The Curly Coated Retriever (also referred to as a “Curly”) is a large breed of dog and is the tallest among the retrievers. It has a distinguishable coat made of tight, crisp curls and a slightly leggy appearance but is actually slightly longer than it is tall. It has a wedge-shape head with a slight stop, a muzzle that tapers at the end, a black or brown nose with large nostrils and a strong jaw with complete scissor bite. The eyes of the Curly are large but not prominent, oval and obliquely set; they can either be dark brown or brown tone in colour. It has small ears which are set high above the level of the eye and lying close to the head. It features a set of straight front legs, with an equally strong and muscular back legs to support a deep-chested and slight tucked up body. The legs have round, tight feet with thick pads to cushion the breed from the ground. The tail is also covered with curls and normally carried straight level with the topline when the dog is in motion. The body is covered by a thick mass of small tight, crisp curls that lie close to the skin with no undercoat or bare patches which can only come in black or liver colour.
The Curly Coated Retriever is one of the oldest breed of retrievers. It was supposedly the result of crossing the Irish water spaniel, the Newfoundland breed and the now extinct close curled English Water Dog. It is also claimed that the Curly was even crossed with a poodle that enhanced the curly coat. Whatever its exact origins maybe, the Curly Coated Retriever became the most sought-after retriever breed in England during the 1800s. It also has the reputation as one of the first breeds to be publicly displayed at English dog shows. The Curly is a fine water retriever with a soft-mouth, ideal for duck and quail retrieving and still maintains a following in Australia and New Zealand despite its setback in the United States and England. It was originally brought to the United States in 1907 and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1924. It has seen two near-extinction episodes in its lifetime; during the first World War and again during the second World War. Thankfully, a few breed enthusiasts managed to save what was left of the population and has brought them back to the public’s eye ever since. Today, the Curly excels in hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, guarding, agility and competitive obedience besides being a faithful companion.
The Curly Coated Retriever is a very active breed especially outdoors where it loves to go dipping and relaxing in the water, but it can otherwise be calm indoor which makes it a perfect family companion. It is an intelligent breed, courageous, and alert making it a good watchdog. However, this breed can be timid and wary of strangers. It is independent, self-confident and willing to please; characters that makes it a trainable breed. The Curly Coated Retriever is a slow-maturing dog which takes about 36 months before it reaches adulthood. In general, it is not aggressive like other breed but its deep sounding bark may often frighten people.
This is a sensitive breed and training must be given in a gentle but firm manner. Like most dogs, early socialization is the key to raising a breed that is not timid, aggressive and suspicious of strangers.
he coat of the Curly is quite easy to maintain. It should be bathe and trimmed occasionally to tidy up the curls. It does not need regular brushing, especially when it is shedding.
The Curly Coated Retriever is a robust and hardy breed with a lifespan of 8 to 12 years. Among the known medical issues that affect this breed include canine hip dysplasia, eye problems such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, distichiasis, entropion & ectropion, or retinal dysplasia are prevalent. Cardiac problems, epilepsy and gastric torsion are also known to affect the breed. To avoid the latter, give the dog several small meals a day rather than one large full meal and never take the Curly for an exercise before or after meals.
Food with a blend of poultry and wheat or those which contains very high amounts of poultry fat is the best diet for this breed but never with a blend of soy or white rice.
It is an active breed and requires an equally active or outdoor-loving family or owner. Similarly, being a high-energy breed means that the Curly Coated Retriever requires a lot of exercise and mental encouragement to keep it perfectly healthy and happy. Allow the dog to swim and retrieve if a pool or a small pond is nearby. An hour of walk on-leash or sessions of play in an open but secured space are daily rudimentary exercises that will keep this breed happy. This large active breed is not recommended for an apartment living. It will be most happy living in an apartment with a large yard. T
It is sensitive but a very gentle breed; generally excellent with children and good with other pets especially when socialized at an early age, but care must be taken when it is around very young children as it can get too boisterous which can accidentally topple down a small child.