20 Long-Haired Dog Breeds That Give Rapunzel a Run for Her Money

The silky swish of an Afghan Hound’s trot. The impressive bounce of a Puli’s cords. The top knot on a Yorkie’s tiny head! These are just a few of the many styles you may find on a long-haired dog breed. Some long-haired breeds require daily brushing and frequent visits to the groomers. Others are surprisingly low maintenance. A few are even hypoallergenic! If you’re considering a long-haired dog breed, do plenty of research beforehand. While many can be trimmed short (called a puppy cut) if you don’t plan on showing them at events like the National Dog Show presented by Purina, several breeds should never get haircuts. Keep reading to find out more about furry, fluffy and fascinating long-haired dog breeds.

Types of long-haired dog coats

When it comes to lengthy locks on canines, you’ll likely find one of the following types:

  • Silky - shiny, smooth, can be double- or single-coated
  • Double - one soft, fluffy undercoat with a second thick, long outer coat
  • Curly/Wool - can be tightly curled, mildly wavy or straight; many are hypoallergenic
  • Wire - rougher to the touch, more hair-like than fur-like

Now, some people would argue anything longer than a Labrador Retriever’s short, smooth coat means it’s a long-haired breed. Others would say until your dog has locks à la Rapunzel, it ain’t a long coat! Generally speaking, anything over a few inches could be considered a long coat.

Caring for a long-haired dog breed

The type of coat your dog has determines how you should groom them. Long-haired breeds typically need more attention when it comes to brushing, as their coats tend to pick up extra dust and tangle more easily.

Silky long-haired coats should be brushed daily with a slicker brush. Not only do they detangle and remove debris, but they are gentle on finer fur. Curly and wool-coated dogs should also get frequent slicker brush sessions to keep their coats healthy. If a curly-haired pup knots easily, a detangling brush does the trick.

Double-coated long-haired dogs should never be trimmed close or shaved down. Their coats protect them from cold weather and hot sun. Many will shed as seasons change to allow for thicker or thinner fur, depending on the time of the year. Groomers Online recommends a few different types of brushes for double-coated dogs. Definitely invest in a grooming rake for the under coat and a bristle brush for the outer coat. A wide-toothed comb will also come in handy if you notice any small mats or knots. As the double-coat sheds, daily brushing helps control the process (and limits how much hair ends up all over your couch).

Wire coats need to go through a process called stripping every three to four months. Since these coats don’t shed the way softer coats do, the hair must be hand stripped to remove dead strands. Groomers can certainly handle it for you, or you can invest in a stripping comb to do it yourself.

Long-haired dogs should definitely be checked frequently for ticks, fleas or mites. While brushing, take a look at their skin and really explore to make sure nothing is hiding in their locks.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, so get to know your breed! One piece of advice that goes for all dogs and all coat types: Do not ignore your dog’s coat. We repeat: Do not ignore your dog’s coat! Matted fur and dirty coats can be painful and lead to skin lesions or infections. Caring for your pet’s fur is part of the deal.

5 Hairless Dog Breeds That’ll Standout at The Dog Park

long haired dog breeds afghan hound
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1. Afghan Hound

Height: 25-27 inches

Weight: 50-60 pounds

Personality: Independent, proud

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Shedding Factor: Low

Life Expectancy: 12-18 years

As puppies, Afghan Hounds have short curly coats. As they age, the coats grow into long, silky smooth works of art. The Afghan Hound Club of America warns you should never brush a dry Afghan coat; this means using a spray bottle full of water mixed with doggy conditioner before a daily brushing or bathing your dog a few times a week before grooming. Definitely work with a reputable breeder to get some hot tips for keeping an Afghan Hound’s coat healthy.

long haired dog breeds barbet
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2. Barbet

Height: 19 - 25 inches

Weight: 35 - 65 pounds

Personality: Cheerful, tireless

Activity Level: Moderate

Shedding Factor: Non-shedding

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

This French dog breed is a water dog, which means the coat is thick, long and curly (or wavy). Barbets can be trimmed down to three to five inches. The Barbet Club of America suggests brushing out the fur frequently to avoid mats or tangles. (Re-wetting it will bring back those bouncy curls.)

long haired dog breeds bergamasco sheepdog
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3. Bergamasco Sheepdog

Height: 22-24 inches

Weight: 57-84 pounds

Personality: Independent, mellow

Activity Level: Low

Shedding Factor: Non-shedding

Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

Welcome to the world of corded coats. The Bergamasco Sheepdog is a calm shepherding breed designed to weather the rough conditions in the Italian Alps. Their cords are completely natural and help regulate their body temps, which is why they should never be shaved down or trimmed close. Bergamasco Sheepdogs have three distinct types of fur: dog, goat and wool. Once the goat and wool fur comes in (around one year old), you’ve got to separate the coat into the mats by hand. Despite its complicated appearance, this coat is pretty hands-off after the initial matting process.

long haired dog breeds briard
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4. Briard

Height: 22-27 inches

Weight: 55-100 pounds

Personality: Protective, sweet

Activity Level: High

Shedding Factor: Low

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

A Briard’s hairstyle is reminiscent of Shawn Hunter on Boy Meets World circa 1994. Their coats are long, wavy and slightly coarse. The Briard Club of America estimates you’ll spend at least two hours every week brushing and grooming. They don’t shed a ton and their coats don’t accumulate much dirt but keeping them tangle-free is a must.

long haired dog breeds collie
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5. Collie

Height: 22 - 26 inches

Weight: 50 - 75 pounds

Personality: Devoted, athletic

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Shedding Factor: Seasonal

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Collies come in both rough- and smooth-coated varieties. The rough-coated Collie is the one most people recognize with its long, fluffy coat and Lassie-like coloring. These coats need to be brushed about once a week. Though they don’t shed a ton, season changes will probably fill your house with more hair than you’re used to. Focus on the ears and elbows to make sure you don’t miss mats!

long haired dog breeds german longhaired pointer
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6. German Longhaired Pointer

Height: 22-28 inches

Weight: 55-80 pounds

Personality: Friendly, sweet

Activity Level: High

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

If you plan on hunting outdoors with your German Longhaired Pointer, prepare to brush daily and snip out any burrs or twigs that get stuck in their tails. (The fur behind their ears also tends to mat easily.) Since these are double-coated hunting dogs, helping them with frequent brushing will make shedding season easier on both of you.

long haired dog breeds gordon setter
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7. Gordon Setter

Height: 23-27 inches

Weight: 45-80 pounds

Personality: Affectionate, intelligent

Activity Level: High

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-13 years

The tagline of The Gordon Setter Club of America is “Beauty, Brains & Birdsense.” Need we say more? A Gordon Setter’s fur should be brushed at least once per week. Whether wavy or straight, trimming around the feet, ears and tail every month helps keep those spots free of knots (make sure to check their floppy ears frequently for built-up dirt!).

long haired dog breeds irish setter
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8. Irish Setter

Height: 25-27 inches

Weight: 60-70 pounds

Personality: Affectionate, social

Activity Level: High

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Like Gordon Setters, Irish Setters have silky coats that need weekly brushing. Combs and dematting tools are ideal for these dogs, as their silky hair can tangle easily - especially since much of the longer hair is on their legs and underbelly. Show dogs will definitely have straighter, longer coats, but as family pets, Irish Setters can be trimmed slightly shorter.

long haired dog breeds keeshond
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9. Keeshond

Height: 17-18 inches

Weight: 35-45 pounds

Personality: Lively, smart

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Keeshonds are spitz-style German dog breeds with unique glasses-like coloring on their faces. Their coats consist of two layers of fluffy fur that is incredibly low maintenance. A Bay area Keeshond rescue group recommends brushing once per week but taking a solid hour to do so. Take your time and make sure there aren’t hidden knots!

long haired dog breeds komondor
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10. Komondor

Height: 25-28 inches

Weight: 80-100+ pounds

Personality: Sweet, protective

Activity Level: Moderate

Shedding Factor: Non-shedding

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Look at these cords! Komondors, like Bergamasco Sheepdogs, require no brushing after their coats are initially corded. These are big, yet agile dogs. Komondor cords begin forming (with your help) between 8 months and a year old. As they age, their cords lengthen. The Komondor Club of America says a dirty coat can be simply rinsed with water. Always—always—dry their coats completely with warm air. Damp cords can develop mildew. Keeping a corded coat health take diligence, but it’s worth it to see these agile, powerful dogs happy and healthy.

long haired dog breeds lhasa apso
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11. Lhasa Apso

Average Height: 10-11 inches

Average Weight: 12-18 pounds

Temperament: Intelligent, protective

Shedding Factor: Low

Activity Level: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

If you’re not planning on showing a Lhasa Apso at dog shows or don’t want to give them a good bath every two weeks, a short-trimmed cut is totally doable. Both styles require brushing to keep their silky fur from tangling. Like corded coats, dry Lhasa Apso coats completely! Leaving them wet could make them more snarly than pre-bath.

long haired dog breeds newfoundland
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12. Newfoundland

Height: 26-28 inches

Weight: 100-150 pounds

Personality: Friendly, loving

Activity Level: Moderate

Shedding Factor: Moderate to High

Life Expectancy: 9-10 years

Want a real challenge? Groom a Newfoundland. Get ready to brush these big dogs several times a week with both a slicker brush and a comb. Their thick, double coats can mat easily and they shed a ton; brushing helps maintain control over both issues. Go slow and steady, ensuring you don’t miss any patches on this big dog body.

long haired dog breeds old english sheepdog
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13. Old English Sheepdog

Height: 21-24 inches

Weight: 60-100 pounds

Personality: Smart, sweet

Activity Level: Moderate

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-12 years

Another long double coat! The Old English Sheepdog is basically a giant ball of fluff. The key to a happy, healthy pup is brushing down to the skin multiple times each week to ensure there aren’t snarls or snags. It’s also wise to trim their paws, as extra hair between toes can add to dirt build-up. If your Old English Sheepdog needs a bath, brush thoroughly beforehand! Otherwise, New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue says you may have to shave your pup completely to get rid of nasty knots. Not fun.

long haired dog breeds pekingese
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14. Pekingese

Height: 6-9 inches

Weight: 14 pounds

Personality: Confident, loyal

Activity Level: Low

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

The long, double-coated Pekingese has lengthy hair around its neck and head, like a poofy mane. While you can certainly trim their coats shorter, constantly keeping their coats very short can destroy coloring and texture. A trim every now and then is best. Whether long or short, brushing a few times a week is crucial to keeping the Pekingese coat healthy.

long haired dog breeds portuguese water dog
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15. Portuguese Water Dog

Height: 17-23 inches

Weight: 35-60 pounds

Personality: Smart, athletic

Activity Level: High

Shedding Factor: Hypoallergenic

Life Expectancy: 11-13 years

Another thick-coated water dog! The Portuguese Water Dog is hypoallergenic and has curly-cues or easy waves in its black, brown and white fur. Often, show dogs have their hindquarters clipped very close to the skin (called a lion clip). Pet owners may opt to let a Portuguese Water Dog’s curls run wild. As long as you brush every day to avoid knotted curls and give them a full-body trim once a month, you’re golden.

long haired dog breeds puli
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16. Puli

Height: 16-17 inches

Weight: 25-35 pounds

Personality: Obedient, loving

Activity Level: Moderate

Shedding Factor: Non-shedding

Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

Described as “wooly, dense, and weatherproof” by the American Kennel Club, a Puli’s coat is pretty high maintenance. Their coats can actually be kept brushed out (which ends up looking like crimped fluff), trimmed (kind of like a Golden Doodle coat) or corded. Because of their double-coated curly fur, Pulis can become tangled easily. Like other corded dogs, they can be bathed but must be rinsed and dried thoroughly, which can be time-consuming.

long haired dog breeds pyreneean shepherd
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17. Pyreneean Shepherd

Height: 15 - 21 inches

Weight: 15 - 30 pounds

Personality: Playful, affectionate

Activity Level: High

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 17-19 years

Pyreneean Shepherds come in both smooth- and rough-coated varieties. All have double coats, though maintenance isn’t too crazy! Brushing once or twice a week is necessary to keep their coats free of snags and debris.

long haired dog breeds shetland sheepdog
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18. Shetland Sheepdog

Height: 13-16 inches

Weight: 15-25 pounds

Personality: Playful, friendly

Activity Level: High

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Shetland Sheepdogs are great with kids, so don’t be afraid to wrangle the whole family when it comes to grooming them. Cousins with the Collie, they have similarly rough double coats. In fact, their dense undercoat makes brushing every few days necessary to avoid mats and tangles. Do not trim them down! A Shetland Sheepdog’s coat protects them from elements—hot and cold.

long haired dog breeds tibetan terrier
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19. Tibetan Terrier

Height: 14-17 inches

Weight: 18-30 pounds

Personality: Clever, sensitive

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Shedding Factor: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 15-16 years

A Tibetan Terrier’s wooly double coat keeps them warm even when temperatures are frigid. Their coats come curly, wavy, wiry, smooth and even straight. The longer their coat, the more you better be brushing. While they can certainly have their coats trimmed shorter, Tibetan Terriers may want to keep their luxurious locks depending on the time of year.

long haired dog breeds yorkshire terrier
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20. Yorkshire Terrier

Height: 7-8 inches

Weight: 7 pounds

Personality: Affectionate, lively

Activity Level: Moderate

Shedding Factor: Hypoallergenic

Life Expectancy: 11-15 years

Yorkies have coats akin to human hair. Due to its silky texture, it needs to be brushed every day and bathed weekly if you keep it long. (Trimming is totally cool with Yorkies!) To avoid eye infections or vision issues, pull any lengthy locks on their heads up into a cute topknot. Since their coats are only single layers, be sure to keep Yorkies warm in winter months with sweaters or jackets.

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Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...