17 Curly Haired Dog Breeds

How can you resist those gorgeous curls? But did you know the presence of curls is simply due to genetics? If your dog or mixed breed has curls it means somewhere in their lineage there was a dog with curly hair.

You can increase the probability of curly haired puppies if one or both parents are carriers of the curly hair gene mutation (The KRT71 Gene).

Between tight curls and straight hair, there’s an assortment of curly coat types: loose, wooly, spiral, wavy, etc… This hinges on hair density, length, and growth patterns. Which again, is dependent on their genetics. 

Some breeds, like the Portuguese Waterdog, will often produce the same types of curls in their offspring. But other breeds, such as Labradoodles, can have a variation of coat types, ranging from long and straight to thick and curly.

Here we’ll look at all the popular Curly Haired Breeds available.

Curly Haired Dogs

  1. Bedlington Terrier
  2. Bichon Frise
  3. Bolognese
  4. Pumi
  5. Toy Poodle
  6. Barbet
  7. Kerry Blue Terrier
  8. Lagotto Romagnolo
  9. Airedale Terrier
  10. Curly Coated Retriever
  11. Bouvier Des Flandres
  12. American Water Spaniel
  13. Irish Water Spaniel
  14. Labradoodle
  15. Portuguese Waterdog
  16. Spanish Waterdog
  17. Standard Poodle

1. Bedlington Terrier


Named after a mining town in North Eastern London, these fluffy companions are famous for their cute looks and great personality. The curly and wooly coat of the Bedlington often leads to people mistaking it for sheep.

The Bedlington terrier originated initially as a watchdog and a vermin’s worst nightmare. However, with time, they revealed their real personalities. Today, these cute fluffy dogs are famous for their companionship and playfulness.  

The Bedlington’s evolved hunting instinct has developed within them a strong sense of smell; they are also famous for being highly intelligent and alert to any movements. 

2. Bichon Frise

If you are looking for a dog and have never owned one before, then the Bichon Frise is the ideal companion. This cute and fluffy dog breed is known for its cheerful nature and the mischief it can create, especially when there are kids around.

The Bichon Frise are known for their deep affection; however, these cute little dogs face separation anxiety if they are left alone for any extended period. Although the Bichon may be small in size, it still has a very proud and confident personality.

This breed is always up for a little fun and adventure, and loves nothing more than to end the day hanging out with their loved ones. They require consistent brushing and grooming, but thankfully these dogs don’t shed.

3. Bolognese

A cute and fluffy 10-pound toy breed – the Bolognese has a few similarities to the Bichon Frise. A sweet and curious companion dog, the Bolognese is a bundle of energy that is excellent with families and kids.

This dog breed is also famous for its intelligent and obedient nature, which makes training them a joy. Unlike the Bichon Frise, the Bolognese is not as energetic; in fact, they tend to be relatively calm and eager to please.

But with their undying attatchment to their owners, they tend to suffer from seperation anxiety.

Also, brushing their coat will be a daily activity, and you can expect to visit the groomer often to upkeep their health and happiness.

4. Pumi


Originating from 17th century Hungary the Pumi is a medium to small size sheepdog. Known for their playful expressions the Pumi is instinctively renowned for gathering, driving and keeping stock under control with great skill and intelligence.

This is a working dog, and they absolutely love having a daily job. That means they’ll need some daily exercise and mental stimulation, otherwise they’ll get bored and destructive. 

Due to its instinct, the Pumi can have a behavioral problem; it is pervasive for them to bark needlessly and be vocal. However, proper training and socialization during their young days can curb some of these bad behaviors.

5. Toy Poodle


Poodles are at the top of their class, being ranked as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are eager to please their owners, and with all those brains, it makes them very keen to training.

You might imagine a poodle as being elegant, gentle creatures (and they most certainly can be), but what you might not expect is for poodles to be incredible athletes. Poodles live for learning and training, so they need daily exercise, or they might result to destructive behavior.

They tend to do a lot of “talking” and barking. Also, they tend to get bored easily and look for trouble. You can curb some of these bad behaviors with daily exercise, training, and some mental training.

6. Barbet


Fun loving and incredibly sharp, the Barbet is a renowned hunting breed known for retrieving waterfowl. There is a mention of the dog in ancient folklore, and according to historians, these dogs date back to the 8th century.

This is a medium sized breed that is full of love and silliness. Their friendliness combined with intellect means they absolutely excel in training and agility. Their aim is to please their owners.

The Barbet are a working breed, and they need an outlet or a “job” to keep them busy. Otherwise this dog tends to get bored and destructive.

7. Kerry blue terrier

A working-class dog originating from Ireland, a blue terrier can be easily distinguished because of its grayish coat and mustache.

Like all other terrier dogs, the blue terrier is also a favorite amongst dog owners for its resourceful nature. The dogs are highly intelligent and energetic and can be suitable for herding sheep. Although the dogs can be extremely loyal and caring with the family members, they’re sometimes aggressive with other dogs.

The blue terrier has also got a high prey drive; and they will absolutely chase down other small animals or go digging holes in the garden. The Kerry Blue is a proud breed, and as such they need good strong leadership in the home.

8. Lagotto Romagnolo


Another dog which was famous for hunting and retrieving is the Logatto Romagtnalo. “Lake dogs” as the name suggests was bred in the wet marshlands of Italy for the specific purpose of hunting waterfowls.

The breed is famous for being a dedicated working dog. They have high energy and a desire to please. Therefore, they excel when given a job, and require daily strenuous exercise.

9. Airedale terrier


The largest of all terrier breeds, the Airdale is energetic, brave, and intelligent.

This dog breed is also famous for being independent and often making decisions of their own. While incredibly intelligent, training can be a challenge.

Like all Terriers, they have a very high prey drive, so critters will cause them to bark and give chase. But the Airdale isn’t fond of other dogs either, and this dog isn’t one to back down from a fight. Early socialization and training are essential to curb bad habits.

With their alert attitude and fierce loyalty to their owners, the Airdale Terrier makes an excellent watch dog. And with the right leadership they can be excellent companions.

10. Curly coated retriever


One look at the Curly-coated retriever confirms the notion that it is a hunting dog. This active dog breed is a beautiful companion not only for you but also for the kids in the family. It displays great determination and is often used by various security forces to sniff drugs and to rescue people in an accident.

The curly coated retriever has large heat and has great determination and energy. The dog is a great companion and can derive its energy and intent from that of his family. One moment it could be outdoors running and having fun and the other indoors relaxing with the family enjoying a nice scratch on the back.

11. Bouvier Des Flandres


Hailing from Flanders Belgium, the Bouvier is a big and strong dog that’s known for its determination and endless energy.

This is a farm dog right down it’s core. As such, this makes them very good at herding and defending the pack as necessary.

The Bouvier Des Flanders is amazing with family and children, but wary of strangers and other dogs. This breed doesn’t back down from a challenge. 

As you might expect, their thick curls require a lot of upkeep, and you’ll be visiting the groomer often.

12. American Water Spaniel


Another breed which is famous for hunting and retrieving waterfowls, the American Water Spaniel is known for their sharp wit and playfulness.

As you might expect from the name, this dog is a skilled swimmer and retriever. Combined with their energy and intelligence, this breed excels in various dog sports and in playing games outdoors.

Their deep affection and intelligence makes them perfectly suited for family life, as long as you can accommodate their daily exercise needs and occasionally taking them for a swim.

13. Irish Water Spaniel

Just like the American Water Spaniel, the Irish version is just as fun loving and energetic. One of the primary differences is in their coat, and you’ll find the Irish Spaniel with thicker and lusher curls. That means there are a few more grooming requirements.

In addition to its distinctive look, Water Spaniels are renowned for their fun-loving nature and the ability to entertain. They adapt well to family life and are extremely good with kids.

As the name suggests, the breed originated from Ireland and was used initially to hunt and retrieve. So they’ll need some daily exercise to keep them from getting bored.

14. Labradoodle

Golden color Labradoodle Dog

A famous crossbreed, the Labradoodle is the best of the both worlds. You get the intelligence and trainability of the Poodle, but the lovable and playful temperament of a Labrador.

This breed is also famous for being super affectionate and intelligent; this makes training them very easy. They’re great with families, kids, and other dogs.

Their energy is off the charts, so daily strenuous exercise is an absolute must. These dogs thrive on routine, so setting a specific time everyday for walks will keep them calm for the other parts of the day.

15. Portuguese Waterdog

Like many other dog breeds, the Portuguese Waterdog had the job of accompanying Portuguese fishers on fishing trips. As the name suggests, these dogs were born for the water, and love having a job.

Today these dogs are amazing companions and have gained some popularity as a family dogs.

Their energy is off the charts, so you’ll be required to run this dog (or go for a swim) on a daily basis. However, they’re eager to please and are incredibly intelligent.

16. Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water dog is a medium sized working breed that is committed to their ‘job’ and to being your loyal companion. They’re eager to please and highly intelligent, which makes training an absolute joy. But they really excel when given work and a routine.

They still have strong herding and watchdog instincts. Early socialization will ensure they’re less shy or aggressive.

These dogs make fantastic companions. However, they have an exceptional amount of energy that must be met. Daily runs and mental stimulation are essential. And as the name suggests; going for a swim is at the top of the list of favorite-things-to-do.

17. Standard Poodle


Elegant, athletic, hardy, and clever. These are a few of the Standard Poodle’s best qualities. And, you’ve probably already heard, they are at the top of their class with incredible intelligence.

Training a Poodle is an absolute joy, they are receptive and keen to please their owners, which is why they excel at agility and obedience courses.

Despite looking a little “dainty”, these are hearty animals that love a little rough play and long runs. With their intelligence and energy combined, they can become bored and resort to finding trouble as an outlet. So, a daily routine of exercise and mental stimulation is what will keep your Poodle out of trouble.

The poodle does have some demanding grooming needs. However, you can find relief in knowing these are a hypoallergenic and non shedding dog breed.

Photo of author

Shayla McConnell

Shayla​ has been working closely with animals for over 10 years. Initially trained​ as a Vet Tech Assistant in a local emergency clinic, she ​later changed career paths and became a ​professional Dog Groomer, and is now running her own successful pet grooming business.

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