are curly coated retrievers good family dogs

Are Curly Coated Retrievers Good Family Dogs?

Are you considering adopting a Curly coated retriever as your new family companion? Are curly coated retrievers good family dogs? With their characteristic curly coats and amiable personalities, Curly Coated Retrievers have long been regarded as ideal family pets. These flexible, clever dogs are admired for their devotion, good humor, and inherent desire to please their human owners. Although every dog is different, the breed’s temperament and traits make them great complements to a family.

In this article, I will explore the many characteristics of Curly Coated Retrievers that make them great family dogs, such as their amiable nature, flexibility, and capacity for developing close relationships with their owners. A Curly Coated Retriever could be the appropriate canine friend for your family, regardless of whether your home is lively or peaceful.

The Origin of Curly Coated Retrievers

The curly coated retriever is a hunting game dog that was probably developed in England in the early 1700s. Although its precise origins are unknown, it is believed to have resulted from the crossing of the Irish water spaniel, an old English water dog, a tiny breed of Newfoundland, and, subsequently, maybe the poodle. In keeping with their ancestry, Curlies are excellent swimmers and hunters.

One of the earliest British retriever breeds to be presented in England was the curly coated retriever, which dates back to around 1860. The Curly Coated Retriever Club of America claims this breed was the first to be designated as a retriever and displayed in a dog show. The curly coated retriever is unique among curly breeds in that it was given that name because of its curly coat; this may be a sign that it was this breed’s first introduction to the curly coat.

Breed historians sometimes call these dogs “blue collar” retrievers since gamekeepers and poachers, not nobles were more likely to possess them. Curly coated retrievers became “meat dogs,” hunting after birds that other dogs had left behind.

Despite having many characteristics that make it an excellent sports dog and family pet, the curly coated retriever is still an uncommon breed in the United States, initially introduced in the early nineteenth century. For instance, it was ranked 123rd out of 137 breeds approved by the American Kennel Club in 1994.

Curly Coated Retriever Characteristics

are curly coated retrievers good family dogs

The intelligence and loyalty of Curly Coated Retrievers are highly renowned, as are their distinctively curly coats. If the conditions are good, they can become great family dogs. The following describe some qualities of Curly Coated Retrievers as family dogs.


The moderately active Curly Coated Retriever is known for its compassionate and empathetic character. This breed is calm and even-tempered, and they get along well with various people, including kids. The Curly Coated Retriever is sometimes said to be one of the “most brave” of the retriever breeds and will aggressively protect their family from harm when the situation calls for it. They are thought to be very loyal and dedicated to their owners.

This breed is exceptionally clever and responds nicely to various instructions, which prospective owners should know. However, owners should use extreme caution when introducing their Curly Coated Retriever to strangers according to their protective tendencies. Inaction may lead to unpleasant experiences.


Due to their fun, energy, and loyalty to owners, Curly Coated Retrievers often make wonderful companions for kids. The breed is often not advised for households with younger children (such as toddlers) because of their size (& inclination for roughhousing). How come this is the case? Despite the Curly Coated Retriever’s overall affection towards children, smaller children may find them intimidating, leading to your youngster being easily knocked down.

Children may eventually suffer severe damage as a result of this. However, older children who are strong enough to support their Curly Coated Retriever will not have any problems with this and will cherish their Curly’s love and attention. Parents should always be proactive in teaching their kids how to manage and interact with their Curly Coated Retriever companions, as with other dog breeds. To avoid “food aggression,” you should ban children from approaching dogs when eating or sleeping.

You should also instruct them not to tug (or poke) delicate regions of your dog, Curly. Similarly, parents should constantly watch their kids while they are around their pets to ensure appropriate manners are being used. By ensuring that a disciplined approach is used, parents may protect their household from undesirable behaviors and support the development of lifelong beneficial ties between their children and Curly Coated Retriever.


Within the world of dogs, the Curly Coated Retriever is a breed with mediocre intelligence. This breed is now rated #41 among the world’s brightest dog breeds as of May 2022. This compares the Curly Coated Retriever’s general intelligence level to the Smooth Fox Terrier, Irish Wolfhound, Bedlington Terrier, & Kuvasz (Coren, 182). The Curly, which experts refer to as a “fourth tier” breed, can often learn a new command after twenty-five to forty repetitions of an activity.

Like owners, they normally comply with a new command 50% of the time. The Curly Coated Retriever’s intrinsic independence and stubbornness are partly to blame for this requirement for repeated repeats (rather than a lack of intellect). Because of this, training for this breed may be challenging and demands a lot of patience from owners.


The medium to large-sized Curly Coated Retriever is renowned for its muscular and proportionate look. Although the Curly Coated Retriever maintains a somewhat “off square” balance, meaning that it is somewhat longer (from the prosternum through the buttocks) than the length from the withers to the floor, it is crucial to remember that overall bodies must be well-proportioned.

Few dogs of this breed weigh more than sixty to seventy pounds, or a total of twenty-seven inches in height, in terms of their whole size. With well-sprung ribs, chests must be deep (but not unduly broad). Major flaws are deemed deviations from these guidelines and should be assessed by a licensed veterinarian.


In terms of the Curly Coated Retriever’s original function & purpose, it should be noted that this specific breed was first created for water retrieving and hunting adventures into the wild. The Curly Coated Retriever still serves in this capacity today and is a favorite of hunters and sportsmen. However, more recently, those looking for a companion dog have preferred the breed because of its friendly disposition. This “companionship” tendency is anticipated to continue to expand over the next decades as hunting loses popularity over time.

The Curly Coated Retriever is a favorite of search & rescue teams because, besides providing companionship, the dog is well-suited to look for (and locate) missing persons because of its innate intelligence and amiable nature. They can be readily taught to help persons who are disabled and residents of nursing homes, making them well-suited for the position of a therapy dog. This friendly disposition makes the Curly Coated Retriever a good choice for households with children of all ages.


The lifespan of a Curly Coated Retriever ranges from nine to fourteen years. This is only a generalization since some dogs may live longer or not even reach this age. Every dog is different and will live to the best extent of their abilities provided they are fed nutritious food, given the necessary attention, and produced by an ethical breeder.

Are Curly Coated Retrievers Suitable as Family Pets?

are curly coated retrievers good family dogs

Since they are devoted to their families and develop strong ties with them, Curly Coat Retrievers are excellent family pets. They are energetic, which may benefit households with temperamentally balanced kids. Due to their temperament and demeanor, Curly Coat Retrievers are wonderful family dogs. However, this might change depending on how much exercise they get.

Their attitude is calm and affectionate, similar to other retrievers, and their even temperament makes them a great choice for households with members of all ages. This breed requires regular exercise and proper training since a lack of either might result in boredom or a lack of mental & physical stimulation.

Although each dog may act differently from humans, as a whole, this breed is a wonderful addition to any household. Even though they work well in families, certain particular, unusual family settings may not be the best for them. Families who live in apartments or other compact homes may not be the best choice since they want a yard and plenty of space for recreation. Due to their intense prey drive, it’s also crucial that they’ve got a fenced-in yard to reduce distractions.

It might be crucial for families to educate themselves about this breed and the best ways to coexist with them. Families that like being active and outdoors are particularly well suited for this breed since the dog will fit in just well. To prevent unintentional harm to either the dog or the little kid, it is crucial for a family with very young children always to keep both under supervision. Although neither party intends to harm the other, accidents do occur. If there is someone in the family who is capable of taking leadership, this breed makes a terrific family pet.

Curly Coated Retrievers Make Excellent Family Dogs

Curly Coat Retrievers are wonderful family pets when placed with the appropriate household. Their temperament and demeanor are affectionate, loyal, and even-tempered, similar to those of other retrievers, provided they get enough activity, which must be about an hour each day.

For them, exercise may lower their risk of being bored and getting into mischief, such as sometimes gnawing on forbidden objects. Regardless of age, they get along nicely with family members, although young or tiny children must always be watched while they are together. Accidents or injuries that neither party intended to happen may occur, but someone has to be in control, keeping an eye on things and ensuring everything is well.

This breed requires a lot of mental and physical exercise, which may be provided via interactive toys and activities for the whole family. Without it, people may act inappropriately. For their security and safety, they must additionally include a fenced-in yard. Due to their high energy levels and demand for physical exercise, they will not thrive in an apartment or a family house without a yard.

This breed will be a wonderful addition to the family unit for highly active people who love spending time outside engaging in activities. They may go on many adventures with this dog and create priceless memories. This breed requires a strong leader, someone in the household who is certain of their position as a leader and leaves no space for argument when it originates to training and who is in control. In addition, like many retrievers, they develop a strong attachment with their family members and would fit in well with a small or big household.

Facts About the Curly Coated Retrievers

are curly coated retrievers good family dogs

The Curly Coated Retriever is a huge, stout, stylish Sporting Group canine. Here are seven interesting facts about this intelligent and energetic dog.

☑️One of the Oldest Breeds of Retrievers is the Curly Coated Retriever.

The Curly is a breed unto himself, despite having the appearance of a Labrador Retriever mixed with a Poodle. In reality, the Curly is one of the earliest breeds of retriever and was the first to be employed in England for serious retrieving activity. He was created in England, where English gamekeepers have long favored him. Therefore, he was well-liked on the vast estates. This unusual dog appears in British artwork from three hundred years ago and reports in writing from 1803.

☑️Purebred Curlies have Existed Since the Early 1900s.

The Curly’s lineage is a mystery. His pedigree has not been documented since he has been a purebred since the early 1900s. The Poodle, The Newfoundland, & the Irish Water Spaniel, as well as several extinct breeds, are possibly some of the breeds in his heritage. Over the years, the Curly Coated Retriever’s popularity has fluctuated, and during World Wars, the breed’s population fell precipitously. The breed is rare since the Labrador Retriever & Golden Retriever have displaced it in popularity.

☑️Curlies Only Need Little Grooming.

The distinctive coat takes little maintenance and is almost effortless. No regular combing or brushing is required, and only seldom bathing is required. Light brushing may be used to assist in reducing hair fall, although the Curly does shed. Once a year for males and twice a year for females, they both lose some of their coats.

☑️They Have Straight Hair on their Face

A distinguishing feature of the breed, the dense coat is made up of a pile of tiny, tightly curled hairs that are all different. The only remaining straight hair is on the face and the front of the legs. The coat provides protection from water, inclement weather, and rough underbrush, which is close to the skin. The coat must be either black or liver, as the breed standard specifies.

☑️Their Personalities Vary From Other Retrievers.

The Curly may be distinguished from other retrievers by his coat and temperament. Regarding their family, these dogs are devoted and protective but might be slightly less friendly toward outsiders than other retrievers. They may appear less outgoing, especially when speaking to strangers, partly because of their independence and discriminating nature.

☑️They are Eager Swimmers and Hunters.

The Curly coated is an energetic dog that searches for his next meal the whole day. Even in the harshest circumstances, like freezing water, he will collect both fur and feathers, making him a fantastic all-around hunting buddy. This swift and nimble canine needs a lot of exercise since hunting is in his blood. It is a tremendous plus if the workout involves swimming or water fetching.

☑️Curlies Take Longer to Mature but Are Incredibly Smart.

Curly is charming, kind, collected, and loving when he is with his family. Most are nice playmates for kids; however, like with other dogs, kids should be taught proper conduct. Curlies take longer to grow than anticipated, but they are also obedient, attentive, and clever. All of these variables will influence your training regimen. Maintaining a pleasant atmosphere throughout your lessons might help keep your Curly from becoming bored.

The Curly Coated Retriever’s More Traits and Qualities

A breed of retriever recognized for its distinctive curly coat and remarkable retrieving skills is the Curly Coated Retriever. Here are some more traits and qualities of the Curly Coated Retriever in addition to those listed above.

👉Providing Enough Physical Activity and Mental Stimulation

Curly Coated Retrievers are more energetic and athletic than the more well-known Labrador and Golden Retrievers. Curlies require more physical activity since it gives them more chances to let off steam and do fun things. Otherwise, they’ll become bored and bark and chew things up to vent their boredom.

👉Providing Adequate Socialization

Curly Coated Retrievers require a lot of exposure to humans and unexpected sights and noises since they are naturally reserved. Without this, their inherent caution may develop into suspiciousness or shyness, both of which are difficult to deal with.


Again, Curly coated Retrievers may be more manipulative and obstinate than their Labrador and Golden Retriever counterparts. However, if you demonstrate to them through complete consistency that you mean what you say, they are intelligent canines prepared to learn. “Respect Training” is essential if you want your Curly to learn to listen to you. See Curly Coated Retriever Training.

👉Trimming and Shedding

Don’t believe claims that Curly Coated Retrievers are “low shedding” or hypoallergenic since they do shed. They aren’t. To prevent their curly locks from turning too long and unkempt, curlies sometimes need to trim their hair.

👉Finding One

You’ll need to look hard for a breeder, join their waiting list, & pay a high fee since curlies are rare.

👉Possible Health Issues

All retriever breeds are prone to debilitating hip and bone issues and genetic eye conditions that may cause blindness. The Curly Coated Retriever also faces major risks from epilepsy and heart problems.

Introducing the Curly Coated Retriever to the Family

are curly coated retrievers good family dogs

Teaching your family what is expected of each member is the greatest approach to getting them ready for having a Curly Coat Retriever in the home. If there isn’t another dog in the home, children should learn & understand how to treat the dog in particular. They must learn to respect the dog and their sleeping and resting areas. They should be taught to refrain from verbally or physically abusing the dog and be aware that such conduct has repercussions.

In addition, kids ought to be motivated to spend time with the Curly Coated Retriever to develop a strong, loving relationship with the socially acceptable & age-appropriate dog. Additionally, they need a private, secure space in extreme stress or chaos, which may occur in even the coziest and most tranquil homes. The family should choose the dog’s needs, organize where stuff will go, and create the family timetable for dog care.

Each family member will feel more like the dog as their dog and develop a tight attachment based on that connection the more engagement they have. Before the Curly Coated Retriever moves into the family home, it may assist in acquainting the family members with the dog. This will give them a chance to get to understand the dog before they bring him home. Choosing a dog, its adoption into the family, and its upkeep should be a joint effort. One that takes into account everyone’s emotions and ideas.

Reasons to Adopt a Curly Coated Retriever

Curly Coated Retrievers are an excellent dog species, and there are several reasons why you should consider adopting one:

Unique Appearance

Curly Coated Retrievers are distinguished from other retriever varieties by their distinctive curly texture. Their distinctive appearance frequently elicits admiration and praise from others.

Active and Energetic

A Curly Coated Retriever could be the perfect pet partner if you love being active and outside. They have a ton of energy and like participating in various athletic activities, including swimming, hiking, long walks, and fetching games.

Excellent Retrievers

Curly Coated Retrievers have excellent retrieving instincts, as their name implies. Their webbed feet & water-resistant coat make them great swimmers, and they were first developed for recovering games in the water. They thrive in games like retrieving and dock diving, which can be fun for the dog and the owner.

Loyal and Affectionate

It is well known that Curly Coated Retrievers are devoted and caring animals. They develop tight relationships with their owners and are sometimes called “Velcro dogs” since they love being around their loved ones. They make wonderful family pets and thrive on human company.

Low Maintenance Coat

Despite their curly texture, these canines require less maintenance than other breeds with curly hair. Their hair does not discharge excessively & is generally simpler to maintain, making them an excellent option for those who prefer a low-maintenance hygiene routine.

Intelligent and Trainable

Curly Coated Retrievers are renowned for their intelligence and trainability. They learn rapidly and excel in obedience instruction, agility, and other dog sports—their intelligence and enthusiasm to please make them a pleasure to train a curly-coated retriever.

Versatile Companions

Curly Coated Retrievers are adaptable dogs that perform well in various environments. They can adapt to their environment, whether in an apartment or a home with a yard. They are often nice to kids and other animals if properly socialized from an early age.

Remember that adopting a dog needs dedication, effort, and time. It’s crucial to do your homework on the breed, think about your lifestyle, and ensure you can provide a Curly Coated Retriever with the exercise, care, and attention they need. Adopting one of these dogs may provide you with years of happiness and friendship if you feel they fit your tastes and lifestyle.

Proper Care of Curly Coated Retrievers

are curly coated retrievers good family dogs

The stunning and distinctive Curly Coated Retriever is recognized for its thick, curly coat. Proper care is necessary to preserve their coats’ health and general well-being. Following are some tips for caring for your Curly Coated Retriever.


Curly coated needs just a few basic grooming procedures. Because brushing may make the tight curls frizzy, most owners avoid it. Instead, you may moisten your dog’s coat and let it dry naturally. This is a simple method to maintain your dog’s good looks while emphasizing their curls. Shedding in a curly coated retriever may sometimes be a hassle. The shedding season affects females more than men every six months.

When they lose the most, females might seem to have no skin. You may groom them by removing dead hair with a metal-pronged instrument like a rake. For a neater appearance, you may also scissor-cut the coat. To avoid infections, regularly trim their nails & clean their ears. To finish their regular hygiene, use toothpaste appropriate for dogs to brush their teeth.


Ensure that your pet always has access to fresh water. Feed your retriever with a curly coat of premium dog food. Many dogs thrive on dry dog food. Find a brand that your pet likes. For advice on the best foods for your dog, speak with your veterinarian. Additionally, before giving your dog anything from your kitchen, know which human foods are secure for them to consume.


Curly coated retrievers need a good deal of physical activity. Since they dislike being alone for extended periods, it is advisable to engage with your pet to get them moving. At least once each day, you may play fetch or go on a stroll. Both going outdoors and spending time inside with you are enjoyable to these dogs. Keep them with you so you can provide them with both physical and cerebral stimulation as you go about your day.


The best person to decide which immunizations your pet needs is your veterinarian. However, all dogs ought to get a basic set. As early as 6 weeks of age, these may start. You may talk to your veterinarian about additional non-core immunizations.

Apply the appropriate dosage for flea and tick treatments based on your dog’s weight. You may purchase oral and topical treatments from your veterinarian and other providers. Consult your veterinarian to determine which medicine is appropriate for you, as many may be useful against various pests and parasites. Additionally, heartworm prevention is advised all year round in the United States.

Special Considerations for Curly Coated Retrievers

Before bringing a curly coated retriever home, consider a few things. They’re fantastic with tiny children. They get a five out of five from the American Kennel Club for this feature. However, they could be nicer with other dogs. The AKC gives them a 3 out of five for this characteristic.

Early training & socialization may help these dogs become more comfortable among other people. The best ways to teach this breed are avoiding repetition and making things as enjoyable as possible. You must be tough but not excessively hostile with your pet.

They make excellent security dogs than other retriever breeds since they may be distant from strangers. They hardly bark approximately half the time and typically drool. Because they shed so much at various times of the year, the curly coated retriever are not a hypoallergenic dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are curly coated retrievers suitable for new owners?

The Curly Coated Retriever may be an ideal family dog for houses without children or for those with older children who love lengthy walks and training. Due to the point commitment necessary to educate this intelligent but slow-growing breed, there may be better options than this for busy households or those with very small children.

Can curly coated retrievers get along with other dogs?

To develop a confident demeanor, a Curly Coated Retriever puppy requires more socializing than other retrievers. Many have reasonable defensive instincts and, like a Golden or Labrador Retriever, may not welcome outsiders into their homes. He gets along well with other animals & is both playful and tolerant.

Are Curly Coated Retrievers protective dogs?

The Curly is distinguished from other retrievers not only by his coat but also by his personality. These dogs are protective and devoted to their family, although they might be slightly more reserved with strangers than other retrievers.

What was the curly coated retriever’s initial purpose?

The Curly Coated Retriever was bred to be a gamekeeper’s gun dog, and its personality and conformation reflect this. Curlies are still utilized as bird-hunting partners in several nations, including upland & waterfowl hunting.

Final Words

As dog lovers, we should consider how wonderful dogs are for our family. With its devoted and caring disposition, the Curly Coat Retriever is a great dog for a family. While they need someone in charge who is at ease in the role and is not readily influenced, they get along well when properly socialized and taught. Curly Coated Retrievers may flourish in a family setting with appropriate training, socialization, and love and care, developing deep ties and offering pleasure and affection to their human partners.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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