Some of them look like walking mops, with hair so long and poofy that you can barely see their eyes. Others have hair so long and silky it makes you kind of jealous.
If you’ve dreamed of parenting long-haired dogs, here is a guide to help you navigate some furry, fluffy and poofy breeds that are certain to make you smile — whether or not they can see you through their furry manes:
- Cairn Terrier
This short-legged poofball of a dog has a long coat, built to withstand all kinds of weather conditions. It’s one of the oldest breeds of terriers, originating in the Scottish Highlands and on the Isle of Skye.
The American Kennel Club deems cairn terriers alert, busy and playful, and says a great way to bond with the little guy or girl is through obedience competitions. Fun fact: The dog who played Toto in the “Wizard of Oz” — no doubt hardworking, friendly, active and obedient — was a female cairn terrier named Terry.
People may think you’re busy Spring cleaning if you’re a dog-parent to a komondor, as it has the appearance of a four-legged mop, with hair so shaggy you can barely see its eyes. Covered in what appear to be stringy white cords, this robust dog was bred in Hungary to guard flocks of sheep and cattle. The large breed is known for its strength, courage, protectiveness and intelligence.
- Bearded Collie
This type of dog is affectionately called a “Beardie,” and the reason is exactly what you might think: The bearded collie has such long hair that it appears to have multiple hairy beards. Developed in Scotland as a herding dog, according to the Bearded Collie Club of America, the dogs acted as independent helpers for shepherds. The medium-sized dogs are strong, playful and known for their bright, earnest expressions.
- Bouvier des Flandres
There may not be a more elegant name for a dog than “Bouvier des Flandres.” As its name suggests, the breed is a herding dog originating in French Flanders. The powerfully built, shaggy dog possesses a thick coat that can protect it in all kinds of weather conditions. The Bouvier de Flandres is alert, protective and thrives on exercise. It also loves being around people.
- German Longhaired Pointer
This hunting dog usually has a coat that reflects a combination of brown and white. It is strong and muscular and has a long history in Germany, of course. According to the American Kennel Club, the standard for the breed hasn’t changed much. The German longhaired pointers that served as grouse dogs and hawk dogs depicted in paintings hundreds of years ago look very similar to today’s pointers.
If a dog breed could pass for a teddy bear, it would be the Barbet. Also known as a French water dog, according to the Barbet Club of America, the soft, curly-haired Barbet originates from France, where it was used to hunt waterfowl. They are typically happy dogs that get along well with kids and other pets, and they need frequent mental stimulation and exercise.
Keeshonds are gentle balls of gray and silver poof. They have a tranquil, calm demeanor, probably because they’ve never been bred to hunt or kill, according to the Keeshond Club of America. Their history can be traced to Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, when they were used as watchdogs on farms, barges and riverboats.
Cuba has a national dog, and it is the hairy, lovable Havanese. (The name has its origin in the Cuban capital of Havana.) The Havanese is the only dog breed native to Cuba, according to the American Kennel Club, and is usually longer in length than in height. Its tail fans out in a bit of a plume, and it’s known as an outgoing, spirited and playful dog.
- Shih Tzu
If you like long-haired dogs with manes so long you can accessorize them, look into a shih tzu. With origins in China, this compact, sturdy dog with regal bearing has a double coat that should be brushed every day. Shih Tzus are generally great around children and other pets and can easily be trained.
- Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise resembles a walking cotton ball, with its face made rounder by tight curls. Often white, the peppy and playful bichon frise displays a curiosity about people and its surroundings. “Bichon Frise” means “fluffy white dog” in French and, according to the American Kennel Club, this charismatic dog has a history of being pampered by French royals.
And check out the Top 10 Crazy Cool Dog Breeds.
Erin Chan Ding is a freelance journalist who writes about features, news, profiles, business, politics, travel, parenting and pets. The komondor, with its mop-like mane, as well as the poofy bichon frise, never cease to make her smile.