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Meet the Curly Coated Retriever, Possibly the Oldest Retriever Breed

Why This Breed Makes Such a Good Pets

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Curly Coated Retiever photo

Is The Curly Coated Retriever Right For You?

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    Curly Coated Retrievers are gentle, calm, intelligent, family friendly dogs.

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    The Curly is eager to please and makes a great companion.


Possibly the oldest of all the retrievers, the Curly Coated Retriever has been used by hunters since the 1700s. Thought to be a cross of the English Water Dog, St. John’s Newfoundland, Poodle, Irish Water Spaniel, and a number of other breeds, the Curly Coated Retriever quickly gained popularity as a dog that could wade out in a bog, retrieve your game, and not damage the bird because of their gentle mouth. They were let into the AKC in 1924.

quick facts

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    9 to 14 years, with some reaching 17

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    25-27 inches

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    Male Weight

    80-100 pounds

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    Female Height

    23-25 inches

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    Female Weight

    65-85 pounds

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    Litter Size

    8 puppies


A large, athletically built breed, the Curly Coated Retriever has, believe it or not, a short, curly coat that spreads all over their body, minus the face. Their curly coat protects these dogs from the icy temperatures of lakes and rivers in the fall and early winter. They have a long, angular muzzle and triangular shaped ears.


The Curly Coated Retriever is, like other retrievers, a loyal, easy going, eager breed. They are very good with other pets, but tend to be somewhat timid if they are not brought around people and pets regularly. A gentle breed, they do need a firm hand when being trained, but not an overly firm one. They are naturally good hunting dogs, but can also be a guard or therapy dog too.


The Curly Coated Retriever is generally either black or a livery brown. Sometimes they have white patches, but these dogs are not show caliber.


health concerns

The Curly-Coated Retriever has health issues such as:

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