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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Judge

Beyond Doodles: Exploring Poodle-Like Breeds with Unique Charms

Poodles are renowned for their intelligence, hypoallergenic coats, and friendly demeanor. While Poodle mixes, commonly known as "doodles," have gained popularity, there are several distinct breeds that share similar traits with Poodles yet remain true to their individual characteristics. In this blog post, we'll delve into some fascinating Poodle-like breeds that aren't doodles, including the Lagotto Romagnolo, Barbet, Pumi, Spanish Water Dog, Portuguese Water Dog, Kerry Blue Terrier, Otterhound, Bedlington Terrier, and Irish Water Spaniel.


  1. Lagotto Romagnolo: The Truffle Hunter The Lagotto Romagnolo, often referred to as the "truffle dog," originated in Italy. This medium-sized breed boasts a curly coat similar to a Poodle's and is recognized for its keen sense of smell. Originally bred to hunt truffles, the Lagotto Romagnolo is an intelligent and trainable companion, making it an excellent choice for families looking for an affectionate yet active pet.

  2. Barbet: The Water-Loving Companion Hailing from France, the Barbet is a water-loving breed with a curly or wavy coat. Often mistaken for a Poodle, Barbets are known for their friendly disposition and versatility. Historically used as waterfowl retrievers, Barbets are excellent swimmers and are eager to participate in various water activities. With their low-shedding coats and friendly nature, Barbets make wonderful family pets.

  3. Pumi: The Hungarian Herder Originating from Hungary, the Pumi is a small to medium-sized herding dog with a distinctive appearance—pointy ears and a curly, corkscrew-like tail. Similar to Poodles, Pumis are known for their intelligence and agility, making them adept at herding livestock. With a lively personality and a keen sense of humor, Pumis are not only great working dogs but also make loyal and entertaining companions.

  4. Spanish Water Dog: The All-Purpose Canine As the name suggests, the Spanish Water Dog has a strong affinity for water-related activities. With a curly or wavy coat that can resemble a Poodle's, these dogs were originally bred in Spain for herding and water work. Known for their versatility, Spanish Water Dogs excel in various dog sports, including agility and obedience. They are not only skilled workers but also affectionate family members.

  5. Portuguese Water Dog: The Maritime Marvel Renowned for their involvement in Portuguese fishing, Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their curly or wavy coats and strong swimming abilities. These intelligent and loyal dogs make excellent companions for families with an active lifestyle, as they thrive in both land and water activities.

  6. Kerry Blue Terrier: The Irish Aristocrat Hailing from Ireland, the Kerry Blue Terrier is a distinctive breed with a soft, curly coat that doesn't shed excessively. Known for their intelligence and strong-willed nature, Kerry Blue Terriers are versatile and excel in various activities, from agility to obedience. They make loving family pets while maintaining their alert and protective instincts.

  7. Otterhound: The Aquatic Explorer The Otterhound, with its distinctive rough, water-resistant coat, was historically bred in England for otter hunting. While their numbers have dwindled, these friendly and amiable dogs make wonderful family pets. With a keen sense of smell and a love for the water, Otterhounds are a unique addition to the Poodle-like breeds.

  8. Bedlington Terrier: The Lamb-Like Charmer Originating from Northumberland, England, the Bedlington Terrier is known for its unique appearance, resembling a small lamb. Their curly coat and distinctive head shape make them stand out. Despite their gentle appearance, Bedlington Terriers are spirited and make affectionate family pets.

  9. Irish Water Spaniel: The Sporty Setter The Irish Water Spaniel is one of the oldest and largest spaniel breeds, with a distinctive curly, water-resistant coat. Known for their intelligence and athleticism, these dogs excel in various dog sports. With their friendly and outgoing nature, Irish Water Spaniels are excellent family companions.


Whether you're drawn to the truffle-hunting Lagotto, the water-loving Barbet, the herding Pumi, the versatile Spanish Water Dog, the maritime Portuguese Water Dog, the Irish aristocrat Kerry Blue Terrier, the aquatic explorer Otterhound, the lamb-like Bedlington Terrier, or the sporty Irish Water Spaniel, these Poodle-like breeds showcase the diversity and charm of dogs that share some traits with Poodles while maintaining their distinct qualities. Consider these breeds for their unique characteristics, and you may find the perfect companion that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences.

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