are curly coated retrievers good with other dogs

Discover the Lifespan of a Curly-Coated Retriever

Have you ever wondered about the lifespan of a curly-coated retriever? If you own one, you’re likely curious about how long your furry friend can bring joy to your life. As per the American Kennel Club, the average lifespan of a curly-coated retriever is between 9 to 14 years.

I was interested in learning more about the factors that could contribute to a curly coated retriever’s lifespan, so I did some research. Then, I discovered several factors that can influence how long your pup lives.

So in this blog post, I will discuss the lifespan of a curly coated retrievers and what you can do to ensure your pup has a long and happy life.

Overview of the Curly-Coated Retriever Breed

The curly-coated retriever was first developed in England around the late 1700s. It was created by combining different breeds, such as the water spaniel, retriever, and poodle. This breed was originally bred for hunting and retrieving game birds from land or water. In addition, they were also used as loyal companions for the family. Now, they’re a highly versatile breed recognized for their intelligence, athleticism, and firm loyalty to the family.

Curly-coated retrievers are medium to large-sized dogs with a muscular and sturdy build. This breed’s dense and curly coat gives them a unique and attractive appearance. Among other retriever breeds, the curly coated retriever is the most independent, confident, and reserved. They are eager to learn and have a never-ending desire to please their family. These dogs are highly attentive to their surroundings, making them great watchdogs. They are also known for their love of swimming and their boundless energy.

What Is the Lifespan of a Curly-Coated Retriever?

what is the lifespan of a curly-coated retriever

The lifespan of a curly-coated retriever typically ranges from 9 to 14 years, with the average being around 11. However, this range is not set in stone as various factors can affect how long a dog lives, including:

1: Genetics

One key factor affecting the lifespan of your curly coated retriever is genetics. Like other dog breeds, some hereditary health conditions can be passed down from their parents, affecting their longevity. Orthopedic conditions like dysplasia and patellar luxation are not uncommon in curly-coated retrievers. Some also have a genetic disposition to fatal diseases like canine parvovirus. Ensuring that your curly-coated retriever comes from a reputable breeder with a clear health history is crucial.

2: Exercise and Diet

Among the easiest ways to ensure your furry friend lives a long and healthy life is by keeping them physically active and providing a well-balanced diet. Curly-coated retrievers are active dogs requiring regular exercise to stay fit and stave off obesity. However, it’s also essential to keep in mind that too much activity or an improper diet can lead to health conditions that can shorten their lifespan.

3: Proper Healthcare

Regular visits to the vet are essential to ensure your curly-coated retriever stays fit and healthy throughout their life. It’s essential to schedule regular veterinary checkups and stay up-to-date with vaccinations and preventative care. Being proactive is key because they are so prone to several genetic health conditions that can develop quite early. And, of course, monitoring their daily behavior, appetite, and habits will help you detect any potential health issues before they escalate.

4: Environmental Factors

The environment your furry friend lives in can also play a vital role in their longevity. Factors such as pollution, exposure to toxins, harsh weather, and extreme temperatures can all contribute to health conditions that can shorten their lifespan. Avoid exposing your curly-coated retriever to such environmental factors, and if each scenario, ensure they are appropriately cared for or sheltered.

5: Genetics Can’t Predict Everything

Even with the best preventative measures in place and providing the best care for your pup, unforeseen circumstances can cut its lifespan short. Accidents and unpredicted health problems can occur. But at the very least, by adhering to preventative practices and having a good relationship with your vet, you can form a proactive alliance that’ll help increase and extend your furry friend’s lifespan.

These are just some factors that can influence your curly-coated retriever’s lifespan. Remember these and ensure that your pup lives a long and happy life.

Health Problems That Can Affect a Curly-Coated Retriever’s Lifespan

Like any other breed, curly-coated retrievers are susceptible to various health problems. Many can be detected through regular checkups at the vet, while others may take longer to manifest and require more extensive tests. Some common health conditions that can affect their lifespan include:

👉Bone Health

Bones are not just rigid structures that give your dog’s body shape and form; they are living tissue constantly being remodeled. Like humans, dogs need healthy bones to support their weight, provide protection for vital organs, and produce blood cells. The skeletal system plays a vital role in releasing hormones that affect your dog’s metabolism, blood pressure, and electrolyte balance. Weak bones can lead to fractures, pain, deformities, and eventually chronic diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.

Curly-Coated Retrievers are prone to bone problems like hip and elbow dysplasia, a condition where the bones of the hip and elbow joint don’t fit correctly, causing pain, inflammation, and eventually arthritis. Another problem that can affect your dog’s bone health is osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). OCD occurs when cartilage separates from the bone, leading to pain, lameness, and joint degeneration. Curly-Coated Retrievers also have inherited conditions like retinal dysplasia and epileptic seizures that can affect bone health.

So, what can you do to keep your dog’s bones healthy?

First, ensure your Curly-Coated Retriever gets enough Calcium and Vitamin D, two essential nutrients that promote bone growth and remodeling. You can also feed your dog a well-balanced diet that contains lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Exercise is also crucial for maintaining healthy bones. Regular walks, hikes, and playtime can help keep your dog’s joints limber and improve their muscle strength. Make sure any exercise routine is age and breed-appropriate, and always warm up before strenuous activities.

When it comes to bone health, prevention is essential. Regular wellness checks with your vet and monitoring your dog’s weight, behavior, and movement can help detect bone or joint problems early. Some preventive measures may include providing a comfortable orthopedic dog bed, avoiding excessive jumping and stair climbing, and limiting high-impact activities. If your Curly-Coated Retriever exhibits signs of joint pain or stiffness, consult your vet to get an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.

👉Oral Health Problems

Curly-coated retrievers are susceptible to many of the same oral health problems as other breeds. These issues include tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. As they get older, they may also develop oral cancer. These problems can not only cause pain and discomfort for your pup, but they can also lead to more serious health issues. For example, gum disease has been linked to heart disease in humans and pets. Keeping your curly-coated retriever’s mouth healthy is essential for their overall well-being.

Some things to watch out for include bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, loose or missing teeth, and difficulty eating or drinking. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take your dog to the vet right away. Your vet can diagnose the problem and come up with a treatment plan to get your furry friend back to optimal health.

Oral health problems can lead to more serious issues down the road. In addition to heart disease, gum disease has been linked to problems with the liver, kidneys, and other organs. Poor oral health can also lead to chronic pain, affecting your pup’s quality of life. By taking care of your curly-coated retriever’s teeth and gums, you’re not only prolonging their lifespan but also ensuring that they’re happy and healthy.

How to care for your curly-coated retriever’s oral health

Preventing oral health problems in your curly-coated retriever is much easier than treating them once they’ve started. The most important thing you can do for your pup is to establish a regular dental care routine. It can include brushing their teeth daily with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste, providing toys and treats specifically designed to clean teeth, and scheduling regular dental cleanings with your vet. Additionally, provide your curly-coated retriever with a healthy diet and plenty of fresh water to keep its mouth in top condition.

👉Eye Health

Eye problems are prevalent among all dog breeds, including curly-coated retrievers. This breed is more susceptible to conditions like cataracts, entropion, and ptosis. Cataracts are a common eye problem, and they can cause blurred vision and even blindness. Entropion is another condition where the eyelids roll inwards towards the eyeball. This condition can cause irritation, corneal ulcers, and in severe cases, a loss of vision. Ptosis is when the eyelid’s muscles weaken, leading to droopy eyelids and an increased risk of trauma and infection.

In order to ensure that your curly-coated retriever maintains good eye health, it’s crucial to visit the vet regularly. A vet will examine your dog’s eyes thoroughly and detect any underlying health issues early enough before they advance. Keeping your dog’s eyes clean and adequately groomed can also prevent infections. As a pet owner, you can remove debris and discharge around the eyes, trim hair around the eyes, and use a clean damp cloth to wipe the area around the eyes.

Another way to maintain good eye health in your curly-coated retriever is to feed them a diet rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for eye health as they prevent the buildup of free radicals that can cause eye cell damage. Foods like carrots, blueberries, and sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants and can help promote good eye health. Supplements can also help improve your dog’s eye health. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are vital for maintaining eye health. These fatty acids are present in fish oils and can improve your dog’s vision and reduce the risk of cataracts.

👉Heart Disease

Heart disease refers to any condition that affects the normal structure and function of the heart. The most common form of heart disease in dogs is called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). Interestingly, DCM is a genetic condition more prevalent in certain dog breeds, including the curly-coated retriever.

In DCM, the heart muscle becomes thin and weak, which reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. This leads to symptoms such as coughing, lethargy, shortness of breath, and even sudden death if left untreated.

Symptoms of Heart Disease in Curly-Coated Retrievers

The symptoms of heart disease in curly-coated retrievers can be confusing. Sometimes, they may appear healthy, but it’s always essential to keep a close eye on their behavior to spot any subtle changes. The most common symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Fainting or collapse

So, what can you do to prevent heart disease in your curly-coated retriever?

First, make sure your furry friend gets regular checkups with a veterinarian. During these exams, your veterinarian can detect early signs of heart disease and recommend appropriate treatment. Additionally, providing your dog with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding overfeeding is crucial in maintaining a healthy heart.

Supplements and medications can also be beneficial in keeping your curly-coated retriever’s heart healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, can help improve heart function and reduce inflammation. Other supplements such as CoQ10, L-carnitine, and taurine have also been shown to help maintain good heart health in dogs. Discuss these options with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your furry friend.


We envision endless hours of playing fetch, romping in the park, and exploring the great outdoors. However, while outdoor play is crucial for our pup’s mental and physical development, it can also expose them to several health hazards. One of the most significant risks is infections, which can significantly impact your Curly-Coated Retriever’s lifespan. I will discuss the types of infections your furry buddy can contract during outdoor play and how to protect them.

1: Leptospirosis:

This bacterial infection is prevalent among Curly-Coated Retrievers, and it can spread through standing water and moist soil in your backyard or elsewhere. Symptoms of Leptospirosis include lethargy, fever, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The good news? A simple vaccination can keep your pup safe from the disease.

2: Lyme Disease:

Ticks are almost always present in most outdoor areas, which is why dogs commonly contract Lyme disease. While not all ticks carry Lyme disease, it is best to protect your furry buddy by regularly checking them for ticks and using tick prevention products. Also, your veterinarian can administer a Lyme vaccine to your furry buddy to help prevent infection.

3: Kennel Cough:

Does your Curly-Coated Retriever seem to cough frequently after playing outdoors or in a kennel? If so, your dog has likely contracted kennel cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease that spreads through the air. To prevent kennel cough, ensure your pup remains vaccinated and avoid visits to unfamiliar facilities and environments.

4: Parvo:

Parvovirus is a severe illness that mostly affects young puppies, but even adults can contract it. The virus spreads by ingesting contaminated feces, leading to severe intestinal damage and death. While treating Parvo is possible, prevention is always the best option. Ensure your pup remains up to date with their vaccinations and avoid letting them sniff around in unknown or unclean areas.

5: Ear Infections:

Dogs love to have their ears perked up and on alert for every sound, but this habit can lead to ear infections. Through frequent exposure to moisture, bacteria, and yeast can build up inside your furry buddy’s ears, causing pain, irritation, and discharge. To prevent ear infections, regularly clean your Curly-Coated Retriever’s ears and avoid extended exposure to water.

So, regularly clean their ears, check for ticks, and avoid letting them play in areas with standing water or fecal matter.


Curly-Coated Retrievers love exploring outdoors, which makes them vulnerable to picking up parasites such as fleas, ticks, and worms. These parasites can cause severe health issues and reduce their lifespan. Signs of infestation may include itching, scratching, licking, and in severe cases, anemia. To prevent parasite infections, ensure your dog is always on a tick and flea preventive medication, and monitor their behavior regularly. Take your dog to a vet regularly for an examination and treatment if necessary.


Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes seizures in dogs and can result in severe health complications. While its cause is still unknown, Curly-Coated Retrievers can genetically inherit the condition. Signs of epilepsy in dogs may include abnormal behavior, loss of mobility control, and recurring seizures. If your Curly-Coated Retriever is diagnosed with epilepsy, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to control seizures to ensure your pet lives a comfortable life.

👉Bloat or GVD

Bloat or Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GVD) is a critical condition to which Curly-Coated Retrievers are vulnerable. When bloat occurs, the stomach twists and fills up with gas and fluid, cutting off blood flow and causing abdominal pain. The condition can be fatal in many cases. The symptoms of bloat include excessive drooling, vomiting, and inability to defecate. If you suspect your dog has bloat, immediately rush them to the vet. To prevent the condition, avoid feeding your Curly-Coated Retriever large meals all at once, and ensure they do not exercise vigorously immediately before or after mealtime.


Cancer is a prevalent health problem in dogs, especially in large breeds like Curly-Coated Retrievers. Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer that causes painful limping in dogs, while lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma can cause swelling, pain, fever, and weight loss. If you notice these symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately. Give your dog a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a vet-approved supplement to prevent cancer.

👉Other Bleeding Disorders

Curly-Coated Retrievers are prone to bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand’s Disease, Hemophilia A, and Hemophilia B. These diseases cause excessive external and internal bleeding, which can cause severe health issues. Common signs of bleeding disorders include bruises, nosebleeds, and bleeding gums. To prevent the conditions, avoid exposing your dog to toxins that could increase their risk of injury, always supervise their exercise, and take them for regular checkups.

It is essential to monitor your dog’s health closely, always keep them under a watchful eye, and take them to the vet regularly for checkups and treatment whenever necessary. Following these simple measures can help your furry friend live a healthy and happy life.

Signs That Indicate a Decrease in Life Expectancy or Quality of Life

Paying close attention to your curly-coated retriever can help you notice significant changes in their behavior and health. These changes can point towards a decrease in their life expectancy or quality of life.

1: Lack of Energy

A decrease in energy levels could indicate many underlying health problems in your curly-coated retriever. As a result, your dog may appear lethargic and lose interest in regular activities such as playing fetch or going for walks. If you notice your dog sleeping more than usual or seem to have lost interest in regular activities, seek medical attention.

2: Loss of Appetite

A decrease in appetite is one of the most common signs indicating a decline in a dog’s quality of life. Your furry friend may not be interested in food, which can lead to weight loss and malnutrition. In such a scenario, taking them to a veterinarian as soon as possible is advisable to identify any underlying health problems.

3: Change in Gait

Changes in gait, essentially how your dog walks, can indicate underlying health issues, including hip problems, arthritis, or other joint problems. Your curly-coated retriever may have difficulty moving around, which can ultimately decrease their quality of life. Make sure you take your furry friend to a vet to identify joint problems so they can receive proper care and treatment.

4: Poor Coat Health

Curly-coated retrievers are known for their beautiful coats. Any change in their coat’s appearance or texture can indicate an underlying health issue. Dull, thinning coats, dry or flaky skin, and excessive shedding are all signs that point to a decline in your dog’s quality of life. Regular grooming, proper nutrition, and visits to a vet can help keep your furry friend’s coat and skin healthy.

5: Change in Behavior

A sudden change in your dog’s behavior can indicate underlying health or emotional problems. For example, if your curly-coated retriever has always been social and suddenly becomes withdrawn or aggressive, it could be a sign of problems such as anxiety, fear, or depression. Talk to your vet and explore various behavioral therapies or medication options to ensure your dog receives the necessary care.

These changes in behavior, as well as the other signs mentioned above, can indicate a decrease in life expectancy or quality of life for your curly-coated retriever. Pay attention to any changes and seek medical advice when necessary.

Nutritional Guidelines to Follow

Sometimes, the food we give our furry friends can significantly influence their health and life expectancy. Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining the overall health of your Curly-Coated Retriever, so it’s important to offer them a balanced diet that meets their unique needs. Here are some nutritional guidelines to follow:

✔️Choose High-Quality Protein Sources:

Curly-coated retrievers are active dogs that require a diet rich in protein. High-quality animal protein such as beef, chicken, and fish should be the main ingredient in their diet. Good quality protein helps build and repair muscles, promotes healthy skin, and keeps their fur coat shiny.

✔️Monitor Their Caloric Intake:

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for the health of curly-coated retrievers. These dogs are prone to obesity, which can cause health issues such as joint problems, diabetes, and heart disease. So, monitor your dog’s caloric intake and provide a balanced diet that suits their activity level.

✔️Provide Essential Nutrients:

Your curly-coated retriever requires essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to stay healthy. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are excellent for their skin and coat health. They also require calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth. You can find these essential nutrients in commercial dog foods or provide them through supplements prescribed by a veterinarian.

✔️Give Them Plenty of Fresh Water:

Curly-coated retrievers have a high energy level and need plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Ensure they have fresh water at all times and refill their bowl as needed. It prevents dehydration, promotes healthy digestion, and keeps your dog happy.

✔️Avoid Feeding Human Foods:

Although it may be tempting to share your favorite foods with your furry companion, it’s essential not to feed them human foods. Many human foods can cause health issues such as kidney disease, digestive problems, and obesity. Additionally, some foods, such as chocolate, onions, and grapes, can be toxic to dogs. Stick to a commercial diet that meets your dog’s nutritional needs.

Always consult a veterinarian before introducing any new diet or supplements to your dog’s lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do male and female curly-coated retrievers have different lifespans?

At this time, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the lifespan of male and female curly-coated retrievers differs significantly. However, like all breeds of dogs, a variety of factors can affect life expectancy, such as diet, environment, and health.

Q: At what age is a curly-coated retriever considered a senior?

Like many breeds of dogs, curly-coated retrievers are generally considered senior dogs at around 7-8 years of age. However, this can vary depending on the individual dog’s health and overall condition. It is important to watch for any signs of aging, such as reduced energy levels, joint stiffness, and changes in appetite, and to adjust your dog’s care accordingly as they age.

Q: Do curly-coated retrievers have a higher risk of certain diseases or health issues impacting their lifespan?

As with all breeds of dogs, curly-coated retrievers are susceptible to certain genetic health conditions such as hip dysplasia, eye disorders, and certain types of cancer. It is crucial to work with a reputable breeder who will conduct genetic testing on their breeding dogs and to keep up with regular veterinary checkups throughout your dog’s life to catch any health issues early.

Q: What is the oldest recorded age of a curly-coated retriever?

At this time, there is no official record of the oldest curly coated retrievers. However, the average lifespan of this breed is between 10-12 years, with some individuals living well into their mid-teens with proper care and attention.

Q: How often should a curly-coated retriever undergo veterinary checkups to ensure a longer lifespan?

Curly-coated retriever puppy, like all dogs, should undergo at least one veterinary checkup per year. However, as senior dogs, they may benefit from more frequent checkups or special screening for age-related conditions such as arthritis and cognitive decline. Your veterinarian can guide the best plan of care for your dog.

Q: What kind of exercise does a curly-coated retriever need to maintain a healthy lifespan?

Curly-coated retriever puppies are an active breed and require regular exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate daily activity, such as walking, running, or playing fetch. Additionally, mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for this breed, so make sure to provide your dog with plenty of toys and puzzles to keep them engaged.

Q: Can early detection and treatment of health issues help prolong a curly-coated retriever’s life?

Early detection and treatment of health issues can help extend a curly-coated retriever’s lifespan. Regular veterinary checkups are key, as they can detect problems early on and allow you to begin treatment immediately. Additionally, practicing preventive care such as providing a balanced diet, proper exercise, and lots of love and attention will go a long way in keeping your dog healthy and happy throughout their life.

Q: What is the best way to ensure a long and healthy lifespan for a curly-coated retriever?

The best way to ensure a long and healthy retriever lifespan for a curly-coated retriever is by providing proper care, nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and regular veterinary checkups. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any common health issues in this breed and to recognize the signs of aging so that you can adjust their care accordingly. Your curly-coated retriever can live a long and happy life with proper care!

Final Words

After researching and learning about what is the lifespan of a curly-coated retriever, I’ve come to a personal realization about these amazing dogs. Though their lifespan is typically shorter than some other breeds, lasting around 9-14 years, they make every moment count. Their playful and affectionate personalities bring so much joy to their owners, and their loyalty is unmatched. It’s clear that each day spent with a curly-coated retriever is precious, and they make such a big impact in such a short amount of time.

I’m grateful for my time with my pup companion and will always cherish the memories we make together. So take a moment to enjoy your curly-coated retriever’s quirks and appreciate all your moments with them because time is truly precious. ​

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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