The Curly coated retriever is one of the rare dog breeds today as we hardly come across one these days. It is believed to be the cross between an English Spaniel and Retrieving Setter or Newfoundland though there may be a bit of Irish Water Spaniel or Poodle in its ancestry as well. The breed is popular in Australia and New Zealand as hunting dogs and was first exported to the United States in 1907. Here is a brief guide about this retriever breed.
Interesting facts and description
- The Curly coated retriever is not hypoallergenic unlike other curly coated breeds like Poodles.
- This is a sound, robust breed. This was probably the first breed used as a serious retriever in England.
- Colors- Common colors in the Curly are black and liver.
- Ideal weight and height for males is 60-75 lbs and 25-27 inches height. For bitches, ideal weight is between 66 to 70 lbs and 23-25 inches height.
- Curlys are favored for their excellent field ability, endurance and courage. They are also unsurpassed in water.
- Life expectancy is 8-12 years.
Where to find a Curly Coated Retriever
The best place to find your Curly coated retriever puppy is from top breeders. You can get a list of registered breeders near you from the official website of the Curly. Note that there may be a long wait time for your Curly coated retriever puppy as the breed is relatively rare, not much in demand and getting the perfect litter is often difficult. Other places to get your Curly coated retriever puppy include animal rescue shelters where you can find abandoned pets and strays. You will be doing the world a service if you adopt instead of shop. Alternatively, you could visit pet stores in your area and see if you can find a Curly from there. The advantage of breeders is that you can observe the puppy’s parents and study its temperament first. Also, responsible and good breeders ensure initial health checks and can provide you with medical papers for the same. Local newspapers also carry listings with Curly coated retriever puppies so you may want to keep an eye out for those. Depending on the breeder, your area, and the pedigree of the litter, expect to pay anywhere between $1000 and $1500 for a healthy Curly coated retriever puppy.
The Curly coated retriever is confident, proud, energetic, steadfast, patient and determined breed. Your puppy might appear aloof, strong-willed and determined which can be a hindrance during training. Note that this is a sensitive breed, so be gentle and patient during training. Adult Curlys are noted for even temperament and they can be extremely protective without being aggressive.
There is a big difference between training a puppy and training an adult. Puppies are easiest to train so start young, and try to be consistent and patient. Never train your puppy just before meal times-feeding him treats during training will spoil his appetite and is recipe for disaster. Here are some more tips and pointers when training your curly:
- Your Curly loves to Retrieve-so include retrieving games in your training sessions.
- Each family member must know what rules to set forth for the puppy.
- Your puppy will naturally choose one of your family members as the Alpha or the Pack leader. This is probably also the person who feeds him/her.
- Food ranks very high in your puppy’s mind-so treats are a good way to get your pet to learn to do what you want her/him to do. However, be careful about treating otherwise you might end up with an obese pet.
- Training begins the moment your Curly enters your home. So never let him/her run wild and free. Make sure he knows who is in charge.
- Allowing your pet on furniture and beds or sofas is like giving him the same position as you. So learn to use the word ‘OFF!’ or “No”, so your pet learns he is not allowed on these objects.
- Obedience training is not just a classroom activity. Teach your pet at every opportunity you get.
- Leash training is very important in the early stages- it can act as an ‘umbilical cord’ in that; he walks when you walk, he heels when you stop he sits when you sit and so on.
- Studies show that dogs understand their master’s voice and tone. SO be very careful how you use your voice while training. Raising your voice while training will erode your pet’s trust in you.
- Use hand signals along with verbal commands when training your pet.
For more training tips, visit our training section guide here.
This is an outdoorsy dog. He needs a lot of exercise-twice a day preferably for 60 minutes. In fact the best owner for this dog is the hunter, active sportsman type. Training and daily exercise can help alleviate boredom. This dog does best in a suburban, rural or country setting with a fenced yard and plenty of space.
Shedding and grooming
Curly coated retrievers shed throughout the year and heavily twice a year. You must brush your pet’s coat daily or weekly to remove loose hair. This will keep the nuisance of loose hair on your clothing and furniture. Avoid bathing your pet too much-once a month or as needed is generally sufficient. Check your pet’s ears once a week to keep infections at bay. Use a vet approved ear cleaner to prevent fungal and bacterial infections. Also brush your pet’s teeth once a week to keep breath fresh. If your pet is sufficiently active, you do not need to trim its toenails and they would wear down naturally.
Feed your pet a high quality, clean dog food. Your vet or breeder can give you all the information you need about the right dog food for your Curly. This breed is prone to allergies and skin diseases. So feeding the right diet can make a difference.
Curly coated retrievers are susceptible to kidney or liver failure, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, skin diseases and allergies. Routine checkups, right diet and adequate exercise can help keep your pet healthy and active for years to come.