Have you ever come across a dog that looks closer to a mop than an animal? These pups have fur that has turned into mats that are more or less dreadlocks. Canines with dreads can be big or small, white or black, and be of many different breeds and have different personalities.
These shaggy creatures typically have an undercoat that has merged with the topcoat to create mats and dreads that give them the “mop-like” appearance. Usually, these pets have longer fur, and it can be an interesting experience to take care of their coat.
Before we get into how they are formed, and the best way to take care of the dreads, we wanted to share the breeds that have this strange style of fur.
The 6 Dog Breeds With Dreadlocks:
Below, we have compiled a list of the most common dogs that have dreaded fur. Let’s take a look at these pups:
1. Komondor Dogs
Our first dreaded pup is a large herding dog that is energetic, friendly, and loving. This is a calm and well-mannered pooch who sometimes has an issue with getting the hair out of their eyes. A common misconception of this breed, and many other breeds with this type of fur, is that they were born with the dreads in place. That is not true.
As a puppy, these little white furballs have fluffy and curly fur. It takes our intervention to turn those curls into dreads. As the Komondor gets older, those cute little curls start to turn into large and unruly ones. They grow into one another and will begin to form heavy mats. The owner comes in to separate the mats into individual strands.
The fur on this pooch can grow quite long. After some time, it will touch the floor and grow over their face, making it tough to see their eyes. Plus, it can make it more difficult for them to eat. It is important to give the dreads a trim every so often.
The Poodle is a more well-known pup that also features curly strands. This happy pooch is friendly and energetic, but can also be quite stubborn. On the other hand, with a firm leader, they are very intelligent and can master many tricks. They have been known as an excellent show dog, as well.
As far as their fur, many people do not think of this breed when it comes to dreadlocks. They can have them, however. The Poodle has one coat of curly fur that can be soft or coarse depending on the specific breed. In this case, the dreads (or mats) form while the dog is shedding. As the hair is falling away, it will get tangled with the other curls, causing mats to form.
Although it is no longer common, owners used to manipulate the mats into cords. Unfortunately, they are harder to take care of than the dreads on the pooch above, and when this pup started to be recognized as a premium show dog, the practice went out the window. This was because their naturally curly fur is more appealing in appearance.
3. Bergamasco Shepherds
Our next dreaded pooch is an Italian herding dog that is quick, intelligent, and loyal. They are great at herding animals from spot to spot, and do well with daily activities, although they make great family pets, too.
You will find the fur of this dog to be gray or varying colors of gray including black. In some pups, this can give them an interesting hombre appearance. Another unique feature of this pooch is they have three coasts. The underlayer is made of fine but oily fur. The middle layer is comprised of wiry coarse strands, and the outer layer is a wool-like covering.
Unlike the two styles above, however, this pet’s fur will not be able to be styled in cords. Instead, they form into larger flat mats that can be as wide as three inches. They can also form into longer flocks that are closer to an inch and a half. This pup also requires some regular grooming to keep the undercoat’s oils at bay.
4. Havanese Dogs
The Havanese is a stylish mutt that is on the smaller size but has a large personality. Also called the Velcro dog, this toy breed is a great family pet. They are loyal, good with kids, and as the nickname implies, they become very attached to their family. That being said, they can have separation anxiety.
Like the poodle, this is not a pooch that usually sports the dreadlock look, but it can certainly be done with their thick fur. This pooch has very thick wavy locks that grow super fast. If left to mat, it can start within a week. That being said, owners need to be very diligent with their grooming.
The fur should be sectioned off and brushed carefully, all the while checking for signs that mats are forming. If you do want to go with the dread look, it can take longer than normal for them to form and cording the fur is more difficult. Of course, they are super cute either way.
5. Puli Dogs
The Puli is another breed that sports the dreadlock look. This happy go lucky dog is intelligent, eager to please, and loyal. They can also be protective, and they typically form a strong bond with their leader. This breed is also active, but they are just as content being lazy and enjoying a good snooze in a comfy spot. They do need daily exercise, however.
This breeds fur is more in line with the Komondor. They have two different coats that weave together naturally to form dreads. Also, the fur will cord on its own without any intervention from us. On the other hand, the individual ropes can attach themselves to each other and start to form a thicker larger cord.
In this case, the owner needs to pull the cords apart to keep them from getting thicker. Otherwise, larger ropes can carry too much dirt and oil. Beyond that, this pup should never be shaved or trimmed. Doing so can damage the fur beyond repair. Also, this pup can form dreads in their ears, so you need to pay attention, or it can cause an infection.
6. Spanish Water Dogs
The Spanish Water Dog is a helpful canine that was bred to herd cattle on the waterfront. This energetic and friendly pooch has no problem jumping in the water for a swim and is just as much at home in the family living room. Ready to tackle a long day of work, this pup needs a firm hand to teach them the rules.
This is also another breed whose fur will naturally mat into long cords with little outside help. The Water Dog has a single coat of fur that is wooly, thick, and curly. As they age, the curly coat will merge and lengthen, making a thick layer of dreadlocks.
These locks form a protective layer around the pooch for water activity. The cords add a layer of warmth around their internal organs, plus it’s also water-resistant, so the fur and skin underneath will not get wet. Overall, this dreadlock-sporting pup uses its stylish coat for swimming, as well as appearance.
Caring For Your Dog’s Dreadlocks
When it comes to dreadlocks on your pooch, it can take a lot of time and commitment on your part. Depending on the breed, it can also take up to two years for the cords to fully form. In the meantime, you will have to supervise the growth, so you do not end up with a potential fuzzy mess that can be uncomfortable for your pup.
That being said, if you are thinking of cording your pooch’s fur, you should consult a grooming professional. On the other hand, if your pet already sports these strands, or you have a new puppy that will develop them, you should take a look at these tips below.
Cleaning your pup’s dreadlocks is important. Not only does the oil need to be kept at bay, but they can also have dirt, allergens, and other debris lurking inside. That being said, tossing your pet in the tub is not going to work. Dreads need to be submerged in soapy water and then wrung out thoroughly. They also need to be dried well, otherwise, they can become musty. Typically, groomers will use a drying machine, as it can take days to dry naturally.
Depending on the breed and fur type, not all dreads need to be trimmed. Ones that grow quickly will usually need to have some taken off the bottom, so it is not dragging on the ground or preventing them from eating correctly. Also, some pups need to be checked for mats growing in odd places like their ears. This can cause a blockage which can lead to a yeast infection and other issues.
For the most part, you are not going to be brushing dreads. Instead, if they have cords, you may need to pull them apart to keep them thin and separated. On the other hand, if you have a pooch without dreads, yet they are prone to matting, you need to brush them consistently while checking for the beginnings of mats, as they can form quickly.
These fur styles can be difficult to care for, and it is not recommended for a novice dog owner. If you find yourself with one of these pooches, however, you should consult a grooming expert to help you care for their coat.
These high-maintenance coats are beautiful but will require extensive care and time on your part. Regardless of whether they have corded dreads, flat mats, or just bushy curly fur, these active and happy pals are well worth the time and effort it takes to keep them looking beautiful.
We hope you have enjoyed this list of dogs with dreadlocks, and the tips to keep them looking great.