The Curly-Coated Retriever originated and was bred in England and, in 1860, was also recognized as one among the two original retriever breeds. Distinguished by its massive coat curls, these retrievers are a mix-breed of the following: English Water Spaniel or Irish Water Spaniel, St. John’s Newfoundland, retrieving setters, poodle, and the Labrador.

With such an impressive origin of cross-breeding, these dogs are rare, difficult to breed and hard to find. Yet despite their rarity, they are known to be the tallest of the retrievers and are excellent hunting dogs of upland birds and waterfowls and companions.

Traits and Behavior

Because this breed was purposely developed as hunting dogs, their behavior conforms to its purpose, which is that they are trainable and easily obey the commands of their masters or trainers. A laid back dog, exhibit a calm character, most especially, during hunting time wherein they patiently wait for their owner’s signal to retrieve fowls.

Despite an impressive show of traits and behavior, this breed is not for everyone. While they show good intelligence and loyalty, repetitive training and coaching tires them easily and can be a significant factor not to follow orders. It takes a long time for training to reap the desired results as these dogs mature only after three years.

When they reach maturity, these dogs can be relied on as good pets and companions. They are lively, energetic and fun-loving. They are sociable to humans and other dogs, as long as they were earlier trained to socialize.

Since they are highly intelligent, the trainer must be consistent and firm in his commands for these dogs to become active, faithful, and useful.

Pet Care and Diseases

These retrievers are distinctly recognized by their small tight curls of hair coating with no undercoat. With such consideration, these dogs are easy to maintain. They are not heavy shedders and, therefore, regular combing or brushing will help and occasional trimming.

Bathing may be necessary, also regularly, as they are constantly exposed to mud and dirt from the hunting and running that they are involved with.

They are not recommended and not adaptable in apartment living. They need a large, open space to breathe, run around, and use a lot of their innate energy. And since they love the outdoors, they should be given ample time for active exercises like swimming, walking, and running.

Aside from providing a good home environment, regular exercise, their kind of food must be a mix of meat and vegetables.

Noted health diseases, although on a case-to-case basis, on them are:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye problems such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, distichiasis, entropion, ectropion, or retinal dysplasia
  • Cardiac problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Bloat
  • Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD)
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC)
  • Cancer


Also called the Curly, these breed of retrievers are built with well-muscled legs for running and as such they possess long endurance and strength. They are generally tall dogs measuring 25-27 inches at the withers for males and 23-25 inches for females.

Their facial features show a muzzle that is wedge-shaped and tapered. The nose is black with wide nostrils, almond-shaped eyes bearing brown or black color, a good set of scissors-bite teeth, deep and not too wide chest, and distinctly small ears.

They are commonly recognized as black dog retrievers. Therefore, they are protected by a mass of tight curls of black coating all over their body.

General Information

Their life expectancy is short, around 8-12 years. The average litter size is about 8 puppies. The Curly-Coated Retriever is sometimes called Curly or CCR.

Breed Club

Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Curly Coated Retrievers. Click this link: