what is the difference between a curly coated retriever and labrador retriever

Breed Spotlight: What Is the Difference Between a Curly Coated Retriever and Labrador Retriever

Do you want to know the difference between a Curly coated retriever and a Labrador retriever? A Labrador Retriever is a good choice if you want a needy companion and a more friendly attitude to strangers. You might choose Curly Coated Retrievers if you wish to be a self-assured, sharp, and independent dog. The strongest relationships are said to exist between people and dogs.

According to reports, there are more than 800 different dog breeds. Dogs of the same breed are called pure breeds, whereas those with diverse breeds are called mixed or hybrids. Dogs come in a range of sizes and temperaments. They have certain innate instincts and behaviors that must fit your lifestyle with their demands. When deciding which breed is best for you, don’t discount mixed breeds since they may provide a wonderful blend of distinct pure breeds in appearance and temperament.

One of the most well-liked breeds (mixed) is the retriever. It is understandable why retrievers are intelligent, patient, and beautiful companions. They make great pets because of their welcoming and accepting personalities. When it comes to retriever breeds, there are now six recognized breeds. In this post, let’s examine the differences between a curly-coated and a Labrador retriever. This will enable you to decide which is best based on what makes each special.

Origin of Curly Coated Retriever and Labrador Retriever

One of the first retrieving breeds is supposed to be the curly-coated retriever. The breed’s oldest ancestors have yet to be described in writing. But several individuals have put ideas together. The English Water Spaniel, St. John’s Water Dog, Retrieving Setter, and Irish Water Spaniel are the four primary canines said to have had a role in Curly’s history.

Some people think Poodles also contributed to the current standard of this breed. In 1896, the Curly-Coated Retriever’s first breed club was established in England. Following their arrival in America in 1907, these dogs were initially registered with the AKC in 1924.

The St. John’s Water Dog, an ancestor of the Curly Coated Retriever, is actually shared by Labrador Retrievers. In the beginning, St. John’s collaborated with Canadian fishermen in Newfoundland. During 1800s, English nobility attempted to standardize the Labrador breed by bringing these hardworking dogs home.

In England, Labradors were used as retrieving dogs, but more recently, they have also gained popularity as household pets. The English Kennel Club and the AKC recognized them as legitimate breeds in 1903 and 1917, respectively. However, the Labrador Retriever gained significant popularity in America in the 1930s.

Labrador and Curly Coated Retriever Appearances

what is the difference between a curly coated retriever and labrador retriever

The breed of dog you choose may be influenced by appearance. For instance, a huge dog breed may not be appropriate if you live in a tiny apartment. Let’s examine the characteristics of the Labrador & Curly Coated Retrievers.


Although the Curly Coat Retriever has somewhat comparable measurements, the Curly Coat Retriever is larger than the Labrador Retriever. As adults, labs typically reach heights of 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder. When fully mature, they’ll weigh between 55 & 80 pounds. Curly Coated Retrievers may reach heights of 23 to 27 inches as adults. They may weigh anything between 60 and 95 pounds.

For breeds, females are often smaller than the males. Larger dogs such as the Labrador & Curly Coated Retriever must be trained since they tend to knock down young toddlers accidentally.

🐕Face Shape

The differences between display labs and working labs are marginal. However, these dogs often have otter tails, large legs, and big skulls. They are dogs with good proportions. Similarities between Curly Coated Retrievers abound. They have well-proportioned bodies, somewhat longer legs, and wedge-shaped heads. They have straight tails. Both breeds have to have slender, flat ears and athletic, muscular bodies.

🐕Coat Type

The Curly Coated Retriever & Labrador Retriever have quite different coat types, one of the most noticeable variations in appearance. Labs have thick, short coats that are made up of two layers of fur on the outside and inside. On their tails and chests, their fur may be longer. Conversely, Curly Coated Retrievers have a single layer of gorgeously curled hair. They have short, smooth fur on their cheeks, forehead, forelegs, and feet. The coats of both breeds are water-resistant.

🐕Coat Colors

The two breeds of dogs have a different coat colors, which is another visual distinction. Black and liver (brown) are the two typical colors for Curly Coated Retrievers. Yellow is a third common hue for Labrador Retrievers, in addition to black and liver colors. Although not common, diluted shades are also found in the Labrador. Silver, champagne, and blue charcoal are these.

Labrador and Curly-Coated Retriever Personality

Before deciding between these two retriever breeds, temperament, and personality are crucial factors to take into account. Let’s examine how the two breeds contrast in more detail.

🐕The personality of a Labrador Retriever

Labradors are renowned for being friendly, amiable, and joyful dogs. So it comes as no surprise that they are America’s preferred breed! When appropriately socialized, they are often not hostile. Getting pups socialized will also help them overcome any anxiety or fear. Labs often show their family a lot of love. But when left alone for too long or too often, this might have the drawback of separation anxiety.

This breed is renowned for having a big mouth. They like using their mouths to explore the environment, which might lead to their chewing on harmful objects.

🐕The personality of a Curly Coated Retriever

Similar to Labradors, the Curly Coated Retrievers are renowned for being self-assured, sharp, and amiable around the family. However, this breed may be less trusting of strangers than Labs. To foster the friendliest demeanor possible, socialize them effectively. They are known to be friendly and loving, yet they may not be as needy as a Labrador.

Therefore, this breed can be perfect for you if you’re seeking a more autonomous dog. You could discover that Curlies, a breed of retriever, also use their jaws to investigate their environment.


Both of these breeds have a reputation for being amiable and kind, particularly toward their families. However, socialization is necessary to make sure of this. Your dog may become scared or aggressive in unfamiliar surroundings if you don’t correctly socialize with them from an early age. They will develop into confident, content adults eager to share new experiences with you. This is particularly crucial for the Curly Coated Retriever since they might be suspicious of strangers.

🐕Energy Levels

Both breeds thrive when given a task and have comparatively high energy. They are content to gallop all day because of their past as working gundogs. They will adore activities that involve retrieval, like fetch. Keeping these dogs active is crucial since boredom may result in harmful behaviors like digging and barking.

Curly Coated Retriever and Labrador Trainability

what is the difference between a curly coated retriever and labrador retriever

The Curly Coated Retriever and Labrador Retriever make excellent gundogs, partly due to their trainability. Both breeds respond well to training. Positive reinforcement training, which often entails using your dog’s food as an incentive, has the greatest results with them.

Being consistent is essential while teaching your dog. Both breeds have a strong desire to please and are ready to learn. However, these dogs might quickly become bored since they are intelligent breeds. For optimal outcomes, keep workouts brief, engaging, and regular. Given the size of these dogs, training is very crucial. particularly if you have small kids.

👉Exercise Needs

Both breeds need a comparable amount of activity. Both Labrador Retrievers and Curly Coated Retrievers are quite active and like having a task to accomplish. They like running around in an open space without a leash or playing activities like fetch. You should put your memory skills through a lot of practice if you want to achieve this.

Training your dog may be an enjoyable exercise for both of you. These two breeds are good prospects for dog sports like obedience, agility, and others, which are still additional fantastic sources of exercise. They can even swim quite well. These dogs might get bored if they don’t give enough time to burn off their energy. They both fit well with busy families.


Another factor that is likely to matter to you when deciding between both of these gundogs is lifespan. A 2010 research utilized data from a UK health study of purebred dogs to calculate the average longevity of various breeds. According to this research, the average longevity of a Labrador Retriever is 12.25 years, compared to 10.25 for Curly Coated Retrievers. This is only an average. Therefore, if you give your dog regular exercise and veterinary checkups, they may live a lot longer than this.

Labrador and Curly-Coated Retriever General Care

The breed’s overall upkeep must be considered as another aspect of health. This includes feeding, grooming, shedding, and any special care that may be required. Let’s start by examining what to feed these two active dogs.


The Labrador Retriever and the Curly Coated Retriever are lively, active dog breeds. They thus need food that may provide them with a lot of energy. They could also benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin-rich meals. These joint supplements might benefit dogs with weak joints, such as Labradors.

Use a special puppy food till your dog is completely grown, so be sure to. If you need help determining how much to feed your dog, speak to your veterinarian. You should be able to readily feel a healthy dog’s ribs but not see them.

🐕Grooming and Shedding

Due to their double coat, labradors moderately shed throughout the year. Seasonally, they also shed more profusely. So, don’t be shocked if you spend much time removing fur after your Labrador. Maintaining this and minimizing the quantity of shed hair around your house may be achieved through grooming. Regular bathing of your Lab may also be necessary, particularly if he rolls in unpleasant things.

The coat of a Curly Coated Retriever is not twofold. They shed at certain seasons, but less than a Labrador does all year round. The Curly Coated Retriever’s hair may get frizzy when brushed, so an occasional wash & air drying is often sufficient for this breed.

Labrador and Curly Coated Retriever Puppy Cost

The cost of these two breeds as pups might be another distinction between them. When purchasing a new dog, always deal with trustworthy breeders. You should prepare to spend between $800 and $1200 for a Labrador puppy. The price range for Curly Coated Retrievers is between $1000 and $2500. The fact that Curly Coated Retrievers are less prevalent than Labradors may account for the greater price.

When looking for a new dog, staying away from pet shops and puppy mill is critical. Instead of breeding healthy animals, these facilities breed for profit. Avoid being seduced by the reduced costs pups are sold at in puppy factories. These pups might raise prices as your dog ages since they are sometimes less healthy than those from reputable breeders.

Special Characteristics of Labrador and Curly Coated Retriever

The Labrador Retriever and the Curly Coated Retriever are two common dog breeds with a reputation for retrieving skills and amiable disposition. While they have certain shared traits, they also have unique qualities that make them unique. The special characteristics of each breed are as follows:


Consistent training and socializing are required to produce a contented and amiable dog. Although both breeds are sociable, friendly, and trainable, Labradors are often seen as more friendly and hospitable toward strangers. Curly-Coated Retrievers might be suspicious of new people.


Both breeds are trainable and pleasant. But when it comes to popularity, the Labrador Retriever tops the list, while the Curly-Coated Retriever has a fairly low profile.

☑️General Care

This relates to the requirements of the animal, such as particular care, food, grooming, etc. Labrador Retrievers have a double coat and are often moderate shedders. While Curly-Coated Retrievers have a single coat and only shed periodically, they might shed more excessively at certain times of the year.

Compared to Labrador retrievers, Curly-Coated Retrievers shed much less all year round. A Labrador Retriever’s coat may be brushed without issue. However, a Curly-Coated Retriever’s fur can get frizzy when brushed.


Because they are clever breeds, they readily absorb and follow instructions. Both breeds are willing to learn and react well to positive reinforcement training.

☑️Biting Propensity

Dogs don’t bite unless they feel threatened. However, Curly-Coated Retrievers are kinder and less likely to bite someone if you consider their biting propensity. However, a Labrador Retriever may bite someone.

☑️Apartment Tolerant

This is yet another important consideration when picking a dog. Each dog is unique and has various environmental requirements. So picking a dog that is good with apartments is crucial. The greatest Curly-Coated Retriever for you and your lifestyle is if you live in a small apartment and don’t have a yard or garden. However, they will be okay with being indoors if you can take them for numerous walks outside. Labrador retrievers are among the greatest breeds for those who live in apartments.

☑️Impulse Driven by Prey

Although both breeds are calm-tempered and non-aggressive, there are significant differences in their prey drive impulses. If you like having pets and already have others, you should be careful while picking a dog. The Curly-Coated Retrievers have a strong prey drive, which causes them to exhibit impulsive hunting behavior. Other tiny creatures like cats, birds, and other pets may suffer injury from this. However, since Labrador Retrievers have a low to average drive to chase things, you may be considerably more at ease around them.


Compared to Curly-Coated Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers have a higher likelihood of stinkiness. Thus, they need a bit more bathing and grooming.

☑️Emotional Resiliency

You may have to leave your dog alone at home in several circumstances. How do they handle the circumstances?

When you leave the house and leave the Labrador Retriever home alone, it has been observed that the dog may experience separation anxiety. This is a result of their intense attachment and dependency. But Curly-Coated Retrievers have a few unique challenges. They may manage effectively and perform well when you aren’t home or leave for work.

☑️The Reaction to Uninformed Owners

The Curly-Coated Retriever is a good choice if you’re buying a dog for the first time since they are easygoing and controllable for new owners. You’ll need to train a Labrador Retriever to be very obedient to manage this. Due to their obstinate personalities, their adorable cute wants might quickly turn them into spoilt children.

In light of this, if you’re considering having a retriever, the Labrador Retriever & Curly-Coated Retriever is similar in terms of personalities and looks. There are no maliciously evil dogs. It depends on how effectively you can adapt and acclimate them to your environment and comfort zone. All canines exhibit emotions comparable to those of a two-year-old human. We need to comprehend the incredibly loving nature of dogs. It includes both the animal’s behavior and its natural emotional condition.

Curly Coated Retriever and Labrador Potential Health Issues

what is the difference between a curly coated retriever and labrador retriever

Unfortunately, certain possible health problems may affect any breed. Therefore, educating yourself on these before deciding to adopt a puppy is crucial. Selecting ethical breeders may assist to reduce some of these issues, but we shall cover this topic in more detail later.

📝Labrador Retriever

Although the Labrador Retriever has a healthy bodily structure, certain inherited health issues might occur. Here are a few that you need to be aware of:

◾️Elbow and hip joint malformations known as hip and elbow dysplasia

◾️A condition of the eyes called progressive retinal atrophy may cause blindness.

◾️Cataracts: a cloudy lens in the eye

◾️Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease is a knee joint issue.

◾️Gastric Widening Twisted stomach: volvulus (Bloat).


📝Curly Coated Retrievers

Curly Coated Retrievers often have some of the same issues as Labrador Retrievers. If you’re interested in this breed, you should know about the following health issues: Hair loss due to Gastric Dilatation Volvulus and Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

📝Health Checks

Getting a puppy from a reputable breeder is crucial since they can check the dog’s parents for many of these issues. They will choose parents with healthy hips and no known disorders.

Make sure to get any necessary health certifications from your breeder when you chat with them. Testing is crucial to ensuring pups are as healthy as possible and to lower the likelihood of the issues mentioned above. Some conditions, such as stomach dilatation volvulus, cannot be tested. Do a ton of research to maintain your dog as healthy as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Labrador and Curly Coated Retrievers get along well with kids?

Yes, both Labrador and Curly Coated Retrievers are often fine with kids. They are good family pets because of their reputation for being kind and amiable. Both breeds are often tolerant and patient, which may make them great family pets. Managing interactions between dogs and kids, as with any dog, is crucial to maintain safety and educate kids on how to behave around dogs.

What canine has curly hair that matches a Lab?

Introducing the Purebred Sports Dog. One of the first breeds of retrievers was 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.

What breeds produce retrievers with curly coats?

The Retrieving Setter, English Water Spaniel, and maybe the Irish Water Spaniel of the sixteenth century are considered the ancestors of the Curly-Coated Retriever.

Do Labrador and Curly Coated Retrievers shed a lot?

A: Labrador Retrievers sometimes shed throughout the year but more often during the spring and autumn shedding seasons. They have a thick double coat that has to be brushed often to prevent shedding and maintain the condition of their coat. Conversely, Curly Coated Retrievers are less prone to shed than Labradors because of their low-shedding, curly coat, which tends to catch stray hair.

Final Words

The Labrador Retriever and Curly Coated Retriever breeds are thus both active, friendly, and diligent workers. Both are almost the same size and adapt well to training. Although they come in many colors and are often friendlier to strangers than Curlies, labs shed much more. To be content and pleasant, both dogs need constant socialization and training. There is no clear advantage to one dog over the other. You must make your decision depending on your existing situation. Choose a breed that fits your way of life!

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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