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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Curly-Coated Retriever


Curly-Coated Retriever Facts

  • Group
  • Sporting
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 23" - 27"
  • Weight
  • 60-80 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • Black
    • Brown
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Ok outdoors
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names



The curly coated retriever originated in Great Britain.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in 1800.


The curly coated retriever was probably developed from the Saint John's Newfoundland, the Irish water spaniel, the poodle, and the Old English water dog. It was bred to retrieve water foul and upland game birds. Although it is not popular in the U.S., it is well known in Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. The curly coated retriever is the oldest of the breeds now known as retrievers.


This is a strong, medium to large sized dog that is slightly longer than it is tall. The head is long and wedge shaped with dark, almond shaped eyes and small drop ears. The chest is deep and the tail is long. The tightly curled, water resistant coat covers the entire body, even the tail. The coat is short and straight only on the face, front of the fore legs and the feet.


This breed is energetic and playful, adaptable to its owners activity level. It is affectionate with its friends and family but reserved with strangers. It enjoys children.


As its name indicates, it is adapted to retrieving game that has been shot and returning it to the hunter. In particular the curly coated retriever knows how to carry dead or wounded animals gently in its mouth. It is an excellent worker over difficult terrain and in water. Its thick coat protects it from the dampness and thorny bushes.

Health Concerns

Alopecia, cancer, eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia.

Additional Information

An active dog which is also prized for its endurance, the Curly usually needs a high-quality food. Some breeders feed a natural diet, consisting of meat and vegetables. Others feed good quality commercial dog foods.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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