9 Big Curly Haired Dog Breeds

9 Big Curly Haired Dog Breeds

Last Updated: August 18, 2023

In this article you will know the answer to the query “9 Big Curly Haired Dog Breeds“.

Interested in finding out what other breeds of dogs have curly hair besides Poodles?

Maybe its just all about the mess.

9 Big Curly Haired Dog Breeds

Having heard that curly-haired dogs shed less and since you dislike housework these dogs seem like a dream come true.

You could also be researching hypoallergenic dog breeds because you suffer from allergies. 

This article lists nine big curly-haired dog breeds based on whatever brought you here.

What is a big dog breed?

A logical question to ask at the beginning is what I mean by a big dog 

Depending on their height and weight big dogs can be classified as big. 

The Portuguese Water Dog is the shortest and lightest curly-haired breed in my list of nine. 

Typical mature males measure 22 inches or 55 cm tall and weigh only 60 pounds or 27 kilograms.

The Black Russian Terrier (BRT) is on the other end of the spectrum.

A beast like this can stand as tall as 28 inches or 70 cm and weigh as much as 150 lbs or 68 kgs. 

These two breeds are followed by seven others that are large curly-haired.

Curly hair is another thing I like.

What do I mean by curly-haired?

Curly hair does not all look the same. In some dogs the hair in their coats has a light wave while in other dogs the hair forms rings because of how curly it is. 

Dogs with light waves on their coats look untidy and unkempt but dogs with curly hairs look like they have lambswool on their coats.

Therefore I have a full spectrum in my sample.

Kuvasz and Borzoi have loose rough waves while Standard Poodles and Irish Water Spaniels have spring-like curls. 

Komondors are another breed that does not have waves or curls on their coats.

They have “cords” of hair that resemble dreadlocks instead.  

Perhaps you are wondering how dogs acquire curly hair?

Let me explain briefly what I mean.

How do dogs get curly hair?

Any breed of dog will have one of seven types of coat (such as short hair or long hair) out of all of the breeds in the world.

There are seven types of coats but three of them involve a curl in some fashion and these are:

  • Curly and wired
  • Its curly
  • Furnished with curly hair

 Each of these three types of curly hair is caused by a genetic malfunction (mutation).

A gene was identified in 2010 as well.

For all the science buffs out there the genes name is KRT71.

In case you’re getting a bit “brain-tired” from all this let me introduce my list of big dog breeds with curly hair.  

1. Komondor

Theres something frolicking in the dog park that looks like a mop with four legs and you have been wondering what it is.

You need not wonder anymore! A Komondor has probably been spotted. Hungarian shepherds were bred for herding sheep not household chores despite their attractive appearance.

He is white with long cord-like curls that resemble dreadlocks and cover his entire body reaching to the ground. Komondors spend most of their lives outdoors among the sheep they protect. Because of his coloration and long coat he was able to blend in with the flock as well as keep warm during those cold winter nights.

The canine in this picture is a large muscular animal suitable for his job. Komondors are between 25″ and 27″ (63.5cm to 68.5cm) tall and weigh between 110 and 130 lbs (50 to 60kg). Komondors are not suitable for apartment living since they need a lot of space to expel their high energy level and would require quite a bit of exercise.

Komondors were bred to watch sheep so they retain a fair amount of their protective nature making them excellent watchdogs. Families are a source of great affection for Kokomondors who will protect them to death if necessary.

Herding dogs tend to be quite intelligent and they adapt well to training with a firm hand.

2. Barbet

Barbets are medium to large dogs with a curly long coat that by the way is highly water-resistant.

Possibly dating back to the eighth century the Barbet is related to the Poodle and the Briard two other water dogs. Barbets have webbed toes!

Male Barbets stand about 22″ to 26″ tall (57 cm to 66 cm) and weigh between 37 and 62 pounds (17 kg to 28 kg) at maturity.

Dogs with beards have the name Barbet derived from the word barbe which means beard in French.

If his hair is curly or wavy he will need to brush it daily to remove any burrs he may have picked up on his travels. He certainly will! It requires a large space to exercise due to its high energy level.

In addition to agility contests the Barbet enjoys showing off its skills as well. Barbets are affectionate companions who get along well with the entire family including kids and other dogs.

Breeds of this breed come in a variety of colors including white black fawn grey and brown and they have very little shedding.

3. Bouvier Des Flandres

You just know that a Bouvier Des Flandres is bred to work when you see him. Breeds of this breed have a well-muscled body and an impressive skeletal system.

Named after both his occupation and his place of origin the Flanders region of Belgium it means literally “cowherd of Flanders”.

Sheep cattle and other livestock were protected by these dogs as they herded and guarded them.

You can enjoy owning them if you can commit to caring for them because they are highly intelligent and loyal.

In addition to a thick and tousled coat they have a beard and a mustache on their faces. In addition to black brindle fawn and grey the coat may also be patterned in combinations such as black and brown and salt and pepper. The Bouvier stands between 24.5″ and 27.5″ (62cm to 68cm) and weighs 70 to 100 pounds (35kg to 45kg).

As a result of their use in the trenches of World War I the breed almost disappeared at the start of the 20th century.

Nic a dog that served in the trenches and won shows after the war is widely considered to be the foundation stock for the breed that was finally established in 1936.

4. Standard Poodle

Poodles are thought of by most of us as delicate little furry creatures with fluffy puffballs living pampered lives. However this was not true when the breed was created.

In the past poodles were bred as hunters retrieving downed waterfowl for their owners. Throughout history they have performed this task admirably always eager to please their masters. This remains true to this day. 

Pompoms those puffy balls were made originally for a specific purpose. In order to prevent damage caused by cold hunters left their dogs’ hair intact around important joints before they entered the water. A poodle with an untrimmed coat is water-resistant and has a fearless attitude.

They are energetic animals who need to be exercised regularly. There is no doubt that Poodles are quite fast animals even faster than the Whippet. They will also need to be groomed quite a bit in addition to regular exercise. Brushing every day down to the skin is recommended by the American Kennel Club to prevent matting.

The hair of a poodle may become matted if it is not shaved and allowed to grow back. A naked poodle is no fun to look at! An average poodle stands 18″ to 24″ (46cm to 61cm) tall and weighs between 60 and 70 pounds (27kg to 32kg).

Despite their association with France Poodles originated in Germany centuries ago as duck hunters. The word poodle comes from a Germanic root which is also the root of the English word “puddle.”

Poodles are known in a rainbow of colors: black white brown blue red apricot beige grey and silver. Poodles in France are known as Caniche or “duck dogs.”.

5. Irish Water Spaniel

A Standard Poodle can sometimes be mistaken for an Irish Water Spaniel because of his thick curly hair. Even though these two breeds may share some distant ancestry make no mistake about it – they are two distinct breeds.

It could be considered the blue-collar version of the Irish Water Spaniel. Originally this spaniel like the Poodle was bred to retrieve waterfowl and ducks. A water-resistant coat and webbed toes indicate how much it loves the water.

It may be difficult to get him to leave the water even if he is allowed to swim in it or even if he is not allowed. The breed is liver-colored and stands 22″ to 24″ tall (56 cm to 61 cm) and weighs 55 to 65 lbs (20 kg to 26 kg).

IWS dogs are energetic intelligent and full of energy. It may take a bit of patience to deal with him since he can also be quite mischievous. While he is easily trainable dealing with his streak of stubbornness will require a firm hand.

With his clownish ways this breed enjoys being the center of attention and getting along with friends and family. Dogs of the IWS breed tend to be quiet dogs reserving their barks for when it is truly necessary.

6. Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs are another breed that has curly or wavy hair. Unlike many others these dogs are bred to herd fish into nets for their masters.

Messages could also be sent between ships at sea or to retrieve lost fishing tackle that had fallen overboard.

Dogs like the water and are ideally suited to homes with a pool or beach nearby although other forms of exercise are also fine.

Bike rides and jogs will be their favorite activities. Make sure you exercise your dog every day since they can become bored and therefore destructive if their energy is not expended.

The Portuguese Water Dog has a high level of friendliness getting along well with family and friends as well as other dogs. Their height is 20″ to 22′ (50cm to 57cm) and their weight is 42 to 60 pounds (19kg to 27kg).

There are many different colors of hair for African-Americans including black white brown and combinations of these.

7. Borzoi

A Borzoi is a breed of dog native to Russia whose elegance belies the breeds working dog origins. As a tall and slender dog with longish wavy hair the Borzoi was originally bred to hunt rabbits foxes and even wolves but its regal look and laid-back temperament made it popular as a companion to European royalty.

Borzoi dogs are intelligent and athletic as well as calm gentle and quiet. It may become a couch potato if left to its own devices but what it lacks in exercise it more than makes up for requirements it makes up for in grooming needs. Borzois are sighthounds and they will likely take off after anything that catches their attention.

To prevent this you should always keep this animal on a leash when outside of your home or enclosed yard.

Additionally if you plan on keeping smaller pets in the same household such as hamsters a Borzoi puppy must be introduced to them at an early age to ensure that they are properly acclimated. There is no way to count on Borzois to raise the alarm at intruders because they can be quite laid back.

Because of this they are not good watchdogs. When fully grown this dog will grow to a height of 29″ to 32″ (73cm to 81cm) and weigh 75 to 100 pounds (34kg to 47kg). In addition to black and white the coat also comes in brindle fawn cream and red.

I have created three other lists that include the Borzoi:

8. Black Russian Terrier

It turns out that another Russian dog with curly hair has a rather checkered past. The Russian military developed a so-called “super dog” for itself in the 1930s between the two world wars at a facility outside Moscow.

Using elements of seventeen different breeds including Giant Schnauzers Rottweilers and Newfoundlands to balance temperament they developed the Black Russian Terrier a breed well suited to patrol and guard Stalins internment camps and border crossings.

Today suburban backyards are more likely to be home to the breed. About 26″ to 28″ (66cm to 72cm) in height and weighing 100 to 150 pounds (45kg to 68kg) at the withers the Black Russian Terrier will grow to be between 26″ and 28″ (66cm to 72cm). The dog has big bones and is well-muscled.

The thick curly double coat of this breed needs to be groomed three to four times a week to prevent staining. It will require 30 to 40 minutes of exercise each day. Black is the only color available in the Black Russian Terrier as indicated by its name.

In some cases salt and pepper are needed with a heavy emphasis on the pepper.

9. Kuvasz

Of the three ancient dog breeds in Hungary the Kuvasz is the oldest. In addition to herding and protecting sheep it was bred as a guard dog.

Farmers adopted the striking white color to distinguish their helpers from the legendary “wolf in the fold”. In terms of running stride the Kuvasz is often compared to the gait of a wolf.

This breed was bred to guard and protect its charges so it may be wary and aloof towards strangers but they are loyal to their families.

Kuvasz is a large powerful animal standing 28″ to 30″ (72 cm to 75 cm) tall and can weigh from 99 to 110 pounds (45 kg to 52 kg). Despite Kuvaszoks high intelligence they are relatively difficult to train especially for inexperienced owners.

Further due to this breeds protective nature it is important that they be socialized early to prevent unfortunate disagreements with other dogs and strangers.

They are good companions for children due to their protective nature. As they did for Hungarian sheep centuries ago they will provide as much protection to suburban children.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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