Dog Health & More
Created to retrieve game from land or water, the Curly-Coated Retriever dog breed was popular with English gamekeepers, hunters, and poachers alike. Today he competes in such dog sports as field trials, agility, obedience, and flyball and has been successful as a therapy dog, drug detection dog, and search and rescue dog. When he's not out working or competing, he's happy to lie beside his favorite person, enjoying a nice back scratch.
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The dense curls of the Curly-Coated Retriever leave many wondering if the breed is a cross between a poodle and a retriever. They might be surprised to learn that he is the oldest recognized retriever around.
The Curly-Coated Retriever is a large dog with an even larger heart. One glimpse of this breed in action tells you that he's an ideal hunting dog, filled with the drive and determination that all retrievers possess. His unusual coat — a dense mass of small, tight, crisp black or dark reddish-brown curls — is often mistakenly believed to be difficult to care for, but it's actually fairly easy, requiring only moderate grooming.
In addition to his hunting ability, this active, intelligent dog is a wonderful jogging companion and family friend. An active family, that is. With his retriever drive, he needs daily exercise and mental stimulation in the form of training and play to keep from becoming bored and destructive.
The Curly, as he's known, is loyal to his family and displays the even temper that is so well loved in all retriever breeds. He's more reserved with strangers than other retrievers, however, and needs to be properly socialized — exposed to many different people, sights, sounds and experiences — to prevent timidity.
They do very well with children as long as you lay down some ground rules for dog and child. No ear pulling, tail pulling or biting allowed! For the safety of both, never leave small children unsupervised with any dog.
Curly-Coated Retrievers take longer to mature than other breeds, so be prepared to live with a full-grown dog who acts like a puppy for several years. Because they're high-energy dogs, they're not suited to apartment life and should live in a home with a large fenced yard where they have plenty of room to romp.
Like all retrievers, Curlies are mouthy and love to chew, nip, and carry objects. Be prepared for this trait, and work with it by providing your Curly with toys he's allowed to chew, praising him when you see him chewing them, and keeping forbidden items out of reach. Be consistent. If he's not allowed to chew on your good shoes, don't give him an old one to play with. He doesn't know the difference between Payless and Prada.
For the active individual or family who would like a retriever who stands out from the crowd, the Curly-Coated Retriever is an excellent choice, as he enjoys hunting, fishing and camping in the great outdoors followed by quiet indoor evenings relaxing with his people.