Curly-Coated Retriever

Curly-Coated Retriever

Group: Sporting Group

Origin: Great Britain


    – Males: 25 to 27 inches (64-69cm)
    – Females: 23 to 25 inches (58-64cm)
Curly-Coated Retriever
Image by u_3uh5d1xl from Pixabay

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Breed Profile

The Curly-Coated Retriever is recognized as one of the oldest of the retrieving breeds. Developed in England, he was renowned for his field ability, courage, and perseverance. Today he is still regarded as the most efficient retriever in New Zealand and Australia where he works on upland game as well as waterfowl. Although not as popular today as the Golden and Labrador Retrievers, he still maintains a faithful following around the world.

He is a charming, gentle, family companion. Self-confident and always alert yet calm and affectionate. The Curly is a very loyal family dog and generally reserved with strangers making him an excellent watchdog. Though closely related to other Retriever breeds, each have their own distinct habits and temperaments. Compared to the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever, the Curly is somewhat independent. However, like other Retrievers, the Curly shares some general characteristics such as intelligence, a keen instinct for hunting and retrieving, an even and stable temperament, and an extended puppy-like mentality.

The Curly is an active dog and needs plenty of outdoor exercise. In addition to being a excellent hunter, the Curly is very versatile and excels in many areas, such as conformation, obedience, agility, flyball, as well as working as a Therapy dog.

His coat is a thick mass of close-lying small, tight and crisp curls, and like the Flat-Coated Retriever, his coat is either black or liver in colour.

Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Curly-Coated Retriever puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the Curly Coated Retriever, the CHICNOTE 1 database includes health screenings for:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Congenital Cardiac Database
  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist
  • Also listed as “Optional”: Elbow Dysplasia; GSD IIIa

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

  • Grooming a Curly Coated Retriever
  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Is That A Labradoodle? — A must read article regarding the mixed-breed “Doodles” and “Poos”. These are not exotic new breeds!
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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