Large Long haired dog breeds
April 5, 2018
Large Long Haired Dog Breeds You Never Knew Existed
Some people admire large long haired dog breeds for their luxurious manes, while others see no more than high-maintenance grooming. Whether straight, wavy, curly or silky, these dogs are truly unique!
Frequent bathing, trimming and daily brushing are essential to prevent matting and keep dogs with a long coat looking lovely.
Here’s a look at a few breeds often recognized for their long, fascinating, extravagant coats:
Distinguished by its’ thick, fine, silky coat, the beautiful Afghan Hound is elegance personified! Originating in Afghanistan, where the breed was first called Tazi, many believe the Afghan dated back to the pre-Christian era. It is thought to be one of the oldest breeds in existence!
Originally used to hunt large prey deserts and in the mountains of Afghanistan, this dog with really long hair was valued for its’ ability to run great distances fast, holding hunted animals at bay until the huntsman arrived on horseback. A Middle Eastern sight hound, its ancestors date back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs!
Gradually, the Afghan Hound developed into a nimble, swift dog with great stamina and leaping ability after several generations on the mountainous lands of Afghanistan.
Standard Weight: 57-75 lbs.
⦁The Afghan Hound is a Sight hound, a breed that primarily hunts by sight and speed.
⦁This breed is so old, historians contest its’ origins. It’s probable that this long haired dog breed came over into Afghanistan with Alexander the Great’s army.
Coat Care/ Grooming: Without frequent brushing, this long haired dog breed can become a matted mess. A lengthy, luxurious coat is certainly a hallmark of this huge long haired dog!
⦁Never brush a dry or dirty coat
⦁Bathe prior to grooming
⦁Bathe and groom before dog is matted
⦁Always brush from the skin out
The Bergamasco sheepdog is a very ancient Alpine breed, commonly found in the Italian and Swiss valleys long ago, where sheep raising was the main economic resource of the area. Considered to be highly intelligent and courageous, this was a valued breed indeed!
It’s universally believed that this huge long haired dog originated in Asia, where domestication of sheep and goats expanded from east to west. The ancestors of our modern Bergamasco arrived in Italy along with migratory populations. Thanks to the shepherds who raised them, this highly valued breed virtually remained the same throughout the centuries.
Initially, it’s believed by many that the Bergamasco was raised/ used as a guard dog before the advance of wide scale agriculture, when flocks of animals needed to be transported across great distances.
Coat Care/ Grooming:
The undercoat of a Bergamasco is fine, dense and oily (not greasy) to the touch which forms a waterproof, protective layer to help keep him dry. The woolly top coat is much finer and softer to the touch. The combination of the wooly hair mixed with the goat hair weave together to create the flock.
Standard Weight: 57-84 lbs.
⦁A puppy should have a monthly brushing to help remove small tangles and debris.
Have you ever seen anything like this fellow? Perhaps looking a bit more like a mop than a dog, the Komondor is a fascinating sight to behold!
Believed to be yet another ancient breed, historical references to this dog mysteriously end several centuries ago. Many again believe that the Komondor traveled to the Danube Basin (present day Hungary) with the tribes of nomadic settlers in the ninth century. These early Komondors were used to guard herds of sheep, goats and cattle from predators, including wolves, bears and humans.
Another highly intelligent breed (a characteristic nearly all herding breeds share), the Komondor can be described as independent and strong willed.
Standard Weight: 88-132 lbs.
⦁During World War II, Komondors were used to guard military installations.
⦁The largest populations of Komondors today are in Hungary and in the United States.
⦁As of 1995, the total number of Komondors worldwide was far less than ten thousand.
Yet another uniquely fantastic breed of long haired dog, the Puli makes number four on our list!
Hungarian migrants are believed to be the first Puli owners, anywhere from 1,000 to 8,000 years ago! Shepherds first trained, bred and generally developed the breed for the purpose of sheep dog work (beginning to see a trend?).
The Puli’s exact origin remain unclear to this day. Some Historians think that the Puli migrated with the nomadic Magyar invaders from Siberia and India, while others argue the breed developed in western China, near Tibet.
Standard Weight: 22-33 lbs.
⦁Depending on the dog, their mane might hinder their peripheral vision; Puli owners are advised not to startle the dog by sneaking up from the sides.
⦁The puli is commonly misrepresented as being related to Tibetan terriers, or even being poodle half breeds.
⦁The Puli can still be found in England, Scotland, the United States and of course, Hungary!
You’ve probably heard of a Collie, but have you heard of a ‘Rough Collie’?
These long haired large dog breeds were used extensively as herding dogs, and originated from the highlands of Scotland and Northern England.
Queen Victoria visited the Scottish Highlands in the 1860’s, drawing quite a bit of attention and popularity to the breed. Portrayed as the ideal family companion by such authors as Albert Payson Terhune (“Lad of Sunnybank,”) Eric Knight (“Lassie Come Home,”) and in the 1950s TV series “Lassie”, further enhancing the breed's’ reputation.
Standard Weight: 40-65 lbs.
⦁The Collie’s ancestors were herding dogs in the north of England and Scotland.
⦁Not only does the collie blow out its coat each spring and fall, it sheds year-round.
The Afghan Sheepdog is a giant cross between the Afghan Hound and Belgian Sheepdog, known for being alert, courageous, independent, and stubborn. It can withstand heat exhaustion readily, a trait developed from to its’ time in the Afghan desert. Due to the heat, and also due to the ability to conserve energy, it tends to move at a slower pace. However, it does react swiftly to prey, which made it a good hunting and herding dog for sheepherders in the desert.
Standard Weight: 84-176 lbs.
⦁Grooming is needed on a regular basis to keep its fur free from tangles and debris.
The Belgian Sheepdog, also known as the Groenendael in Europe, is both elegant and graceful, having a long black coat and an imposing appearance. He's athletic as well as beautiful, an excellent choice for agility, herding, and obedience competitions!
The recorded history of the Belgian Sheepdog can be traced to the late 19th century, where they took their names from towns and suburbs near Brussels. Keenly intelligent and easily trainable, these dogs performed a variety of functions, like working for various police factions and European border patrols.
Standard Weight: 44-66 lbs.
⦁During the two World Wars, the Belgian Sheepdog served as message carriers, Red Cross dogs, and defense dogs.
⦁Today, Belgian Sheepdogs are often used as search and rescue dogs, guide and service dogs!
This rare huge long haired dog breed was created for use by the Russian army as a guard dog in climates with extremely cold temperatures. They are very ‘people’ oriented dogs; they do best around others in a home environment. Chaining a Black Russell Terrier up and leaving him to his solitude could lead to frustration and even aggression.
When combining the size, agility, courage, and power of this gorgeous bearded beauty, you’ve created an outstanding guard dog who loves to play and is great with children!
Standard Weight: 80-150 lbs.
⦁The Black Russian Terrier’s beard will drip water after he drinks and will need to be cleaned after meals.
⦁The Black Russian Terrier’s double coat, which can be one and a half to six inches long, comes only in black or black with a few gray hairs scattered throughout.
⦁Another rare breed, these dogs are known as the ‘Black Pearls of Russia’.
American Eskimo Dog
Called “the dog beautiful” by his admirers, the American Eskimo Dog, or “Eskie,” is a Nordic dog breed, a member of the Spitz family, with his white coat, sweet expression, and black eyes. American Eskimos are considered companion breeds, friendly and outgoing with family but reserved with strangers.
Standard Weight: 18-35 lbs.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Originating as a farm dog, the Burnese Mountain Dog takes his name from the canton of Bern, Switzerland, where he likely was first conceived. These great dogs helped farmers by pulling carts, driving livestock to fields or market, and serving as watchdogs. The BMD wasn’t a herding dog like many above, but rather guarded livestock and perhaps helped pull loads (carts). Burnese Mountain Dogs are known for their stocky figure, calm temperament, and tri-color coat.
⦁The Bernese Mountain Dog’s tricolor coat is thick and moderately long with straight or slightly wavy hair, and sheds heavily.
⦁Swiss mountain dogs, or Sennenhund, are large working dogs that originated in the Swiss Alps.
What Causes Long Hair?
What really causes these large long haired dog breeds to grow such luxurious, extravagant coats? First of all, ask yourself: what were these long haired large dog breeds bred for? What was their purpose? A dog’s coat will reflect the environment it grew up in.
For example, the Siberian Husky has a double, water resistant coat, structured to keep them warm during the winter and cool during the summer. This breed, amazingly, was bred to withstand temperatures down to -40*F!
In other words, the thickness/texture of a dog’s coat will always have a purpose.
As we know it, every dog today has originally descended from Grey Wolves. Accustomed to a harsh environment of shifting temperatures, these animals were/are fully accustomed to handle the elements.
The majority of our best supported theories indicate wolves began to ‘piggy back’ along with nomadic tribes of humans thousands of years ago, developing characteristics suited to this lifestyle. As they traveled to various areas of the globe (eventually via ship), these dogs continued to change- developing coats that suited their environments. Eventually, humans intervened- further altering characteristics via selective breeding.
Understanding basic genetics behind a dog’s coat coloring is simple; there are two types of pigment that create coat color in dogs (and most other mammals). Pigment is the thing that gives each strand of hair its color, just like pigment in paint or dye, or pigment in your own hair or skin.
All coat colors and patterns are created by two basic pigments, which in turn are combinations of melanin. The combination of which is altered by specific genes.
⦁The purpose of fur is to block elements from leaving (such as water or heat) or entering (such as viruses and bacteria) your dog’s body.
⦁Diet, illness, grooming, allergies, changes in seasons and life stages are all common factors that can affect your dog’s skin and coat.
⦁Many dogs suffer from brittle, dull coats due to improper nutrition, usually stemming from a poorly chosen plant protein based diet. Many pet food manufacturers purposefully provide poor quality ingredients because they are cheaper to produce.
⦁As the weather grows colder, most dogs grow a thick coat to help keep heat in and cold air out. As the weather begins to warm, many shed their thick, heavy coats.