5 Things You Didn't Know About Curly Coated Retrievers

5 Things You Didn't Know About Curly Coated Retrievers

  • Emily Robinson

According to the American Kennel Club, the Curly is an intelligent and determined breed, but did you know... 

1. The Curly is one of the oldest retriever breeds. 

Often mistaken as a cross between the Labrador retriever and poodle, the Curly is a breed of its own. The Curly is most likely the first breed to be used for serious retrieving work in England. Though written accounts go back to 1803, the ancestry of the curly is still unknown. Today, the breed is limited in numbers, with its popularity being over thrown by the Labrador and Golden retrievers. 

2. The characteristic of their coat requires little grooming and is virtually maintenance free.

Though their coat requires minimal grooming, Curlies are not hypoallergenic. Their thick coat, either liver (brown) or black in color, consists of thick, small, tight, and distinct curls which serve as waterproof and thorn-proof gear. Only the face and the front of the legs have straight hair. The breed does shed, so light brushing can be used to help control the fall of hair. Males shed their coat once a year, while females shed their coat twice a year. 

3. As a member of the Sporting Group, the Curly is an active dog. 

Going all day long, the Curly needs plenty of exercise. Swimming or fetching in the water as exercise would be a huge bonus. When they are on the hunt, they are especially eager and persistent. Due to that heritage, they make great multipurpose hunting companions-- retrieving both fur and feathered creatures in even the worst weather conditions such as icy water. 

4. Curlies are mouthy and like to chew. 

Like all retrievers, Curlies love to chew and carry objects around. Be prepared for this trait, and work with your Curly (if you own one) to distinguish what your Curly is allowed to chew, praising when you see it. Give your Curly a variety of activities and objects to chew on because they tend to get bored easily. Curlies enjoy being active and spending time with their families. Too much time spent away from their family can cause them to be a bit destructive. 

5. Curlies are slow to mature, but wickedly smart. 

This might mean you will have a puppy for longer than expected. However, according to the AKC, the Curly is responsive and very intelligent. They are also affectionate, protective, and loyal when it comes to their family, but unlike other retrievers, they are more independent and can be distant with strangers. 

According to, Curlies are often purchased without a clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are a number of Curlies in need of fosters or forever homes. To learn more information, visit the Curly-Coated Retriever Club of America, or check out local listing at Pet Finder and choose find a dog.