curly coated retriever pros and cons

The Ultimate Guide to Curly Coated Retriever Pros and Cons

Do you want to know the curly coated retriever pros and cons? It may come as a surprise to discover that the Curly Coated Retriever is one of the oldest Retriever types. The Curly-Coated Retrievers is renowned for being an exceptional swimmer, an expert gundog, and a wonderful family companion.

Curly Coated Retrievers are renowned for their distinctive curly coat and exceptional retrieving skills. Due to their distinct appearance and versatile abilities, these canines have amassed a devoted fan base. However, like other breeds, the Curly Coated Retriever has pros and cons that prospective owners must consider.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of owning a Curly Coated Retriever so that you can decide whether this breed is suitable for your lifestyle. So, let’s explore the world of Curly Coated Retrievers and learn what makes them unique and the challenges they may present.

Breed Overview

The curly-coated Retriever is a retrieving and hunting breed in the category of gun dogs. They could operate in icy conditions on land and in the water, which was no problem for these dog breeds. Thank goodness the breed’s coat made them more adaptable. English poachers and gamekeepers often owned it.

Despite their reputation for versatility, Curlies shouldn’t reside in an apartment. Although they are usually peaceful inside, they want a private outside area that they may use whenever they want. Curlies require company most of the day since they dislike being left alone for an extended time.

When they are young, some Curly-Coated Retrievers may be a bit mouthy. It could become difficult for them to chew and nibble everything they want. Owners must combine patience with training since the breed takes longer to develop. Because of this, they won’t be able to function effectively and independently until they are at least three years old.

It will be challenging to find Curly Coated Retriever pups. Waiting lists for a Vulnerable Native Breed might be extensive. You’ll unlikely discover this dog at a shelter, but you may always try. If you’re serious about getting a Curly Coated Retriever, let respectable breeders know you’re interested.

Breed History

curly coated retriever pros and cons

Out of the six retriever breeds, the Curly Coated Retriever is regarded to be the oldest. Two Retrievers, Flat-coated Retriever & Curly-coated Retriever, were mentioned in the first stud book for pure breeds published in 1874. Both are gundogs that have been employed for upland and waterfowl bird hunting and retrieval. Their home nation is England.

The Curlies’ progenitor is said to have been the now-extinct English Water Spaniel. Due to the tightness of the curls on this Retriever’s coat, it is believed that Poodles helped shape them. The waterproof characteristics of the coat let the Curly Coated Retriever work more when submerged.

This breed stands out from the others in the Retriever family because of its curls. They are the tallest as well. Curlies were well-liked among gundog aficionados in the 1800s but not elsewhere. The Curly Coated Retriever Club was founded in England as a result of this in 1890. The first Curlie arrived in America in 1907.

The number of Curlies continued to decrease due to the war and the development of Labradors and Golden Retrievers. The KC only had five people enrolled in 1919. This dog breed is now classified as a Vulnerable Native Breed by the Kennel Club. Despite this, they continue participating in dog competitions like Crufts & the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Pros and Cons of Curly Coated Retriever

The Curly-Coated Retriever is now rated 167th out of 284 breeds in the American Kennel Club’s popularity rating. The AKC continues by saying that compared to Labrador and Golden Retrievers, the Curly-Coated Retriever is less dependent and more autonomous. In 1924, the AKC recognized the Curly-Coated Retriever as a dog breed. Here are the pros and cons of curly-coated retrievers.

Pros of Curly-Coated Retrievers


You won’t be shocked to find that Curly-Coated Retrievers are often an athletic dog breed as they are excellent swimmers and retrievers. They typically weigh between 60 and 95 pounds and stand between 23 & 27 inches tall. Members of the sporting breed category of the AKC are Curly-Coated Retrievers.

Curlies are built for movement. They are the largest breed of Retrievers, and while weighing more than Labradors, their tall legs give them a lighter, more beautiful appearance. They are neither swift nor strongest but a breed that never quits.


The Curly-Coated Retriever is an adaptable canine that may succeed in several areas. As we said at the beginning of the essay, the Curly-Coated Retriever is a skilled swimmer and a superior gundog. They may also prosper in a family setting but need enough mental and physical activity. In urban or rural environments, Curly-Coated Retrievers love exploring with their owners.

Different environments and circumstances suit curls nicely. A curly may be used for a business meal in the city, a paddleboard excursion on the lake, or a climb in the highlands. Curlies are often self-assured and non-reactive.


The AKC describes the Curly-Coated Retriever as a confident, proud, and intelligent dog. They exhibit the caring, sensitive, and affectionate traits one would anticipate in a Retriever breed such as Goldens or Labradors. The group goes on to say that compared to the other two types, Curly-Coated Retrievers have more autonomous and are less reliant.

Curly owners know that their dogs have a good sense of humor, even if this is merely a human interpretation. Curlies are bright and friendly dog breeds. They get along with other dogs quite well.


If you prefer being the center of attention or fielding inquiries from dog lovers, there might be something other than the Curly-Coated Retriever. However, if you deeply love dogs and are eager to learn about a rare dog breed, you may be a great ambassador for the Curly-Coated Retriever.

Curlies is someone you see very infrequently, yet whenever we head out in the city, someone approaches and inquires about him. Wherever Kaffe travels, he is known to draw attention! The owner of a Xurly should be ready to respond to inquiries with phrases like “No, it’s not a Labradoodle,” “No, it’s not a Spanish waterdog,” and “No, his other father is not a sheep.”


The lovely Curly-Coated Retrievers may play a variety of functions in the lives of their owners over their normal lifetime of 10 to 12 years. According to the AKC, the Curly-Coated Retriever is a “thinking persons Retriever” that “never quits before you do.”

The Curly Coated Retriever is a devoted friend, personal therapist, trainer, & friend that helps you become a better person. However, this is true of all other breeds as well! Just seeing a dog can teach you a lot.

Cons of Curly-Coated Retrievers


Remember to consider the curly-coated retriever size. They are large canines that, if you are not used to living with a medium-sized dog breed daily, may be difficult to manage owing to their size.

Curlies are large dogs, and they pull vigorously while on a leash. They consume a lot of food and occupy much room in the automobile. Kaffe sleeps on the bed now and occupies a lot of room there. This is how we got ourselves into this scenario.

Hard Models

Comparing the Curly-Coated Retriever to the Golden Retriever & the Labrador Retriever, they have a remarkable, almost uncanny look. If aesthetics are your thing, the Curly-Coated Retriever might not have the glitz of an Irish Setter and a Cocker Spaniel. Their curls, though, are endearing.

I could have made things simpler for myself as a photographer by not selecting a friend with an all-black, matte-finish look resembling a sheep. Their appearance, which combines a curly body with a sleek, short-haired head, has caused controversy.


Pay attention to the amount of exercise that Curly-Coated Retrievers need. They are a lively breed that requires a lot of physical and mental exercise to curb undesirable behaviors. A Curly-Coated Retriever should exercise for at least 60 minutes daily but require much more. You might think about playing brain teasers and engaging in other mental exercises to keep the gears turning in these clever canines.

They need a lot of exercise, the same for most dogs. Kaffe can run freely in the forest or on the beach every day. Additionally, you should train CCR’s mind. Practicing new techniques and making sessions brief is a good idea. They could be quickly bored. The daily walk and run in forests is a highlight of my day, but I can understand how this would not be the case for someone else.


Although Curly-Coated Retrievers have wonderful characteristics, they can be difficult like any other dog breed. They are a free breed, as we described before in the essay. An all-loving, gregarious dog that loves every family member, friends, and people, in general, comes to mind when you think of a Retriever, such as a Golden or Labrador. Curly-Coated Retrievers, however, might be devoted to their family and need to be more interested in meeting new people. They may have a stubborn side, which would make training difficult. Starting your training early is an excellent idea.

The curly-coated Retriever is amiable but not too so. Although a family might include many more people and pets than simply the ones you live with, they are not very interested in anybody but their own family. They tend to be independent and obstinate. It’s not enough to demonstrate how to train a Curly. You must explain why.

Curly-Coated Retriever Personality and Temperament

Examining the personality of the Curly-Coated Retriever in detail is the best method to determine whether the breed is ideal for you and your family. To assist you in making a better-educated choice, the temperamental traits of the Curly Coated Retriever temperament are listed below in order of prominence.

◾️They are Very Motivated and Determined.

The Curly-Coated Retriever dog has high drive and tenacity. They will only give up after you do and labor until the task is done. This trait contributes to their excellence as hunting dogs.

◾️They Love their Family.

The Curly-Coated Retrievers value family. They have that calm disposition. The Curly-Coated Retrievers value family. They are Retriever-like in temperament and like spending time with their favorite people.

As they are frequently referred to as “curlies,” they grow incredibly close to their family and want to do anything with them. This breed is not for you if you dislike having a dog follow you around all the time.

◾️They Like Children and Other Canines.

The energetic personality of the Curly-Coated Retriever makes them the perfect playmate for young families. But given their size, a household with older kids could be preferable. When playing, curlies could unintentionally knock over smaller kids if they play too hard with the dog; kids, particularly smaller kids, risk accidentally hurting the curlies.

As long as they have the appropriate socialization, curlies also get along well with other dogs. Take your Curlie puppies to the dog park, to walks around the neighborhood, or even to a friend or family with a dog so the Curlie may grow more used to it and other dogs in general.

◾️They Could Seem Wary Around Strangers.

Contrary to most retrievers, Curlies might be more wary of visitors, particularly if they are in their house. However, Curly Coated Retrievers are often friendly to strangers in social situations. Getting your Curlie socialized and trained immediately is the greatest approach to counteract this. He will be more inclined to let down his guard as an adult after understanding that a new person is not necessarily a danger the more you socialize with him and the sooner you start.

◾️They Often Develop more Slowly and Think Independently.

Compared to other dog breeds, Curly Coated Retrievers take longer to mature. Prepare yourself to handle full-grown puppies for several years. However, it may seem like a lot of fun, dealing with a puppy’s high activity level and mischievous activities all the time can be stressful. If you wonder when he’ll stop acting up, it may not be for many more years.

Curlies are also independent thinkers, making them a less ideal breed for novice dog owners. In other words, not all first-time dog owners are prepared for the extra work and patience that may be required to teach them.

◾️They are Quite Intelligent.

Owners of Curly-Coated Retrievers refer to their breed as “wicked clever.” He is aware of how to make the most of his intelligence. In other words, he is skilled at controlling you.

Because of this, it is crucial that you begin training this breed’s members as soon as possible and that you do it in a tough but fair manner. If you give him the impression that he can get away with an inch, he will cheerfully take two yards, feeling victorious over you.

Curly Coated Retriever Characteristics

curly coated retriever pros and cons

A dog breed recognized for its unusual curly coat and adaptable hunting skills is the Curly Coated Retriever. Following are some of the Curly Coated Retriever’s significant characteristics.


This breed is extremely trainable because of its intelligence and desire to please. They demand constant, strong, patient teaching and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques. They must get early socialization and obedience training to grow up to be well-rounded canines.


Dogs with Curly Coats are bright, independent, and self-assured. They are renowned for their family love and commitment. Despite being typically amiable and good-natured, they might be reticent with strangers. They are regarded as great working dogs since they have a strong innate aptitude for hunting and retrieving.


The Curly Coated Retriever is a powerful, athletic-looking medium- to large-sized dog. Their eyes are almond-shaped, with hanging ears and a large skull. The most distinguishing characteristic is their curly, thick, and water-resistant coat, available in black or liver.

🐕Exercise Level

Since they have a lot of energy levels, Curly Coated Retrievers need to exercise often to keep happy and healthy. They are energetic dogs that enjoy exercising via activities like walking, running, hiking, and swimming. Providing kids with cerebral stimulation with interactive games and puzzle toys is crucial to avoid boredom.

🐕Hunting Habits

The original purpose of the Curly Coated Retriever was to retrieve the game from the water and the land. They are outstanding swimmers and have an innate need to retrieve. They do very well in agility, field trials, and retrieving. Compared to other retriever breeds, they may have a better instinct for hunting.

🐕Family Compatibility

Curly Coated Retrievers are terrific family dogs and can get along with other animals if properly socialized. They make effective watchdogs since they are devoted to and protective of their family. However, tiny animals should be avoided because they could have a high predation drive.


This breed’s thick, curly coat needs regular care to avoid matting and preserve its water-repellent qualities. To maintain the coat in excellent condition and to eliminate loose hair, brushing should be done once each week. Although they seldom shed, they sometimes do at certain seasons. Frequent dental care, nail cutting, and ear cleaning are crucial for their health.

It’s essential to note that individual dogs may differ in temperament and attributes, so getting to know and interacting with Curly Coated Retrievers can help you better appreciate their unique features.


A Curly-Coated Retriever typically life span between 10 and 12 years, according to statistics.

Curly-Coated Retriever Health

We’ve included everything you should be careful of so that you may live a bit more easily as a pet parent. One drawback to these magnificent puppies is how many diseases and health problems they may experience.

📝Hip Dysplasia

The first condition on the list is hip dysplasia, which may cause arthritis in your dog due to improper joint development. This may make it quite difficult for your dog to get up, but there’s no need to worry a lot as surgery is always a possibility, and arthritis itself is treatable.

📝Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is extremely similar to hip dysplasia & may cause many of the same issues, but as was already said, there are treatments available.

📝Retinal Dysplasia

Moving on to the next eye issue on the list, Curly-Coated Retrievers don’t have much success with their eyes. To save your dog the suffering and anguish from problems like this, we strongly advise examining their eyes at least once a year. This produces folds in the retinas, which may result in blindness.


When tumors are located in the connective tissue, it is called fibrosarcoma. However, it may also migrate to other bodily regions, such as the heart. These tumors may be treated with various methods, including chemotherapy & hypothermia therapy.


Although this breed is prone to this form of cancer, you’ll be relieved to learn that eighty percent of dogs who get chemotherapy experience remission.


Unlike humans, dogs may have pattern baldness, but there is no treatment. There’s no need to be concerned; we’re certain your child still looks adorable!


By this point, you may have observed that certain breeds are prone to cancer, which is another sort that often affects the blood vessels.


Another cancer that your Curlie may get is melanoma, which may develop in the mouth or skin. Unfortunately, if this spreads via the blood, it might seriously injure your dog if it isn’t treated very away.

In addition to surgery and radiation therapy, a portion of the jaw may need to be removed if the cancer has progressed to the mouth.


This may be detected in the mammary glands, uterus, & intestines and is most likely the most prevalent cancer in dogs. Additionally, your dog probably has adenocarcinoma tumors, which may be surgically removed and are often treated with chemotherapy.


Because Curlies are a larger dog breed, they often get osteosarcoma. Your dog will ultimately have major problems due to this bone malignancy. You may initially notice that they cannot walk, which may need amputation to save their life.


Although cataracts are more frequent in older dogs, your youngster might still get one. These may be brought on by genetics, diabetes, or a poor diet.


You’ll be relieved to learn that if your dog has hypothyroidism, you don’t need to worry so much about them. This is more prevalent in dogs than you may believe. They may put on weight and change their distinctive coat and skin, but they will live complete lives with care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Curly-Coated Retrievers Get Along Well With Kids?

For this breed, older kids are advised. They like engaging in outdoor sports in the garden with the family’s younger members. They’ll both try to exhaust one another! Curlies are more prone than other Sporting breeds to protect their family. Curly’s loud behavior may hurt smaller children due to the dog’s size.

Do Curly-Coated Retrievers Get Along Well With New People?

While some Curlies could be welcoming to strangers, others might be wary. Their path depends on how they socialize with individuals they don’t know. Although this breed doesn’t tend to be aggressive, some Curlies could be protective of their family. The breed makes an excellent watchdog & will bark to warn its owners of any visitors.

Are Curly Coated Retrievers Good as Pets?

Curlies are very clever, yet they develop slowly. The Curly is pleasant, kind, collected, and devoted to his family. However, like with all dogs, kids need to be taught proper conduct around most dogs for them to be suitable companions for kids.

How healthy are Curly-Coated Retrievers?

Although breeders have diligently checked for health concerns, curly-coated retrievers still have a few that may manifest in pups or later in life. Gastric torsion and bloat are two possible health complications in curl-coated retrievers.

How should a curly coated be bathed?

Use the hose or shower head to clean the dog if it is covered in mud or other debris—otherwise, only shampoo when it begins to smell or when there is a lot of shedding. For crisp curls, swim or sometimes wet them down. Listerine mixed with water in a spray bottle also works well.

Final Words

I know owning a dog, such as a curly-coated retriever, is beautiful and enjoyable, but you should weigh its pros and cons before getting one. As I’ve explained above, the Curly Coated Retriever has several significant advantages and disadvantages that future owners should consider. The choice to adopt a Curly Coated Retriever should be founded on a comprehensive evaluation of these advantages and disadvantages, as well as your lifestyle, level of training dedication, and capacity to provide for their exercise and grooming requirements. I hope you thoroughly understand the pros and cons of your curly-coated Retriever.

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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