Curly Coated Retriever

Breed Details


Exercise Requirements:

Grooming Requirements:


29-36 kg (approx)

Life Span:

8-12 years (approx)


The Curly-Coated Retriever is a large, athletic retriever with a distinctive curly coat. They are agile, graceful yet strong. The tight curls protect the dog from brambles and icy water. Only the face, hocks, and front of the legs have smooth hair. Their muzzle should taper to a well-developed nose with wide nostrils. They have teeth that meet in a scissors bite and their ears are pendant and small. Their eyes are either black or chestnut depending on the coat colour of the dog and their tail reaches approximately to the hock and is carried straight.

Strong, upstanding dog with a degree of elegance. Distinctive coat.

Intelligent, steady, reliable.


The curly-coated retriever is a working game dog that originated in England perhaps as long ago as the 1700s. Its exact ancestry has long been lost, but it probably stems from crosses of the old English water dog, Irish water spaniel, a small type of Newfoundland, and later, perhaps even poodle. True to their heritage, Curlies are great swimmers and hunters.

The curly-coated retriever is one of the oldest British retriever breeds and was first shown in England about 1860. Of all the curly breeds, the curly-coated retriever has the distinction of being named for its curly coat, which may be an indication that this dog was the first of all the curly-coated breeds.

Some breed historians describe these dogs as the "blue-collar" of retrievers because they tended to be owned by gamekeepers and poachers, not aristocrats. Curly coated retrievers were "meat dogs" that would find birds left behind by other dogs.


The Curly-Coated Retriever is loyal, bold, friendly, self-confident, and independent. They may seem aloof, confident, mischievous, energetic dog but are known to be eager to please dogs, this breed usually gets on well with dogs and other household animals such as cats.

They are known to be relatively patient with children; however, they may accidentally knock over small children when they become excited or boisterous.


The breed is considered an average shedder. The coat is easy to care for and only needs some routine brushing to stay in excellent condition. If brushing makes the coat frizzy, simply dampen or wet the coat to restore the curls. Some guardians of curly-coated retrievers never brush their dogs and, instead, only bathe them from time to time. Because of the oily coat, count on bathing this dog at least three times a year.

Curly coated retrievers are sporting dogs at heart, so they need lots of exercises. They are not suitable for apartment living; they need a substantial yard where they can romp. The curly is best suited for an active family that will include the dog in home life and outdoor activities. Curlies especially thrive on swimming and retrieving.