifocal retinal dysplasia, Choroidal hypoplasia, Deafness, Drug sensitivity, Hip dysplasia

Rough collie temperament

Once a household name, rough collies are still commonly referred to as ‘Lassie’ dogs. Like their famous counterpart, rough collies are extremely intelligent, calm, and well-mannered. These medium-sized dogs belong to the pastoral breed group in the Kennel Club, rough collies have been bred to herd.

Thought to be introduced by the Romans in 50 BC, today’s rough collies are descendants of native Scottish breeds and the ancient dog breeds they originally brought over.

Rough collie grooming

Rough collies have a beautiful double coat in four recognized coat colors; white, sable and white, blue merle, and tricolor. While the topcoat is thick and straight, the undercoat is dense and soft.

Despite the size and amount of fur they have, rough collies are relatively low maintenance when grooming. They need weekly brushing, increasing to daily when they are shedding heavily. Unlike the previous dogs mentioned, rough collies are fairly consistent and heavy shedders. So if you have an aversion to fur, the rough collie is not a good choice.

Although their coats do not need to be trimmed, they can benefit from the fur between their toes being tidied up to prevent tangles and keep them clean. As with all dogs with a lot of hair, check their ears to ensure hair does not become an issue in the ear canal.


If you want a loyal, well-mannered, and steady dog, the rough collie certainly fits the profile. They do require a fair amount of exercise. So if you are looking for a dog that you can walk around the block, then the rough collie probably isn’t the best dog choice.

Due to their herding heritage, they may try to ’round up’ family members. This includes any children in the household and will often achieve this by nipping at heels. However, they are extremely intelligent and gentle and make excellent family pets if given the right physical and mental stimulation.

Irish Setter


  • Height; 54 – 67 cm
  • Weight; 24 – 32kg
  • Lifespan; 10 – 15 years
  • Grooming; Weekly
  • Exercise; At least an hour a day
  • Health Issues; Hypothyroidism, Hip dysplasia, Epilepsy, Progressive retinal atrophy, Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD), Canine Leukocyte (CAD), Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD)

Irish setter temperament

Perhaps better known as red setters, Irish setters are excitable, friendly, and affectionate. Belonging to the gun dog breed group in the Kennel Club, they were originally bred as hunting dogs.

Thought to be developed in the 18th century in Ireland, they are one of the oldest setter breeds around. Slow to mature and mischievous, they will keep you entertained for many years.

Irish setter grooming

With one of the most recognizable coats of any dog, the Irish setter has a stunning red double coat. The coat comes in various shades ranging from mahogany to chestnut with touches of white acceptable; it’s mid-length and feathered.

Despite its length, it is moderately easy to maintain. Regular grooming will help keep it in good condition and tangle-free, with the feathers needing particular attention as these mat easily.

The Irish setter’s ears need to be checked regularly for any problems and any hair in the ear canal removed. Setters tend to have hair growing between their toes, which should be trimmed if they become an issue.

If you want your setter to look in its top form, then a trip to the groomers can work wonders.


If you want an energetic, high-spirited dog with a touch of mischief, then the Irish setter could be the right dog for you. Don’t be tempted by their good looks alone. They are affectionate and demanding dogs with an independent streak. They have a reputation for being a bit dim, but don’t be fooled! They are very intelligent but have minds of their own. They make great family pets if a bit over-enthusiastic at times.

So if you love the outdoors and daily adventures, why not consider an Irish setter.

Afghan Hound


  • Height; 63 – 74cm
  • Weight; 23-27 kg
  • Lifespan; 11-13 years
  • Grooming; Everyday
  • Exercise; At least 2 hours a day
  • Health Issues; Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Diabetes Insipidus (Central), Hypothyroidism, Glaucoma, Bone cysts, Elbow and hip Dysplasia, Cataracts; Systemic lupus erythematosus,

Afghan hound temperament

They may look like they belong on the catwalk, but the Afghan hound is a tough dog. Thought to be one of the oldest known dog breeds, dating back over 4,000 years, they are native to Afghanistan. Bred as a hunting dog in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan. The Afghan hound is capable of taking on big prey, including mountain cats and wolves.

Afghan hounds are classified in the hound group according to the Kennel Club. Bred especially for hunting either by sight or by scent. They are independent, highly strung, and sweet-natured. And are often described as having a clownish and mischievous nature.

Afghan hound grooming

The Afghan’s long coat is spectacular, and to stay that way, it needs brushing every day. Their coat is fine and silky and much more like human hair than fur. Colors include;  Cream, gold, white, silver, brindle, black, blue, black, and tan.

The Afghan’s coat tangles and gets dirty easily, so if you fancy sharing your life with an Afghan, then you both need to enjoy bath time. Professional grooming is recommended, and it’s worth thinking about additional equipment such as specialist sprays, shampoos, and conditioners before committing to this high-maintenance breed.


If you want a dog that is sweet-natured, independent, and just a bit cheeky, then the Afghan hound may be just what you are looking for. However, if you want a dog that hangs on your every word, is willing to please, and is unwavering in its obedience, step away now.

Due to their very high prey drive, Afghan hounds need to be lead walked. So if you enjoy the outdoors, like a challenge, and are happy to have a companion that clowns around, then you are in the right place.

Old English Sheepdog


  • Height; 56-61cm
  • Weight; 29.5 -30.5kg
  • Lifespan; 10-12 years
  • Grooming; Every day, even when trimmed
  • Exercise; At least 2 hours a day
  • Health issues; Hip dysplasia, eye issues, Wobbler syndrome (PCD), Deafness, Skin and coat issues, Juvenile cataracts

Old English sheepdog temperament

Despite their name, it’s thought that old English sheepdogs are descendants of other European herding breeds introduced into Britain. As we know it today, the breed has been around since the 1800s and was originally bred to herd and guard sheep.

According to the Kennel Club, old English sheepdogs are classified as part of the pastoral group, bred predominantly as herders. Old English sheepdogs have a reputation for being charming, loyal, and intelligent. They are easygoing and make good first-time pets if you don’t mind big dogs and high grooming needs.

Old English sheepdog grooming

If you decide that an old English sheepdog is for you, be prepared for a lot of fur. They have a thick double coat that comes in black and white, blue and white, blue, grey and white, grey and white, and grey.

Old English sheepdogs need their thick coat brushing once a day to remove any mats and debris. What’s more, they tend to have quite sensitive skin, so daily maintenance is a must. Also, they are very heavy shedders, and you will often see old English sheepdogs with short, clipped coats. This does make managing the amount of fur easier, but they will still need brushing regularly to prevent any problems from developing.

As with all dogs with pendant ears and a lot of fur, their ears must be checked regularly to ensure that there isn’t any fur in the ear canal. Old English sheepdogs may get staining around their mouths, so a face wash each day is recommended.


If you want a loving, high-energy dog that will be loyal, affectionate, and kind, then the old English sheepdog maybe the dog for you. However, if you’re looking for a couch potato with a wash and wear coat, then you need to think again. With really high grooming needs and working background, they will not be content with a walk around the block.

Of course, if the grooming doesn’t scare you and you love the outdoors, this good-natured, intelligent and playful dog could be the perfect mate for you.

Long haired dog breeds

Among these long-haired dogs are some of the most beautiful dogs in the world. Choosing a dog is such an important decision, and it should never be done on looks alone.

All of the dogs listed need regular grooming. If you can’t commit to the extra time and cost involved, it may be time to reconsider your options. If you are happy to put in the effort, then there is something to appeal to everyone on our list of hairy hounds. There is bound to be a pet that fits into your lifestyle, from small dogs with big attitudes to easy-going giants.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.