9 and 14 years. However, it has been documented that they have lived to reach the age of 17.
Gun Dog, Sporting Group
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
The only acceptable colors of the Curly-Coated Retriever are pure black or pure liver (brown). Occasionally some what hairs are permitted, but white patches are not a serious flaw.
It is not recommended that the Curly-Coated Retriever is kept in an apartment style environment. They will do best with at least a large fenced yard. However, they are family dogs and desire close contact with the family and should not be left alone outside all day long. They are very active outdoor dogs and love to run and swim, but they are very quiet and calm indoor animals.
Curly-Coated Retriever can be described as a large, hardy, and athletic looking dog. They have a tight curly coat which will protect them from debris and injuries when they are out in the brush. Their tight curls even extend to their small ears, back of the neck, and tail. Only the face, the front of the legs, and the hocks are smooth. They should be strong, agile, while remaining elegant.
The dog should be longer than it is tall at the withers. They should have strong limbs and the back should be strong and level. The hindquarters should be strong and muscular and in balance with front angulation. The thighs are to be powerful with muscle that continues down into the second thigh. The rear dewclaws should be removed. The shoulder blades are considered to be very long and covered in muscle. The front dewclaws are generally removed as well. The feet are round and compact with thick pads and arched toes.
The head of the Curly-Coated Retriever is longer than it is wide and is wedge shaped. This makes them readily distinguishable from the other retriever breeds. The head has a continuous straight taper to the nose. It is clean cut but not blocky or cheeky. The expression of the Curly-Coated Retriever is alert and intelligent. They have large almond shaped eyes that are not too prominent. The ears are small and are set slightly higher than the eye.
The gait of the Curly-Coated Retriever is powerful and strong while remaining agile and fast. This is essential for their place as a gun dog in water retrieving. They cover large amounts of ground very quickly but they never appear to be lumbering. It is a gait that is balanced front to rear and seems almost effortless. This balance is necessary for their endurance.
The Curly-Coated Retriever is a single coated dog with no undercoat. They do shed but not as much as other breeds that have an undercoat. They typically shed more during severe weather changes. Bitches will also shed more during their heat cycles, about twice a year.
The Curly-Coated Retriever is considered to be one of the oldest retriever breeds. They were used for retrieving as early as the 18th century in England. The breed was most likely developed by crossing the Close-Curled English Water Dog, Old Water Spaniel, St. John's Newfoundland Dog, the Labrador, and the Poodle. They are excellent water retriever dogs with a very gentle mouth that is best suited for duck or quail.
Popularity of the Curly-Coated Retriever declined in the 1900's in England. One theory is that there were several atypical dogs that gave the breed and bad name and caused hunters to use other retrievers. They were given the reputation as being hard-mouthed. This in fact is not true. They are considered to be a very soft-mouthed breed. Today the Curly-Coated Retriever is very popular throughout the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. If you are looking to own a Curly-Coated Retriever they may be a little difficult to find. Today they are known for their abilities in hunting, retrieving, guarding, agility, tracking, watch-dogging, and competitive obedience.
The Curly-Coated Retriever is a very happy, energetic, and easy going breed. They are highly intelligent and very eager to please. They are historically hunting and gun dogs which makes them very easily trainable. However, one thing to be aware of with the Curly-Coated Retriever is that they are late bloomers. They typically do not fully mature until they are about three years of age. The owners should be patient and understand before they get the puppy that they will have a puppy for a few years.
Curlies make excellent family dogs. They are extremely loyal and desire close family contact. They show tons of affection and are very loving. They are said to be great therapy dogs. Their happy go lucky nature make them excellent animals to have if there are children in the house. Owners with children should be cautious and supervise the dog with the children because the dogs can accidentally knock the children over. The same applies for the elderly. In their first few years of maturation the puppies are very rowdy and jumpy and if there is concern about children or elderly being jumped on or knocked over it is suggested that perhaps the Curly-Coated Retriever should not be in those households. They make excellent watchdogs and will protect the family from danger or threats.
The Curly-Coated Retriever does need to be socialized and trained from a young age. They are sensitive dogs and can be very reserved and timid around strangers. Socialization at an early age can eliminate or reduce this shyness so that it does not become problematic. Due to their nature as watchdogs and their desire to protect the family, it is important that they are socialized at a young age so they know the difference between threats and daily happenings. They are also very mischievous and can have a mind of their own. This makes it important to have early, gentle, and consistent training. The training should be gentle, as this breed is rather sensitive, but it should also be firm to show the dog who is the dominant one in the relationship.
The Curly-Coated Retriever is the perfect dog for a family or individual who lives an active life style, preferably close to the water. They should also be capable of consistent and firm training. The dog's independent thinking can make training difficult so an experienced dog owner is recommended. The owner should be patient and firm with the animal from the time they are a puppy and as they mature in the next few years. The Curly-Coated Retriever is definitely not a dog for everyone, but will make excellent pets and companions for the right individual or family.
hip dysplasia: Malformation of the ball and socket joint in the hip. It causes arthritic like symptoms.
Cancer: The most common skin cancer is mast cell tumors which is a form of malignant skin tumors. The most common bone cancer is Osteosarcoma.
Patterned Baldness : Often mistaken as a thyroid problem, this can cause reproductive problems, hormone imbalance, and Allergies. In mild forms the patterning may appear once and then never again after it grows back.
Bloat: Also known as Gastric torsion, this is a very serious condition caused by Exercise after large amounts of food and water. Surgery is necessary.
Grooming of the Curly-Coated Retriever is considered to be a minimally time consuming process. Nails on the retriever need to be trimmed when necessary, but some never need to be trimmed at all. They should only be trimmed when necessary with special attention given not to cut the quick. Cutting the quick can be very painful and will cause bleeding.
Bathing of the Curly-Coated Retriever is rarely necessary. Bathing should happen about two or three times a year. In fact, over bathing of the dog will strip the coat of its natural oils. However, it is important to note that the oils on the dog can be problematic for people with allergies therefore people who are prone to allergies should avoid the Curly-Coated Retriever as a pet. They should never be rubbed down to get them dry. They should be allowed to just air dry or a towel placed over them and gently patted down. Brushing the Curly-Coat Retriever should be done during shedding season to reduce the shed and keep the coat healthy. Typically this is when the dog is bathed as well. The coat will actually be healthier and benefit from frequent swimming and being out in the sun.
Hunters that have Curlies often do not bathe or brush their dogs during the hunting season because it can help protect them from the brush and rough environments. If the dog is used as a hunting companion it is important for the owner to check the dog for any debris, cuts, or abrasions. Although this breed with generally not fuss over small wounds, it is important for them to be treated to prevent infection.
Grooming for show is a little more involved but still considered to be minimal or moderate. The Curly-Coated Retriever can be groomed professionally for show or the owner can learn the qualifications of what the standards are. They are excellent dogs for agility and competitive obedience, so some grooming for competition may be necessary if you have your pet involved in those activities.
The Curly-Coated Retriever has a very high energy level and craves physical and mental stimulation. They are a perfect dog for an active individual or family. They love to swim and water retrieve. This makes them excellent dogs for the family who goes to the lake or lives near the water. They should be exercised daily. They do love the outdoors and enjoy any type of physical activity, but really do prefer to be retrieving and in the water. They are highly intelligent and energetic which makes them the perfect dog for agility and obedience classes. Agility training and competitive obedience are excellent ways for the Curly-Coated Retriever to obtain both that physical and mental stimulation that they crave. If the dog is being used for hunting or water retrieving it is important for the owner to take some care in ensuring that the dog is clean from debris and any injuries.
Proper training of the Curly-Coated Retriever is essential. They can be difficult puppies and dogs and therefore should be trained from an early age. Initially it is important for the dog to be given enough mental and physical stimulation. They are known to get bored and become destructive. As puppies they are late bloomers and therefore the owner should be aware that they could have rowdiness and other issues on their hands for up to three years. They can destructively chew things and can make a total disaster out of the house and yard. They are also known to bark excessively when bored.
Young puppies of this breed are very rambunctious and are considered to have a high level of bounciness. This means that things in the home can go flying including small children and toddlers. The dog should be trained from a young age that jumping up is not acceptable. The dog should be watched carefully around young children and the elderly to make sure that no one gets hurt. In addition to this, as puppies they can be very mouthy and will carry objects around the home and mouth people's hands and feet.
Socialization is also very important for the Curly-Coated Retriever. They can be very standoffish with strangers and therefore should be put into new environments and around new people from a young age. They are also quite stubborn which means that training should be firm and consistent. The handler or owner should be aware that they need to prove to the dog and establish that they have the upper hand in the relationship. They are highly intelligent and are trainable dogs for agility and obedience, but it does take a firm hand.