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19 Curly-Haired Dog Breeds

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It seems like, over the past decade, there has been an explosion in the popularity of curly-haired dog breeds.

Sure, there have always been plenty of poodles and terriers walking around in parks, but as people found a way to crossbreed poodles with other types of dogs, more people are joining the curly dog club.

One of the best things about curly-haired dogs is that they’re often hypoallergenic, which means that people who have sensitive allergies won’t be as bothered living and playing with these dogs.

It’s a dream come true for millions of people who always wanted to have a dog but were worried about reactions to dander and shedding.

Now, you can find curly dogs in all shapes and sizes without much shedding or having to pop an allergy pill every day just so your kids can have a furry companion. They have different personalities and there’s a curly dog out there for everyone.

Here are 19 curly-haired dog breeds to choose from.

1. Poodles

a little brown poodle sitting on a couch

Sure, poodles look super fancy when they’re all done up in a fancy show cut. They get this reputation as the kind of dog rich people own from movies and television.

In recent years, poodles have earned a spot where they belong as one of the smartest dog breeds in the world. They can learn commands quickly and are great family dogs.

They don’t shed much because their coat is extra curly. All of those curls make it easy for grass and branches to get caught in their fur though, so they need to be brushed regularly to keep things nice and tidy.

2. Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel lying on the green grass

While the standard poodle is all about grace and elegance, the Irish Water Spaniel is about toughness. These dogs have stout bodies with a great deal of muscle that makes them able to stand up to colder temperatures outside and in the water.

One interesting thing about these dogs’ appearance is that their body is covered in tight curls except for their tail and snout.

3. Labradoodle

two Labradoodle standing near the seashore

The labradoodle has become synonymous with the hypoallergenic family dog. This mix gives you the smarts and curly hair of a poodle with all of the fun-lovingness of a labrador.

They are big dogs, so you need some space for them to feel comfortable, but they love a good run outside and are always great around friends and other kids.

4. Bedlington Terrier

black Bedlington Terrier lying comfortably on the fresh green grass outdoors

If you’re looking for something on the smaller side, give the Bedlington Terrier a look. These dogs are small, but they’ve got quite the competitive spirit.

They may not do very well around other dogs and can be dangerous if you have other smaller pets at home like rabbits or hamsters. These guys also like to bark a lot, so you’ll need to spend a good deal of time training them.

5. Bichon Frise

a cute Bichon Frise sitting on a rock in the middle of the park

These lovable dogs are great for folks with allergies and those who enjoy a good cuddle with their pet dog. Bichons are very friendly and love to be around their human families.

They’re eager to please and are smart, so they can pick up tricks quickly without too much work. Bichons come in white, grey, or peach colors.

6. Bolognese

a Bolognese dog running happily outdoors

Bolognese dogs look like the kind of dog you would imagine a friendly grandmother to have. These white fluffy dogs are similar in temperament to Bichon Frise dogs and are great companions who are friendly around strangers.

Bolognese dogs are very obedient and are ideal for older folks or people who work all day because they don’t need a ton of activity every day. Their calm nature will help you relax after a long day.

7. Pumi

a white Pumi dog playing happily on the snow

Pumi dogs have been used for centuries as effective sheepdogs. They have high energy levels that are perfect for herding livestock. If you need a hypoallergenic working dog, this one is for you!

They need a lot of stimulation and exercise to feel content, otherwise, they are prone to behavior problems. You’ll need to give them clear instructions and a lot of training to help them feel fulfilled.

8. Toy Poodle

a black Toy Poodle in a laundry basket

If you love the way a poodle looks but live in a smaller place like an apartment or a townhome, then give a toy poodle a thought. You’ve probably seen a toy poodle or two being carried around in a purse or in someone’s arms.

These tiny little guys are cute as can be and deliver big smarts in a tiny package. Don’t let their small size fool you though, they still need daily exercise and training to behave well. Toy poodles get bored easily and can bark a lot if left alone at home all day long.

9. Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Traditionally, Portuguese Water Dogs tagged along with fishing crews on long fishing trips. They love being on the water and are excellent water dogs.

They can swim strongly for long distances and are very loyal. These are great family pets with lots of smarts who are eager to please their owners.

10. Bouvier Des Flandres

a Bouvier Des Flandres dog standing on a pavement under the sun

This dog’s name is a mouthful, and their large size makes them one of the bigger curly-haired dogs on the list. These are extremely protective dogs who are great around small kids, but you need to keep watch whenever strangers are around because they’re very protective.

They thrive in homes with a lot of outdoor space, and their coat needs regular brushing to keep debris out of all those beautiful curls.

11. Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier standing near the lake in a park

The Kerry Blue Terrier hails from Ireland. These are unique curly dogs in that, as they grow, their black coat takes on a blue hue that they are known for.

Kerry Blue Terriers are fantastic family pets, but they do have a lot of energy and, when it builds up, can trigger some mischievous behavior.

12. Curly Coated Retriever

Curly Coated Retriever looking up at the sky while sitting on the grass

Think of a poodle that’s a retriever and you get a Curly Coated Retriever. This dog isn’t a crossbreed, but instead is a type of labrador that comes in black or liver (a dark brown) color. Hunters love these dogs because they’re smart companions who are loyal and are also great in the water.

Curly Coated Retrievers have just a single coat of fur, but all of the curls are very tight, which makes maintenance pretty easy. All you have to do is give them a good brushing every now and then and you’re good.

13. Bidoodle

The Bidoodle is a crossbreed between a standard poodle and a Bichon Frise. The result is an amazing dog with the loyalty and easy temperament of a Bichon with the smarts of a poodle.

Their curly hair also means people with allergies will have an easier time owning a dog. They’ve got engaging personalities and love to play with children of all ages. They’re smart, though, so they’ll bark and whine when they’re not happy.

14. Golden Doodle

a cute Golden Doodle playing light pink tennis balls

There are thousands of dog owners out there who would love to own a golden retriever but can’t because of the allergies and the shedding. Golden retrievers, if you’ve ever met one, are some of the nicest, most loving dogs out there.

With a Golden Doodle, though, you get some of the great golden retriever personality mixed with the intelligence and hypoallergenic coat of a poodle.

15. Schnoodle

Schnoodle sitting and looking afar

The Schnoodle is a crossbreed between a Poodle and a Schnauzer. This dog doesn’t have very tight curls, but they still don’t shed, so that’s a bonus for people with allergies.

The brains of the Poodle part of this breed dulls some of the aggressive nature that’s often seen in schnauzers. What you get is an extremely loyal dog with lots of energy who need enough space to run around.

16. Saint Berdoodle

Yes, you read that right. People have successfully crossbred a Poodle with a Saint Bernard. What you get is one of the largest curly haired dogs out there, one that is fun-loving and full of life.

Saint Berdoodles can exceed 100 lbs, and they tend to prefer colder weather. They’re easy to train and will stay calm around other animals. All they need is plenty of affection and love from their owners.

17. Boxerdoodle

Boxerdoodles combine the engaging, high-energy personality of a Boxer with the whip-smart quality of a poodle. These dogs love to learn and play with their owners. They are always up for some wrestling and roughhousing, and always are eager to please.

If you are looking for a curly-haired dog that can keep up with you on a run, these dogs are a great candidate. Just beware, though, because Boxerdoodles can experience a lot of the hip and joint problems common in other large dog breeds.

18. Maltipoo

Maltipoo puppy wearing a santa hat in front of christmas tree

Mix a Maltese and a Poodle and you get a Maltipoo. Basically, a Maltipoo is your classic dog food commercial dog that looks like the perfect family dog.

They don’t grow very large, so Maltipoos are great for apartments and families with small children. They’re not aggressive and make friends quite easily.

However, these are active dogs that need a lot of attention from families, so you’re going to need to play with them every day to keep them happy. They’ll sit right next to you on the couch and follow you around everywhere.

19. Cockapoo

Cockapoo dog under the dining table in the kitchen

The Cockapoo was one of the first Poodle mixes ever. They’ve been around since the 1950s and have been a popular family dog for decades.

The mix delivers a curly-haired dog with a soft, silky coat, and they’re friendly dogs that love to get outside and play. Cockapoos love a good game of chase or fetch, and enjoy being around other dogs.

Curly-haired dogs are more popular than ever, and cross-breeding makes it so you can get all of the qualities in more traditional dog breeds without any of the shedding or recurring allergy issues.

In the end, the dog you get needs to be a good fit. Think about the size of your home, the age of your kids, how active you plan on being with your dog, and other factors to inform your decision.

Your curly-haired dog will be a wonderful companion for years and you’ll create happy memories together that will last a lifetime.