A large, strong, elegant breed, the Curly Coated Retriever has a distinctive liver or black coat of thick, tight curls on the body, with smooth hair on the rest of the dog. Adult males stand at 69cm, females at 64cm, and they weigh 36-45kg when fully grown.
- Category size: Large
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Moderate
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Usually quiet
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Gundog
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: High
The exact history of the Curly Coated Retriever dog breed is unclear, with many breeds going into its development as a gundog, including various retrievers, the Tweed Water Spaniel and the Irish Water Spaniel among others. The Poodle was also used, to improve the curliness of the coat. The breed was first shown in 1860 and excelled as a shooting dog, but its popularity as a pet and working dog waned with the emergence of the Labrador Retriever.
A steady, confident, bold dog, the Curly Coated Retriever is quite independent and can seem aloof to those he doesn't know well. With his loved ones, however, he is affectionate and makes a calm, loyal companion. He is very much an 'outdoor' dog and loves exploring his surroundings and retrieving – in and out of the water.
As with many breeds, the Curly Coated Retriever can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
An active dog, the Curly Coat needs two hours of exercise and more a day. He loves retrieving – be it on land or in water – and his waterproof coat serves him well. This is a dog that enjoys 'working', so take a toy for fetch games, to spice up walks
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Curly Coat, in common with many large breeds, is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
When the thick, curly coat is shedding, combing will remove dead hair; otherwise, brushing and combing is avoided, as it makes the coat frizzy. Instead, dampen it and massage with your fingers. A monthly light trim is also recommended; ask the breeder or breed club for full details of what is required.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
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What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information