Breeds 101

Curly-coated Retriever


This is one of the oldest of the English retrievers, and evidence suggests that it existed as early as 1803.

The Curly-Coated Retriever is believed to have roots in such breeds as the English Water Spaniel, a smaller Newfoundland, and the Poodle, from which it gets its tightly curled coat.
Developed in England to be a multipurpose hunting Retriever, the Curly is favored for its excellent field ability, endurance, and courage.

A classic water dog, the Curly-coat Retriever remains the least common of all retrievers, although at one time it was used extensively in Great Britain to retrieve from water. It has superb water dogs coat, composed of crisp, tight, small waterproof curls.

Hip dysplasia can occur in some Curly-coats; in-turning lower eyelids (entropion) also occur with greater-than-average frequency. However, this is a delightfully old fashioned breed-calm and tempered, but very alert when it is working.

Unsurpassed in the water, the Curly-Coated Retriever makes a fine family companion when challenged with exercise and activity.

Size: Medium to large; 22 to 27 inches, 55 to 75 pounds.

Color: Black or liver.

Eager, self-confident, and steadfast; determined in the field, sensitive at home. Independent; sometimes appears aloof or self-willed.

High energy level.

Hunter or active, outdoorsy people in suburban or rural home are best owners for Curly-Coated Retriever.

Daily exercise (swimming and retrieving are best) and training to prevent boredom (and undesirable behaviors), fenced yard, companionship, and occasional combing.

Life expectancy: 8 to 12 years.