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Curly-coated Retriever
Extremely Loyal And Fun Loving!

The Curly-coated Retriever is an old breed that originated in England and has records dating back to around 1803.

Small Newfoundlands, the Irish Water Spaniel, and various other retriever type dogs are thought to be contributors to the development of the breed which occurred between the 17th-18th centuries according to reputable sources.

Curly coated retriever 3

It is also quite likely that the Poodle was involved at some point in the breeding selection - certainly their intelligence and type of coat seem to bear this out.

The Curly-Coated Retriever is a calm and graceful dog with an erect and confident air about him. His most distinctive feature is the profuse curly coat that covers his entire body, save the face and muzzle, which have short smooth hair.

This handsome tall dog is an outstanding retriever with great endurance when it comes to working long days in adverse conditions.

His abilities extend to finding fallen game that others have left behind.

Appearance, Coat And Care

Height: 25-27 inches
Weight: 70-80 lbs
Color variations: Solid black or liver

curly coated retriever
Surprisingly, the waterproof tightly curled coat requires almost no grooming. Taking a brush to it will make the coat become frizzy looking and is not recommended by most professional groomers.

However, during shedding - about twice a year - combing and brushing out the loose hair is recommended. Another interesting feature about the coat is that it stops growing at a certain point, so only the odd stray wisps of hair need trimming.

Curly-Coated Retriever Health Profile

Curly-Coated Retrievers that are given good health care and nutritious food, can generally be expected to live for 10 to 14 years, though some have lived much longer.

Health issues that may affect this breed include bloat, subaortic stenosis and patent ductus arteriosus, eyelid disorders - entropion and ectropian, retinal dysplasia, cataracts, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, GSD (glycogen storage disease), canine follicular dysplasia, and hip dysplasia - the latter being common to many dog breeds.

Personality and Traits

Among the outstanding qualities of the Curly-coated Retriever is his extreme loyalty and protective instincts toward his owner.

He is a fun loving dog and will put out the welcome mat for friends he has come to know and enjoy. But strangers fall into another camp - in this situation, he will be politely cool and calm while checking out a newcomer.

Do socialize this breed early with a variety of experiences, activities, people, pets and places to balance out the Curly's personality as he matures into adulthood. Bear in mind that Curlies are considered late-maturers, often exhibiting puppy-like behavior for quite a few years.

Take this into account when you are training them too. Try to provide creative sessions that feed into their intelligent minds, yet don't overlook the fact that young pups have short attention spans!

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Activity Level

The Curly-coated Retriever is used to working long days retrieving game in often adverse conditions. If he is not being used in this respect, other forms of vigorous exercise will be needed to prevent him from seeking his own outlets in ways that may be negative.

Being very much a loving family dog, long walks or jogs, games of fetch with the kids and any jobs where he can be at your side, will keep him happy. Access to water activities would also be a natural form of exercise, but if that is not an option, think about agility.

While outdoor exercise is the best kind, there are often days when outdoor exercise is not possible due to time or weather constraints. On these occasions, high energy dogs such as the CCR can get a workout on a treadmill designed for pets.

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DogPacer Exercise Treadmill

Space Needs

Curly-coated Retrievers need room to run, so they are best suited to a home with a substantial yard. Make sure your property has secure boundaries as these dogs have a reputation for being great escape artists.

They are also good jumpers, but the main thing to remember here is that a well-exercised (as in tired) dog will not usually seek other distractions.


Curlies have kind natures and a very good reputation with children. But as always we caution that interactions between children and dogs should always be under adult supervision.

Seniors Or Less Active Families

Although the Curly-Coated Retriever makes a wonderfully loyal companion, an inactive senior or more sedentary household should carefully consider the exercise needs of this breed.

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Further Reading

curly coated retriever breed guidecurly coated retriever breed guide

Curly-coated Retriever (Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
A helpful and current book covering breed history, characteristics and attributes, breed standard, grooming, puppy care, housetraining, nutrition and feeding, basic training, proper health care, and the potential disorders that may concern the breed. Lots of color photos.

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Dr. Pitcairn's New Guide to Natural Health For Pets

Read This Excellent Book
In Paperback Or On Your Kindle

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