What Does the Curly Coated Retriever Look Like?

The Curly Coated Retriever is a large, athletic dog with a short double coat that can be either black or liver-colored with tight curls. They have long necks and tails, and their coats are waterproof, which makes them excellent swimmers. Their ears are medium-sized and hang close to their head, and they have dark brown eyes.

As for their size, the Curly Coated Retriever typically stands 23 to 27 inches tall and weighs anywhere from 65 to 100 pounds.

What Is the Curly Coated Retriever’s Temperament Like?

Curly-Coated Retrievers are active, friendly dogs that love to be around people. They are intelligent and easy to train, and they excel in dog sports such as agility, obedience, and flyball. They are also great therapy dogs and have even been used as drug-sniffing dogs and search-and-rescue dogs.

While they’re very trainable, they’ll often lose their focus and ignore you during training if it’s too repetitive. They easily get bored, and need a variety of stimulating tasks to respond well to your efforts.

Are Curly-Coated Retrievers Well-Behaved?

Curlies are generally well-behaved, but because of their retriever instincts, they’re going to chew on things and nip your hands during play if you don’t teach them the appropriate boundaries. They also need a lot of exercise and should not be left alone for long periods of time, or they may become destructive.

Will They Get Along with Other Pets?

The typical Curly is good with other dogs and pets, but because of their hunting instincts, they may view small animals as prey. If you have another pet in the home, it’s important to introduce them slowly and make sure that they have plenty of toys and chewies to keep them occupied.

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Will They Make Good Watchdogs?

Curly-Coated Retrievers are bred as hunting dogs, so they have a strong prey drive. However, they are also very friendly and outgoing, which means that they’re not the best choice for a watchdog. If you’re looking for a dog to protect your home, consider another breed.

How Much Exercise Should They Get Daily?

These dogs need at least 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, both mental and physical. A daily walk is a good start, but they will also enjoy playing fetch, going for a swim, solving dog puzzles, or participating in dog sports.

The Health Concerns and Lifespan of Curly Coated Retrievers

The average lifespan of a Curly-Coated Retriever is about 9-12 years, but they may live as long as 15 years with proper care. Some health concerns to be aware of include:

  • hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia – problems with the hip or elbow joints that can cause pain and lameness;
  • eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy – a degenerative disease of the retina that can eventually lead to blindness;
  • bloat – a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach twists and fills with gas;
  • entropion or ectropion – problems with the eyelids that can cause irritation and tearing.

Some of these diseases can be avoided with proper care or treated early, so it’s important to take your Curly-Coated Retriever to the vet for regular checkups. Watch their weight to minimize the risk of joint disorders, and don’t feed them too large meals at once to prevent bloat.

Grooming and Caring for a Curly-Coated Retriever

The Curly-Coated Retriever needs little grooming, but their coats may benefit from light brushing during the shedding season. They should be bathed only when necessary, their nails should be trimmed monthly, and their ears should be checked a few times a week for dirt or debris.

Caring for a Curly is not difficult, but they do require some special care. Because of their mouthiness, they may easily eat the wrong thing when you’re not around. Crate training will help keep them safe and out of trouble if you’re not able to supervise them for a few hours.

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Breeders and Pricing of Curly Puppies

Curlies are not cheap, and prices can range from $1000-$2000 for a puppy. This is because they’re pretty rare, and in high demand compared to their numbers. You can find breeders through the Curly Coated Retriever Club of America, or through the American Kennel Club’s listings.

How to Tell if a Breeder is Responsible?

Be sure to do your research before you buy a puppy. A good breeder will be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with a healthy, well-adjusted puppy. They’ll show you health clearances for both parents and interview you to make sure you’ll give your Curly a good home.

Avoid breeders that don’t seem to know much about the breed, or that are selling puppies for less than $1000. These pups may have health problems or come from unethical breeding practices.

A Short History of the Curly-Coated Retriever Breed

The Curly-Coated Retriever is one of the oldest breeds with the word ‘retriever’ in its name. Little is known about their origin. They may have descended from the now-extinct English Water Spaniel, but its genetic makeup may also have been influenced by Poodles and other water dogs.

What we do know is that the breed was established as early as 1860. That’s when it first appeared in the show ring, and it’s thought to have been the first dog bred specifically for its retrieving abilities. In the early 1900s, hunters started to prefer Labrador Retrievers, and the Curly’s popularity dropped until the breed almost went extinct during World War I.

In 1907, the first Curly was imported to the USA, and in 1924 the first dog of this breed was registered with the American Kennel Club. Since the late 1960s, it has grown in numbers, as many Curlies have been imported from England, Australia and New-Zealand.

Is the Curly Coated Retriever the Right Dog for You?

The Curly-Coated Retriever is a great breed for an active family. They are intelligent, loyal, and love to play. If you’re looking for a large, affectionate dog who loves the outdoors, the Curly-Coated Retriever may be the perfect breed for you. They are easy to train and make great candidates for bird hunting, dock jumping, and other dog sports.

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However, they are not the best choice for everyone. This breed can be mouthy and has a high energy level, so they may not be suitable for families with small children or for seniors who live alone.

Fun Facts about Curly Coated Retrievers

Has the breed caught your interest yet? Here are a couple more facts you can share with whoever asks you about your curly dog.

  • The AKC has classified the breed as a sporting dog, while the UKC lists it under gun dogs.
  • Their curly coat isn’t just for looks – it protects the dog from harsh weather, cold water, and bushes they may have to run through after the hunted game.
  • Written records of the breed date back to 1803, and Curlies can also be seen in 18th-century British paintings.
  • Besides the Poodle, two of the Curly’s ancestor breeds might be the Irish Water Spaniel and the Newfoundland.

Ready to Bring a Curly Coated Retriever Home?

Curly-Coated Retrievers are not the right breed for everyone, and you want to make sure that you’re ready for the challenges of owning one. They’re a lot of work, but they’re also a lot of fun. If you think you’re up for it, go ahead and add a Curly to your family!


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