Dreadlocks are a fun hairstyle and are sure to grab attention, but what happens when they occur naturally? Traditionally, you have to go to a stylist or learn how to give a haircut if you want your dog to have one. However, a few dogs don’t play by such rules and have naturally occurring hairstyles like dreadlocks.
Some cases are somewhat extreme while others aren’t, but there’s no mistaking a dog with dreadlocks. Whether you consider them cute or not is your call, but with several options, you’re sure to consider some of them as pets.
Here are the dogs that have naturally occurring dreadlocks:
If you ever come across a dog and the first thing you think of is how much it reminds you of a mop, you may be looking at a Komondor. Where they’re surely too large to be mistaken for mops, their hair doesn’t help this situation.
The characteristic mop-like appearance isn’t something they’re born with, as their fur is usually cute and curly as puppies.
The older Komondors get, the fur tightens, and dreads emerge. It is possible to separate the dreads, although it takes too much time and effort, which probably isn’t worth it. The dreads can continue growing and may soon become concerning, hence the need to trim them frequently.
Komondors are excellent shepherd dogs and can defend a flock from larger predators. They are smart, loyal, and lovable, all traits which make them trainable and excellent as guard dogs. The biddest flaw with this breed is that they are genetically susceptible to Dysplasia, something you may want to detect early.
Another breed seems more like a mop than a dog; in this case, you could mistake them for one. Pulik are so small that many consider them young Komondors, but that is hardly the case.
A breed with protective instinct, the Puli makes an excellent guard dog, albeit easy to avoid due to its small stature.
Regardless, Pulik are smart, intelligent, loyal, and trainable and serve as shepherd dogs. The dreadlocks of this breed are almost indistinguishable from that of the Komondor; perhaps that is why they serve similar functions. Best of all, the dreadlocks here are naturally occurring and don’t need any outside intervention to be formed.
Sometimes, a Pulik will have an unusually long dread when two or more of its rope combine. Before their fur reaches this point, you should trim it, allowing the dog to move freely. Once their fur gets too long, especially around their paws and eyes, it can get in the way of their duties.
Unlike the Puli and Komondor, Poodles aren’t world-famous for their dreadlocks. They are more associated with curly hair, a trait that most seem to possess.
Only a few of them have the potential to form dreads, and most times, it requires external help. The nature of their fur and fuzzy appearance makes them perfectly suited as show dogs, where dreads aren’t needed.
Dreads in poodles are usually formed when they shed, which isn’t too often.
Strands of their hair get entangled, and when it grows, it does so in the same fashion, leading to dreadlocks. Poodles are perfect for different hairstyles, including dreadlocks, thanks to their fur. With them needing haircuts often, some owners choose to try dreadlocks sometimes, though often by accident.
Forming dreadlocks in a poodle is somewhat easy, as it involves grooming them and neglecting to comb or brush them. Instead of forming its usual curly hair, the strands form clumps that remain together as the hair grows. Once it’s long enough, the poodle will have the appearance of dreadlocks.
Another breed with naturally occurring dreadlocks, the Bergamasco shepherd is perfect for the task its name implies. Since most dogs with naturally occurring dreadlocks have similar functions, it is fair to say it is responsible for their forming dreadlocks.
Unlike other breeds, the Bergamasco shepherd doesn’t have dreads over its face. Instead, its dreads are focused on other areas of its body to prevent eye inflammation.
Another feature that sets the Bergamasco shepherd aside from most other dog breeds is that they have three coat layers. Most other dogs have one or two, but this breed has three, with each layer serving a different function.
Additionally, their dreadlocks don’t follow the same rounded pattern as other dogs, instead forming flat mats.
Still considered one of the few dogs with naturally occurring dreadlocks, they require similar grooming frequency. If they haven’t been groomed for a while, oils from their lowest fur layer will spread to the others, possibly hindering their functions. While they are mostly used as shepherd dogs, they still make excellent guard or companion dogs.
As is fitting for a dog with dreadlocks or similar hairstyles, the Havanese dogs are mainly used as companion dogs. The only problem most owners have with this breed is that they tend to suffer separation anxiety.
Other than that, they are the perfect dog breed for your home, barring the regular cleanup of hair in your furniture.
Unfortunately, dreads don’t come naturally to Havanese dogs and are formed manually by the owner. The process is painstaking and takes a few years before they start to manifest dreads.
Thankfully, they are a notorious hair breed, and once you create the mats, growth starts immediately. You’ll need frequent inspections to verify the mats are coming in, but beyond that, everything else is smooth sailing.
As the process is difficult and demanding, you are best served using a professional groomer to create dreads for your Havanese dog. However, unlike dogs with natural dreadlocks, it simply serves an aesthetic function in Havanese dogs.
Spanish Water Dogs
They are so named because they are great swimmers and were used to herd flocks close to waterfronts, but that’s not all there is to this dog breed. They are excellent guard dogs or shepherds who love a good job and are easy to instruct once you’re firm.
Today, they mostly serve as companion dogs but still retain their genetic predispositions.
The Spanish Water Dogs are a mixture, with dreadlocks growing naturally after a little outside help. They don’t have dreadlocks when they’re young but can develop them as they get older. They have hair that doesn’t stop growing and will curl and form mats afterward.
While it needs outside help to form, it becomes an asset, protecting the dog when they’re in the water.
The resulting dreadlocks are water-resistant and provide extra insulation from extreme temperatures. Even though the dreadlocks are an asset for this dog, it mostly serves an aesthetic function, with most people leaving them to beautify them.
Why Do Some Dogs Form Dreads?
Dogs that form dreads naturally often do so for protection both from predators and climate. Pulik, Komondors, Spanish Water Dogs, and Bergamasco Shepherds all fall under this classification, and their dreads aren’t just aesthetic. While you may need to trim them when it gets too long, never shave them off fully or risk exposure to both predators and cold.
The dreadlocks are usually coarse, forming extra padding over the dogs, protecting their skin if they are ever bitten. Since all the dogs with this adaptation are mainly used as shepherds, it’s fair to assume that they will face attacks at some point.
While they may not be the intended target, the predators must face the flock’s protector if they aim to harm a member.
Dreads in dogs don’t form when they’re young as they aren’t suited to their tasks yet. Their dreadlocks would be formed when they’re mature enough to serve as shepherds or guard dogs.
Some people use this to decide whether or not the dog can be put to work, though training can begin while they’re still in infancy.
Grooming a Dog with Dreads
Dreads aren’t like regular fur or hair found in other dogs and need special care. The longer the dreadlocks are, the harder it will be for the dogs to perform their function. Hence, trimming is the most important part of grooming a dog with dreadlocks.
Trimming should only be done yearly, usually when the fur has gotten too long. Unlike most other breeds where trimming is done in one go, it may take several tries with dreadlock dogs.
Trimming further exposes them to cold, so it is healthy when you live in a warm climate. Prolonged coverage in such temperatures may cause reactions on the dog’s skin, hence the need to shave off the dreadlocks.
They’ll appear more like regular dogs but can still serve their function without the extra padding. Never use clippers for trimming, as you may end up shaving the dog. Scissors offer greater control, making them the instrument of choice for trimming.
Bathing is the next important aspect of grooming, even though it doesn’t happen often. The practice with other dogs is different than with dreadlock dogs, as the mats must be manually separated first. Misting is used to weaken the mats, making them easier to separate before separating them.
As the hair is much, shampoo and conditioner are needed, but only use those specially designed for the dogs. Once you’re done bathing them, ensure they are properly dried, using a blow dryer if necessary, or they may smell bad.
Overbathing risks damaging the dog’s natural oil production or causing skin irritation. Once a few months is enough to keep them healthy and smelling pleasant.
Conclusion: 6 Dog Breeds with dreads name (With Pictures)
Dreadlocks aren’t exclusive to humans and can appear in a few dog species. You can give your dog dreads if they have the hair for it, but the practice isn’t common.
Only six dog breeds have been associated with dreadlocks, which usually serve a protective function.