As of this writing, the AKC currently recognizes 202 dog breeds, the UK’s Kennel Club 211 breeds, and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale 344 breeds officially. Most of these breeds are groomed very differently from each other.
In March of 2021, Newsweek Magazine published an article entitled, “The 28 Hardest Dog Breeds to Groom.” We noted that Newsweek used as its measuring stick, breeds that took time, involved a skill set, or required a lot of maintenance. Speaking personally as 40+ year Puli owners, we’ve come to learn that in the world of dog grooming, the toughest breeds to groom are the ones that are “time consuming, “difficult to do correctly,” and require maintenance.
Are there really 28 such breeds?
We cross-checked Newsweek’s list with other dog-centric media sites to see if there were breeds in common, and winnowed their lists down to the Top Five breeds named by all of them. The sites we checked included the AKC, MSM, I ❤️ Dogs, the Soggy Dog, and a few others. The breeds they all had in common?
Old English Sheepdog
Honorable mentions (breeds that almost made the Top Five) are:
Portuguese Water Dog
We were frankly surprised at the breeds that didn’t make the Top Five, namely the Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frise, any of the Schnauzers, the Scottish Terrier, and the Kerry Blue Terrier. We were also a bit surprised that our own breed, the Puli, did make the list. We always maintained that of the long coated herding breeds in the AKC’s Herding Group, ours took the most time to wash and dry, and yes, there are hours spent splitting cords…but we never regarded Puli grooming in the same light that we do grooming a Bedlington or Poodle where the wrong cut can be disastrous. One doesn’t get in the same room with a show Puli and a pair of clippers, and anything more than one’s fingers, a spray bottle of water, a crochet hook (shhhh!) and perhaps some finishing product (for frizzies) is probably all one needs. A corded coat is pretty forgiving because if you trim it wrong (yes, corded coats are trimmed because they grow continuously), the dog gives itself a good shake, and the hundreds of cords land differently than how they were when they were trimmed. But we digress.
We had hoped to get an idea of what professional groomers felt were the toughest breeds to groom when we came across a forum for groomers, but once someone mentioned “doodles,” the on-line conversation focused on doodle coat horror stories and we never did learn what those other breeds might be.
Do you have your own list?
Image: Photo of Miniature Longhaired Dachshund by Darren Richardson from Unsplash