Curly haired dogs have exploded in popularity in recent years.
They have a distinctive look and often come from breeds or mixes famed for their fabulous personalities.
However, there are drawbacks to owning a very curly dog.
And some myths about them that can leave new owners in a bit of a predicament.
What Are Curly Haired Dogs?
Curly haired dogs are those that have fur which grows in waves rather than in a straight line.
They have a flat follicle.
This means that the place from the skin where the hair grows causes it to bend as it grows.
Straight haired dogs have a round hair follicle, which the hair can emerge from directly.
So it doesn’t bend!
But the shape of the follicle isn’t just flat or round, it can be something in between.
Curly haired dogs can have coats that could be described as wavy, all the way to those which have incredibly tight ringlets.
You are likely to be able to predict the level of future curliness to a puppy’s coat when they are pure bred.
Curly Haired Dog Breeds
These beautiful breeds range from the loosest curling waves to the stiffest curls.
Some have curls all over their bodies, others just their faces, legs and chests.
Some breeds have incredibly distinctive body type too, or particularly strong personalities.
The range of curly haired dogs spans through almost every type you can imagine.
And this grows even wider when you consider the mixed breeds.
Curly Haired Mixed Breeds
Mixed breed dogs that come from one or two parent breeds with curly coats, will have differing coat types even within a litter.
Take the popular Labradoodle for example.
These large dogs bred from a Labrador and a Standard Poodle parent can have tight curly hair just like the Poodle.
But they can also have hair that is almost more akin to the Golden Retriever than the Poodle.
Falling in loose tangly waves, instead of the traditional curls.
There is no way to know how your puppy’s hair will end up.
Even at 8 weeks old when you pick them up from the breeder, they aren’t showing their final coat type.
Before you buy a mixed breed curly haired dog, make sure you’d be happy with a coat that was more like either of the parents.
Or something that falls somewhere in between!
As these coat types can vary quite a bit in how you need to take care of them.
Grooming Curly Haired Dogs
Curly haired dogs are rather high maintenance when it comes to grooming.
These curls retain dead fur, and this needs to be combed out at least once every six weeks.
You can do it yourself at home if you practice, or you might let to make arrangements with a local dog groomer to keep them in top condition.
These dogs will leave shed hair around more or less, depending upon which of their parents they take after.
Although they mostly don’t drop fur like short haired breeds, curly haired dog breeds do still shed.
And those from mixed breeds can do even more so.
Shedding and Curly Coats
These cute dogs have everything from loose waves to incredibly tight curls.
The tighter the curl, the less likely they are to shed hair wherever they go.
But that doesn’t always make them a good choice for allergy sufferers.
Because allergies are actually caused by the dander that is found in your dog’s salvia and on their skin too.
No dog is truly hypoallergenic, but some allergy sufferers find that low shedding dogs don’t set off their allergies as badly as others.
When you contact potential breeders with litters of curly haired puppies, be wary if they describe them as hypoallergenic.
At best it means that they do not have great knowledge of their particular breed.
And at worst, it means that they are deliberately trying to mislead you.
Best Curly Haired Dogs
The best curly haired dogs are those that are healthy, happy and friendly.
They are active outdoors but happy to chill out with you at home after a busy day.
They come from health tested parents, which in a mix means each parent being tested for conditions that impact their breed type.
The dog must have been bred by someone that keeps the parent for a purpose beyond making puppies.
Your new puppy’s breeder should not try to sell them to you as allergy free, and nor should they describe the coat type as low maintenance.
Find a good, honest breeder and pick a puppy from health tested, friendly parents.
And your new curly dog could be a brilliant companion for many years to come.