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Bichon Frise With Owner

Curly-haired dog breeds you can’t help but love instantly

7 min read

No matter how tight or fluffy the coils are, no dog lover can resist running their hands through the fancy fur of a curly-haired dog. But these irresistible curls weren’t created by nature just for petting! They also serve as a great barrier against water. No wonder curly dog breeds have been trusted assistants for fishermen and hunters for generations. Their coats also provide a lot of warmth, which unfortunately makes some of these amazing canines unsuitable for very hot climates.

With voluminous curls, feathered furs and fluffy hair do´s these popular big-haired dog breeds look like they’ve been transported into our laps straight from the ‘80s and we couldn’t love them more for that. Here are the most amazing balls of fur proudly showing off their fabulous curls to the world.

Curly-haired dog breeds you can’t help but love instantly

Bichon Frise

The snow-white curls of the Bichon Frise are the definition of canine cuteness, but did you know that underneath that beautiful, curly-coiffed hair is one of the most affectionate dog breeds an owner can wish for?

These lively, happy little dogs adore family life and also socialise well with other dogs and pets, all personality traits that make them one of the most popular dogs in the curly category. Plus, their name literally means ‘curly-haired dog’, so no better way to start our list of delightfully curly canines. But if you want to welcome a Bichon into your home be aware that they require daily combing and occasional trimming.


The poster dog for curly-haired breeds is definitely the Poodle. The instantly recognisable fluffy look comes in standard, miniature and toy sizes, but no matter the kind of Poodle you welcome in your home, you’ll have an intelligent, quick-witted companion that is always in ‘play’ mode and eager to spend all day with their favourite humans.

However, the fancy hairdo doesn’t stay that way by itself so make sure you put time aside for daily brushes and regular trimmings.

Portuguese Water Dog

If you’re looking for a swimming partner, look no further than the Portuguese Water Dog. As the name implies, these amazing canines feel at home in the water and were once reliable helpers for Portuguese fishermen. Though mostly they are kept as loved companions these days, they still enjoy swimming! And if those luscious curls look familiar, you might be thinking about two of the most famous representatives of curly dog breeds everywhere, Bo and Sunny, the canine members of the Obama family and ‘First Dogs’ of the United States. The Portuguese Water Dog comes in two coat types: one with quite long, wavy hair, and the other with shorter, harsh hair with tighter curls. Ensure you know which one when purchasing your pet so you know how to groom them, but both require regular grooming.

If you want to add one to the family yourself, know that they don’t shed too much, which can be beneficial for people with allergies (though not always), but they do require regular grooming as well as professional grooming to maintain those luscious locks.


Are you a fan of wavy looks or a soft curl? The Havanese has the hairdo for you. With a name that reminds us of sunny Havana and pays tribute to their origins, the Havanese is the curly dog breed you’ll want to cuddle as soon as they walk through the door. And that’s precisely what they’re looking for. There’s nothing they love more than spending the whole day in the company of their best friends and make for excellent and cheerful family companions.

The topcoat is profuse, with an undercoat beneath. Daily brushing is needed to keep the coat tangle-free and they will need regular dog bathing and full brush-outs so you will need to have availability to dedicate to looking after those soft curls.

Curly-Coated Retriever

With such a name, the Curly-Coated Retriever has a guaranteed spot in any list of curly dogs. This athletic canine was bred as a water retriever. Although they are independent with their families they are an affectionate and loyal companion who still love the great outdoors.

And if you want them to keep you company instead of going out to save the world, they’ll quickly comply and will become your best canine friend. Full of affection, energy and curls, this is the large curly dog breed the entire family will love.

When the thick, curly coat is shedding, combing will remove dead hair; otherwise, brushing and combing should be avoided, as it can make the coat frizzy.

Lagotto Romagnolo

The beautiful Lagotto Romagnolo doesn’t come only with abundant curls, but also with the title of the best truffle hunter in the canine kingdom. That fluffy, woolly coat of theirs should come with an instruction manual as it can be quite the job keeping it in top condition, but they’re such friendly, intelligent friends to their owners that the effort is totally worth it.


What might look like a bad-hair day for us humans, is a show-stopper hairdo for the fluffy Puli. These dogs were used to herd and protect livestock and have a tendency to bond most with one member of the family. The Puli offers their owners two hairstyles to choose from: their natural corded look or the fluffy coat achieved after several brushes each week. We don’t know which one is cuter! It is recommended to wash them in hotter seasons as it can take days for their coats to dry as they are so thick.

Bouvier de Flandres

One of the largest curly-haired dogs out there, Bouvier de Flandres is a farm dog through and thorough. Herding animals, pulling carts and guarding the property was just another day in the life of the Bouvier when they used to live on farms in Europe. These days they’re the unflappable, loyal friend. Bouviers should be groomed at least three times a week with particular attention being paid to their beards and moustaches to ensure they are kept free of food.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Known for the blue tint in their fur that makes their curls stand out even more, these dogs are feisty independent thinkers that require solid training. But if you know how to manage their stubborn side, they are loyal companions. But be ready for regular grooming sessions to maintain their gorgeous looks, as their coats do not shed and need daily brushing as well as regular clipping.

Irish Water Spaniel

Another curly fellow that will make dog lovers do a double take is the Irish Water Spaniel. The tight curls, the liver-coloured fur with hues of purple and a standout tail that looks nothing like their body have all combined to make this curly dog breed one of a kind. And if you’re wondering about the personality of this amazing canine, there’s even more to love there. The Irish Water Spaniel is intelligent, full of energy and fun to be around. Their coats are naturally oily for protection from cold water and require a wide toothed comb for grooming once or twice a week.

Other gorgeous curly-haired dogs

Looking for even more curly-haired dog breeds? The list could go on and on. Here are other curly pups that will steal your heart straight away:

  • Airedale Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Barbet
  • Bolognese
  • Komondor
  • Pumi
  • Labradoodle
  • American Water Spaniel
  • Spanish Water Dog

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