One would find it difficult to find an animal that is more beloved or popular than a dog. They are our daily companions, loyal friends, stress relievers, and emotional support; all rolled up in a single being.
Today we are going to talk about dog breeds, particularly large long-haired dogs.
Big long-haired dogs might intimidate some with their size and posture, but they are often more even-tempered and family-friendly compared to their smaller counterparts.
The long hair gives an added dimension to a large dog. It can make them look sleek and elegant, or dominant and powerful, depending on the type of coat they have.
If you have ever considered owning one of these giant furballs, below are ten popular long-haired large dog breeds.
They are listed in no particular order, along with some of the key things you should know if you are thinking of bringing one into your home.
Large Long-Haired Dog Breeds
1. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are one of the most iconic breeds we have today. Their wolf-like appearance and energy have graced everything from our local parks to Hollywood screens.
They are medium to large-sized dogs with males reaching anywhere between 70lbs and 90lbs at 26 inches in height, while females tend to be a bit smaller at 24 inches in height and anywhere between 50lbs to 70lbs. The German Shepherd is the No. 1 working dog breed in the world.
Despite their wolf-like appearance, German Shepherds are relatively modern dogs. Their origins can be traced back to the late 19th century when a famous German dog breeder, Max von Stephanitz, started creating standards for German Shepherds in 1899. The breed has come a long way since then.
German Shepherds are extremely intelligent, which makes them such good work dogs, used by police, military, and rescue services. They are fiercely loyal dogs and make excellent guard dogs. German Shepherds thrive when they have a purpose and are given tasks to complete daily. They make excellent pets and can be easily trained to be obedient.
They do have a double coat, which is extremely dense and has a thick undercoat, and they shed a lot, changing their undercoat twice a year.
The long-haired German Shepherd might not be the best choice for owners who can’t handle the grooming and cleaning. They can become overprotective of their owners or their territory if they are not properly socialized at an early age.
2. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers owe their name to their beautiful long coats of hair. Still, they come in different shades of yellow and white.
A Golden Retriever is a gun dog, originally bred for hunting. They were used to retrieve ducks and other game birds that were shot during the hunt. They are highly trainable and obedient, making them excellent hunting dogs.
Their origins can be traced to mid-19th-century breeders in Scotland, who tried to create a premier hunting dog, one that loves water and can blend in rather nicely into the home life as well. Over the years, they have grown in popularity, and they are often dogs of choice for disability assistance (such as guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf).
Golden Retrievers are perfect family pets, especially if you have kids. They are patient and gentle with kids, despite their size. Their temperament is what makes them an excellent choice for a family dog. The Golden is extremely playful and highly sociable, quickly bonding with families and adapting to their lifestyle.
Their long hair does shed a lot, so they require regular grooming and maintenance. The biggest issue that Golden Retrievers have to cope with is that they are highly susceptible to obesity and have an appetite that has to be controlled. They need daily exercise (that should exceed an hour) in order to stay healthy.
3. Rough Collie
Rough Collies have entered the mainstream and owe their popularity primarily to the famous Lassie movie franchise, the story of a fiercely loyal dog that finds her way home to her owners. Rough Collies are large dogs with a thick and long coat, originally bred for sheep herding in mid-19th-century Scotland.
Collies are medium to big dogs with long hair that can be found in four different color variations: tricolor, sable and white, blue merle, and all-white. Mature male specimens can reach anywhere from 45lbs to 75lbs, while females tend to be smaller, between 35lbs and 65lbs. Their coat is double-layered, and they need regular grooming to remove the excess hair they shed.
They make wonderful pets as long as you live in a house and have a backyard. Collies need regular exercise and love to run due to their herding past. They show no aggressiveness and love children and other animals.
Rough Collies do love to bark but can be trained not to. They need to be socialized from an early age to avoid shyness.
4. Afghan Hound
Afghan Hounds are probably the most eccentric-looking large long-haired dogs on this list. Their majestic silky smooth long hair and elongated head give them an almost cartoon-like appearance.
The Afghan Hound is what is known as a basal breed of dog, meaning that their origins predate the modern breeding techniques (and population boom) that happened in the 19th century. Their origins can be traced to the cold mountains of Afghanistan, hence their long and thick coat.
Afghan Hounds are tall dogs with males reaching 29 inches in height and females anywhere between 25 and 27 inches. Their build is more slender, though, reaching anywhere between 45lbs and 60lbs.
Their long coat is quite fine and delicate and requires considerable grooming to prevent it from matting. They have long lifespans, anywhere from 13 to 17 years, which is excellent for larger dog breeds.
Afghan Hounds have quite a relaxed and aloof temperament and love to play with children. They might not make an ideal pet, though, especially for novice owners. This breed is not notoriously difficult to train and has a high prey drive, which might cause problems around smaller animals.
5. Irish Setter
Irish Setters are a hunting dog breed that originated in Ireland. Their origin cannot be precisely traced to a time period, as there are mentions of Setters in Ireland as early as the 16th century. Most experts agree that what we today know as an Irish Setter had most probably been formed in the 18th century.
Irish Setters sport an elegant appearance due to their height and slender build. Their main characteristic is their long and silky coat that can be either red or chestnut color. They are usually between 24 and 28 inches in height, with males weighing from 65lbs to 75lbs and females coming in at 55lbs to 65lbs.
Irish Setters make perfect companions and family pets. They are some of the most affectionate dogs that thrive on human connection. They are extremely friendly, so they are not suited for guard dogs.
Due to their free-spirited nature, if not properly trained, they might be less receptive to commands. They need plenty of exercise and running in open spaces, making them a poor fit for people living in apartments and condos.
6. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is an iconic dog that, similar to the Alaskan Malamute, has become synonymous with cold-weather landscapes and plenty of snow. The breed traces its origins to the plains of Northeast Asia, where they were bred by local Chukchi people. They belong to the Spitz dog family and are famous for being loyal, fierce, and energetic work dogs.
Although not extremely tall (between 21 and 24 inches), Siberian Huskies have a powerful build and can grow up to 60lbs for male specimens and 50lbs for females. This big long-haired dog has a double-layered coat with a thick undercoat that is perfect for cold climates. Their coat requires weekly grooming and maintenance, and they shed like crazy.
They have been bred to live and grow in packs, making them a safe bet when it comes to children. Huskies are quite demanding pets, though. They are escape artists that love to dig under (and jump over) fences.
If not given enough attention, Siberian Huskies tend to become destructive and hyperactive. Regular exercise is a necessity, as well as grooming. They also have a strong hunting instinct and prey drive, making them a risk to leave around other smaller animals. On top of all that, warm climates bother them.
7. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are working dogs of ancient origins, brought to the Swiss Alps more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. They were initially kept as general farm dogs, but over time they have grown into a variety of working roles and are quite popular as pets nowadays.
They are a large and powerful long-haired dog breed that is anywhere from 25 to 28 inches tall and can grow up to 160lbs for males and up to 140lbs for females.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a distinct tricolor appearance with black, white and rust-colored markings covering most of their bodies. They are highly muscular and might seem intimidating to strangers.
This breed has a very mild and level temperament. Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred to be good-natured, docile, and obedient. They get along well with other pets and small children and are known to quickly bond with owners and become protective of them.
They are highly-affectionate and thoroughly enjoy human companionship. Their size, though, might require a house with a backyard.
Komondors or Hungarian Sheepdogs are a famous breed of livestock guard dogs. Their long and corded coats have earned them the nickname of Mop Dogs. The breed was brought to Hungary in the 12th century by Cumans, who were running away from the Mongols. Hence the name, Komon-dor or Cuman’s Dog.
They are one of the biggest dog breeds in the world with adult specimens easily exceeding 30 inches in height. Komondors, on average, weigh between 110lbs and 130lbs for males, and 85lbs and 110lbs for females. Their whole body is covered in a long, thick, wiry double coat. The undercoat is quite soft, while the exterior coat is harsh and can reach more than 10 inches in length.
Since they were bred for guarding livestock, their temperament is stable and calm, but they can quickly become fearless and aggressive if faced with danger. They do require proper training (from an early age) to remain obedient.
They are affectionate with owners and children, but they are distrustful of strangers. Komondors are not suitable for living in apartments due to their territorial nature, and they need space to patrol and guard.
Newfoundlands are an extremely large and powerful dog breed that has originated on Newfoundland but has undergone some changes due to breeding with mastiffs brought by the colonists in the 17th century. By the 19th century, Newfoundlands have already attained the traits and characteristics that we know them by today.
They are a working dog breed that excels in water rescue, due to their webbed feet and fantastic swimming ability. Adult specimens often reach 30 inches in height, and their powerful build can weigh anywhere from 140lbs to 175lbs for males and 120lbs to 145lbs for females. The body is covered by a long, dense, and smooth coat, suited for the harsh climates of their original habitat.
The big long-haired Newfoundland is extremely calm and docile, making for an excellent companion and safe to have around kids. They are gentle giants despite their size and get along well with other pets and smaller animals.
Newfoundlands are perfect pets, as long as you have a backyard and space for them to thrive.
10. Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terriers are known as the Kings of Terriers for a reason. They are the largest terrier dogs in the family and have a rather elegant and imposing appearance. Airedales were originally bred to be reliable hunting and farm dogs.
Although the largest long-haired dog breed in their family, Airedales are not exceptionally big in general terms. They can reach up to 24 inches in height and usually weigh anywhere between 50lbs and 80lbs. Some specimens in the United States have been found that weigh more than 100lbs. A thick, broken double coat covers their bodies that are wiry on the outside and soft on the inside.
Airedales are extremely intelligent and quickly pick up training. They have an independent nature (like most terriers) and have a need to challenge their owners constantly. But they are loyal and dedicated to their owners. Children can easily bond with them but might have trouble keeping them obedient at a young age.