AKC Group: Sporting
The Curly Coated Retriever is one of the oldest breeds of retriever. They were retrieving as early as the 18th century in England. They are believed to be a mixture of Close-Curled English Water Dogs, Old Water Spaniels, St. John’s Newfoundland Dogs, Labradors and Poodles. They are adept at water retrieval of duck and quail.
Size: 23 to 27 inches tall; 65 to 100 pounds
Color: Solid black or liver.
Life span: 8 to 14 years
Health problems: Bloat, seizures, baldness, autoimmune difficulties or thyroid issues.
A handsome breed, the Curly Coated Retriever is a large, sturdy dog with an athletic build. His coat lays close to his body and, of course, is curly with a “crisp” texture. The hair on his face is short and straight. His ears are droopy and folded with hair tightly curled. The Curly Coated Retriever is intelligent, friendly and affectionate. With stamina to spare, he loves to exercise and craves human interaction. This loveable, loyal dog is an excellent family companion that is playful and seems immature, even as an adult. He loves kids and all other pet companions, but is wary of strangers. The Curly Coated Retriever tends to have an independent streak and needs a confident owner. Curly Coated Retrievers love all exercise activities, he’s a built-in workout partner. A quick learner, a naturally obedient dog and possessor of great problem-solving skills; training shouldn’t be a huge problem.
Brushing is required only when he’s shedding. Regular brushing will only make his coat frizzy. As a puppy, your Curly Coated Retriever will have a difficult temperament, so starting training as a puppy is essential. He needs enough mental and physical stimulation to ward off boredom, then destructiveness. They love to chew and bark excessively when bored. Curly Coated Retrievers are “late bloomers,” which is why they are difficult puppies. Always stress to him that jumping up is forbidden, mouthing objects and hands (they are water retrievers after all) should also be discouraged. Socialization should be undertaken. Their natural stubbornness will require firm and consistent training from you. This breed does learn quickly and they are highly intelligent, but they need a trainer who won’t let them get away with murder.