Curly Coated Retrievers definitely stand out in the field of retrievers. It's not only their looks that make them different, however. Considered to be among the oldest of the retriever breeds, Curly Coated Retrievers are different from the rest in terms of temperament as well. In this article, we'll take a look at how Curly Coated Retrievers are different from their retriever cousins.
The most obvious difference is the tightly curled coat of the Curly Coated Retriever everything is made clear in the name alone! While many of the retriever breeds have a short coat (the Flat Coated Retriever is an obvious exception), Curlies are prized for their tight curls that form over the body, neck and ears. While this may be a deterrent for those that are thinking of buying a Curly, the truth is that the coat is very easy to care for. The coat shouldn't be shampooed very often, as this will deprive the coat of its natural oils that make the coat so curly, and a simple swim or water bath will help keep the coat clean. The coat usually sheds only once or twice a year and can be controlled with combing or brushing during that time.
Staying with the theme of physical differences, Curly Coated Retrievers are said to be the tallest of the retriever breeds, growing as tall as 25 to 27 inches. Also, Curlies only come in two colors, black and liver (brown) and should never be yellow, like Labrador Retrievers, or Golden like Golden Retrievers.
Curlies are said to be more independent than and not as demonstrative as other retriever breeds. This is true up to a point, as Curlies are usually very late in maturing. This means that they will maintain their joyful boisterousness of puppyhood for a little longer than other retrievers. Once they settle into adulthood, however, they do tend to calm a bit. While other retrievers make less than spectacular guard dogs, as they are more than willing to welcome any stranger, Curly Coated Retrievers tend to be a little more wary of strangers and not as willing to make friends so easily. This is not to say that they are aggressive in the least; certainly once they see that their family has welcomed the stranger, they are sure to find a new friend in the making.
In the field of hunting, all retrievers are naturals, as this is what they were bred for, and Curlies are no exception. Unfortunately, Curlies had a reputation of being hard-mouthed for many years, but this is proven to not be the case. Thanks to over a hundred and fifty years of history of retrieving duck and other water fowl, Curlies are naturals in the water and will love making swimming a regular part of their exercise routine.