5 Cute Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog

If your dog needs a haircut anyway, why not have some fun with it?

Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog
So much hair! Read on for some great grooming ideas for a longhaired dog. Photo: Chris Phutully

Depending on how you look at it, having a longhaired dog can feel like either a hairstylist’s dream or an at-home groomer’s nightmare.

If you’re willing to put your pup’s style in the hands of a professional groomer, you can turn your dog’s coat into a work of living, moving art.

Ready to give your dog’s style a change? Check out these cute grooming ideas for a longhaired dog.

5 Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog

Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog
Maltese show dog cut. Photo: Volodymyr Finoshkin

1. Show Dog Style

If you’re raising a show breed, you can always default to the American Kennel Club standard for your dog.

By following a set of guidelines, there’s far less room for error, even if your dog doesn’t frequent any actual shows.

AKC standards often leave the dog’s hair long and flowing, or as close to its natural state as possible, while maintaining a clean and trimmed appearance.

A Maltese with a standard cut, for example, would have silky hair that flows all the way to the floor. With that comes maintenance, regular brushing and probably lots of hair ties if you want to help them see.

If you’re up to the task, though, the style is adorable. That’s why the classic show dog style is at the top of our list of grooming ideas for a longhaired dog.

Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog
Notice the front “skirt” on this Westie cut. Photo: mike_bernardo

2. Westie Cut

This style isn’t just for small dogs — your large-breed pooch can sport it, too.

The Westie cut, normally seen on West Highland Terriers, is simple and clean.

The hair around most of the body is trimmed to about 2 inches long, is slightly shorter around the neck and hangs down just a touch lower around the stomach in a “skirt” fashion.

Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog
You’ll see poodle show dogs sporting the English saddle. Photo: andy_bernay-roman

3. English Saddle

If your dog has curly, wiry hair — like that of a poodle — the English saddle is a style worth considering.

Fair warning: There’s a bit of upkeep that comes with this hairdo. If your dog is the stand-out type, though, the English saddle might suit them perfectly.

The AKC recognizes this style for poodles, so you might have seen it if you’ve ever watched a dog show.

The dog’s face and neck are trimmed close, while the chest and torso area are left long (the hair sort of poofs out).

Then, throughout the rest of the body, spots on the tail, legs and back are trimmed short. This gives the appearance of pom-poms all over the dog.

Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog
Her first puppy cut — isn’t it adorable? Photo: mcarls

4. Puppy Cut

Next on our list of top 5 grooming ideas for a longhaired dog comes the puppy cut — and we really love this one.

If you’re looking to keep things a bit more tame, a puppy cut might just be the perfect go-to style.

In simple puppy cuts, the hair is trimmed relatively short around the head, feet and tail. The rest is left longer but still kept clean and “shaped” around the dog’s body.

Puppy cuts are great when you want your dog to look freshly groomed but aren’t necessarily ready to go all-in with a “show” style.

With this grooming idea, your dog will keep a youthful look. Plus, the maintenance on your part won’t be overwhelming.

Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog
This magnificent Chow Chow has been given a lion cut — short everywhere except the head, neck and tail. Photo: katoosha

5. Lion Cut

The lion cut — it’s hard to miss. (And adorable.)

If you really want to make a statement and gather a ton of attention, the lion cut might be the ultimate grooming idea for a longhaired dog.

As you might expect, a lion cut leaves most of the dog’s hair short but keeps long fur around the neck and head, giving the appearance of a lion’s mane.

Surprisingly, this cut has been around for quite some time — and not just as a cute style. It actually came about to serve a specific purpose for working dogs who were routinely in and out of waist-deep water.

The short hair around their bodies let them move through the water easily, and the thick fur around their necks served to keep them warm.

Final Thoughts on Grooming Ideas for a Longhaired Dog

Whether the style you choose serves a functional purpose or just gives your hairy dog a cute new look, head to the groomer with as many details as you can to ensure the perfect outcome.

One last thing: Be sure to read our tips on how to prepare for the groomer in advance — including the best time to start grooming your pup. Plus, in that article we reveal your groomer’s “worst nightmare.” Go check it out.