Curly Coated Retriever

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The Full Curly Coated Retriever Description

The Curly-Coated Retriever, probably one of the oldest retriever breeds, is not simply a Labrador with curly hair. He is a distinct breed with his own personality--sensitive, intelligent, curious, and family-loving. Like all retrievers, he loves his daily exercise, especially running and swimming. The Curly behaves like an energetic puppy and may settle down as late as four years of age, though he's a puppy at heart forever.

Did you know?

The Curly-Coated Retriever is one of the oldest breeds classified as retrievers.
The breed is believed to have been descended from the 16th century English Water Spaniel, Retrieving Setter and possibly the Irish Water Spaniel.
The first breed club for the Curly-Coated Retriever was formed in England in 1896.

So you want to own a Curly-Coated Retriever?

The Curly-Coated Retriever has an easy to care for coat. It's curls stay in place with little to no attention.
The Curly-Coated Retriever's curious nature may lead him to many amusing escapades that call for an owner with a sense of humour.
The Curly-Coated Retriever learns rapidly and performs willingly almost any task.

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

Strong, upstanding dog with a degree of elegance. Distinctive coat.


Intelligent, steady, reliable.


Bold, friendly self confident and independent. May seem aloof.

Head and Skull

Head wedge-shaped in both side and front profiles. In proportion to body size. Slight stop. Foreface and skull equal length. Planes of skull and muzzle parallel. Nose black in blacks and brown in livers.


Large, not prominent, oval-shaped, obliquely set. Dark brown in blacks, in livers brown tone to blend with coat colour.


Rather small, set slightly above level of eye; lying close to head, covered with small curls.


Jaws strong, with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Strong and slightly arched, of medium length, free from throatiness and flowing freely into well laid back shoulders.


Shoulders well laid back and muscular. Upper arm and shoulder blade approximately equal length. Forelegs straight with strong pasterns and set well under body.


Chest deep with well sprung ribs, oval in cross section with brisket reaching elbow. Forechest visible. Ribs extend well back into short, deep and powerful loin. Slight tuck up to flank. Topline strong and level. The dog should be slightly longer in body measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock than in height from withers to ground.


Strong, muscular. Moderate turn of stifle. Hocks well let down and well bent.


Round, tight with well-arched toes.


Flows from topline. Should reach approximately to hock; carried straight on a level with topline when moving.


Effortless, powerful gait with good extension and drive. Parallel movement. At speed, legs tend to converge.


Body coat a thick mass of small tight, crisp curls lying close to skin, extending from occiput to tip of tail; without undercoat or bare patches. Elsewhere hair smooth.


Black or liver.


Ideal height at withers: dogs: 69 cms (27 ins); bitches: 64 cms (25 ins).

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