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Curly Coated Retriever… Everything That You Need to Know at a Glance!

With over 200 unique dog breeds, finding the “right” one for you can often be challenging! The good news is that if you know that you only want to get a “retriever,” you can narrow your search significantly, but sometimes, this can make your decision even more complicated because there are many great “types” of retrievers! However, not all of them will have an excellent “PERM” like the Curly-Coated Retriever! This is why this “throwback” to the 70s is one of our all-time favorite “retrievers” out there and why we wanted to take a moment and talk about what it might be like to own one of these “beauties”!

This way…

If you’re on the “fence” about which kind of retriever will be the “best” for you, we might be able to put our paws on the scale and have you pick a Curly. After all, they may not be the most popular of all the retrievers out there, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t the BEST! So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Curly Coated Retriever Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  The UK

Original Purpose: Retriever, Hunting Dog

Height: 23-27 inches

Weight: 65-100 pounds

Lifespan: 8-12 years

Group: AKC Sporting Group

Origin of the Curly-Coated Retrievers Dog Breed

The Curly was first developed in England in the 18th century by gamekeepers hoping to use them to hunt and retrieve what were referred to as “upland birds,” which include:

  • Grouse,
  • Pheasant,
  • Quail,

And a variety of waterfowl, so you can bet that if you adopt a Curly Coated Retriever, they will love the water!


While these dogs were trendy during this time, surprisingly little is known about “how” they came into existence. It is “theorized” that the “Curly” breed was developed from the Water Spaniel breed as well as possibly from another European water retriever breed called the Wetterhound that was also popular back in the 1600s, but nobody is 100% sure, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide which “version” you like best.

It doesn’t matter all that much to us because it’s pronounced “why” they were created and “what” they’re good at, and given the fact that they remain a great dog breed today, we don’t care all that much about whether their lineage comes from Water Spaniel or a Wetterhound.

Curly, come to America.

The curly-coated retriever came to America hundreds of years ago, even before the Civil War. But for some reason, this guy just never “caught on.” Even after he was “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1924. You see, these guys aren’t even all that popular today. Don’tt get us wrong because plenty of folks out there love the Curly-Coated Retriever breed. After all, there’s even been a Curly Coated Retriever Club of America for over 40 years!

It’s just that this breed hasn’t had that “breakthrough” moment that many other dog breeds have had in America, which is why you can still be a “trendsetter” if you decide to make one of these guys your own!

Physical Characteristics

The curly-coated retriever is different from other retrievers. For one, his body is covered in tight curls from tail to head. This is the one thing that will set him apart from other “retrievers” of his size. And while we’re talking about size, it should be noted that these guys are relatively “big” dogs. Maybe not in comparison with other “retrievers” or other “sporting” dogs in his group, many of which are about the same size as a Curly-Coated Retriever; it should be noted that these guys aren’t tiny little lap dogs!

Fortunately, though…

Despite their size and “curls,” you don’t have to worry about grooming them as he does not shed excessively. But it is essential to ensure his tail and underbelly are correctly trimmed. Bathing him is necessary because these guys are likely to run all around outside when given the chance, which we all know can be pretty dirty, but even here, you shouldn’t need to bathe your Curly more than once a month.

Personality and Temperament

The Curly has a very pleasing personality. He is funny, intelligent, and very energetic. He responds fast to any commands his human family makes and wants to get involved in everything you do. Plus, he is straightforward to train and is a very charming dog. He is also very protective of his human family and can be an excellent companion dog or watchdog. So basically, he possesses all the great traits one would expect a superb retriever to have, plus he’s got that fabulous “hairdo” that you have to love!

And while…

He may be a little shy around strangers. It’s not like he will run around attacking anyone he doesn’t know; it’s just that he will retain a healthy “Skepticism” about anyone he is not properly introduced to. Which we here at IndulgeYourPet think is a good thing!

Training the Curly Coated Retriever

Training the curly-coated retriever is easy because he is brilliant, responsive to commands, and loves receiving love and attention from his owners. Which always makes for a great student!

They’re also a lot…

It’s also fun to train because these guys do very well in dog sports such as flyball, agility, and flying discs, so you don’t have to limit your training to boring things like “sit” and “stay.” However, you should start the training as early as possible, when he is just a puppy, to learn his position within the family and become well-socialized in dealing with other people and animals.

The good news is that the Curly is a very social animal that loves to be with his human family as much as possible, so getting him accustomed to being around other people or pets isn’t a big deal. After all, he is a people pleaser and loves being people of all ages, including children.

What he hates, though…

He is being relegated to the backyard. He wants to be a part of everything your family does. He wants to play with the kids, go out with you when visiting friends, and wants you to give him attention! So before you do decide to adopt a Curly-Coated Retriever, be sure that you’re going to be able to provide them with the love and affection that they deserve and be sure that you’re going to be willing to provide your Curly with the exercise that he will need to be happy.

Potential Health Concerns

The curly is a purebred dog and is generally very healthy. But like all purebred dogs, there is always a risk of developing genetic health problems. After all, no dog breed is 100% healthy. That’s why ensuring the breeder can produce a CHIC certification for the puppy is essential. This shows that the puppy has no health issues and has healthy parents. Additionally, you’ll want to ask your Curly-Coated Retriever breeder about any problems with:

What are the common health problems suffered by the coated retriever?

This brings us to the last topic we wanted to discuss: the importance of purchasing a pet insurance policy for your new puppy.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be right for you?

Who knows, it could be? Or it may not be something that you need to consider. Suppose you can afford to spend $3000 to 4000 on medical bills without worrying. In that case, you’re likely financially secure enough to go without purchasing a pet insurance policy. But if you’re like many of you who don’t have that “kind” of money just lying around, you may want to consider purchasing a pet insurance policy for your little buddy.

For more information about…

We “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry; we encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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