Curly-Coated Retriever Resource

Curly-Coated Retriever

The first of the waterfowl retrieving breeds, the Curly-Coated Retriever is of British origin. Its likeness is depicted in sporting works of art dating back 300 years. At one time, the Curly Coat was the gamekeeper’s favorite hunting dog. It is still regarded as the most efficient retriever in New Zealand and Australia, where it is worked in upland game as well as waterfowl. The breed’s exact progenitors are unknown, but some dog historians believe the Curly to be a mixture of Irish Water Spaniel and the St. John’s or Newfoundland dog, the forerunner of the modern Labrador Retriever. The breed’s hallmark is its dense, tightly curled coat, which resembles the luxury fur we call Persian lamb. In shades of black or liver, it insulates the dog from the cold and protects it from injury when working in thick underbrush. An occasional bath and toweling down is all the grooming required. The Curly Coat ranges from 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
Black or liver.

Dense, tightly curled, water resistant coat.


Bathe as needed.

Life Expectancy:
8 to 12 years
AKC Group:
Sporting Group
UKC Group:
Gun Dog
23 to 27 inches at the withers
Proportiante to height
Use Today
Retrieving trials, companion