Dogs with curls: 7 cute dog breeds with curly hair

Dogs with curls are extremely cute, regardless if those curls are pristine ringlets or downy frizz. But these manes are more than just magnificent, they are practical too.

Dogs with curls need lots of love and care to keep their coats from matting.
Dogs with curls need lots of love and care to keep their coats from matting.  © 123RF/guruxox

Some dogs have shiny, silky locks, while others have rather dull-looking fur. But regardless of its shine, all curly dog breeds have a dense undercoat, that makes petting them a pleasure and curlicued fun.

Dogs with curly hair shed significantly less than other dog breeds, making them less likely to trigger allergic reactions in humans. But the beautiful texture of their coats requires special care and attention.

Grooming is extremely important for curly haired dogs. Canines that look a bit like Goldilocks don't shed much, but that coat of theirs needs to be brushed and combed a lot. Some of them need daily brushing to keep their coats from getting matted. If mangled, dirt and even other little animals can get stuck in their dense fur.

But as with many a beauty routine, grooming can go overboard. In the wild, dogs groom themselves by rolling around in the grass or crawling through bushes. Curly hair needs to retain its natural oils so it can fulfill its natural purpose of keeping a pooch warm in cold water, as well as drying quick. A diet rich in cold-pressed oil can help boost these functions, plus others like good eyesight and brain function.

Having said that, here are seven cute curly haired dog breeds that are simply too cute to compare – but we'll try ways!

1. Dog breed with curly hair: Bichon frisé, the French delight

This little white curly haired pooch is a great family dog.
This little white curly haired pooch is a great family dog.  © Unsplash/Matt Briney

The bichon frisé is a small curly haired dog breed. Frisé means frizzy or fluffy in French. Their tightly curled, silky coat is usually white, and in stark contrast to their small black eyes and black button nose. There are also variations boasting cream, light brown, or rust-colored fur.

Although independent and stubborn at times, this curly mischief-maker is considered to be a very intelligent, obedient dog breed. They can also be sensitive, affectionate little things who love nothing more than cuddling with their owner. These little white balls of cotton fluff love to play and need a moderate amount of exercise.

They are happy to be part of the action, but aren't into super long walks.

2. Water dogs' coats protect this curly haired dog breed from their element

Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian breed of dog, and it's best known for hunting wetlands for truffles.
Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian breed of dog, and it's best known for hunting wetlands for truffles.  © 123RF/pfotenweltfoto

Water dogs got their name because they were originally bred to hunt or retrieve prey from water. Even today, these breeds jump right into water search and retrieval missions.

It's their curly locks that make these breeds special and uniquely adapted for water. Their special fur tends to be dense and either curly or frizzy. Most water dog breeds tend to have dark-colored, curly coats, but a few like the Lagotto Romagnolo and Wetterhoun (or Frisian water dog) have lighter or multicolored coats.

Their coats also boast a naturally occurring oily film that coats each individual hair and helps to repel water from their skin. That makes it easier for these breeds to stay warmer longer, even in cold water. They also dry really quick when they're back on land.

Curly haired water dog breeds include:

  • American water spaniel
  • Barbet
  • Portuguese water dog
  • Irish water spaniel
  • Lagotto Romagnolo
  • Spanish water dog
  • Wetterhoun

3. Dog breed with curly hair: Poodles are the OG's of curly haired dog breeds

When most people think of a dog that needs grooming, they think of a poodle.
When most people think of a dog that needs grooming, they think of a poodle.  © 123RF/dixi_

Poodles are probably the most famous curly haired dog breed. These proud pooches don't shed much at all. But they do need a lot of hair care. So much, in fact, that most of these dogs need to have a standing appointment with a professional groomer.

4. Dog breed with curly hair: Bedlington terriers look a little peculiar

These dogs have got fluff on the tops of their heads and tuffs on their ears.
These dogs have got fluff on the tops of their heads and tuffs on their ears.  © 123RF/sergeytikhomirov

This curly-haired dog is unique because of the mass of curls on its forehead and muzzle. They have a distinctive pear shape head thanks to the way the fur forms a "topknot". The curly tufts of hair at the tips of their ears add to their quirky appearance. The most common color for a Bedlington terrier is silver.

These terriers have a mild and gentle temperament. They are generally extremely agile and athletic, as well as fast runners and good swimmers.

Anyone thinking about getting this curly dog breed should be equipped to make sure the wild thing gets the exercise it needs.

5. Dog breed with curly hair: Curly-coated retrievers are real family dogs

Curly-coated retrievers are friendly and agile, just like their silky coated cousins, retrievers.
Curly-coated retrievers are friendly and agile, just like their silky coated cousins, retrievers.  © 123RF/capturelight

Most people associate smooth, short fur with retrievers. But there is one kind of retriever with tight ringlets: the curly-coated retriever. This breed is a cross between Newfoundland, Irish water spaniel, and poodle. Like golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers, curly-coated retrievers are popular family dogs because of their friendly, playful temperament and love of fetch.

They can also be dominant, very energetic, and vigilant guard dogs. Curly-coated retriever owners should see to it that their best dog friend gets the training and exercise they need to be well-balanced animals.

This breed has a densely curly coat that is usually black or brown. Like most curly haired dogs breeds, their dense fur makes swimming in cold water easy. They don’t get cold too quickly – which is a good thing, because these cute things can't get enough of splashing around.

6. Labradoodle, a new curly haired dog breed

Labradoodles are a cross between Labradors and poodles.
Labradoodles are a cross between Labradors and poodles.  © Unsplash/Bruce Williamson

The mix of this dog is in the name: a Labrador and a poodle mix. More precisely, it is a cross between a Labrador retriever and a standard, miniature, or toy poodle. Like other mixed breeds, Labradoodles are not considered purebreds or a breed.

This cross-breed has the best of both its purebred parents. It has the curls of the poodle and loyalty of a lab. In other words, this cute curly dog is a very friendly, loyal, and playful pup that likes long walks or dog sports.

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7. Bouvier des Flandres curly haired dog breed with silky waves for days

This powerful breed has a head defining bead and mustache.
This powerful breed has a head defining bead and mustache.  © 123RF/volofin

The Bouvier is a muscular, alert herding dog. The breed, which originated in Belgium, tends to be very protective of its flock or family, but isn't aggressive. In fact, this curly pup can be a friendly, evenly tempered family dog. They can be extremely affectionate and tend to get really attached to a particular person, or their alpha.

These work dogs have a wavy coat and are rather rough and frizzy. They have both a heavy beard and mustache that need to be trimmed regularly, as well as cute curled tails.

As with all dogs with curly hair, this breed needs to be combed and brushed regally to keep their coat beautiful and the skin underneath healthy.

Cover photo: Unsplash/Bruce Williamson

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