18 Curly Haired Dog Breeds

18 Curly Haired Dog Breeds

Curly haired dog breeds tend to shed less and are better for allergy sufferers. Many, such as the standard and toy poodle, are frequent contestants in dog shows because of their unique looks. Others, like the Kerry Blue Terrier, were born to hunt and chase their prey. Their coats can be anything from tight curls to wavy fur.

These dog breeds tend to have a lot of character and they are highly intelligent in addition to being unique looking. Some say they are ‘extra adorable’ because of their curly hair!

What Dog Breeds Have Curly Hair
What Dog Breeds Have Curly Hair?

Read on to find out more fun facts about curly haired dogs!

What Dog Breeds Have Curly Hair?

There are many types of curly haired dog breeds. They are sought after because of their unique curly coats, sweet personalities, and that they have a resemblance to a stuffed animal.

The following are among the curly-haired dog breeds:

Bichon Dog Breeds That Have Curly Hair

Bichon Frise Dog

Bichon Frise Dog
Bichon Frise Dog

Bichon Frise dogs are small and a powder shade of white. They have playful expressions and are quite cute and fluffy.

They are also known to be affectionate dogs and are a bundle of energy. They were used on sailing vessels and sometimes for herding animals.

Bolognese Dog

Bolognese Dog
Bolognese Dog

The appearance of the Bolognese dog is similar to the Bichon Frise, as they are also powdered white and fluffy. However, they are not high-energy like the Bichon Frise.

Bolognese dogs are great family dogs because they tend to be calm and reserved. They require regular grooming, and they need to be brushed on a daily basis.

Terrier Dog Breeds That Have Curly Hair

Bedlington Terrier Dog

Bedlington Terrier Dog
Bedlington Terrier Dog

Bedlington dogs were named after the mining town of Bedlington, England. You may have guessed that! They look somewhat like lambs and have a refined, athletic build.

The Bedlington Terrier is loving, loyal, and protective of their family members.

Airedale Terrier Dog

Airedale Terrier Dog
Airedale Terrier Dog

Airedale Terrier dogs are nicknamed the “King of Terriers” because they are the largest of terrier breeds. They have a dense, wiry coat and it is tan and black.

They were originally bred as hunting and farm dogs. They are also said to make excellent watchdogs. You will find this dog to be very versatile.

Kerry Blue Terrier Dog

The Kerry Blue Terrier is known for its famous soft blueish gray colored coat, which comes in light and dark shades.  It is an intelligent dog and is extremely loyal.

Kerry Blue Terrier Dog
Kerry Blue Terrier Dog

They are active dogs, as they love to chase and frighten small animals. All that hunting contributes to their high prey drive.

Herding Dog Breeds That Have Curly Hair

Hungarian Pumi Dog

Hungarian Puni dogs are small to medium-sized sheepdogs. They require daily exercise and mental stimulation, so they do not get bored.

They have a curly and wavy coat type. They are working dogs who take pride in having a job to do. You will find they are active and playful.

Bouvier Des Flandres Dog

The Bouvier Des Flandres dogs were classically bred as farmer dogs. Their thick curly fur necessitates a fair amount of grooming.

Bouvier Des Flandres Dog
Bouvier Des Flandres Dog

They are known for their determination and tenacity, as they tend to challenge other dogs. However, they are good with families with small children.

Water Dog Breeds That Have Curly Hair

Portuguese Water Dog

If you like a large dog, then the Portuguese Water Dog is for you. They are working dogs that are the perfect companion for fishermen. They are known for their coats that have tight curls.

Their high energy is easy to see. They require exercise on a daily basis. Their favorite thing to do is swim. You will have fun with this dog.

Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water dog is a medium-sized animal with curly coats. They were bred to be a multi-purpose breed utilized for herding, farm work, protection, and hunting.

These water dogs require daily exercise to keep them calm and well-behaved.

Irish Water Spaniel Dog

Irish Water Spaniel Dog
Irish Water Spaniel Dog

The Irish Water Spaniel is a large dog. It has a fun-loving, sporty personality that is similar to its American counterpart. However, their coat is different.

The Irish Water Spaniel has thicker, more sophisticated curls. They are also easier to groom.

American Water Spaniel Dog

If you are watching an exercise partner, the American Water Spaniel is the perfect companion. They are excellent swimmers, and they love to hunt and play.

They come in two different types of coats. They can have wavy coats or tightly curled coats.

Lagotto Romagnolo Dog

Lagotto Romagnolo dogs are famous hunters. They were nicknamed “water dogs” because they were bred in the wet marshlands of Italy.

Hunt waterfowls such as ducks, geese, and other large birds of prey are their specialty.

They are hardworking dogs, and they love their job. They have an extremely curly coat and are adorable like teddy bears.

Barbet Dog

Barbet dogs are medium-sized French dogs. They were one of the first water dogs deployed in France, and they even have webbed feet.

They were bred to hunt and retrieve waterfowl. They are also talented agility competitors. 

Retriever Dog Breeds That Have Curly Hair

Curly Coated Retriever

Curly Coated Retrievers are athletic and make great hunting dogs. They are also ideal as a family dog if you are looking for a dog that is good with small children.

They are the tallest of the retrievers, and they look like a Labrador retriever mixed with a Poodle.

Labradoodle Dog

As it implies in the name, the Labradoodle was created by crossing a Standard Poodle with a Labrador retriever.

Labradoodle Dog
Labradoodle Dog

They are so high energy it can be hard for you to keep up with them! If you can give them the time and exercise they need, a Labradoodle makes a great family dog.

Their playful and bouncy demeanor is hard to resist.

Goldendoodle Dog

The Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. Goldendoodles can have tight locks or loose barrel ringlets.

It depends upon which type of curl gene they inherit from their parents. Curly Goldendoodles require regular grooming to prevent from having matted hair. 

The Goldendoodle’s distinctive coat adds to their sweet demeanor and overall adorability.  

These dogs are known for their energy and strength. They have been trained to hunt everything from quail and geese to small game. 

Types of Poodles That Have Curly Hair

Toy Poodle

The Toy Poodle is brilliant and easy to train. Of course, based on the name alone, Toy Poodles are not as big as the standard poodle.

Toy Poodle
Toy Poodle

They have a reputation for being snooty, but they are quite loving and loyal. They shine in agility, obedience, and dog shows.

They have different color coats, such as white, gray, cream, and brown. Their coat is just a single layer that is dense and curly.

Standard Poodle

A Standard Poodle is known for its elegance and they are beautiful to look at. However, they are not at all ditsy, as some people tend to believe.

They have high intelligence, as well as energy. They need adequate exercise and mental stimulation.

They come in the colors black, white, or apricot. Poodles can have curly coats or the less common corded silky coats.  

Why Do Dogs Have Curly Hair?

It is all in the genes or the gene KRT72 that has two mutations.  The gene code is a protein, which is keratin, and it determines the type of hair your dog will have. There are three variables in canine coat types.

Dog Coat Types

There are basically six types of dog coats.

  1. Hairless
  2. Wire Haired Coats
  3. Double Coats
  4. Long Coats
  5. Short Coats
  6. Curly Coats     

Interesting Curly Haired Dog Coats Facts

  • If your dog or mixed breed is curly haired, somewhere in their ancestry was a dog with curly hair.
  • The probability of having curly haired puppies is increased if one or both parents possess the gene for curly hair.
  • Curly haired dogs are fortunate because their curls keep them warmer than straight-haired dogs in the cold.
  • Puppies will usually have flat or wavy coats. As they grow, their coat becomes curly and dense.  
  • Thin coats with a fine texture have a higher probability of forming waves or curls.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? Almost all dogs were originally bred for some type of working purpose. Many curly haired dogs were bred for hunting or for various water activities, such as catching waterfowl.

  • Due to their varied capabilities many curly haired dogs are ideal for the active family who enjoys spending time outdoors.
  • Curly haired dogs come in all sizes, large and small. 
  • Curly Haired dogs tend to have great personalities and make excellent family pets.
  • Because of their distinctive look and fun -loving personalities curly haired dogs are very popular.
  • Curly haired dogs tend to be charming and intelligent.
  • Because there are many breeds that have curly hair, each dog will have a specialty that is unique to its particular breed. 
  • There is nothing more appealing than a dog with crisp curls that has just been freshly groomed.

Are Curly Haired Dogs Easy to Groom?

Curly haired dogs require more attention than straight haired dogs if you want to keep their coat looking nice.

If your dog has a curly haired coat, you will notice that it is susceptible to knots or loose hair getting caught in the coat. 

You need to brush your dog carefully because pulling out these knots can hurt them.

Grooming should never hurt the animal if it is done correctly. It should also be a bonding experience for you and your dog. 

You must learn how to groom your dog properly. It is more than just grabbing a brush.

How to Groom a Curly Haired Dog

  • Be Aware that when curly haired dogs shed the hair gets caught in their curls and can cause knots if not brushed out. 
  • Be careful not to ‘overbrush’ because the curls could pull out.      
  • Make sure there are no knots or matting behind the ears or under the legs.
  • Avoid using a comb to pull out knots. Try using a brush or a de-shedder tool, so you do not pull out their hair. 
  • When using scissors, hold them parallel to the dog’s body. Do not point the tip at the dog.
  • Brush deeply so that you can get to your dog’s undercoat, not just the first layer. But not too hard.
  • Be on the lookout for skin infections where knots and mats have appeared. See a vet if you think there is a problem.
  • Do not over bathe your dog because it will dry up their skin. Too much bathing will remove the natural oils that make their coat shiny and the curly locks will lose their luster. 

Note: All dogs require regular brushing.  Some only need to be brushed once a week. It depends on what type of dog you have.

If you let your dog’s coat go too long without brushing you will have knots which cause problems.

Do Curly Haired Dogs Shed?

Dogs with curly hair tend to shed less, however, they do shed some. The Poodle, Labradoodle, Bichon Frise, and Portuguese Water Dog are low shedding canines.

Even though these dogs are considered low shed and have that lovely curly coat, they still need grooming so that their coat does not become knotted.

Curly haired dogs may be the perfect companion for those who would prefer not to have to vacuum or clean up a lot of hair. 

How much they shed depends on how they are groomed or how their hair is cut. Dogs with curly coats could be better for allergy sufferers.

Are Cury Haired Dogs Hypoallergenic?

If you need a hypoallergenic dog, you should know that there really is no such thing. When dogs clean themselves and lick their coat, they build dander, which people are allergic to.

No, curly haired dogs are not hypoallergenic.

Curly Haired Dog Sizes by Breed

Curly haired dogs come in all sizes, small, medium, and large. Your dog of choice may depend on your activity level, love of the outdoors, or simply the size of the dog you prefer.

See the dog size chart below for the different sizes of curly haired dog breed types.

Standard PoodleMiniature PoodleToy Poodle
Airedale TerrierLagotto RomagnoloBolognese
Coated RetrieverWetterhounBichon Frise
Portuguese Water DogAmerican Water SpanielHavanese
Bouvier des FlandersBarbetHungarian Pumi
Irish Water SpanielKerry Blue TerrierBedlington Terrier
Black Russian Terrier  
Curly Haired Dog Size Chart

Curly Haired Dog Names

Having a curly haired dog means you need to make sure you pick a good name for them? Here is a list of some popular curly haired dog names.

  • Alfie
  • Cassie
  • Cooper
  • Ernie
  • Gracie
  • Maggie
  • Marley
  • Princess
  • Riley
  • Wally


Curly haired dogs make for great canine companions. They do not shed as much, and they are fun to groom. These dogs are active, loving, loyal, and affectionate with their human family.

They have a unique look that catches anyone’s eye.

Whether you are looking for a small, medium, or large dog, there is sure to be a curly haired dog breed just right for you!

curly haired dog breeds

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