Curly Coated Retriever

April 2nd, 2008
Curly Coated Retriever


Care and exercise

This breeds unique coat needs special care. It is never combed or brushed, as this can make the close, crisp curls frizz out, and it is bathed as seldom as possible, since this can remove the oil. Coat-care instructions should come from the breeder along with feeding notes, etc. The Curly is a strong, active, intelligent, smart, upstanding breed and therefore needs a fair amount of regular exercise, both for body and brain. Long walks with good runs off lead are ideal, but be aware of the Curlys possible dislike of other dogs. Beaches, dams and rivers are his natural playgrounds. A large, strong (and sometimes headstrong) breed such as this should always be very well socialised and trained as a youngster and be made aware that you are the boss.


The ideal dog for those who enjoy waterfowling, or rabbiting, for that matter. Otherwise, the Curly makes an excellent watchdog and while his coat needs specialised care there is very little work involved. A large yard is indicated, with adequate outdoor housing and exercise requirements are high, as is the necessity for early socialisation and basic obedience training.

No, its’ not a Labradoodle or large Poodle, it’s the adorable Curly Coat Retriever! This extraordinary breed is well loved by many households across this globe, with all admiring their gorgeous nature and love for water.

The largest of the specialist retrieving breeds, the Curly, as it is known, is also distinguished by its trademark jacket, a mass of crisp, small curls all over its body. This coat is extraordinary, in that it is very oily and when the Curly comes out of the water and shakes, it is almost dry to the touch immediately. Out of the water? Yes, indeed, because this is possibly the best waterfowl retriever ever bred and fetching things from a lake, river or dam is what it likes to do best of all.

Originating in the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain, the Curly Coated Retriever shares its inheritance with the Irish Water Spaniel and the Poodle, as well as other spaniels and retrieving breeds of the day. Large, strong and fearless, the Curly is a truly excellent working retriever which has for some reason lost out in the popularity stakes these days to such others as the Labrador and Golden.

Not a dog for indoors, the Curly prefers to be outside and makes a very good watchdog. Amenable to training, this breed is somewhat sober in comparison with the Labrador, even a little reserved and wary with strangers, but generally friendly. It can be quarrelsome with other dogs. Standing around 65-70cms at the shoulder, the Curly, in hard condition, weighs from 32 to 40kgs. Its short, tightly curled coat may be black or brown, without any markings.

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