Types of Dogs With Curly Hair

You know how it's hard to resist wrapping a curly haired tress around your fingers? With wavy haired or curly-haired dogs as your companions, you can enjoy playing with their curls anytime! Some canines have short or long and straight hair, and some have wavy or curly hair.

Dog grooming a poodle
Poodles are a popular dog with curly hair.
credit: sestovic/iStock/GettyImages

Although the terms "wavy coat" and "curly coat" are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a defining difference among dogs. While a wavy coat consists of a series of flowing curves, a curly coat is made up of cylindrical, compact curls. Regardless of the coiffure specifics, these eye-catching breeds most definitely stand out in a crowd, or pack, as the case may be.

Poodle and poodle mixes

Encyclopedia Brittanica says that poodles originated in Germany but are regarded as the national dog of France. The poodle was developed as a water retriever, and the distinctive clipping of its heavy coat known as the "Lion Cut" or "Continental Cut" was developed to increase the animal's efficiency in the water. Considered a highly intelligent breed, poodles are available in three sizes — standard, miniature, and toy (the smallest) and are one of the most popular purebreds. Common poodle crossbreeds such as goldendoodles, Labradoodles, and cockapoos are also popular.

Playful bichon frisè

Another one of the popular dog breeds with a unique coat is the bichon frisè. Frisè is a French word for curly. The breed was a favorite among French royals because of their lapdog tendencies. The American Kennel Club describes this breed as "playful, curious, and peppy," which has helped to make them a popular family pet.

Irish water spaniel

As the name implies, Irish water spaniels originated in Ireland. An Irish spaniel's coat has distinctive characteristics, according to the AKC. The tail, often referred to as a "rat-tail" is smooth and void of long hair growth. The hair on the face is also smooth, and unlike a poodle does not require shaving.

Portuguese water dog

Portuguese water dogs are aptly named, given their early existence in coastal Portugal and an early association with enjoying water. This gave the Portuguese water dog jobs to do as companions and guards to fishermen, says the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America.

Curly coated retriever

Among curly dog breeds, curly coated retrievers are unique. The AKC describes their curls as tight, crisp, waterproof, and thorn-resistant, which makes them perfectly suited for retrieving in many environments and weather conditions. Curlies, as they are called, are affectionate and gentle, independent, and good watchdogs.

King of Terriers, the Airedale

Airedale terriers are another of the dog breeds with unique coats. According to Airedale Terrier Club of America, the Airedale comes from England, and as the largest of the terrier breeds, is fittingly known as the "King of Terriers." Suspected to be a cross between the old English terrier, the Otterhound, and other various terriers, Airedales need regular exercise and regular brushing of their thick, wavy-to-curly coat that is wiry to the touch.

The puli Hungarian sheep dog

No list of curly-haired dogs would be complete without mentioning the impressive puli. The Puli Club of America says this ancient sheep dog of Hungary is very smart. Their coats naturally form into dreadlock-like cords that are solid black or white, or a mixture of black with white hairs, giving a charcoal, gray, or silver look.

Lagotto Romagnolo of Italy

The Lagotto Romagnolo, whose name literally means "lake dog from Romagnolo," is an Italian dog bred specifically for the purpose of finding truffles, although originally they were bred for waterfowl. The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America describes this unique dog as small- to medium-sized, with thick, curly hair, and a bright, happy demeanor.

The pumi Hungarian herding dog

Another Hungarian dog, the pumi, is a herding dog descended from the puli that needs to be active. Catskill Pumi refers to this breed as highly intelligent, with a need for stimulation. Their coat is made up of wavy, medium-length curls that can be various solid colors.