These need more attention to their personal grooming than short- or medium-haired breeds, but the end result can be magnificent. An Afghan Hound or Old English Sheepdog running, hair in the breeze, is one of the finest sights in the animal kingdom!
Three long-haired Lhasa Apso dogs posing like a 60s Motown trio!
There are two different types of long hair – parted and non-parted. Dogs with parted coats include Afghan, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Silky Terrier, Skye Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier. For these you need to encourage a straight parting down the dog’s back using a brush and a comb, on a daily basis.
Long coated breeds with no parting include Bearded Collie, Chow Chow, English Cocker Spaniel, Havanese, Irish Setter, Old English Sheepdog, Pekingese, Pomeranian, and Samoyed. They don’t need the parting, but they still require plenty of grooming, especially the many energetic breeds that like to rummage around outside on long, muddy walks! Brushing prevents their hair from matting and keeps the skin healthy too.
Freshly clipped but still looking pleasingly scruffy, this mixed breed long-haired terrier-type takes a lot of grooming
Long Haired Dogs In Hot Weather
During hot weather long haired dogs can be prone to overheating. A well-groomed coat will help to regulate their temperature, by removing the dead undercoat that acts as an under-layer of hair. Keeping cool is largely about good air circulation on the skin. Trimming your dog will help, too. Never shave him down to the hide, though, as this will invite new problems such as sunburn and itchiness.
When the weather turns really hot, it’s best to keep long haired dogs inside, or in a place with plenty of shade. And you should ALWAYS avoid leaving them in a car when it’s sunny – that applies to any dog. Even with a partially-opened window a dog can quickly become distressed in the heat and will quickly dehydrate.
The Samoyed has long hair, but its reflective white makes it less prone to heat problems than a darker haired dog
Always take plenty of water for your dog when out on a long walk, and factor in enough time to take regular breaks in the shade. You can buy a portable dog bottle-and-bowl to make the drink breaks easier.
An overheated dog will let you know. Excessive panting, lying down on his side, difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, and a “weak at the knees” look are all sure signs that you need to get your dog into a cool, shaded place fast.
If heat stroke sets in, the dog may go into a stupor or collapse. If he shows these symptoms, make sure there’s water available, and contact your vet immediately.