Dog coats come in all textures and types, from extra fluffy double-coats to dogs with dreadlocks. Some coats can be simple to groom, while others require daily brushing to prevent matting. Your lifestyle and ability to commit may affect what breed of dog you’ll get, especially if you’re looking for a dog with low-maintenance grooming needs.
There are many breeds of dogs with curly and wavy hair, with some breeds being more difficult to groom than others. If you love the look of curly hair on dogs and you’re willing to commit to brushing them, there are breeds of all sizes and shapes that you can choose from. Here are 15 Dog Breeds with Curly Hair:
Poodles are known for their adaptability and high intellect, making them one of the most popular dog breeds today. Poodle puppies have soft, wavy coats that eventually become curlier and coarser as they age. While their show cut is famous, most Poodle owners clip their coats down to prevent matting.
Barbets are medium-sized water dogs with thick, curly coats and bearded snouts. Though their coats need brushing out, Barbets don’t typically shed their hair as other breeds do. These dogs enjoy sports and outdoor activities, especially swimming. As long as their needs are met, Barbets can be great family dogs.
3. American Water Spaniel
American Water Spaniels have dense, waterproof coats that vary between wavy to tightly corded. Originally bred for hunting in icy cold waters, these water dogs are natural watchdogs that will be reserved with strangers. American Water Spaniels are also playful and affectionate, making them ideal for families with older children.
4. Bedlington Terrier
Often seen with their “lamb clip” in breed competitions, Bedlington Terriers have wooly double coats with a unique mixture of soft and wiry hair. These tough terriers may seem small and dainty, but they have strong hunting instincts with lean muscular builds. Bedlington Terriers are good-tempered dogs that are generally easy to please.
5. Spanish Water Dog
Spanish Water Dogs are versatile herding dogs that have thick curly coats, often forming into tight cords. These dogs are highly intelligent dogs that love to work, which is important to keep them from destructive tendencies. Bonding close to their families, Spanish Water Dogs will be vigilant of new people or strangers.
6. Irish Water Spaniel
Naturally oily and dense to repel water, Irish Water Spaniels have curly double coats with wavy feathering on their legs. They have playful and clownish personalities, but they can become stubborn and defiant without proper leadership. Irish Water Spaniels are hunters by nature, so they’re better suited as the only pet in the house.
7. Portuguese Water Dog
Known as the breed of dog owned by former President Obama and his family, Portuguese Water Dogs are active dogs that love vigorous sports and exercise. These water dogs are extremely clever and will try to take over the household, so consistent and confident leadership is a must to keep them happy.
8. Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise dogs are popular lapdogs and quiet companions, prized for their soft, curly, white double coats. These little dogs are social by nature and love nothing more than going on adventures with their owners, genuinely happy to meet new people. Although these dogs are smart, they can be hard to train.
9. Lagotto Romagnolo
Lagotto Romagnolos have thick, rough coats that grew into tight curls, with bearded snouts and expressive eyes. These dogs are mostly known in Italy, famed for having a strong sense of smell needed to hunt down elusive underground truffle mushrooms. Lagotto Romagnolos are affectionate and will bond easily with their owners.
10. Kerry Blue Terrier
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Kerry Blue Terriers are medium-sized dogs that still have a strong prey drive, once bred for hunting vermin and other smaller animals. Though they can be sensitive and moody if teased too much, Kerry Blue Terriers simply need to be part of the family. Once their needs are met, Kerry Blue Terriers can be happy companions.
11. Bolognese Dog
Related to the Bichon Frise breed, Bolognese Dogs have naturally white coats with wavy, flowing locks. These dogs are intelligent and inquisitive, often found following their owners diligently. Bolognese dogs are the perfect companion for quieter homes, making them a popular choice for the elderly.
Pumi dogs are Hungarian sheepdogs with dense curly ears and semi-upright ears, characterized by their whimsical personalities. Pumi dogs are comparable to the Poodle in that they’re versatile and adaptable, yet gentle enough to be around children. Pumi dogs are often confused with the Puli, the sheepdog famous for its dreadlocks.
13. Bouvier Des Flandres
Bouvier Des Flandres dogs have shaggy, slightly curly coats and a happy demeanor, with multiple working skills that make them extremely versatile. Once found on farmlands to keep the homestead safe, Bouvier dogs are graceful when playing with children. Regular grooming is needed to keep Bouvier coats from matting.
14. Curly Coated Retriever
Curly Coated Retrievers are the tallest of the retriever group of dog breeds, with solid black and liver being the only colors allowed. Similar to the more popular Labrador Retriever, Curly Coated Retrievers are still used for hunting and other physical activities. With enough exercise, these retrievers make excellent family pets.
15. Mixed Breeds
Dogs crossed with poodles or other dogs with curly hair will most likely have curly or wavy coats, depending on the genetics of the other dog. Designer dog breeds have become a booming market, with the Labradoodle being the most popular designer “breed”, but these breeding practices can lead to unhealthy dogs. While they may be cute, designer dogs are not recognized breeds by most club standards.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.