July 3, 2023 Bryan Striegler

Discover the Surprising Truth Behind Long-Haired Dogs and Shedding


I often get asked if Bernese Mountain Dogs shed. Yes. Yes, they do. A lot. I think it’s important to know as much about a breed of dog as possible before you get a new puppy. So many of the problems come from people being surprised by a breed’s natural behavior.

Even though my dogs are shedding machines, I still love them, and I’ve found several ways to deal with the hair, and I hope this helps some of you other owners.

The challenge of long hair dog shedding

One of the main reasons why long-haired dogs shed more is because they have more hair follicles compared to short-haired breeds. This means there is simply more hair that needs to go through the natural shedding process. Additionally, long-haired dogs tend to have thicker undercoats which shed seasonally, making the problem even more pronounced during certain times of the year.

Almost all dogs shed to a degree, but with Bernese and other long haired dogs, it’s just different. There tends to be more hair and it’s more obvious. My mom’s boxer sheds, but the hair is so short and thin you can’t really see it. My dogs’ hair comes out in giant chunks. You can see it all over the place. I actually find this to be a good thing. It’s easy to see and you can get it all at once vs. having to deal with a thousand little hairs.

Understanding the shedding process in long-haired dogs

Shedding is a natural phenomenon that occurs as part of a dog’s hair growth cycle. Long-haired breeds tend to shed more than short-haired ones due to the length of their fur. The shedding process typically involves two main phases: the growth phase and the resting phase. During the growth phase, new hairs replace old ones, while in the resting phase, hairs stop growing and eventually fall out.

Regular grooming techniques for managing hair

When it comes to managing hair, regular grooming techniques are essential for long-haired dogs. Brushing is one of the most effective ways to manage and control shedding. Regular brushing not only helps remove loose hairs but also stimulates the skin and distributes natural oils, promoting a healthy coat.

In addition to brushing, trimming your dog’s hair can also help in managing shedding. By keeping the hair shorter, you reduce the amount of loose hairs that fall around your home. Trimming can be done by a professional groomer or at home if you feel comfortable doing so. Some breeds are not meant to be trimmed, so do your research before cutting their hair.

Tips for minimizing hair around the house

If my dogs were outside dogs, the hair wouldn’t be that big of a deal. It would be all over the year. My house, though, can look like a mess in just a few hours. I’ve learned some ways to keep things relatively neat.

Firstly, regular grooming is essential to keep shedding at bay. Brushing the hair makes it easier to get rid of at once. If you don’t brush it, you’ll just have to clean it up later.

Another tip is to create designated areas where your dog can spend most of their time indoors. By confining them to certain rooms or using baby gates to limit access to certain areas, you can contain the majority of the shedding within specific spaces. This makes it easier to clean up and reduces the amount of hair spread throughout your entire house. I let them roam over most of the house, but I keep the kids’ doors closed. It’s a big enough mess in their already!

Lastly, frequent vacuuming and cleaning are crucial when dealing with a long-haired dog’s shedding. Use a vacuum cleaner equipped with pet-friendly attachments to effectively remove pet hair from different surfaces. I have two different ones I use. I use a Eufy robot vacuum. It runs around the house and does things while I’m gone. It doesn’t get clogged and struggles, but it still does a decent job. Besides that, I’ll run around with my vacuum and just suck up the clumps. Again, having big pieces of hair makes this easy.

Dealing with seasonal shedding and excessive hair loss

Seasonal shedding is a natural process in which dogs shed their old fur to make way for new growth. For Bernese, it’s really bad in the summer. This makes sense though. They’d want to keep their hair during the cold and lose some of it when it gets hot.

I’ve yet to try it, but you can go to a groomer and they can blow out the undercoat for you. This way, the majority of the hair gets taken care of at once. It will cost you, but then you don’t have it in your house, and I’m sure your dog will appreciate it.

Embrace your furry friend’s fabulous locks!

In conclusion, long-haired dogs can actually shed less than their short-haired counterparts. This may come as a surprise to many dog owners who assume that long hair automatically means more shedding. However, the length of a dog’s coat does not determine the amount of shedding it will experience. Instead, factors such as breed type and individual genetics play a significant role in determining shedding patterns. That’s why it’s important to do your research first!

While the shedding is a bit of a pain, I think one of the greatest things about the Bernese, is their beautiful coat. I love how fluffy and beautiful they look. If that means I have to deal with some shedding, I’ll happily take it.