9 Small Dog Breeds With Curly Hair (With Pictures!)

Dogs are some of the most wonderful companions humans can have. Luckily, there are hundreds of breeds available with different sizes, colors, and personalities! Such variety means it can be extra difficult to narrow down the perfect pooch for you! If you’re looking for a curly cutie who’s also lap-sized, a small dog breed with a curly coat would be perfect. 

With the growing popularity of curly hair dog breeds due to them being labeled “hypoallergenic”, it may be harder to find a breeder with available pups. However, it’s important to note that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. Due to their unique coats, curly hair dog breeds are less likely to cause allergies, but can still cause a reaction. 

These breeds will also require more grooming and often need to be brushed daily. If you’re looking for a small dog breed that can easily sit on your lap and has those oh-so-adorable curls, read on to see the top 9 small dogs with curly hair!


Top 9 Small Dogs With Curly Hair

1. Miniature Poodle

Height10-15 inches 
Weight10-15 pounds
Lifespan10-18 years 
TemperamentAffectionate, active, intelligent 

Easily recognizable for their curly coats, often cut into interesting patterns, the Poodle comes in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. All three varieties require daily brushing when they have a full coat, to avoid matting and tangles, both of which are painful for your pup. 

Due to their high intelligence, athleticism, and low-shedding coats, Poodles are a favorite among dog owners. The miniature size packs all of the attitude and smarts of its larger version into a great lap-size companion. These guys will require exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy, so they may not be the best for those looking for a couch potato companion. 

2. Bichon Frise 

Height9.5-11.5 inches 
Weight12-18 pounds
Lifespan14-15 years 
TemperamentHappy, loving, alert 

A famous French breed, the Bichon Frise translates to “curly-haired dog”, which is quite accurate as they look like little floating clouds! While an average-energy breed, these little clouds can burst into speed without warning. 

Their coats will require brushing 2-3 times a week, but daily is recommended to keep their curly coats mat-free. Many owners choose to have their Bichon Frise trimmed regularly to keep their coats healthy and oh-so-fluffy.  

3. Cocker Spaniel

Height13.5-15.5 inches
Weight20-30 pounds
Lifespan10-14 years 
TemperamentEnergetic, playful

A worldwide favorite, the Cocker Spaniel has enjoyed decades of popularity. These energetic guys sport a long, soft, curly coat that is quite beautiful when maintained properly. Regular grooming that detangles their long coats is a must. 

This is a very people-oriented breed and will thrive on being with its owners at all times. They do wonderful with children and make great companions. This breed loves to please its owners and will gladly show off in a game of fetch for attention. 

4. Pumi 

CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Height15-18.5 inches 
Weight22-29 pounds
Lifespan12-13 years 
TemperamentActive, intelligent, affectionate 

While the Pumi will gladly snuggle up with you for some relaxation time, this breed is a working dog that will require plenty of exercise. Hailing from Hungary, the Pumi has a short, tightly curled coat that keeps them warm while also being utterly adorable. 

Born with a straight coat, their coat will begin to curl within a few months. These coats need brushing every three to six weeks and should be wetted every few months to help the curls reform. They’re praised for their minimal shedding and loyal and energetic personalities.

If you grow their coat out, this dog will eventually start looking like a mop!

5. Havanese 

Height8.5-11.5 inches
Weight7-13 pounds
Lifespan14-16 years
TemperamentCheerful, social

A highly sociable breed, the Havanese mixes a goofy personality with a beautiful coat for a wonderful small companion. While the Havanese is born with a silky, curly coat, these coats can be corded and will resemble a miniature mop. 

For such a small guy, this is a high-energy breed that can adapt well to apartment life but will need plenty of exercise. They’re easy to train and eager to please, so pull out all of the fun tricks as these little clowns will love to perform for their family! 

6. Bedlington Terrier

Height15-17.5 inches 
Weight17-23 pounds
Lifespan11-16 years 
TemperamentLoyal, active, alert 

More of a rarer breed to see, the Bedlington Terrier is an eye-catching English breed that resembles a small sheep. Their striking head shape along with a curly, soft coat make this breed unique. They have a fast-growing coat that will need monthly trimmings to keep it neat and 1-2 times weekly brushing. 

As a part of the terrier breed group, Bedlingtons have a prey drive, especially for smaller animals. They’ll need early training and should always be leashed to prevent them from taking off. If these guys get away, it can be quite the challenge to catch their fast little legs!  

7. Bolognese

Height10-12 inches
Weight6-10 pounds
Lifespan12-14 years
TemperamentPlayful, calm, affectionate 

A playful, small-sized companion that gets along great with kids, the Bolognese is another breed that resembles a tiny cloud! This Italian breed has a pure white, soft, soft curly coat that is very low-shedding and great for allergy-sufferers. 

While this is a normally calm breed that does well in small apartments and homes, the Bolognese is prone to separation anxiety. If possible, try not to leave the Bolognese alone for more than a few hours at a time. This is a breed that truly loves their family so much they can’t stand to see you go! 

8. Kerry Blue Terrier

Vbi20, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Height17.5-19.5
Weight33-40 pounds
Lifespan12-15 years 
TemperamentSmart, playful 

A bit on the larger size, the Kerry Blue Terrier is still considered a small dog breed but has a very large personality. Their unique coats are soft and curly and come in show-stopping blue colors. This coat will need a deep brushing and combing weekly to keep it mat-free. 

A terrier breed with a passion for sports, the Kerry will also happily curl up with their chosen human. This breed excels in obedience, agility, and dock diving competitions. Prepare to be stopped often as the Kerry’s coat is one of the most striking dog coats out there. 

9. Lagotto Romagnolo

Height16-19 inches 
Weight24-35
Lifespan15-17 years
TemperamentPlayful, energetic 

The Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian breed favorite, as they are a hardy breed with an excellent nose for truffle hunting. They sport a thick, fluffy, curly coat that helps to keep them warm in colder temperatures. This coat is waterproof and thick and will require weekly grooming to remove mats and tangles. 

This breed is more independent and would rather be working or playing than cuddling with you. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you, they just prefer to be active and then recharge alone after a long day. If you’re a person who enjoys swimming, the Lagotto is an excellent choice as they love water! 


Final words

Whether a large dog with a short coat or a small dog with a long, silky coat, we love our canine companions no matter what! For those who do prefer a smaller dog, there are plenty of small dog breeds to choose from. 

Luckily, there are a few small dog breeds that have adorable curly hair. Most of these pups will require a regular grooming routine and patience for their unique coats. An advantage of curly-haired dogs is that they are less likely to cause allergic reactions in allergy sufferers due to their low-shedding coats. 

If one of the adorable pups we listed above has caught your eye, check into a reputable breeder and prepare to bring your new best friend home!

If after seeing this you’ve decided that a small, curly-haired dog is not for you, you might want to check out some small dogs with long hair instead!

Jesse A.