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9 Big Curly Haired Dog Breeds

Black and white photo of a Great Danoodle laying down

What many used to refer to as ‘mutts’ are now considered designer dog breeds and they are becoming more and more popular. For the most part, these dogs tend to inherit the best qualities of both of their parent breeds.

Although these increasingly popular ‘designer breeds’ have only gained traction in the last 30 years or so, the possibilities are endless, and they are bound to become even more popular. It can make it easier to find a dog that is more in tune with your needs, a better fit so to speak. Regardless, if you choose one of the purebred curly-haired breeds or one that has unique parentage, all the pups make ideal candidates and will not only fit into your family well, they will most certainly steal your heart.

Because these ‘special’ fur friends deserve just as much recognition as their purebred counterparts, in this article we have compiled a list of 9 big curly-haired dog breeds.

Murray River Retriever

While you might mistake this fellow for his similarly striking cousins the Labradoodle or the Curly-Coated Retriever, the Murray River Retriever is, in fact, a breed in his own right. This Australian native is actually one of the oldest Retriever breeds, dating all the way back to the 1800s.

Initially bred for their excellent duck hunting and retrieving skills, they have evolved into a pretty fantastic family breed. They are highly intelligent which makes them easy to train if done correctly and are known for being both loyal and fearless.

Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier in grassy field

One of the largest of the Terrier breeds, the Black Russian Terrier weighs in at 130 lbs when fully grown and can get up to 28 inches in height. These dogs are both powerful and agile, in fact, they were originally bred to protect and guard. Because of this, they do tend to be quite aloof and not overly friendly with strangers.

Although their appearance can be a bit intimidating, they can be quite loving and affectionate with their family members. Due to their sometimes bossy and stubborn nature, training should be started as early as possible. Grooming needs will be moderate as their lovely shaggy, wavy coat is prone to matting. Regular brushing in between monthly salon visits should keep it looking its best.

Saint Berdoodle

Another curly-haired contender for a dog with a massive-sized heart to go with his body size is the Saint Berdoodle. As the name suggests, this is a cross between a Saint Bernard and a Standard Poodle, and they can get pretty big (30 inches tall and up to 180 lbs!).

The blend of qualities inherited from their parent breeds makes this one of the most loving, loyal, and protective dog breeds out there. They make excellent family pets and do well with other pets as well as children. Because both the Poodle and Saint Bernard tend to be extra curious and inquisitive, the Saint Berdoodle typically displays those same characteristics – which can end up getting them into trouble. Train and socialize as early as possible. Regular grooming is usually necessary, especially if the coat takes more after the Poodle parent.


This Poodle Mastiff mix is just a big teddy bear of a dog. They are sweet, gentle, and relatively docile. On the other paw, they are fiercely protective when it comes to their home and family, and when trained correctly can make terrific watchdogs.

If it were up to them though, they would rather spend the day taking up the entire couch. These are no small pooches, growing to be up to 30 inches in height and weighing up to 100+ lbs. Their dense wavy coat does need regular attention, at the very least daily brushing with monthly grooming visits.

Great Danoodle

Black and white photo of a Great Danoodle laying down

The name alone is fabulous enough, but this Great Dane Poodle mixes’ main selling point is his wonderful personality. Friendly, loyal, energetic, and obedient are just some of the attributes offered by these big guys. While the size can vary, as with most cross breeds, the Great Danoodle can get pretty large at about 110 lbs in weight and standing more than 30 inches at the shoulder. Do not let the size fool you however, they lean more towards being massive puppies than fierce aggressors.


These highly adaptable pups are a blend of Standard Poodle and Siberian Husky. Although smaller in stature than some on our list, the Poosky can still get rather large at 22 to 23 inches in height and weighing sometimes more than 60 lbs.

They make a wonderful companion or family dogs. They can run into trouble when left to their own devices and are apt to develop separation anxiety so be sure that you have the time to give them the attention they need. Depending on genetics the coat can be long and wavy or curly and wiry and to have various levels of grooming needs.


Standing at about 25 inches tall and tipping the scales at 70 lbs or more, this fun mix of Poodle and Bouvier des Flandres is truly a sight to behold. They tend to have a medium to long coat, which is typically thick and curly.

In order to avoid any matting issues grooming visits should be at least once a month, although yours may need more or less depending on the texture of his actual coat. They have an amazing temperament and ability to learn new things. They get along well with both other pets and kids alike.

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog on a beach

These incredibly bright pooches are faithful, trusting, and completely loyal. They are very friendly and make excellent pets for families with children. As you can guess from his name, these dogs are quite fond of water and enjoy nothing more than a day splashing around in it with the tiniest members of the family.

Their waterproof coat is wavy although sometimes curly and should be groomed frequently. While not giant dogs, they can end up weighing more than 60 lbs and standing at 22 to 24 inches in height.


When it comes to utter cuteness, these polar bear-like pooches simply take the cake. A Pyrepoo is a stunning mix of a standard poodle and a Great Pyrenese. They are a large breed standing at up to 32 inches in height when fully grown and tipping the scales at more than 100 lbs.

Despite their imposing size, they are truly gentle giants and do well in family homes. They are very sweet-tempered and relatively laid back, however, they will protect their home, hearth, and family if need be. Surprisingly, these big boys do rather well in an apartment setting so long as they get adequate daily exercise. Their grooming needs are moderate with regular brushing and periodic salon visits sufficing.

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