There’s nothing cuter than a fluffy little puppy on that rescue group’s website. But before you let your love of furballs get the best of you, it’s important to remember that the more fur a dog has, the harder it is to maintain. Because keeping a dog’s fur in tip-top shape is essential to its health, it’s best to do your research and make sure you can commit to your chosen breed's grooming needs. So which breeds are the hardest to groom? Click through for a list of 10 of the furriest and hardest-to-groom dog breeds.
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BICHON FRISEWith the French word for “frizzy” in its name, you know the Bichon is one of the most high-maintenance breeds around. A proper Bichon cut takes time and practice to perfect, so many owners of this breed leave it to professionals. Also a double-coated breed, the Bichon needs daily or twice-daily brushing once its outer coat of “guard hairs” come in after the pooch's first birthday. You want to make sure you prevent matting in this breed, otherwise a complete shave or painful de-matting will have to take place. The good news is you can bathe and clip a Bichon once a month to maintain its fur. (Source)
They might only weigh a few pounds, but this breed's high-maintenance fur will keep you busy for hours. Most casual pet owners will keep a Yorkie’s fur trimmed short for easier grooming. The dog must be bathed and conditioned at least bi-weekly using a gentle shampoo that doesn’t strip the hair of natural oils. Yorkies also shouldn’t be brushed dry. Instead, a conditioning spray should be used before attempting to brush out any knots and to prevent split ends. Their fur should be regularly clipped with special attention to the ear area, which can harbor dirt and become susceptible to infection. (Source)
This fluffy white ball of cuteness has a thick double coat, making it a tough breed to groom. You’ll need multiple brushes and a comb to get all the excess fur out of a Samoyed's coat, and to prevent knotting and matting. Because it’s not advisable to shave the Samoyed (its fur protects delicate skin from the elements), it’s essential to make sure its fur does not get tangled. A Samoyed's bright white color can often become dingy after a few days of outside play, so regular bathing is necessary to maintain a clean look. (Source)
The signature dreadlock-like cords of the Puli naturally occur, but they require considerable attention to keep them looking nice. You won’t have to brush the dog, but as the cords begin to form on their own, a Puli owner must separate the dog's cords to prevent them from matting. Delicate care must be taken not to rip the dog’s skin during this period. Sometimes scissors are needed to cut a matted section into cleaner cords. Bathing is also a long process, as all shampoo and conditioner must be washed off the dog’s fur and skin, and several hours of drying are needed to keep its coat smelling good. (Source)
The adorable, lion-like appearance of the Chow is usually a large part of its appeal as a family pet. But that regal look needs weekly maintenance. Clipping the fur between the dog’s dainty toes is essential to keep him walking on his pads and not dragging dirt into the house. Bathing should take place at least monthly if not more frequently. It’s also important to make sure no shampoo is left behind, as it can dry out the coat and your dog’s skin, making him itchy and miserable. Weekly brushing and regular clipping should be done to ensure its coat doesn’t get too long or obstruct its eyesight. (Source)
This breed has long, lustrous and beautiful fur, but it’s not easy to maintain. Not only do Afghan Hounds need to get brushed daily, they are also highly susceptible to matting and must be bathed weekly. It’s necessary to get the dog used to intense grooming from a young age. Just a simple dog shampoo is not enough. Instead, shampoo and conditioner must be used to work out any knots and get its fur ready for blowdrying. In addition, the long fur on the dog’s ears will often fall into its water or food dish, so often a protective snood is used to keep this easily-tangled fur out of the way. (Source)
One of the most popular family pets, the cocker spaniel is another breed whose fur needs regular attention. Their coats grow fast, so grooming and trimming must occur every 4 to 6 weeks. In between grooming they must be brushed daily to work out knots and prevent severe matting. In addition to maintaining the main coat, their floppy ears and extra fur between their paws need to be cleaned and trimmed to prevent infection. (Source)
OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG
With all that fluffy fur, its no surprise that grooming an Old English Sheepdog is almost a full-time job. Because of their coarse, curly fur, it’s essential that the Sheepdog’s owner cleans his eyes daily. Dirt and bacteria can build up and spell danger if left for too long. The dog must also be de-matted weekly, and checked for debris and parasites like fleas or ticks, which are hard to remove from its dense coat. (Source)
This breed is anything but low maintenance. We’ve all seen the Standard Poodle’s traditional cut — large puffs of fur strategically placed on the dog’s joints. Unless your dog’s a show dog, you may not need to spend the countless hours (or dollars) to maintain that unnatural look, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. The Standard Poodle has hair, not fur, so it mats very easily and must be tended to on a daily basis. In addition, his feet need to be clipped regularly to rid the area of excess fur, which can harbor stickers and other harmful debris. If you’re set on this breed, make sure you can spend the money needed to keep them properly groomed and healthy. (Source)
Next: 10 Dog Grooming Myths
It’s hard to believe that such a little dog would be so difficult to groom. The Shih Tzu is high maintenance mainly because of his thick, long coat of hair (not fur). They need to be brushed daily (sometimes multiple times) to avoid matting and bathed at least once a week. In addition, they need regular clipping, especially around their eyes area and muzzle, to prevent infections. Some less-than-ambitious Shih Tzu owners might just shave him and call it a day. (Source)
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