Some dogs have fluffy coats while others have smooth coats, but curly haired dogs have the most interesting coats of all. Their curly, fluffy hair just makes people want to pet them and cuddle them even more. So, if you have your heart set on a curly haired dog, here are 15 dogs with extra curly coats.
Curly Haired Dog Grooming Requirements
Most dogs with curly coats have hair instead of fur, which means their coats closely resemble human hair. Because of this, their hair barely sheds and causes very few allergic reactions. However, they still have advanced grooming needs.
Since their hair usually doesn’t shed, it just continually grows like a human’s would. This means that you will need to get their hair trimmed from time to time to properly maintain it. You can do this yourself, but it’s often easiest to take them to a groomer every 4 to 8 weeks. A groomer can give them a bath, brushing, and haircut all at the same time to keep their coat as beautiful as possible.
Even though curly haired dogs can visit a groomer for many of their needs, you will still need to care for their coat yourself too. Since they have lots of little small curls in their coat, their hair can easily become tangled and matted. If matts in a dog’s coat become too dense, they can actually hurt your dog, which means their hair might need to be shaved to keep your dog safe. Therefore, if you want to keep your dog’s curly coat long and healthy, make sure you try to brush them daily.
The Best Curly Haired Dogs
Not all dogs have the same coats, but the following 15 breeds all have hair that’s slightly curlier than usual, and they’re also great companions. Many of them are also great working dogs, so they will likely need excessive exercise and attention.
#1 – Poodle
Poodles are likely one of the most common curly haired dogs, coming in a variety of sizes: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. They’re excellent companion dogs that shower their parents with love as much as possible. They are also very intelligent, making them able to pick up on new tricks very quickly. Whether these dogs are big or small, they always love to play and they often have a lot of energy.
#2 – American Water Spaniel
The American Water Spaniel was bred for hunting and retrieving waterfowls, which makes them great swimmers. Their feet are actually webbed like a duck’s and they have thick pads to help them swim and run faster. They have a lot of energy and intelligence, so they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation on a regular basis. They are great family dogs as long as they live with people that are willing to keep them active.
#3 – Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise has a beautiful white coat, somewhat similar to a Poodle’s hair. Their coat is like cotton, and they look like little teddy bears. These small dogs are great companions, especially around children. They bond with their family members quickly, which often causes them to have separation anxiety when left alone for too long. Also, they won’t rest until they get the love and attention they deserve.
#4 – Curly-Coated Retriever
As the name implies, this breed’s coat is exceptionally curly. Their appearance is fairly similar to the American Water Spaniel, and they were also bred as hunting dogs. They are very active, so they need plenty of exercise in their daily routine. They are also great family dogs, and they can bond well with both kids and adults because of how loyal they are.
#5 – Pumi
The Pumi is a small to medium-sized herding dog. If they don’t have a job to do in their home, then they need regular exercise and playtime to keep them content. They are an extremely playful breed, but they can get bored if they don’t get enough attention, which can lead to destructive behaviors. They are also a very vocal breed, so early training is the key to stop them from barking too much.
#6 – Bedlington Terrier
Like the Poodle, the Bedlington Terrier is often recognized by their beautiful appearance and special haircuts. They might look like just an elegant companion dog, but they were first bred as a watchdog. However, today they are rarely used to work, so they have adjusted to their new lives as companions. They are very playful, but they are also very protective over their loved ones due to their instincts.
#7 – Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs have thick, curly coats, but it’s for more than just looks. Their curls are waterproof, which is why these dogs love to swim so much. Today, they are a popular companion dog, but they were initially bred to assist fishermen. Since they used to have a working role, they are very active dogs that need plenty of attention, but they’re also very lovable.
#8 – Bolognese
The Bolognese closely resembles a Bichon Frise, but their coat is a bit fluffier. Unlike many other small breeds, the Bolognese is usually very calm. They’d much rather snuggle up to their loved ones than run around like crazy. They are often very eager to please, which makes them very affectionate and much easier to train. They get along with just about everyone, including families with kids.
#9 – Barbet
The Barbet is a medium-sized breed with lots of long curls. They are another hunting breed that is great at retrieving waterfowl. These dogs have a silly, loving personality. They prefer to stay busy, but they also want to please their loved ones as much as possible. So, it’s best if this breed has a job to do to keep them from getting bored or destructive.
#10 – Kerry Blue Terrier
This working breed is often confused with a Standard Schnauzer due to their similar haircuts. Both breeds usually have longer hair around their mouth like a beard, but the Kerry Blue Terrier has a curlier coat. They are very intelligent and playful, so they are capable of handling lots of special jobs such as chasing vermin or herding animals. They’re very loyal with their loved ones, but they can often be uneasy around strangers.
#11 – Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terriers are one of the largest terrier breeds, and they’re known for their wavy coats. Unlike most of the other dogs on this list, the Airedale Terrier is fairly independent, so they prefer to do their own thing most of the time. They love to chase small animals and bark at other dogs, so they need early training and socialization to break those bad habits. They are also very protective over their loved ones, and it take a while for them to gain someone’s trust.
#12 – Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is another breed that’s similar to the American Water Spaniel. However, Irish Water Spaniels tend to have a thicker coat with more curls. They are another breed that was bred to hunt and retrieve, so they’re very active and always willing to go on adventures. They’re great at adapting to new situations, so they’re happy whether they live with a family or if they live somewhere with an important role to do.
#13 – Bouvier Des Flandres
The Bouvier Des Flandres has a thick, black coat of hair. They are great at herding animals and protecting their loved ones when necessary. They have an insane amount of energy, so they will always be willing to exercise and play even more. They love being around their family members and they’re especially good with children. However, they are very uncertain around strangers, so they might get too protective sometimes.
#14 – Lagotto Romagnolo
This lesser known dog breed is another dog bred for hunting and retrieving. Their name means “lake dog” because of the fact that they used to hunt waterfowls in marshlands. They like to stay active as much as possible, so it’s best if they have a specific job to do. They are eager to please their loved ones, so training often comes easy to them.
#15 – Spanish Water Dog
Like the other water dog breeds, the Spanish Water Dog is a working dog with a thick, curly coat. They are usually medium-sized, and they are extremely smart and loyal. They have a lot of energy that needs to be dealt with to avoid destructive behaviors. Therefore, these protective dogs need to get plenty of exercise and playtime daily. They are only recommended for more experienced dog parents.
If you are looking for a curly haired dog, there are plenty of breeds of all sizes to choose from. Some are small companion dogs while others are large working dogs. Whichever breed you choose, make sure you research their specific needs before bringing them home. A lot of these dogs are recommended only for experienced dog owners, so make sure you’re ready to take on that challenge before you make a big decision.