Curly-Coated Retriever: The Distinguished Gentleman of the Retriever Family

Curly-Coated Retriever

The Curly-Coated Retriever, with its distinctive curls and noble demeanor, stands out as one of the oldest retriever breeds. Known for its intelligence and versatility, this breed has a storied history as a skilled hunting dog, capable of retrieving in the most challenging conditions. This comprehensive guide delves into the Curly-Coated Retriever’s origins, traits, and care requirements, offering insights for those considering this unique and capable breed.

Breed Summary

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 162 of 196
AKC Classification: Sporting Group
UKC Classification: Gun Dog
Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Height: Female: 24 in.; Male: 26 in.
Weight: Female: 60-70 lbs.; Male: 60-70 lbs.
Physical traits: Tall, Strong, Large
Personality traits/Temperament: Confident, Proud, Wickedly Smart
Coat 
Length: Short
Characteristics: Curly
Colors: Black, liver
Overall Grooming Needs: Low
Energy Level: High
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Origin of the Curly-Coated Retriever

Originating in England during the late 18th century, the Curly-Coated Retriever was developed by crossing the now-extinct English Water Spaniel, St. John’s water dog, Poodle, and possibly the Irish Water Spaniel. This breed was highly valued by gamekeepers and hunters for its ability to retrieve from icy waters and thick underbrush, thanks to its dense, water-resistant coat.

Appearance

The Curly-Coated Retriever is easily recognizable by its tight, crisp curls that cover its body except for the face and front of the legs. This breed is taller and leaner than other retrievers, standing at about 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 60 and 95 pounds. The coat color can be either black or liver. The breed’s slightly wedge-shaped head and kind, expressive eyes reflect a keen intelligence and gentle disposition.

Temperament

Curly-Coated Retrievers are known for their confidence and independence. They are less overtly friendly than other retriever breeds but are deeply loyal to their families. With a dignified and even-tempered nature, they can be aloof with strangers, making them excellent watchdogs. They thrive on human companionship and are known to be particularly good with children, showing patience and protectiveness.

Health Outlook

Curly-Coated Retrievers generally enjoy good health, with a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. Like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, cancer, and cardiac problems. Their unique coat can also predispose them to skin irritations and infections, which is why regular grooming with a premium dog shampoo that moisturizes and protects the skin is recommended.

Nutritional Requirements

A diet rich in high-quality protein and fats is crucial for maintaining the breed’s energy levels and supporting their muscular build. Owners should monitor their food intake closely to prevent obesity, particularly since this breed can be prone to joint issues as they age. A complete healthy multivitamin can complement their diet by ensuring they receive all necessary nutrients for optimal health.

Exercise Requirement

As a breed built for endurance and activity, Curly-Coated Retrievers require substantial daily exercise. This includes long walks, runs, and plenty of interactive playtime. They excel in various canine sports such as agility, obedience, and field trials, which also serve to mentally stimulate these intelligent dogs.

Pros and Cons of Owning the Breed

Pros:

  • Extremely loyal and protective of their family.
  • Excellent natural athleticism, suited for various dog sports.
  • Relatively low-maintenance coat that sheds less than other retrievers.

Cons:

  • Requires significant exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Can be reserved and sometimes aloof with strangers.
  • Potential for genetic health issues that require vigilant monitoring.

Space Requirements

Due to their size and high energy levels, Curly-Coated Retrievers do best in homes with large, securely fenced yards where they can run freely. They are not suited to apartment living unless their substantial exercise needs can be met through other means.

Suitability for Elderly

This breed may not be the best choice for elderly owners unless they are particularly active, as the breed's high energy and exercise requirements might be overwhelming.

Suitability for Kids

Their gentle nature and patience make them suitable for families with children. However, their size and energy mean that interactions should be supervised, especially with younger children.

Cost

The cost of a Curly-Coated Retriever puppy can vary significantly but typically ranges from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the breeder's reputation and the lineage of the puppies.

What Should the Owner Be Like?

Owners of a Curly-Coated Retriever should be active, committed to providing daily physical exercise and mental challenges. They should also appreciate a dog with a strong personality and the ability to think independently.

Fun Facts

  1. The Curly-Coated Retriever is one of the few breeds that can claim to have been exhibited at one of the very first dog shows in England.
  2. Despite their excellent abilities in water, their coat is more similar to that of a poodle, giving them a unique advantage in both water retrieval and insulation.

Conclusion

The Curly-Coated Retriever offers the best of both worlds: the robust athleticism of a sporting dog and the gentle, loyal nature of a family companion. For those who can meet their needs for exercise, companionship, and mental engagement, the Curly-Coated Retriever makes a rewarding, lifelong companion.

Are you familiar with the Curly-Coated Retriever or have this wonderful breed in your family?

Share your stories in the comments!

Share the Article with friends!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

My Healthy Dog

We cordially invite you to experience our product range. Our intention is to not only maintain, but significantly improve your dog's health and happiness. By choosing My Healthy Dog, you're taking a pivotal step towards promoting your pet's optimal wellness. Thank you for entrusting us with this important aspect of your beloved pet's life.

Dog Multivitamin
Dog Multivitamin
Dog Multivitamin
16%, only 994 left
Dog Multivitamin
Dog Multivitamin
Dog Multivitamin

Complete Health Daily Dog Multivitamin

$31.23
Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
Dog Shampoo and conditioner
Dog shampoo and conditioner
16%, only 994 left
Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
Dog Shampoo and conditioner
Dog shampoo and conditioner

Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

$13.76
$18.69
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
16%, only 994 left
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm
Paw Balm

Paw Balm

$11.71
$15.62
Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags
Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags
Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags
Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags
16%, only 994 left
Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags
Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags
Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags
Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags

Biodegradable Pet Poop Bags

$12.63
$15.04
1 of 4