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Dog Breed Information and Pictures

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If you are fascinated by the uniqueness of the Curly-coated Retriever and exploring, and want to know more about this large dog breed, then you have come to the right place. 

Not so popular as compared to their counterparts, the Golden Retriever and Labrador, this breed is the tallest and easily discerned by their mass of tight curls. 

If you are looking to own one for yourself but are unsure of its temperament, lifespan, and other characteristic traits, we have got you covered. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this adorable and active breed.

Curly Coated Retriever Dog Breed Information
Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Height: 25–27 inches
Weight: 70–90 lbs
Life Span: 9 – 14 year
Origin: United Kingdom, England
Temperament: Clever, Intelligent, Lively, Sensitive, Independent, Trainable
Breed Characteristics:
Bonding Level:
Sensitivity Level:
Dog Friendly:
Health and Grooming:
Amount Of Shedding:
Drooling Potential:
General Health:
Training Level:
Prey Drive:
Tendency To Bark:
Wanderlust Potential:
Physical Needs:
Energy Level:
Exercise Needs:

History of Curly Coated Retriever

The curly-coated retriever, which originated in England in the 18th century, is a hardworking game dog known for its exceptional retrieving abilities. This breed’s distinctive curly coat is thought to have been influenced by crossbreeding between the English water dog, Irish water spaniel, and possibly the poodle. Despite their hunting abilities, these dogs were once considered “blue collar” retrievers, owned by regular poachers rather than aristocrats.

The curly-coated retriever made its debut at the English Birmingham dog show in 1860, and the first breed club was formed in 1896. During times of war, however, the breed faced extinction and was eventually supplanted by the Labrador breed.

More About Curly Coated Retriever

More About Curly Coated Retriever

The curly coated retriever is a versatile and athletic breed that was developed in England in the nineteenth century for hunting and retrieving game. They’re known for their distinctive curly coat, which keeps them warm and dry while hunting in rough terrain. These dogs range in size from medium to large and have a loyal and affectionate personality, making them an excellent choice for families or anyone seeking a devoted companion.

The curly coated retriever is a one-of-a-kind and endearing breed that needs special care and attention to stay healthy and happy. In the following sections, we’ll look at their appearance, size, care, grooming, and feeding to give you a better understanding of what it takes to care for these furry friends.


Appearance of Curly Coated Retriever

These dogs usually come in the colors black or liver, and occasionally some of them might have some white hair. However, it will never be in patches. Their bodies are slightly off-square and have a nice balance between their muscle and bone content.

They have deep chests that are not too wide. The forelegs are straight, while the thighs are firm. The leg ends in compact round feet that have deep padding. They are known for their unique curls that are found covering their entire body. The curls are small and dense and are quite close to the skin.

These dogs are agile and have a lot of strength, and their confidence comes across in the alert manner in which they carry themselves. Their strong jaws pack in a scissor bite. The Retriever has laid-back shoulders and straight forelegs that are under the body.


Size of Curly Coated Retriever

The curly coated retriever is a medium to large-sized breed, with males standing 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing 70 to 100 pounds on average. Females are slightly shorter, measuring 23 to 25 inches tall and weighing 55 to 85 pounds.

Despite their size, they are known for their agility and athleticism, which makes them ideal for a variety of activities such as hunting, retrieving, and agility competitions. Their strong build and muscular physique also make them excellent swimmers, allowing them to easily navigate through rough waters.

Personality and Temperament

Personality and Temperament of Curly Coated Retriever

As they are aloof with strangers, they make for better guard dogs than the usual Retriever. Like the usual Retriever breed, the Curly Coated retriever has a lot of drive and determination. It is eager to get the work done. It is usually patient, although it might be reserved around strangers. Owners who are looking to raise a curly-coated retriever should note that this breed is slower to mature.

They prefer to be with their human family and make for very loyal companions. It is incredibly affectionate of its owners while also being independent at the same time.

Curly coated Retriever are quite intelligent breed in their own right. This can imply mischievous behavior when they are bored. They can take some time to get used to a person, but after that stage, they are incredibly playful.


The curly coated retriever, like all breeds, is prone to certain health issues. Many of these issues, however, can be avoided or managed effectively with proper care and attention. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects the hip joint and can cause mobility issues and pain in curly coated retrievers. Other common issues with curly coated retrievers include:

Gastric Torsion Or Bloating

This is caused due to twisting in the gastrointestinal tract of the dog. The stomach fills up with gas, liquid, or food and then gets twisted. This can escalate to the point that the problem becomes life-threatening. The symptoms include an enlarged abdomen, retching, and drooling.

Glycogen Storage Disease

Some of the symptoms include lethargy, exercise intolerance, and at times even collapsing. In case the disease progresses to the later stages, it could lead to liver failure or even heart disease.

Heart Disease

This is characterized by heart murmurs in the pet. In case there is early detection, and proper medication, the dog can live for several years with the disease.

Pattern Baldness

This is a condition that can be inherited, and it is known as follicular dysplasia. The hair loss will start on the neck of the dog and will continue on the back of the legs.


This breed has a higher tendency to develop cancer as compared to other breeds. The symptoms can vary depending on the type of cancer that the dog has developed.


The shedding of the curly-coated retriever can be quite extensive. It happens once every six months, and females are affected more than males. It might be the case that the females look almost bare-skinned at the peak of the shedding season.

There are different strategies to manage the situation. The coat may be cut patiently using scissors to keep it looking neat. Or, a pronged metal tool in the form of a rake can be used to remove the dead hair. The nails need to be clipped regularly and ears cleaned to prevent infections.


Health of Curly Coated Retriever

A complete diet should be given to the Curly Coated Retriever at all times to ensure that it has a healthy gut. Hence, to ensure that it grows up to have a healthy body, the puppy should be given at least 29% of protein, while for the adult, a minimum of 25% of protein needs to be given.

Fat is required at approximately 5 to 8 % for giving energy to the dog and also to keep the skin healthy and coat shiny. In case the Retriever is a very active dog, it would not go amiss to feed the dog a few treats throughout the day.


The curly coat of the breed is unique amongst retriever dogs. There is a single coat on the body, which has curly and dense hair that lies close to the skin. The purpose of these curls is to protect the body of the retriever from vegetation or bush that it may encounter during its retrieval missions.

The tight curls are also waterproof, and they serve as good protection against ice or wet conditions. Although, the coat of this dog tends to be oily, which makes this dog a bad choice for those who get allergies. Due to the oily coat, it will require bathing at least three times a year.


Curly-coated retrievers can go for longer periods without grooming and bathing, and hence it is a lower maintenance breed. It is advisable not to blow dry the hair of the dog or to brush the coat too rigorously.

The coat is easy to care for and only requires some brushing from time to time. In case brushing makes the coat frizzy, the coat may be wetted with a towel to restore the curls. Avoid shampooing the coat of dog unless it is necessary. Shampooing softens the coat, and it will take another couple of days to return to the normal texture. Spraying them with water and using some Listerine is a good option. Keep in mind that the more frequently the curls are watered, the tighter they will become.

While trimming the ears, do it around the contour and on the ear leathers to make them look properly tidy. The hair growing into the ear may be clipped for cleanliness purposes. For the feet, the hair on the feet may be pulled up and trimmed off while leveling with the top of the toes. Also, take care to trim the hair from the bottom of the pads. Trim the bulk of hair as a scrap of the tail.


This breed is highly energetic as a puppy. The training should be begun from a very early age, as the puppy has a very high energy level. However, this needs to be accompanied by frequent naps in between. The training activities should not be repetitive with this breed, and they should be kept fun throughout. The owner needs to be firm without being too aggressive.


Curly-coated retriever dogs are sporting dogs and have a natural affinity towards physical activity. They are not used to living in apartments since they require a lot of space where they can gambol around. Some of their favorite activities of the curly are retrieving and swimming.

Despite the size of these dogs, they do not require a lot of indoor space. They are comfortable in both urban as well as rural settings.

Children and Other Pets

The Curly Coated Retriever is a decent playmate for older children, provided that they can stand up to its height and share its energy and enthusiasm. Although, it might not be such a good mate for smaller children who might get injured while playing with it. While leaving it with children, the ground rules should be established for both the dog as well as the child – no pulling of the tail or ear and no biting allowed.

Curly-coated retrievers are well-behaved with other dogs and animals.


How much do Curly Coated Retrievers shed?

They do not shed a lot. Hence, they are the ideal choice for prospective dog owners who do not have the time for extensive grooming regimes.

Are Curly Coated Retrievers good swimmers?

The Curly has a good reputation as an effective swimmer, and they do not suffer any  inconveniences in the water, as their coat is thick and water resistant.

Are there any aberrant behaviors of this dog that you should be aware of?

This dog tends to grab at objects with its mouth quite frequently and will start chewing at every other object that they find.

What was the original purpose of the coat of this breed?

The short coat was designed to assist the dog during its hunting expeditions or forays into the thick, bramble, or icy lakes. The dog is completely secured in terms of weatherproofing while it is out hunting.

Are curly coated retrievers good with children?

Yes, curly coated retrievers are known for their gentle and patient temperament, which makes them great companions for families with children. They are also protective of their loved ones and will go to great lengths to ensure their safety.

How much exercise do curly coated retrievers need?

Curly coated retrievers are an energetic breed and require regular exercise to maintain their health and well-being. They should have at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, which can include walks, runs, swimming, and other activities that keep them active and engaged.

Are curly coated retrievers easy to train?

Yes, curly coated retrievers are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. However, they can be strong-willed at times, so consistent and positive training methods are recommended. Early socialization and training are also essential to ensure they grow into well-behaved and well-adjusted dogs.


To summarise, the curly coated retriever is a loyal, intelligent, and athletic breed that can make an excellent addition to any family. They are susceptible to health issues, but with proper care and attention, they can live long and healthy lives. Curly coated retrievers are a unique and special breed that can provide a lifetime of love, loyalty, and adventure due to their distinctive appearance and devotion to their loved ones.

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