The Curly-Coated Retriever is considered to be one of the oldest retriever breeds. The breed was developed in the late eighteenth century in England, where is was used for retrieving ducks and quail. It is unclear how the breed was developed however, it probably resulted from crosses with the Close-Curled English Water Dog, the Old Water Spaniel and the St. John's Newfoundland dog. Some people suggest that their where also crossed with the Irish Water Spaniel, the Labrador, and the Poodle.



The Curly-Coated Retriever is a large, athletic retriever with a distinctive curly coat. They are agile, graceful yet strong. The tight curls protect the dog from brambles and icy water. Only the face, hocks and front of the legs have smooth hair. Their muzzle should taper to a well-developed nose with wide nostrils. They have teeth that meet in a scissors bite and their ears are pendant and small. Their eyes are either black or chestnut depending on the coat colour of the dog and their tail reaches approximately to the hock and is carried straight.


Size Large
Colour The Curly Coated Retriever comes in two different coat colours, black or liver-coloured
Coat Length Medium
Weight/Height Range Bitches measure 63 to 66cms at the withers, dogs between 66 to 69cms. Bitches weigh around 29 - 33kgs and dogs around 32 - 36kgs.

Curly Coated Retrievers can subject to bloat, as any deep chested large dog are, they are also prone to eye problems such as Ectropion, Entropion and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).

Feeding & Ownership


Curly Coated Retreivers are not fussy eaters and, as such, need not be expensive to feed. They are greedy dogs and therefore care must be taken to ensure they do not get the chance to raid the rubbish bin! Careful watch over their diet is a must as they are prone to obesity.


Food Cost $15 to $20



The Curly-Coated Retriever is a loyal, confident, mischievous, energetic dog but are known to be eager to please dog, this breed usually gets on well with dogs and other household animals such as cats. They are known to be relatively patient with children; however, they may accidentally knock over small children when they become excited or boisterous. Large, deep chested dogs should be fed carefully to avoid bloat. Two meals per day is safer than one large meal. The curly coat of the Curly-Coated Retriever is easy to care for. They should be washed regularly, but be mindful when brushing them as this will make their coat frizzy, it is recommended to wet their coat after brushing as this will resume their curls.


Intelligence The Curly Coated Retriever is extremely intelligent and trainable. They very good competitors in obedience and agility trails; however without consistent and regular training they can become bored and unruly.
Energy High
Suitability for Children High
Tendency to Bark High
Overall Exercise Requirement The Curly-Coated Retriever is a high-energy dog that needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They love swimming and retrieving. They require a daily walk, and they make great jogging companions.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Medium
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Low Medium
Other Animal Compatibility High



The coat of the Curly Coated Retrievers should be brushed as lit­tle as possible as brushing them as this will make their coat frizzy, it is recommended to wet their coat after brushing as this will resume their curls, however brushing should not be avoided when they are shedding. If the coat becomes too long, it can be trimmed with scissors.

Grooming Requirements Up to once a week
Amount of Hair Shed Moderate

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