The Curly-Coated Retriever!

The Curly-Coated Retriever is instantly recognizable for its curly black/liver coat. A large and powerful dog, it gives off an elegant air due to its noble and agile appearance. The head is shaped like a wedge, its ears are small, and its eyes can either be chestnut or dark. Its body is longer than its height at withers and its neck and legs are solid and muscular. The Curly-Coated Retriever has a natural affinity for water and loves to swim.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
9-12 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Flexible, but needs outdoor time.


Exercise Needs:
An hour of walk, run and/or swim.

Breed Group:


25 – 27 inches

70 – 85 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Black, liver

National breed club:
The Curly-Coated Retriever Club of America

Curly-Coated Retriever Skills

The Curly-Coated Retriever is thought to be the oldest spaniel breed, dating back to the 18th century in England, where the breed was first developed. Some think that the Curly-Coated Retriever came about as a result of crosses between the Irish Water Spaniel, English Water Spaniel, the Poodle, and the Newfoundland. They became popular during the 19th century but are still struggling to recapture the same popularity today; the breed is considered rare. Aside from retrieving, their other skills include tracking, hunting, guarding, and competitive obedience.

Curly-Coated Retriever Personality

The Curly-Coated Retriever is very confident and affectionate with its owner and family and consequently aloof and reserved around strangers. It will be friendly around children if they are for the most part well-behaved and they also get along with other household pets and dogs. They need to be socialized from a very young age in order to avoid excessive shyness and timidity. The Curly-Coated Retriever is not recommended for the novice dog owner as well.

Exercise Needs

The Curly-Coated Retriever is a breed that is highly adaptable to exercise; owners must set aside at least an hour everyday for its exercise. An ideal workout for the Curly-Coated Retriever would be a long walk followed by a swim in the water! It has a natural affinity for water and will take any opportunity to jump in. Other exercise activities include running and fetching sticks.

Living Conditions

The Curly-Coated Retriever will adapt to living in an apartment in the city so long as it gets enough exercise.

Grooming Requirements

The Curly-Coated Retriever needs minimal grooming for its coat, but it is not recommended for the owner/breeder to run a comb or a brush through its coat for it will flatten the curls. Comb or brush gently when the Curly-Coated Retriever is shedding in order to remove dead hairs. The coat can be trimmed with scissors or through professional grooming.

Health Issues

The Curly-Coated Retriever breed is susceptible to cancer, skin disorders, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and eye problems. The dog is also prone to obesity and owners will need to take note.

If you liked this dog…

...try looking at the American Water Spaniel, which is a member of the same breed. It shares some physical characteristics such as a curly coat although it is smaller in size. It is intelligent, friendly, and very energetic.


curly coated retriever


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