Dogs having sheen lustrous coat rocks. But add some wild, crazy curls into the mix, and your dog can look epic and adorable, just like the furry teddy bear from your childhood.
Besides being plush and huggable, curly-haired dogs are generally hypoallergenic, fastidious, and excellent learners. But some require plenty of grooming and training sessions to keep up with the notion of ‘the perfect dog.’
There are many curly-haired dogs you can adopt. Based on the size, we have listed 13 rare dogs with curly hair in 3 categories: small, medium, and large.
Small Curly-Haired Dogs
Also known as Bohemian Terriers, Cesky Terriers are short-legged curly-haired dogs that come only in two colors: light coffee brown and grey-blue. This breed is the result of crossbreeding between the Sealyham and Scottish Terrier and was specifically developed by a Czech professional breeder, František Horákm, to hunt in the thick and dark Bohemian forests. Cesky breed is one of the six most rare dog breeds worldwide.
One thing that makes them unique is the way their fur is evenly distributed across their bodies. While their spine, hind legs, and ears have curly hair, their tummy, snout, and front legs have long wavy hair. Not only are their looks appealing, but they are also good at their job, too—hunting.
Miniature Schnauzer have a similar facial appearance to that of Cesky Terriers—a fall and beard.
Standing tall between 12 to 14 inches, mini Schnauzers belong to the terrier group and were developed by crossing Giant Schnauzer with Affenpinscher, Miniature Pinscher, and Poodles. Farmers in Germany carried out this interbreeding during the late 19th century. The purpose was to have a breed that was small in size but efficient in ratting.
These dogs have double coats—the topcoat is wiry, and the undercoat is soft. Luckily, these dogs are minimal shedders, making them a good choice for people having dog allergies.
Categorized as a herding breed, Pumik (plural of Pumi) are medium-sized sheepdogs from Hungary. The breed was developed in the 17th century by crossbreeding Hungarian Puli with French and other German herding dogs.
In the initial years, the dog was often called Puli. However, in 1815, it was given a specific name ‘Pumi’, because of its distinct qualities.
The history of this name is complicated. The name may be derived from ‘Puli’, or, maybe from the German word ‘pummel’ or ‘Pomeranian’. The widely accepted theory about their name comes from Otto Hermann, who says that the name originated from “pommern”—a theory accepted by a leading Hungarian canine expert and dog magazine editor, Emil Raitsits, in 1924.
Ranked at the position of 46th most popular dog in the US, Bichon Frises are one of the most adorable cutie pies in the dogdom.
Bichon Frises are 9 to 11 inches miniature dogs and come only in white color. Although the Bichon breed type is originally Spanish, these dogs are thought to have a French background. The reason is that in Spain, such a breed was considered as working dogs and used for sailing and herding dogs. But, the French developed these high-energy dogs into a gentle lap-dog variety that we commonly see.
The lap-dog variety of French developed Bichons has four categories:
- Bichon Frise
Out of these four, only Bichon Frises have curly hair.
Medium Curly Haired Dogs
American Water Spaniel
American Water Spaniels are the rare curly dogs developed by crossing several famous dogs such as Irish Water Spaniels, Curly-Coated Retrievers, the Field Spaniel, and English Water Spaniels. This selective breeding took place in the state of Wisconsin, the US, during the 19th century. Though this breed quickly became popular among hunters, they were given recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1940. Initially, they were named Curly Pfiefer because of efforts put in by Dr. Fred J. Pfeifer, who saved the breed by setting up the breed club and standard.
The Lakeland Terrier breed got its name from the Lake District of England, also known as Lakeland.
These terriers are the Schnauzers’ lookalikes, the only difference being is fur on their narrow snouts—Schnauzers have long silky beards, whereas Lakeland Terriers have a voluminous curly one.
These dogs have a double coat: a hard topcoat and a soft undercoat. They are hypoallergenic as their coat sheds minimally. But since they have a harsh coat, managing its coat can be a little tricky as well as time-taking. These dogs require regular brushing to prevent tangling. Also, these dogs require a bath once a month.
Spanish Water Dog
Spanish Water dogs stand tall between 17 to 20 inches and weigh around 40 to 49 lbs. Complementing their stature, Spanish Water dogs are huge dogs having elevated energy levels, needing lots of physical and mental exercise daily.
This curly-haired dog breed requires 30 minutes to 1 hour of intense physical activity to keep the boredom away. If their workout requirements are not met, they can get really bored and frustrated, which can trigger biting, chewing, and digging behavior.
These dogs are not suitable for apartment-dwellers with a busy schedule, as they are more outdoorsies, requiring a dedicated dog owner and a wide area to jump around.
Barbets are medium-sized French water dogs, and their name is derived from the French word ‘barbe’ meaning ‘beard.’
They have a profuse curly coat that grows long and must be groomed regularly. If not groomed properly and often, their coat can get tangled and matted. Even though their coat is heavy, these dogs are hypoallergenic, probably because of their curly coat. When the dead hair fall, the fibers get trapped in the curls. This means there won’t be any hair on the floor, which makes these dogs hypoallergenic.
Irish Water Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniel originated from Ireland in the 1830s, from where it was imported to England. Later on, in the 17th century, King James I of England gifted an Irish Water Spaniel to the king of France as a gesture to improve diplomatic relations. That’s how the first Irish Water Spaniel came to France. A few years later, the breed landed in the United States and was recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1878.
Irish Water Spaniel is said to be the tallest of the Spaniel group, as it stands tall between 21 to 23 inches.
Kerry Blue Terrier
The wavy-to-curly coat of Kerry Blue Terrier comes in several shades of “blue,” including black, grey, blue, silver, blue & black, slate blue.
At the time of birth, Kerry Blues are born black. Gradually, the coat color changes depending on which color gene is dominant. The black color begins to fade to various shades of gray. As the dog gets 18 months old, it acquires the solid slate gray color.
Though their coat appears to be hard, it isn’t. According to the AKC standards, to get the certification, these dogs should have soft, dense, and wavy coats, and not harsh, wired, or bristled.
Large Curly Haired Dogs
Barbado da Terceira
The Barbado da Terceira is a Portuguese breed that got its name from where it originated—the Atlantic island of Terceira in the Azores.
Developed for herding and guarding the cattle, these are strong-willed dogs and require behavior training from an early age to tame their herding and guarding instincts. Since these dogs are intelligent and quick learners, training them is pretty easy.
These dogs are not friendly towards other dogs as they see them as a threat. Because of their herding instincts, kids are not safe around them as they try to herd them by nipping at their feet.
Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers have an important place in the Soviet military police. In the 1930s, a Moscow kennel, called the Red Star, developed them for military duties, such as employing them as guard dogs at border crossings, prisons, and military installations.
However, during the Russian Revolution, this breed reached the brink of extinction, and the Red Kennel faced difficulty finding and developing Black Russian Terriers. It took almost 20 years to develop the kind of Black Russian Terriers with the qualities we see today.
This breed is almost less than 100 years old. It was imported to the United States in the 1980s, and the AKC officially recognized it in 2004.
The Bergamasco Shepherd breed is an Italian dog breed originating from the area of Alpi e Prealpi Bergamasche. They are estimated to be more than 2000 years old, but it wasn’t until 2015 that the AKC recognized them.
This breed almost went extinct during World War II. But an Italian breeder, Dr. Maria Andreoli, did the tough work and saved the breed from permanent extinction.
Talking about the qualities, these profuse curly-haired dogs have a strong muscular body and abundant energy. Moreover, they are intelligent, quick learners, and patient.
What makes them unique is their dense dreadlocks having three different textures that form naturally occurring loose mats. Each dreadlock is made up of dog hair, goat hair, and wool. Such a heavy coat protects them from the harshness of winters.
From the list above, which curly-haired dog invited your attention the most and why? Let us know on any of our social media handles given below.