11 Big Dogs with Curly Hair [with Photos]

Reviewed and Fact-Checked by Veterinarian Charlotte Stiles (DVM)


Big dogs with curly hair are some of the cutest pets on the planet. Most people think of curly-haired dogs as small or toy-sized breeds. However, there are many large dogs with curly coats, each more lovable than the last. 

big dogs with curly hair
11 Big Dogs with Curly Hair [with Photos]

Standard Poodle 

The Standard Poodle is perhaps the most famous big dog with curly hair. They are sophisticated, aristocratic dogs with a low allergen, curly coat. The Standard Poodle is a minimum of 15 inches tall at the shoulder. 

Their coats come in various colors, including black, white, and brown. They are often recognizable by their unique haircut, also known as the “Poodle cut.” The Poodle was originally a water dog that hunted waterfowl.

To help them swim better, their owners shaved their coats along the legs and back, leaving the fur at the head and chest to keep the dogs warm.

This style of cut is still typical amongst Poodles who compete in dog shows. 

Poodles are excellent family pets. They are intelligent, eager-to-please dogs that love to train and exercise. Standards will swim, retrieve, and love long walks or runs with their owners. 

three Standard Poodles
The three Standard Poodles are standing on the field.


The Komondor is one of the most unique-looking big dogs with curly hair. They have long, cord-like curls in shades of white. These almost dreadlock curls help protect them from the elements and predators. 

Komondors are a centuries-old breed from Tibet and Hungary. They are herding dogs who use their muscled physique, long strides, and quickness to help herd all manner of livestock. As a result, they have superior protective instincts that make them less likely to get along with a pack of strange dogs.

If Komondors aren’t appropriately trained, their stubborn and independent streaks can make them somewhat challenging to handle. Therefore, early socialization and consistent obedience training as puppies are critical. Ensuring the dog gets plenty of exercise will also help entertain them.

The average height of a Komondor is between 25 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder. They weigh 100 pounds and live between 10 to 12 years. 

komonor dog with a mop coat
World famous for their unique coat appearance – the Komondor

Bedlington Terrier 

Bedlington Terriers are charming and loyal dogs with curly hair. They stand between 15 and 17.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 23 pounds. 

Bedlington Terriers hail from England. They are excellent family dogs who love to cuddle and lounge around with their owners. They are also quite active and energetic dogs with the signature springy steps of the Terrier breed.

They enjoy running, long walks, playing fetch, and chasing after birds and small animals in a fenced-in yard. 

Their coat has crisp curls that give them a uniform fluffy appearance. It has a soft texture that grows quickly but sheds very little. They also have fleecy heads and tasseled ears. Bedlington Terriers come in various colors, including blue, tan, and brown. 

Bedlington Terrier green grass
Bedlington Terrier standing on the green grass.


The Barbet is a big, curly-haired hunting dog from France. They are experts at tracking and retrieving waterfowl. 

Barbets are sweet, affectionate dogs. They are fast learners who adapt well to strange situations. They are also loyal to their families.

Barbets need regular and consistent exercise to keep them from experiencing boredom

Barbets are medium-sized dogs, reaching heights of 24 inches. They weigh between 35 to 65 pounds. Their tight, wiry curls make them appear larger than they actually are.

In reality, Barbets are incredibly quick and agile dogs. 

Their coats are long and dense. They require regular grooming and trimming to keep their curls from tangling or getting matted. 

Barbet side view pose
Barbet side view pose under the heat!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever 

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an affectionate, high-energy, easy-to-train dog from America. They are clever and sensitive sporting dogs with vigilant protective instincts. They are medium-to-large dogs that stand between 24 to 26 inches tall and weigh a maximum of 80 pounds. 

Their medium-length coats are a mixture of wiry and wavy curls. Their coats are also quite oily, a helpful trait for hunting and swimming. Chessies come in various shades of tan and brown with occasional white markings.

A Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an excellent choice if you want to add a patient, friendly, but protective dog to your family pack, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a perfect choice. 

Chesapeake Bay Retriever stick
Chesapeake Bay Retriever with a stick in his mouth,

Airedale Terrier 

Airedale Terriers are the largest Terrier breed, weighing in at 70 pounds when they are fully grown. They are intelligent, courageous, and highly energetic big dogs with curly hair. While clever and alert, their cleverness can make them more challenging to train.

That being said, they are fiercely loyal companions.

Airedale Terriers bark frequently, although early socialization as a puppy can help curb this behavior and make them more friendly towards strange dogs. Keeping them active is also important.

They have traditionally black and tan coats with long, wavy hair. They also have famously long hair on their muzzle and chin, which gives them a distinguished, old-man-like appearance. 

An Airedale Terrier
An Airedale Terrier with a top grade two color coat.


Labradoodles are a famous blend of Labradors and Standard Poodles. They have a playful disposition and sweet temperament, making them a highly sought-after family pet. Labradoodles are also easy to train, although quite boisterous. 

Labradoodles reach 65 pounds and can grow to 24 inches at the shoulder. They live between 12 to 14 years. 

Their coats come in various colors, from tan and sandy brown to black. Depending on the dominant traits of their parents, Labradoodles have long wavy curls

what does a labradoodle look like
What does a Labradoodle look like?

Kerry Blue Terrier 

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a big curly-haired dog that is an exceptional family pet. They have kind, affectionate natures and are great with young children. Kerry Blue Terriers are a high-energy breed that requires lots of exercise and mental stimulation.

Walks and runs are better for them than dog parks, as they tend not to do well around packs of strange dogs. 

Kerry Blue Terriers have soft curly coats that come in beautiful shades of blue, black, and gray. Kerry Blue Terriers are born with black coats. However, their coats fade to the subtle blue-black the breed is known for as they mature. 

The hair is dense and requires regular brushing and trimming to keep it from matting. It also does not shed, making them a suitable dog for people with allergies. 

Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier stands on a brown background.
“It’s good for pet parents to know that big dogs with curly hair may require more effort from a grooming point of view.”

OodleLife Veterinarian Dr Charlotte Stiles (DVM)

Bouvier Des Flandres 

A unique but stately breed of big dog with curly hair is the Bouvier Des Flandres. This breed hails from Flandres and is an intelligent, hard-working watchdog known for their help around the farm. They are also highly affectionate dogs that make for loyal, lifelong companions.  

Bouvier Des Flandres are stocky, muscular dogs with a curly, weatherproof coat. They usually come in solid shades of black, blue, gray, and brown. In addition to long, curly waves, Bouvier Des Flandres dogs have long, scraggly beards. 

Bouvier Des Flandres standing on the grass
Bouvier Des Flandres standing on the grass at the park.

Curly-Coated Retriever 

The Curly-Coated Retriever is one of the most intelligent breeds around. They are extraordinarily affectionate, smart, and gentle creatures that love to play and protect. Furthermore, they are obedient and easy to train. 

Curly-Coated Retrievers stand between 25 to 27 inches tall when fully mature. They can weigh anywhere from 60 to 95 pounds. Their size does not prohibit them from activity.

On the contrary, they require lots of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them from getting bored and destructive. 

They have the general physique of a Retriever but with tight curls. Curlies come in shades of black and brown.

Curly-Coated Retriever 
Curly-Coated Retriever stands on the grass.

Irish Water Spaniel 

The Irish Water Spaniel is a magnificent big dog with curly hair. They are brave, hardworking dogs that like to have fun. Their playful temperament and agility make them great companions for walks and long runs. 

The Irish Water Spaniel reaches heights of 24 inches tall and can weigh anywhere from 45 to 68 pounds. 

They have soft coats with dense, crisp curls. These curls are waterproof. The coat on top of their heads is longer and fluffier but also curly. 

an irish water spaniel dog
The beauty of an Irish Water Spaniel (non shedding) dog

Final Thoughts 

Big dogs with curly hair are often delightful and loyal companions. No matter what breed you bring home, you are guaranteed to have a lifelong best friend by your side.