Shaggy dogs make great cuddle buddies. Their long fur often needs a little bit of extra care. However, if you’re willing to put in the extra time these pups need, you’ll be left with a beautiful companion.
While many shaggy dogs were bred to be lapdogs, they can come in all shapes and sizes. From the Yorkshire Terrier to the Giant Schnauzer, there is a shaggy dog for just about everyone out there.
We’ll take a look at some of the most popular and shaggiest dogs in this article. Sometimes, what counts as shaggy can be a bit complicated. The Komondor is probably the shaggiest dog. However, the Spinone can be pretty shaggy as well – even if its fur isn’t quite as long.
The Top 12 Shaggy Dog Breeds
1. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire terrier is one of the smallest terrier dogs out there. While they do look like lap dogs, it is important to point out that they are true terriers. They act like terriers and can be quite active, which usually means that they don’t actually spend much time in anyone’s lap. They are well suited for city living if you’re looking for a more energetic dog that will keep you entertained.
Their coat is similar to human hair and does not shed much at all. It can get extremely long. Their coat usually takes a few years to reach its final color, with puppies usually appearing darker than they will be when they are older.
The Affenpinscher is also known as the “monkey terrier,” as their face does resemble that of a monkey. They are a toy breed and classified as a terrier. However, they don’t act much like the terriers you’re probably thinking of.
They are pretty active, but they are also known for being affectionate. They can be a little protective, so they need socialization early to ensure that they are accepting of strangers. They are quiet dogs that prefer homes without children, who can easily injure them.
This dog hails from Cuba and was developed in Havana, hence its name. Its fur does get quite long and can be somewhat shaggy. They come in a huge variety of colors. Their coat is known for being extremely soft, similarly to silk. Many people describe their coats as cool to the touch. Their coat does need to be brushed out, though some owners decide to cord it. Cording does not lower the amount of work the coat requires, however.
4. Brussels Griffon
The Brussels Griffon is an interesting dog that may or may not be considered shaggy. However, their mustache alone helped them land on this list.
They are a toy dog that is very sturdy. Unlike some other small dogs, they are strong and durable. They come in two coat varieties, with the rough coat being the shaggiest. These dogs are known for being snuggly and affectionate. They are a lapdog, though they have less hair than most lapdogs. They can be a bit sensitive and need to be socialized at a young age.
They can be “one-person dogs” and bond almost exclusively with only one owner. For this reason, they do best in smaller families.
5. Black Russian Terrier
The Black Russian Terrier is a larger dog that was created in the USSR as a working breed. They are rarer than many of the other breeds on this list. They are also not a true terrier, so they don’t possess the unmistakable terrier personality.
They have a double coat that is quite fluffy and shaggy. It needs to be trimmed regularly, as it doesn’t shed much. These dogs are typically confident and calm. They’re laidback. As an intelligent breed, they are easy to train and do require some mental stimulation regularly. They’re well-known for their work ethic and thrive when given a job.
6. Giant Schnauzer
The Giant Schnauzer is absolutely bigger than other types of Schnauzer, but they aren’t nearly as large as some other “giant” dogs, like the Great Dane. These dogs may not be as shaggy as some others, but their hair is quite rough and moderately long.
They are not particularly friendly with strangers and can be a bit protective of their family. They are reserved and prefer to avoid people that they don’t know. They should be socialized at a young age to prevent aggression. They are extremely intelligent and can become bored easily. For this reason, they need regular mental stimulation.
The Komondor is the shaggy dog. They are often called “mop dogs” because that’s exactly what they look like – mops. They were bred to be livestock guardian dogs, though they were sometimes used to defend property as well. Their coat is typically heavy and matted.
They are calm and steady dogs, which makes them great companions. They do need some socialization to make them accepting of strangers. They are very patient with children and protective of their families. However, they are not good in apartments due to their territorial nature.
This rare dog also features a corded coat. They are rarer than other canines on this list, but they are also one of the shaggiest. This robust dog is sturdy and solid. They were made to guard livestock, so they have the same personality as other guarding dogs – calm and collected.
9. Briard Dog
This canine hails from France. While they don’t have a corded coat, their coat is extremely long and often covers their eyes. They are burly and rugged dogs but are probably nimbler than you might imagine.
As a herding dog, they possess similar traits to other herding breeds. They are protective towards their family and require some socialization. However, they are typically not aggressive. They are large dogs that can handle huge flocks of sheep, so they tend to be very alert and will work tirelessly if necessary.
10. Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog is the poster dog for a shaggy dog. They have extremely long coats that cover the face and eyes. They shed very little but do require regular brushing to remove excess fur.
These dogs are very calm and rarely become aggressive. They are couch potatoes that are good with children. While they will herd children like other herding breeds, they do this gently – not using the snapping that is common in breeds like the Border Collie. They are social, unlike most other herding breeds. This canine is perfectly comfortable just about anywhere as long as they are exercised properly.
11. Spinone Italiano
This Italian hunting dog is surprisingly shaggy. They aren’t necessarily as shaggy as a sheepdog, but their hair is quite long and even known to be curly in a few areas. Their hair tends to feather, which gives them a fairly shaggy appearance. They come in many different colors, including white and roan.
Just about every terrier out there could be labelled as “shaggy.” If you picked out a random terrier from a list, it will probably feature a scruffy hairstyle. There are very few terriers that aren’t shaggy.
For this reason, we decided to list the whole group on this list. The AKC lists 30 types of terriers, which would be far too many to discuss individually. If you want a small, shaggy dog, consider a terrier.
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Featured Image: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock