As in all things, people like dogs for different reasons. Some want a dog that will fetch slippers. Some want a dog to run miles with them. Some want a big lazy to keep warm with on the couch. Others want a great family dog. Still others—and if you’re reading this article this is probably you—want a dog that they can pamper and groom. They want a breed they can gussy up just like show dogs.
Some smaller breeds are fun to get fancy with.
If you want a small dog that has a lot of options in terms of styling, the Lhasa Apso is hard to beat. These wooly haired pets were first bred to guard the Buddhist temples in Tibet, and they look the part—exotic, regal, and noble.
Many people who like to style their Lhasas will keep the coat long and full, which requires a great deal of brushing and bathing. It’s work to keep the luxurious coat glossy and tangle free. The long hair also allows for accessories like bows in the tail or barrettes in the “bangs,” or the long hair that covers this breed’s eyes. However, the Lhasa Apso also looks great with a short-clipped coat, and many owners choose this option as well.
Like the Lhasa, the Pekingese is a small, long-haired dog that scrubs up nicely. These “lion-dogs,” as they are known in their native China, need daily brushing and frequent baths to keep their luxurious coats from matting and getting soiled.
The hair of the Pekinese can be clipped in various manners, ranging from the lower-maintenance closely cropped to full length. This breed also comes in a wide variety of coat colors and combinations of colors, giving the pampering pet parent a wide choice in “custom” looks for their dog.
When we think of larger dogs, we might tend to consider the more utilitarian breeds, dogs such as Labradors or German Shepherds with relatively simple grooming needs. However, there are options in this size range for getting fancy as well.
Perhaps no other breed epitomizes the opportunity to get fancy with your pet than the Poodle. These curly haired lads and lasses can be trimmed to all manner of styles, complete with ankle puffs and tail poms. Most of us have also seen Poodles whose hair has been dyed to some frilly shade of pink or blue.
What makes these dogs so stupendously stylable is not only their unique coat and regal stature, but their keen intelligence and eagerness to please their owners as well. Poodles are patient dogs and will tolerate the necessary bathing and grooming to get them in near-show shape. One thing to note about poodles is their tendency to have tear stains around their eyes, but that problem can be easily remedied with Angel's Eyes.
As their name implies, the Afghan Hound originates in the cold mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Iran. To thrive in these harsh climatic conditions, the Afghan grew a long, silky coat that covers the dog from head to foot.
The fineness and length of the Afghan’s coat requires a great deal of care to maintain. With daily brushing and frequent clipping and bathing, however, this breed is one of the most elegant and lovely of all dogs. The tall, erect stature of the dog gives them a noble bearing that is only enhanced through the care of their owner.
No matter how you may primp and tease, brush and style, remember your dog is still a dog. Dogs must be treated like dogs in the end, not dolls, so consider your pet's comfort and lifestyle. Even if they’re prettied up, they still need plenty of exercise and playtime.
More on Grooming Your Dog
Poodle Grooming Tricks
Trimming Pekingese Coats
Should You DIY Your Dog's Haircut