Long-haired dogs sport the look of luxury, but it comes at a price: They're high maintenance. Neglecting to care for your pooch's flowing locks can lead to severe discomfort for your animal and some strange smells around the house, so keep him neat and clean.
Your dog's long hair needs to be brushed every day, so set aside a few minutes on a daily basis for hair maintenance. Start with a slicker brush, which helps you pick apart any mats in the hair that have developed since your last brushing. Then, smooth out the rest of the coat with a bristle brush. Your groomer can make more breed-specific recommendations, such as the material the brush is made of, but one thing remains the same no matter what: You have to do it daily.
Long-haired dogs are like people -- even if they keep their hair long, they need trims every now and then. Talk to your groomer about how frequently your long-haired breed should get a trim, otherwise, his hair can grow unwieldy and ragged. If you find that the daily maintenance of a long coat is too much work, a shorter haircut saves you time and reduces the risk of your dog sullying his coat with stains, tangles and mats.
Bathing and Cleaning
According to the ASPCA, most dogs should take a bath once every three months. Long-haired dogs, however, may required more frequent bathing. The longer your dog's hair, the more likely it is to drag in the mud and dirt outside, collecting filth and staining. Unless you don't mind snuggling up with a visibly dirty dog, his long coat may require more frequent cleaning -- even if you wipe down the trouble spots with a warm, wet washcloth as needed.
Around the House
Depending on how much your dog sheds, a long-haired dog may necessitate frequent cleaning around the house. If he sheds, be prepared to spend time vacuuming and dusting any surfaces where hair can land. Heavy shedding may mean that you start sporting a bit of a coat yourself -- his hair will visibly collect on darker clothing, so invest in lint rollers and think before you cuddle.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.