A mere handful of dog breeds are graced with vivacious dreadlocks. Some come by it naturallylike the Komondor, puli, and Bergamesco. Othersthe poodle, Spanish water dog, and Havanesecan only achieve this look with a little help from their human friends. But whether its functional or aesthetic, this coif is certainly eye-catching. And before we go any further, we must stress that the proper terms for dog dreadlocks are cords, flocks, and mats.
A close cousin of the Komondor, the puli sports thinner cords that also form naturally when the outer and inner coat become intertwined. The Bergamesco was only officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2015, but its an ancient breed whose 2,000-year history stretches from the Middle East through Asia to the European Alps.
What dog breed has dreadlocks?
The Komondor (in Hungarian, the plural form of komondor is komondorok), also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, is a large, white-coloured Hungarian breed of livestock guardian dog with a long, corded coat.
How do dogs get dreadlocks?
Dog breeds with long hair often get extremely matted fur that turns into dreadlocks when they are not brushed regularly.
Why do dogs have dreads?
So why do dogs have dreadlocks? As we have seen in some breeds, it’s because, as the coat grows, the under coat and top coat combine to form tassels ,while in other breeds it’s the result of not brushing or combing which allows the coat to form “mats” that need to be separated from the skin.
Have you ever come across a dog that looks closer to a mop than an animal? These pups have fur that has turned into mats that are more or less dreadlocks. Canines with dreads can be big or small, white or black, and be of many different breeds and have different personalities.
Before we get into how they are formed, and the best way to take care of the dreads, we wanted to share the breeds that have this strange style of fur. Image credit: Komondor by Kari, WikimediaOur first dreaded pup is a large herding dog that is energetic, friendly, and loving.
The Poodle has one coat of curly fur that can be soft or coarse depending on the specific breed. Unfortunately, they are harder to take care of than the dreads on the pooch above, and when this pup started to be recognized as a premium show dog, the practice went out the window. Image credit: Pastore bergamasco by CT M, FlickrOur next dreaded pooch is an Italian herding dog that is quick, intelligent, and loyal.
On the other hand, the individual ropes can attach themselves to each other and start to form a thicker larger cord. This energetic and friendly pooch has no problem jumping in the water for a swim and is just as much at home in the family living room. Ready to tackle a long day of work, this pup needs a firm hand to teach them the rules.
As they age, the curly coat will merge and lengthen, making a thick layer of dreadlocks. The cords add a layer of warmth around their internal organs, plus its also water-resistant, so the fur and skin underneath will not get wet. In the meantime, you will have to supervise the growth, so you do not end up with a potential fuzzy mess that can be uncomfortable for your pup.
No, these dogs are not fans of Whoopi Goldberg, Lenny Kravitz, and Bob Marley as well as the other Hollywood celebrities sporting really outrageous yet character-defining hairstyles. And while they look so adorable, they are a dog groomers nightmare. Lets take a much closer look at 5 of the worlds dog breeds with dreadlocks.
Bred to herd the flock of Hungarian livestock owners and shepherds, the Puli is one very unique dog with naturally corded coat. It is this unique combination of wooly soft undercoat and slightly coarse top that will give it the remarkable ability to form long cords.
That means you will also need to take really good care of it for that length of time as this type of coat is a natural magnet for dirt and debris. Like the Puli, the Komondor features a dense and coarse outer coat, providing cover for its soft and slightly wavy undercoat. Whereas most folks associate the Poodle with the circus with its own bag of tricks, avid fans of the breed know that it is one of the most prolific hunters on the planet.
Like the Spanish Water Dog, the Poodles coat isnt really corded; its more on the curly side giving it that classic unkempt appearance. Once it has grown to considerable length, then the owner can start the painstaking process of creating really thin cords. Under no circumstances should you pull on your dogs hair since this will create pressure on the roots, causing pain and skin soreness.
Since corded coat is essentially composed of many individual strands of hair clumped together, in many ways it can be likened to a miniature mat. When trimming your dogs dreadlocks, keep in mind that this type of doggie coat will quickly make your scissors dull.
This herd-watching phenom is (officially!) a national treasure in Hungary, where the breed earned its keep for centuries guarding sheep and cattle. The Komondor’s name means “dog of the Cumans,” referring to the tribe of people who brought the dogs to Hungary in the 12th and 13th centuries. The dogs’ white coat helps them blend in with their herds and the wintery landscape. During the puppy phase, the coat is soft and wavy. But as the dog matures, the outer coat grows coarse, trapping the softer undercoat to form cords, which protect from predators and provide warmth.
A close cousin of the Komondor, the puli sports thinner cords that also form naturally when the outer and inner coat become intertwined. The Puli is native to Hungary as well, and prized for their herding ability. (Many shepherds have paid a full year’s salary for their work dogs.) Pulis were often paired with Komondors to guard a herd—the Komondors kept watch at night while Pulis stood guard during the day. Their white, gray, or cream-colored cords provide warmth and protection, but their coats require maintenance to prevent painful matting.
The Bergamesco was only officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2015, but it’s an ancient breed whose 2,000-year history stretches from the Middle East through Asia to the European Alps. Their independent, sociable, intelligent nature makes them perfect for herding. And just as they’re accustomed to protecting their flocks of sheep, their “flocks” of hair keep them warm in the extreme mountain winters and protect against predators. The long hair over their eyes functions as a protective visor to prevent sunburn on bright winter days surrounded by reflective snow.
Spanish Water Dog
This good-looking, rustic breed from the Iberian Peninsula isn’t naturally “corded,” but still sports substantial locks of hair. Spanish Water Dogs are vigilant watchers, and they aim to please. Hunters, herders, and fisherman have long relied on them as loyal sidekicks. Their curly locks are perfectly adapted to their native humid climate, but in order to get a corded look, an owner must shave down the coat, then let it grow out, and shape the cords along the way.
This easily recognizable breed is known for its versatile coat and elegant comportment. Cords don’t come naturally to a poodle, but a meticulous and attentive owner can alter the coat and create thin cords like those worn by the stylish lady pictured here. The coat must first be clipped and never brushed. When cords form, they must be separated again and again. Shampooing is out of the question—you must soak the corded pet in warm water and then squeeze the cords dry. Like milking a cow—yowsa!
The 6 Dog Breeds With Dreadlocks:
Below, we have compiled a list of the most common dogs that have dreaded fur. Let’s take a look at these pups:
Our first dreaded pup is a large herding dog that is energetic, friendly, and loving. This is a calm and well-mannered pooch who sometimes has an issue with getting the hair out of their eyes. A common misconception of this breed, and many other breeds with this type of fur, is that they were born with the dreads in place. That is not true.As a puppy, these little white furballs have fluffy and curly fur. It takes our intervention to turn those curls into dreads. As the Komondor gets older, those cute little curls start to turn into large and unruly ones. They grow into one another and will begin to form heavy mats. The owner comes in to separate the mats into individual strands.The fur on this pooch can grow quite long. After some time, it will touch the floor and grow over their face, making it tough to see their eyes. Plus, it can make it more difficult for them to eat. It is important to give the dreads a trim every so often.
The Poodle is a more well-known pup that also features curly strands. This happy pooch is friendly and energetic, but can also be quite stubborn. On the other hand, with a firm leader, they are very intelligent and can master many tricks. They have been known as an excellent show dog, as well.As far as their fur, many people do not think of this breed when it comes to dreadlocks. They can have them, however. The Poodle has one coat of curly fur that can be soft or coarse depending on the specific breed. In this case, the dreads (or mats) form while the dog is shedding. As the hair is falling away, it will get tangled with the other curls, causing mats to form.Although it is no longer common, owners used to manipulate the mats into cords. Unfortunately, they are harder to take care of than the dreads on the pooch above, and when this pup started to be recognized as a premium show dog, the practice went out the window. This was because their naturally curly fur is more appealing in appearance.
Our next dreaded pooch is an Italian herding dog that is quick, intelligent, and loyal. They are great at herding animals from spot to spot, and do well with daily activities, although they make great family pets, too.You will find the fur of this dog to be gray or varying colors of gray including black. In some pups, this can give them an interesting hombre appearance. Another unique feature of this pooch is they have three coasts. The underlayer is made of fine but oily fur. The middle layer is comprised of wiry coarse strands, and the outer layer is a wool-like covering.Unlike the two styles above, however, this pet’s fur will not be able to be styled in cords. Instead, they form into larger flat mats that can be as wide as three inches. They can also form into longer flocks that are closer to an inch and a half. This pup also requires some regular grooming to keep the undercoat’s oils at bay.
The Havanese is a stylish mutt that is on the smaller size but has a large personality. Also called the Velcro dog, this toy breed is a great family pet. They are loyal, good with kids, and as the nickname implies, they become very attached to their family. That being said, they can have separation anxiety.Like the poodle, this is not a pooch that usually sports the dreadlock look, but it can certainly be done with their thick fur. This pooch has very thick wavy locks that grow super fast. If left to mat, it can start within a week. That being said, owners need to be very diligent with their grooming.The fur should be sectioned off and brushed carefully, all the while checking for signs that mats are forming. If you do want to go with the dread look, it can take longer than normal for them to form and cording the fur is more difficult. Of course, they are super cute either way.
Spanish Water Dogs
The Spanish Water Dog is a helpful canine that was bred to herd cattle on the waterfront. This energetic and friendly pooch has no problem jumping in the water for a swim and is just as much at home in the family living room. Ready to tackle a long day of work, this pup needs a firm hand to teach them the rules.This is also another breed whose fur will naturally mat into long cords with little outside help. The Water Dog has a single coat of fur that is wooly, thick, and curly. As they age, the curly coat will merge and lengthen, making a thick layer of dreadlocks.These locks form a protective layer around the pooch for water activity. The cords add a layer of warmth around their internal organs, plus it’s also water-resistant, so the fur and skin underneath will not get wet. Overall, this dreadlock-sporting pup uses its stylish coat for swimming, as well as appearance.
Caring For Your Dog’s Dreadlocks
When it comes to dreadlocks on your pooch, it can take a lot of time and commitment on your part. Depending on the breed, it can also take up to two years for the cords to fully form. In the meantime, you will have to supervise the growth, so you do not end up with a potential fuzzy mess that can be uncomfortable for your pup.That being said, if you are thinking of cording your pooch’s fur, you should consult a grooming professional. On the other hand, if your pet already sports these strands, or you have a new puppy that will develop them, you should take a look at these tips below.Cleaning your pup’s dreadlocks is important. Not only does the oil need to be kept at bay, but they can also have dirt, allergens, and other debris lurking inside. That being said, tossing your pet in the tub is not going to work. Dreads need to be submerged in soapy water and then wrung out thoroughly. They also need to be dried well, otherwise, they can become musty. Typically, groomers will use a drying machine, as it can take days to dry naturally.Depending on the breed and fur type, not all dreads need to be trimmed. Ones that grow quickly will usually need to have some taken off the bottom, so it is not dragging on the ground or preventing them from eating correctly. Also, some pups need to be checked for mats growing in odd places like their ears. This can cause a blockage which can lead to a yeast infection and other issues.For the most part, you are not going to be brushing dreads. Instead, if they have cords, you may need to pull them apart to keep them thin and separated. On the other hand, if you have a pooch without dreads, yet they are prone to matting, you need to brush them consistently while checking for the beginnings of mats, as they can form quickly.These fur styles can be difficult to care for, and it is not recommended for a novice dog owner. If you find yourself with one of these pooches, however, you should consult a grooming expert to help you care for their coat.