Furry Facts about the Curly Coated Retriever: The Curly Coat Retriever or the “Curly” often confuses people due to their curly coat. The Curly Coat Retriever often gets mistaken from a Labrador Retriever crossed with a Poodle. The Curly Coat Retriever is actually its own breed and it is one of the oldest retriever breeds used for retrieving work.

 Where did the Curly Coated Retriever Come From?

The Curly Coated Retriever is one of the oldest retrieving breads. When you compare them to other breads such as Spaniels, they are new dogs in the sport scene. Curlies became popular in the 1700’s when wing shooting became popular and more people were using rifles.


In the 1800’s English geneticists pieced together the Curly Coated Retrievers history. There are no written records of the breeds early history, but historians have made some educated guesses on where they came from.

It is believed that the Curly is the descendant of the English Water Spaniel, the Retrieving Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, and St. Johns Dog. In 1860 the Curlies began to appear in dog shows and gain popularity all throughout England.

There is a possibility that a poodle is in their breeding history due to their coat, but it is not the only dog that contributed to their coat and character, they are a much more complex dog.

It wasn’t until the 1900’s that they became real sports dogs. British sportsman found these dogs to be incredibly agile and great gamekeepers, the breed quickly spread and was exported to Australia, and New Zealand.

The Curly was officially entered into the American Kennel Club’s Stud Book in the year 1924.

 How Long is the Average Lifespan of the Curly Coated Retriever?

The Curly Coated Retriever’s average lifespan is around 9 to 12 years, they well into their tween years.

How Big can the Curly Coated Retriever Grow?

The Curly Coated Retriever weighs anywhere between 60 and 95 pounds. Females are usually smaller than males and they stand tall at 23-25 inches. Male Curlies stand at 25-27 inches when measured from the shoulder down. The Curly Coated Retriever is a great medium sized breed of dog.

The Good and the Bad of the Curly Coated Retrievers Temperament:

The Good:

  • Easy going when it comes to grooming! Curlies may look difficult to groom with their thick and curly coat but their coats are soft and easy to brush. They shed twice a year and need minimal grooming. They do not have an undercoat and a rake type brush will get rid of any loose hair. These dogs do not need to be bathed frequently as their coats can be wet down and then cut occasionally.
  • Great for anyone who loves the outdoors. The Curly Coat Retriever loves to exercise, and they love when their owners play fetch and jog with them. They do well with around 30 to 60 minutes of exercise time.
  • They love being around people! Curlies love their people, especially growing up in a family setting. They do really well when they are socialized early and grow up with children.

Previous articleCaring for your Senior Dog
Next articleDental Disease in Dogs
Cathy D. Evans
Life-long fan of all dogs including Finnegan pictured here. He's a Chinook about a year old with the most wonderful personality. Please enjoy this dog website and its content. “Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” —Cesar Millan (dog trainer)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here