Types of dogs with curly hair

Written by Colby Maxwell
Published: February 9, 2022
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Picking a dog breed that you totally love isn’t an easy task, especially with the sheer number of breeds out there! Currently, the AKC recognizes 190, but other lists like the FCI recognize at least 360! Regardless of which list you reference, getting your perfect dog isn’t as easy as looking through a catalog for a couch or new TV. Today, we have compiled a list of dogs that all have one thing in particular: their curly hair! Many people want a curly-haired dog for its sheer cuteness and fluffy feeling. Here are some of the best types of dogs with curly hair!

While looking through this list, remember that all dogs have different temperaments, even within the specific breed. Additionally, just because a dog has curly hair doesn’t make it hypo-allergenic. Also, there are a LOT of curly-haired dogs out there! We just did a few, but there are plenty more options for those willing to look. Let’s get started!

Airedale terrier

Types of dogs with curly hair

Airedales are large and intelligent dogs with curly hair.

©Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock.com

Airedale terriers are large dogs with some of the most versatile temperaments around. They are nicknamed the King of Terriers and have been used in hunting and as companions for hundreds of years. The largest of all terriers, they are independent and incredibly intelligent. Their curly, wiry coat is rather distinctive and will surely stand out no matter where you are! They don’t shed much, either, but do require some grooming.

They don’t do well with other dogs, and they never back down from a fight, so getting them socialized early is really important! If you are looking for a smart, caring, and large dog, the Airedale terrier might be a great option!


Types of dogs with curly hair

The Barbet is a

type of water dog

that is happy, intelligent, sociable, active, and a fast learner.


The Barbet is one of the original water dogs, originating in France. They are medium-sized and are great athletes. This breed was used for hunting and flushing birds in the 16th century. One of their distinctive traits is their curly coat, earning them a spot on our list! It’s shaggy and long, giving them a fun-loving appearance to match their loving and silly nature. They are incredibly smart and make wonderful family dogs. As a bonus, they don’t shed much either.

Bedlington terrier

Types of dogs with curly hair

Bedlington Terriers

rarely shed. They have a poodle-like coat. However, they need frequent grooming.


The Bedlington terrier may look like some poodle mixes, but this breed is distinctly its own! Hailing from a mining town in North-Eastern London, where it got its name from, this dog is fluffy, adorable, and playful. Their coats are fluffy, but they don’t shed much. Also, be careful letting it play in a field; you might think that your pup has turned into a sheep!

Bedlington terriers make for good cuddlers and athletes, not to mention their incredibly unique looks.

Bichon Frise

Types of dogs with curly hair

This curly-haired dog breed, the

Bichon Frise

, is a great choice for someone with allergies.

©Ieva Tvaronavicute/Shutterstock.com

The Bichon Frise is one of the most popular dogs on our list! They are small dogs with fluffy hair all over its body. They are incredibly affectionate but are prone to anxiety when left alone. Thankfully, you can fit them in a purse or bag when needed! They love to hang out with family and are wonderful dogs to keep around homes, especially small ones. Bichon’s don’t shed, either!


Types of dogs with curly hair



is a calm and intelligent counterpart to the Bichon.


The Bolognese is a wonderful toy breed, rarely weighing over 10 lbs. They are similar to the Bichon Frise in size and temperament. Known to be loving and obedient dogs, the Bolognese is sweet and highly intelligent. The main difference between these pups and Bichons is their energy levels. A Bolognese is less energetic than their counterparts but shares their lack of shedding, making them great dogs for small homes.

Chesapeake Bay retriever

Types of dogs with curly hair


Chesapeake Bay retriever

is a working dog that loves to please its family.

©Kerrie T/Shutterstock.com

The Chesapeake Bay retriever is a rather famed dog that originated in the Chesapeake Bay area of North America. They are medium to large-sized dogs that were bred to hunt and retrieve ducks in cold water. Known as “Chessie’s,” they are energetic, intelligent, and make for wonderful family dogs. They are working dogs, however, so ensuring that they get enough exercise is important.

Their curly hair is short and wiry, and they do shed a moderate amount.

Curly-coated retriever

Types of dogs with curly hair

Curly-coated retrievers are some of the oldest retriever breeds in the world!


The Curly-coated retriever looks exactly as you’d imagine – a retriever with a wonderfully curly coat! They are one of the oldest retriever breeds in the world and are known for their intelligence and affectionate demeanors. Their specialized curly coat isn’t just for looks, with it, they are able to traverse through thorns, brambles, and icy water, all without thinking twice. Curlies need quite a bit of exercise and thrive when they have a job to do, which makes sense with the things they were bred to do. Hunting, retrieving, and loving are all things that these dogs are experts in! They moderately shed but don’t need much grooming.

Irish and American Water Spaniels

Types of dogs with curly hair

American Water Spaniels

are incredible waterfowl dogs and have a similar counterpart in Ireland, the Irish Water Spaniel.

©Flickr user Noma’s American Water Spaniels . Photo uploaded to commons by user ltshears, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Irish and American water spaniels are different breeds, but their similarities allow us to group them here rather easily. Water Spaniels are known as hunting dogs, adept at retrieving waterfowl. They are playful, smart, and tireless swimmers and retrievers.

The main difference between the two is their coat. The Irish water spaniel has a longer and thicker coat, while the American breed looks thinner, leaner, and has a thinned coat. Still, they both have that amazing curly fur!

Poodle and Doodle mixes

Types of dogs with curly hair

Standard poodles are curly-haired dogs and the largest of all three poodle types.


Poodles, and their popular mixes, doodles, are some of the most famous curly-haired dogs on our list. Poodles come in the standard, mini, or toy designations and are known as regal and muscled dogs (they aren’t pansies, like many descriptions of them would have you believe). They are incredibly intelligent, don’t shed, and are come in lots of different sizes. The Standard Poodle is going to be the largest and strongest, while the toy poodle is going to be the smallest.

Doodles, or Golden Doodles, are golden retriever-poodle mixes. They are fluffy, energetic, and are increasingly popular in the United States. For anyone looking for a better solution to dog allergies, poodles and their mixes are a great option as they release less dander than other breeds.

Portuguese water dog

Types of dogs with curly hair

Fishermen used these water dogs as couriers from ship to shore or ship to ship.

©Lynda McFaul/Shutterstock.com

The Portuguese water dog is known as one of the best aquatic dogs in the world. Historically, they would travel with fishermen on trips and help with a variety of tasks. They are energetic, loyal, and a complete ball of energy, especially around water. Their intelligence and amiability make them a fantastic option for families.

Their curly coat is dense and short, but also low shedding. They always aim to please their owners, but having a job to do is imperative for these awesome dogs.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Kerrie T/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

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