Looking for a pup with a little extra pizzazz? Dogs with beards offer an adorable, distinguished look. “Dogs with a great deal of hair around their faces can sometimes give the impression of having a bearded face,” says Brandi Hunter Munden, vice president of public relations and communications with the American Kennel Club.
If you’re an entertainment junkie, you’ve probably seen bearded dogs on the big screen (see: the TV show “Frasier” and movies like “As Good As It Gets” and “The Holiday”). These adorable dogs have recognizable faces and can be a great addition to many homes.
10 Top Bearded Dog Breeds
If you’re looking for a dog with a mustache or even a full beard, you have many options to choose from. Here are the best bearded dog breeds.
“The Brussels Griffon is a big personality in a little package,” says Hunter Munden. They have human-like eyes, and a black muzzle and whiskers. These small dogs with beards are courageous, intelligent and trainable but are known to have a bit of a stubborn streak.
“The Brussels Griffon is [between] 8 and 10 pounds and comes in red, black and tan, black and beige (mixture of black and reddish-brown),” says Hunter Munden. There are two coat types: rough, which is dense and wiry, and smooth, which is short, flat and glossy.
German Wirehaired Pointer
This affectionate bearded dog is one of the sporting group’s finest. “Eager and enthusiastic, [the German Wirehaired Pointer] was recognized by the AKC in 1959 and is a very high-energy, obedient dog, making it a great outdoor activity and sporting dog,” says Hunter Munden. Their coats are weatherproof, and they don’t shed as much as other dogs do, but you might want to give their beards a bit of TLC when grooming.
German Wirehaired Pointers weigh between 50 and 70 pounds and generally come in liver or liver and white colors but can also be black and white. “Their wiry coats require minimal maintenance, but grooming weekly with a comb and soft brush is recommended,” says Hunter Munden.
The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most well-known bearded dogs. “This dog has long hair specifically on its face and legs, giving it a unique and recognizable look,” says Hunter Munden. These small bearded dogs are between 12 and 14 inches tall and weigh between 11 and 20 pounds.
Miniature Schnauzers have a wiry topcoat with a soft undercoat and shed very little. These dog’s coats should be professionally groomed with clippers, but it’s important to groom them and bathe them once a month so they look their best, says Hunter Munden.
The largest of all terrier breeds, the Airedale Terrier is known as “The King of Terriers.” These bearded dogs are a versatile breed, excelling as a hunter, athlete and companion. “Airedales are intelligent, self-assured and can be somewhat aloof,” says Hunter Munden. They are also playful and high-energy dogs.
Airedale Terriers have a dense, wiry coat that is tan with black markings. They have long, muscular legs and a sporty beard and mustache. Weekly brushing is recommended for these dogs and their beards should be washed regularly. “Their coat should be professionally stripped three or four times per year,” says Hunter Munden.
Known as a watchdog and ratter, these handsome dogs hail from Ireland, says Ali Smith, a Maryland-based dog trainer and founder of Rebarkable. Named for their wavy, golden coat, Wheatens are good family pets but can be aloof when initially meeting new dogs or people. Wheatens are a low-shedding breed, but frequent brushing should be part of their regular grooming routine as their coats can get matted.
This bearded dog breed was bred to chase big game, like boar and deer, and can be up to three feet tall. According to Smith, Irish Wolfhounds are the biggest dog breed on the planet, with full-grown males weighing up to 180 pounds. The breed comes in many colors, including red, black, fawn, brindle, gray and white.
“They’re affectionate and wonderful companions, though their size can mean that they’re not quite so fantastic with young kids,” says Smith. These dogs are sensitive, fast learners that are known to make great therapy dogs.
The Bearded Collie is among the most unique-looking bearded dog breeds, says Hunter Munden. “This smart, bouncy and charismatic member of the herding group looks wise beyond their years, with a long coat that covers them completely.”
The Bearded Collie is between 20 and 22 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 55 pounds when fully grown. Their standard colors are black, brown, blue or fawn.
These friendly, shaggy pups require quite a bit of daily grooming in order to keep their coats in check. “Every day, they should be brushed to remove tangles and clean their fur, and about once a week require additional grooming with a pin rake, brush and comb,” says Hunter Munden.
These small, bearded dogs come in many colors, including black, brindle, red brindle, wheaten, black brindle or silver brindle, and are easily recognizable by their short legs and scruffy coat. Scotties are confident and spirited, but tend to be more independent.
Scottish Terriers have wiry double coats, but don’t shed extensively. They do, however, require a regular grooming schedule and may need to have their legs and beard trimmed at home and their coats hand-stripped, says Hunter Munden.
If you can’t hand-strip your Scottie’s coat or find a groomer to do so, Hunter Munden says clipping the coat is the next best option, though the wiriness of the topcoat will fade over time as the undercoat comes through.
These spritely, small bearded dogs have a long, silky coat that can be styled in many different ways. Some pet parents choose to keep their Yorkie’s fur long, while others opt for a shorter and easier-to-maintain puppy or teddy bear cut.
“Originally, these dogs were ratters within the mills and mines of England,” says Smith. “Their diminutive stature made them perfect for weaving under the looms to snag rodents.” Consequently, they can be very vocal and alert.
Wirehaired Jack Russell
A variant of the traditional Jack Russell Terrier, these wonderful, scruffy terriers are full of personality. This small breed typically weighs between 13 and 17 pounds and is white with black and tan coloring and a pointed face, says Smith.
Bred for hunting, these bearded dogs show typical terrier tenacity. They’re high energy and require substantial amounts of exercise, despite their small size. Wirehaired Jack Russells are prone to barking, says Smith, and it’s also worth noting these dogs do shed despite their wiry coat.
Bearded Dog Grooming Needs
Keeping a bearded dog’s hair clean is very important, not only for the look and smell of the dog but for the health of their skin.
“We love dogs with beards! It gives them character. It gives them sass. It gives them the look of wisdom. But, yes they can get very messy and smelly,” says Ani Corless, founder of Luxury Groomer, a Manhattan-based house call grooming service.
Brushing, washing and grooming your bearded dog frequently is a must, and make sure to check your dog’s jowls and face as you groom them. Corless adds that a whitening or “bluing” shampoo can be used on dogs with light-colored beards, but they can be harsh on the skin.
“Your dog’s beard can end up having endless dirt, mud, bits of food and general muck gathered in it,” says Nick Rijniers, founder of mobile grooming and dog service Bark & Birch. He offers the following tips to keep your bearded dog’s fur clean:
- Clean your dog’s beard every day with a dog-friendly wipe or a wet cloth or towel.
- Remove bits of mud and food that may get stuck in your dog’s facial hair.
- Keep your dog’s beard trimmed and use a small brush to remove knots or matted fur.
- Bring your pup to a professional groomer for regular beard and coat maintenance.