Discover 8 Magnificent Big Dogs With Curly Hair

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Published: April 15, 2023
© John_Silver/
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I’ve always adored pups with curly hair–and giant breeds are my favorite! If you’re looking for big, curly-coated breeds, this list will showcase pups from medium-large to giant.

All of the breeds on this list can grow to over 50 pounds. Be ready to handle a whole lot of dog if you’re thinking of adopting one!

Some big dogs with curly hair include Standard Poodles, Barbets, and Portuguese Water Dogs. Dogs matching this description are often either gundogs or farm dogs, so they’re working breeds that require a lot of exercise and mental enrichment.

In this article, we’ll discuss eight big dogs with curly hair, their grooming needs, and more.

1. Curly-Coated Retriever

Curly coated retriever lying down on white background


Curly-Coated Retrievers have short, tight curls. Their unique coats shed infrequently, but females completely blow their coats once every six months.

Brushing the coat causes frizziness, so a simple bath between shedding seasons is ideal. The coats only come in two colors: black or liver (dark brown).

Curly-Coated Retrievers stand 23-27 inches tall and weigh 60-95 pounds. They’re laid-back but require abundant exercise throughout the day and don’t do well if left alone for long periods.

2. Standard Poodle

Standard Poodles have high-maintenance curls that continue to grow like human hair. However, they also shed infrequently like humans.

Poodle guardians must commit to either brushing their coats thoroughly every day or trimming them short every four to six weeks. Poodles are single-coated, so shaving isn’t an issue. You might not prefer it if you want to see their beautiful curls.

Poodles are over 15 inches tall and weigh 40-70 pounds. They’re known for being one of the smartest dog breeds in the world!

3. Barbet

close up of a Barbet
close up of a Barbet

©Ysbrand Cosijn/

Barbets have long, curly coats typically kept at three to five inches long in show dogs. It can also be cut shorter for easier maintenance. This should be done once every four to six weeks, or you’ll need to learn how to comb your Barbet down to the skin and do so daily.

Their coats can be black, brown, fawn, gray, or white with markings of any of these colors. Barbets stand 19-24.5 inches tall and weigh 35-65 pounds. Like the breeds above, Barbets were bred to hunt waterfowl. They have great endurance, which means they need plenty of daily exercise.

4. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have curly fur without the maintenance of longer-haired breeds. These pups have short coats in brown, dark brown, light brown, deadgrass (a creamy color), dark deadgrass, light deadgrass, sedge (red), and tan.

They shed fairly heavily and can be brushed once a week to reduce the amount of fur you find around the house.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are 21-26 inches tall and weigh 55-80 pounds. They’re smart, trainable, and athletic.

5. Airedale Terrier

Airedale standing on top of column
The Airedale was bred in Great Britain to hunt badgers and otters.


Airedale Terriers have wavy, wiry fur. They shed moderately and should be brushed weekly to remove dead fur and prevent mats. Their wiry coats require hand-stripping every three to four months, during which they should also be bathed and brushed.

Their coats come in just two color variations: black and tan or grizzle and tan. Grizzle fur has a mixture of different colored hairs in a random pattern. It typically blends together to look like a singular color from afar, such as gray.

Airedale Terriers are 23 inches tall and weigh 50-70 pounds. They’re protective, loyal, and smart!

6. Bouvier Des Flandres

The Bouvier Des Flandres has rough double coats that require plenty of grooming. Brush their fur with an arsenal of grooming tools around twice weekly. Their long coats, especially their beards, may get dirty daily and should be cleaned to avoid matting.

While they’re bred in various colors, the American Kennel Club breed standard accepts only black, brindle, fawn, gray brindle, pepper and salt, and gray.

These pups stand 23.5-27.5 inches tall and weigh 70-110 pounds. They’re known for both stubbornness and courage. These are strong working dogs bred to work on farms.

7. Irish Water Spaniel

Irish water spaniel - regal in the field
The Irish water spaniel is a sporting breed with lots of energy.

©Julie Morrish/

Irish Water Spaniels have curly, liver-colored fur. Liver, if you don’t know, is a deep shade of brown.

They shed little but require daily brushing and a haircut every 4-6 weeks. During this time, your groomer (or yourself) must clip their nails and clean their ears.

Irish Water Spaniels stand 12-24 inches tall and weigh 45-68 pounds. They’re sweet, playful dogs who are eager to please their people.

8. Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs have long, curly fur in the colors black, brown, or white. They also often have white markings on black or brown coats.

When shown, these dogs typically have their back legs and their rear shaved, with their front end and the bottom of their tails left curly and long. They also have floppy haircuts on their heads that make it difficult to even see their ears (or their eyes!) through all the fur.

They stand 17-23 inches tall and weigh 35-60 pounds.

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Types of water dogs - Barbet
Big dogs with curly hair include the Barbet, Standard Poodle, and Curly-Coated Retriever. Read to learn about big, curly-haired breeds.
© John_Silver/

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About the Author

I'm an animal writer of four years with a primary focus on educational pet content. I want our furry, feathery, and scaley friends to receive the best care possible! In my free time, I'm usually outdoors gardening or spending time with my nine rescue pets.

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