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

With over 200 different unique dog breeds out there finding the “right” one for you can often be quite challenging!  The good news is that if you know that you only want to get a “retriever” you can narrow down your search significantly, but sometimes this can even make your decision even harder because there are some many great “types” of retrievers out there!

That said however…

Not all of them are going to have an awesome “PERM” like the Curly-Coated Retriever is!  This is why this this “throw back” to the 70’s 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 is going to 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 that 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

Curly-Coated Retrievers – Their History

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, which is why you can bet that if you do decide to adopt a Curly Coated Retriever, he or she is going to love the water!


While these dogs were very popular 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 1600’s but, nobody is 100% sure so we’ll leave it up to you to decide which “version” you like best.

Because at the end of the day…

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

Curly come to America

The curly-coated retriever first 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 back in 1924.

You see…

These guys aren’t even all that popular today.  Now don’t get us wrong, because there are plenty of folks out there that love the Curly-Coated Retriever breed, after all, there’s even been a Curly Coated Retriever Club of American in existence for over 40’s years or so!

It’s just that…

This breed hasn’t really had that “break through” moment that many other dog breeds have had in America which is why you can still be a “trend setter” if you decide to make one of these guys your own!

Physical Characteristics of Curly Coated Retrievers

The curly coated retriever is different from other retrievers. For one, his body is covered in tight curls throughout, from tail to head. This is definitely the one thing that is going to set him apart from other “retrievers” of his size.

And while we’re…

Talking about size, it should be noted that these guys are a rather “big” dog.  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 small little lap dogs!

Fortunately, though…

Despite their size and all their “curls”, you don’t have to worry about grooming him as he does not shed excessively.

But it is important to make sure that his tail and underbelly are properly trimmed. Bathing him is essential, because these guys are likely to run all around outside when given the chance which we all know can be quite dirty, but even here you shouldn’t need to bath your Curly more than once a month.

Curly Coated Retriever Temperament

The Curly has a very pleasing personality. He is funny and smart and very energetic. He responds fast to any commands made by his human family and wants to get involved in everything you do.


He is very easy to train and is a very charming dog. He is also very protective of his human family and can make for an excellent companion dog or watchdog.  So basically, he possesses all the great traits one would expect a great retriever to have plus he’s got that awesome “hairdo” that you just have to love!

And while…

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

Training the Curly Coated Retriever

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

They’re also a lot…

Of fun to train as well because these guys do very well in dog sports such as flyball, agility and flying discs so you don’t have to just limit your training to boring things like “sit” and “stay”.

That said however…

You should start the training as early as possible, when he is just a puppy so that he can 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 be around other people or pets isn’t going to be a big deal.  After all, he is a people pleaser and loves being people of all ages including children.

What he really hates though…

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 you’re visiting friends and just wants you to give him attention!


Before you do decide to adopt a Curly-Coated Retriever, be sure that you’re going to be able to provide him or her 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.

Are there any Health Concerns to worry about?

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 it is important to make sure that the breeder is able to produce a CHIC certification for the puppy. This shows that the puppy has no health issues and has healthy parents.


You’ll want to ask your Curly-Coated Retriever breeder about any issues with:

Which are the common health problems suffered by the coated retriever.

Which brings us…

To the last topic that we wanted to take a moment a discuss which is the importance of purchasing a pet insurance policy on 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.  The way we look at is if you feel that you could afford spending $3000 to $4000 dollars on medical bills without really worrying about it, chances are you’re financially secure enough to go without purchasing a pet insurance policy.


If you’re like many of who don’t have that “kind” of money just laying around then you may want to consider purchasing a pet insurance policy for your little buddy.

For more information about…

Who we “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry right now, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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