Curly Coated Retrievers are excellent sporting dogs, capable of working tirelessly retrieving game, be it on land or in water. They have no reluctance to jump into icy water even in the height of winter, so these all season retrievers are highly valued by hunters.
The Curly Coated Retriever dog breed is the tallest among retrievers, and they do their field duty exceptionally well when it comes to hunting prey. However, they are well mannered and calm indoors, and make very good housedogs. They are very gentle and remain sensitive to the owner at all times.
Curly Coated Retrievers have a long history since they are among the oldest retriever type dog breeds. Even though their exact origin is not clear, their original lineage includes English and Irish Water Spaniels and St. John’s Newfoundland among others. They have a bit of poodle and setter in them too, that came from subsequent breeding. It is thought that this breed must have got its curly coat from the poodle.
In the early 18th century they were used as retrievers of water fowls, a job they were well suited to with their water resistant coat. They were useful for hunting game upland too, making them a multi-purpose retriever breed.
By mid 19thCentury, the Curly Coated Retriever dog breed had become the most sought after and popular retrievers in England, its country of origin. Not only were they used in hunting, but had earned the reputation of being excellent companion dogs too. Their distinctive look caught immediate attention in dog shows and their fame took them to Australia and New Zealand before long. Introduced to the U.S. in 1907, the breed was officially recognized by AKC in 1924.
The Curly Coated Retriever dog breed is easily recognized by their distinctive coat of tight curls. They have a well-proportioned body with folded ears and a thin, long tail. They usually carry their tail nearly horizontal.
Lean and muscular, they have a graceful look that spells strength and agility. The Curly Coated Retrievers stand tall at 25 to 27 inches at the withers, but females may be slightly smaller. The dog is slightly longer than it is tall, but its long legs and erect stature makes it look very tall. The single coat is either solid black or solid liver.
Originally a gun dog, they have been used as retrievers on both land and water, making them very flexible and versatile. Their lively temperament and great stamina make them great companions for hunters. They are happiest when they have constant work do. On the other hand, they become easily bored when idle, and this may precipitate destructive behavior in these dogs. As long as they have sufficient outdoor activities, they remain calm and well mannered indoors.
Even though they have an aloof manner, and are reserved with strangers, they are loyal to their owner and the family members. These dogs rank quite high in intelligence, but training them can be a bit difficult because of their independent nature. They do not like repetitive exercises, and may refuse to obey commands unless you bring in stimulating activities.
Grooming and exercise
The tightly curled coat of the Curly Coated Retriever dog breed is surprisingly easy to groom on account of it being single coated. An occasional brushing is all that it takes to keep it clean and healthy.
This sporting dog breed requires regular exercise and activities. They love swimming; and this activity can provide very good exercise for their muscles. Their retriever instinct can be stimulated by games involving fetching, if real opportunities for retrieving game are not available.
These dogs are excellent for outdoor living and should ideally have a large fenced in yard to spend the day freely roaming around. They can live outside in a kennel during the night too, but when kept as a family dog, they are better off spending the nights with their family.
Common health issues of Curly Coated Retriever dog breed
The Curly Coated Retriever dog breed is one of the healthiest breeds around with almost no major problems except Canine Hip Dysplasia. Distichiasis and cataract are two of the eye problems that may very occasionally occur in this breed. They lead a fairly trouble-free life, but there’s wide variation in their life spans, ranging from 8 years to 14 years.