Few people can resist the charm of small dogs with curly hair. Before bringing one home, though, you must understand that all breeds have unique care needs, and we’re not talking only about grooming.

There are many types of dogs with curly hair, and this guide will prepare you for life with the best ones.

Curly Doggos — Their Manes Aren’t Only Magnificent, but Useful Too 

You’ve probably thought about puppies with curly hair because of their stunning appearance. But did you know that some of them boast a fascinating and rich history that dates back over 200 years? They were bred with long manes for a good reason, and their attributes are still essential today, even if many pet owners choose dogs with curly hair solely for the aesthetic.

Here are some interesting facts about these adorable puppies.

They Were Originally Bred to Help Fishermen 

Like large Newfoundlands and Portuguese Water dogs, many dogs with curly hair were originally bred as working dogs to help fishermen. In particular, they pulled fishing nets. Also, their history dates back to the 1880s, and they even helped with water rescues.

They’re the Curly Herders of Wet & Cold Climates

Curly-haired little dogs are comfortable in adverse climates. It’s unsurprising, given their working dog heritage. That’s an attractive feature for any dog owner who lives in wet or cold climates like Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Maine.

Useful and Hypoallergenic 

Aside from serving as workers, curly-coated dogs became highly popular as domesticated pets. Plus, their manes are hypoallergenic, meaning you can worry less about skin irritations. Still, they need some grooming and care, including fun dog toys to ease the hours when you’re not at home.

Let’s Check the Curls

Let’s check out and appreciate these small breeds and their unique features while learning how to provide them with the best care.

Toy & Small Curly-Haired Breeds

A curly-haired lap dog is a term that describes several breeds, and here are the most common:

1. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is one of the iconic small curly dog breeds famous for its white curly coats that shed very little. Aside from grooming, these dogs require regular ear cleaning to avoid infections. You should also do regular patella, hip, and ophthalmologist evaluations.

2. Cocker Spaniel

Intelligent and happy, the Cocker Spaniel is a popular curly-haired lap dog for families. The breed is especially great with children. It requires thorough bathing, followed by blow-drying on a low setting. You should also clean its ear canals after.

3. Bedlington Terrier 

The Bedlington Terrier is among the small breeds that vary greatly in appearance, ranging from blue to tan. The fur doesn’t shed, but you should cut it every two months as it grows particularly fast. Also, you should book a Copper Toxicosis DNA test and a regular cardiac exam for these curly little dogs.

4. Bolognese 

A Bolognese is a member of the Bichon family that’s a toy breed known for its white curls, affectionate personality, and good mixing with other dogs. It’s one of the most popular curly breeds originating from Europe. They don’t drool or shed much but require regular grooming for around 15 minutes.

5. Puli

The super cute Puli dogs are great family pets and gentle with children. These mini curly-haired dogs have a double-layered corded coat that needs daily grooming. Still, they’re beautiful pups that are loyal, affectionate, and otherwise quite easy to look after.

6. Havanese

The Havanese is a great choice, whether you want a small black dog with curly hair or a brown puppy. It’s a lovely and affectionate breed with a long silky coat. These dogs don’t shed too much and drool very infrequently. That said, we advise you to schedule them BAER hearing tests and perform regular ear cleaning after bath time.

7. Pumi

The Pumi is a small black dog with curly hair that’s slightly more energetic than Havanese, although equally affectionate. Its medium-length wavy fur is a roughly 50/50 split between soft and harsher hair. You should wash and comb it every 3–6 weeks, along with daily brushing.

Medium-Sized Curly-Haired Breeds

If you’re looking for medium-sized dogs with curly fur, you consider the following breeds:

8. Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Spaniel is among the strongest curly breeds and not just because it was used as a working dog by fishermen. Its medium-length corded hair is curly and requires regular grooming, although not as often as other dogs in this category, like the Bolognese.

9. Lagotto Romagnolo 

Relaxed and undemanding, the Lagotto Romagnolo has a double layer of curly, medium-length fur that only needs care every few days. That makes it one of the popular curly little dogs for pet owners who don’t have much time for grooming. The coat can be brown, white, orange, or a mix.

10. Kerry Blue Terrier 

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a little larger than curly small dogs and can weigh up to 40 lb. Its wavy, medium-length coat only needs grooming 2–3 times per week, although it also requires monthly bathing and blow-drying. While it doesn’t shed much fur, the breed can drool more frequently and benefits from regular hip evaluations.

11. Barbet 

The breed can reach 65 lb. Their wavy curls can be medium or long, and you should groom them at least once every 2–3 days. They’re excellent with children and other dogs

12. Airedale Terrier 

This brown curly hair puppy is energetic and playful but gets a little more docile as it reaches adulthood. Unlike many curly-haired dogs, this breed only needs grooming every few days as the short to medium-length hairs don’t tangle too often. It can grow to 70 lb.

white standard poodle

13. Standard Poodle

When most people hear “curly dog,” they imagine this breed. Bigger than a mini toy Poodle, which only grows to 10”, the standard one is a curly hair small dog with a single layer of dense fur that requires daily grooming. But the maintenance isn’t as challenging as their reputation suggests.

14. American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is charming, beautiful, and quite heavy compared to other breeds in this category. It’s a brown curly hair puppy with wavy or tightly curled fur. They require a lot of exercise and love being outdoors. Also, we recommend regular cardiac exams and hip and ophthalmologist evaluations.

Large Curly-Haired Breeds

These large pals are often easier to care for than small dogs with curly fur.

15. Bouvier des Flandres

Strong and courageous, the Bouvier des Flandres makes the perfect companion for anyone who prefers large to small curly dog breeds. These dogs can grow to 110 lb. Ideally, you should brush their rough double-layered fur daily.

16. Portuguese Water Dog 

The Portuguese Water Dog is among the popular working breeds. They’re much tougher than many small dogs with curly fur, and their water-resistant manes help many pet owners avoid overly regular grooming. Brushing them 1–2 times every 2–3 days should be enough.

17. Curly-Coated Retriever

While most people consider the Curly-Coated Retriever to be a large dog, it only reaches around 60 lb. They’re as affectionate and just as great with children as little curly-haired dogs. Also, they don’t shed much. Still, you should brush the curly double layer for a few minutes every 2–3 days.

18. Komondor

Komondors have profuse white cords from head to tail, making them one of the most instantly recognizable breeds of any size. Unlike tiny curly-haired dog breeds, their corded hair is very long. So, we advise daily brushing to avoid knots and tangles.

19. Aussiedoodle

The Aussiedoodle is much larger than the average small curly dog, but they might share some traits and physical features. The fur type varies greatly from one Aussiedoodle to another, but it’ll likely need daily grooming, regular nail clipping, and cutting every eight week.

20. Labradoodle

Labradoodles perhaps need the most grooming of all larger curly dogs. They require as much care as many curly small dogs and the Goldendoodle mini, so prepare for daily grooming and ear cleaning. The breed also benefits from professional grooming once every eight weeks.

21. Irish Water Spaniel

While still large, the Irish Water Spaniel is closer to the little breeds since adults can weigh as little as 45 lb. Their medium curls need grooming 2–3 times per week, along with regular nail and ear cleaning routines. You should also trim and shape the fur every eight weeks.

Grooming Tips

Grooming your curly hair puppy depends on the breed and many other factors. As a rule of thumb, you can do it yourself or book a professional at least once every eight weeks. Remember that baths should be a little more frequent than dogs with other fur types.

Most small dogs with curly hair need daily grooming. It’s best to research the breed for specifics. Generally, the following three-step plan should help:

Step 1: Brush

You should brush your dog’s curls daily. It’s best if you can spend a few minutes on this task 2–3 times per day with a dedicated Dog Comb for Tangles and Knots on Amazon and a soft brush.

The line brushing technique does wonders. Hold the fur in one hand and brush it down to the skin with a light touch to get rid of tangles. You should treat puppies with curly hair in this way from around 6–9 weeks old. TropiClean Tangle Remover Spray on Amazon can make the process easier while also making your dog smell nice.

Step 2: Cut the Hair

Dogs with long curly hair are more likely to suffer knots and tangles, so we recommend regular cutting. Start with the paws, and use clippers to trim the curly fur back. After this, move on to the legs and underside.

Next, you should continue cutting the hair of fluffy curly dogs with the head, tail, and finally, the torso. For the best results, you want the fur to remain curly without being long enough for knots to appear. Given the required care and attention, many pet owners choose to leave this to a professional.

Step 3: Bath Time

We recommend a thorough monthly cleaning. Bathing dogs with wavy hair should occur a little more frequently than for dogs with other fur types. Plus, it’s a chance to check for skin irritation and health issues.

Using products for this fur type, like TropiClean PerfectFur Curly & Wavy on Amazon, will serve your curly hair small dog well. That said, you should avoid bathing your pup too frequently as it can lead to knots and skin irritation.

The Final Word on Curly-Coated Dogs

Small dogs with curly hair are undoubtedly among the most beautiful pets and can make a wonderful addition to a loving family.

Knowing how to take care of your curly hair puppy from day one should cover all aspects of grooming. Also, it’s crucial to find the best food for picky dogs. Get it right, and your new pet will settle into your home far quicker.

All small dogs with curly hair are beautiful and will bring a burst of happiness to your world.

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