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Curly Haired Dog Breeds

At A Glance

Dogs are special - they come in all sizes and coat types. Breeds with curly hair or fur are one of the most sought-after. This is because they have a distinctive look and are hypoallergenic compared to other breeds with straight hair.

But remember:

  • Hypoallergenic doesn’t mean allergy-free. It just means fewer chances of having an allergic reaction.
  • This is because curly hair traps dander, pollen, and dust in the curls, preventing bouts of allergies.

Last Updated on: August 31, 2023

We love dogs of all shapes, sizes, and coats. But there’s something especially endearing about a fuzzy, furry, curly-haired dog. In addition to being adorable, curly-haired dog breeds also have a proud heritage as working dogs. From fishing, hunting, herding, and guarding, these curly-haired canine friends have done it all!

Although it may sound unlikely, most large and small curly-haired dog breeds are hypoallergenic (not to be confused with allergy-free). This means they shed less fur and dander, which reduces the chances of triggering allergies in sensitive people. These breeds also need regular grooming to ensure they are healthy and clean.

Needless to say, dogs with curly hair have been quite popular among families. Here are curly-haired dog breeds you can consider adding to your family:

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits


When curly-haired dogs are mentioned, the first image that springs into most people’s minds is probably a perfectly preened Poodle. Being one of the smartest dog breeds, poodles are available in various sizes: Standard, Mini, and Toy. All sizes have curly hair that is hypoallergenic.

Toy Poodle

small curly haired dog breeds - toy poodle

Toy Poodles are probably one of the smallest curly hair dogs and are perfect for apartment and city dwellers. These pint-sized dogs love to play and are easy to train. Their distinctive barks set Toy Poodles apart from the others. Moreover, their curly coats are hypoallergenic.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 10 inches and under, Weight: 5 lbs to 9 lbs
  • Temperament: Active, Intelligent, Friendly
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Coat Colors: White, Black, Brown, Gray, And Apricot

Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle, an energetic and smart dog breed, was originally developed to retrieve game by European hunters. Today, they are the epitome of canine elegance. However, a “poodle clip” is more than necessary to maintain the curls and avoid matting.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 15 inches, Weight: 45 lbs to 70 lbs
  • Temperament: Active, Intelligent, Friendly
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Coat Colors: Apricot, Black, Blue, Brown, Cream, Red, Silver, Silver Beige, White, Cafe Au Lait, Gray

Curly-Coated Retriever

This breed is probably one of the oldest retriever breeds. The curly-coated retriever is both a loving family member and a hardworking companion. It was developed in England, where it was used in retrieving downed fowl and game from cold lakes and rivers. To meet the demands of their rugged environment, this large curly-haired dog breed has a water and weather-resistant coat that people have come to love.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 23 to 27 inches, Weight: 50 lbs to 90 lbs
  • Temperament: Proud, Intelligent, Confident
  • Life Expectancy: 9 to 14 years
  • Coat Colors: Black and Liver


The term “cute but fierce” is the best way to describe all sorts of terriers. These dogs were originally bred for hunting and exterminating vermin. Terriers with strong personalities, so they also need an equally strong leader. As a result, they may also be one of the difficult-to-train breeds. But early socialization can help.

Let’s look at some popular curly-haired Terrier breeds:

Airedale Terrier

Also known as “The King of Terriers”, the Airedale Terrier is the largest Terrier breed. These bold and active dogs were originally bred for hunting and still have strong instincts. Their hypoallergenic double coat has a wiry top layer and a shorter, softer layer beneath that only requires grooming 3-4 times a year.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: Up to 23 inches, Weight: 50 lbs to 70 lbs
  • Temperament: Brave, Friendly, Intelligent
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
  • Coat Colors: Black And Tan, Grizzle And Tan

Kerry Blue Terrier

large curly-haired dog breeds - kerry blue terrier

With their distinctive mustaches and dazzling coats, there’s no mistaking Kerry Blue Terriers for any other breed. The puppies are born with dark fur, but their wavy curls change color to varying shades of blue-gray as they mature. Initially, they were bred as farm dogs in Ireland. Today, Kerries are known for their fierce loyalty and pack instincts.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 17 to 19 inches, Weight: 30 lbs to 40 lbs
  • Temperament: Alert, Intelligent, People-Loving
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Coat Colors: Black, Blue, Blue & Black, Blue & Silver, Blue & Gray, Silver, Silver Blue, Slate Blue

Bedlington Terrier

A dog in sheep’s clothing, the Bedlington Terrier is another English breed. They make great companions but were originally developed to become champion rat-catchers. The breed still has a strong prey drive but only for small animals. Bedlingtons are also very low despite being a curly-haired dog breed.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 15 to 18 inches, Weight: 17 lbs to 23 lbs
  • Temperament: Loyal, Charming
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
  • Coat Colors: Blue, Liver, Sandy, Tan

Bichon Frisé

white curly haired dog breeds - bichon frisé

The Bichon Frisé is probably one of the cutest dog breeds to exist. This tiny curly-haired dog looks as if it were a cloud, with its snow-white, puff ball appearance. Bichons form strong social bonds with their humans and don’t like being left alone. The tiny, curly-haired breed is cheerful, animated, and playful when in the company of people. Of course, maintaining its coat takes a lot of work; frequent brushing and trips to the groomer are a must.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 9 to 12 inches, Weight: 7 lbs to 12 lbs
  • Temperament: Curious, Playful, Cheerful
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Coat Colors: White, Cream, Buff, Apricot

Lagotto Romagnolor

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a medium-sized curly-haired dog breed with a taste for the finer things in life. This breed was bred to aid truffle hunters along the shores of Italy’s lakes, sniffing up the delicacies with a superior sense of smell. They are friendly, affectionate, and intelligent pets with fluffy coat that looks like wool.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 16 to 19 inches, Weight: 28 lbs to 35 lbs
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Curious
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 14 years
  • Coat Colors: Off-White, Brown Roan, Brown, Orange, White, Sable, Orange Roan

Portuguese Water Dog

brown curly-haired dog breeds - portuguese water dog

You may know Portuguese Water Dogs because former US President Obama had them as his First Pets. Before their prestigious link to the White House, the breed was famous for their swimming prowess. To help keep them warm while splashing off from fishing boats, they developed a thick coat of tight curls.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 17 to 23 inches, Weight: 35 lbs to 60 lbs
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Adventurous, Active
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years
  • Coat Colors: Black, White, Brown


The Puli’s curls achieve the messy, just-out-of-bed look that pop stars strive for without even trying. This curly-haired dog breed has a very thick coat that can form corded strands without regular brushing. Pulis that get brushed often have a messy, powder puff appearance to their fur, lending them a distinctive disheveled appearance.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 16 to 17 inches, Weight: 25 lbs to 35 lbs
  • Temperament: Loving, Loyal, Intelligent
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
  • Coat Colors: Black, Silver, White, Rust, Brindle, Cream, Brown


irish water spaniel dog

Today, Spaniels make the perfect family dog. They’re great with kids, intelligent, and easy to train. They get these traits because of their history as gun dogs. These working canines were trained to fetch downed game, and they also became adept swimmers along the way. Some spaniel breeds with curly coats remain popular today.

They include:

Irish Water Spaniel

There are regular curls, and then there are dramatic curls. The Irish Water Spaniel definitely has the latter. Although their face and tail have short, straight fur, the rest of their body is covered in thick and dense curls that almost look almost like a fluffy jacket. The thick curls need weekly combing to prevent matting.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 21 to 24 inches, Weight: 45 lbs to 68 lbs
  • Temperament: Brave, Playful, Hard Working
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
  • Coat Colors: Liver

American Water Spaniel

Although the Atlantic Ocean separates the two species of Water Spaniels, they are pretty much the same. The American Water Spaniel has much in common with its Irish counterpart, including the coat of tight curls and affinity for the water. It’s the perfect curly-haired dog breed for a family that loves spending time outdoors.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 15 to 18 inches, Weight: 25 lbs to 45 lbs
  • Temperament: Charming, Curious, Loving
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years
  • Coat Colors: Chocolate, liver, brown and white, and marcel


white bolognese dog

A loving, friendly, and expressive dog, the Bolognese is the perfect cocktail of curls and cuteness. These tiny curly-haired dogs were always intended to be companions and, as a result, are great around families. Their small size and low shedding coat make them perfect to have even in apartments, as long as you can keep up with their high-maintenance grooming schedule.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 10 to 12 inches, Weight: 5.5 lbs to 9 lbs
  • Temperament: Playful, Loyal
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
  • Coat Colors: White


The cartoon sheepdogs we see in cartoons are exactly what real-life Komondors look like. It’s a powerful breed with a strong protective instinct due to its herding heritage. This large curly-haired dog breed is known for its coat, which eventually forms dreadlocks. Komondor owners have to take special care to manually separate the coils instead of using a brush or comb.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 26 to 28 inches, Weight: 80 lbs and over
  • Temperament: Loyal, Brave
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
  • Coat Colors: White and off white


a cute while pumi dog

The Pumi is a herding dog originally from Hungary. What sets Pumis apart is that its coats do not form cords. Rather, they are a mix of curly and wavy fur. The Pumis are highly active, energetic dogs with a strong herding instinct. Caring for their coat can be time-consuming, as it involves cleaning them by hand.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 15 to 18.5 inches, Weight: 22 lbs to 29 lbs
  • Temperament: Hardworking, Energetic
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years
  • Coat Colors: Black, White, Gray, Faun


Take the friendliness and playfulness of a Labrador and combine it with a Poodle’s intelligence and hypoallergenic coat. The result? An adorable Labradoodle! This famous hybrid canine is the poster dog for hypoallergenic pets and is popular worldwide. Depending on their lineage, Labradoodles also come in standard and miniature types.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 21 to 24 inches (Standard), Weight: 45 lbs to 100 lbs (Standard)
  • Temperament: Playful, Intelligent, Active
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
  • Coat Colors: White, Caramel, Gold, Brown, Silver, Black, And Blue


brown barbet dog

Barbets are easily one of the most exotic curly-haired dog breeds. This French breed gets its name from the bearded appearance of its muzzle, another unique feature, along with its thick, wooly, curly coat. Barbets were developed centuries ago, and they’ve made great companions and family pets for hundreds of years since.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 19 to 24.5 inches, Weight: 35 lbs to 65 lbs
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Friendly, Sweet-Natured
  • Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
  • Coat Colors: Black, Gray, White, Brown, Fawn

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is one of the only breeds to give Poodles a serious run for their money in the glamor department. This visually striking dog breed has a thick, dense coat that was meant to keep it warm in the harsh Himalayan winters where it was originally bred. While some Afghan Hounds have slick, straight hair, some have long, curly hair.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 25 to 27 inches, Weight: 50 lbs to 60 lbs
  • Temperament: Independent, Sweet
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 18 years
  • Coat Colors: Black, Black & Tan, Black & Silver, Blue, Blue & Cream, Cream, Red, Silver, White

Spanish Water Dog

spanish water dog

These medium-sized curly-haired dog breeds love the outdoors. They are playful, joyful, and adventurous. This is exactly why this breed needs an owner who can keep up with them. Spanish Water Dogs love to run and swim, which can tangle the curls. Owners need to take special care to ensure the curls are brushed later.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 15 to 20 inches, Weight: 30 lbs to 50 lbs
  • Temperament: Active, Playful, Hardworking
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years
  • Coat Colors: Black, Brown, Beige, White

Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier des Flandres might be the perfect fit if you want a large curly-haired dog breed. This stoutly built dog was a working dog in Belgium, pulling carts and herding flocks. They are loyal and determined, making them great protectors. Along with a coat of thick curls, Bouviers are also famous for their distinctive beard and a drooping mustache.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 24.5 to 27.5 inches, Weight: 77 lbs to 121 lbs
  • Temperament: Brave, Affectionate
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
  • Coat Colors: Black, Fawn, Black And White, Brindle, Black And Brown, Gray


cute white havanese walking

Tiny but proud, the Havanese is a small curly-haired dog breed that is also the national dog of Cuba. The breed is descended from the Bichon family of dogs, and it shares many characteristics. Notably, it is friendly, intelligent, playful, and sociable. This white, curly-haired dog breed has a thick, flowing coat that requires frequent combing to maintain its lustrous appearance.

Breed Specifications

  • Height: 8.5 to 11.5 inches, Weight: 7 lbs to 13 lbs
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Funny, Adventurous
  • Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years
  • Coat Colors: White, Black, Fawn, Havana Brown, Tobacco, Mahogany

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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.