Curly Coated Retriever Dog Breed | Curly Coated Retriever / Dog Breed
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Curly Coated Retriever Dog Breed | Curly Coated Retriever / Dog Breed

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Curly-Coated Retriever – Dog Breed

The Breed History
The Curly-coated retriever is thought to be derived from Retrieving Setter and English Water Spaniel stock, the St. John’s Newfoundland, and perhaps also the Poodle and Irish Water Spaniel. “Curlys” are one of the earliest known breeds of the retriever group, and early breed development occurred in Britain. The breed type was considered set by about 1850. During the two World Wars, and up until the 1960s the breed was close to extinction. The first breed specimens likely arrived in America in 1907. This is still a rare breed.

Breeding for Function
These dual-purpose dogs were particularly effective soft-mouth waterfowl retrievers used for duck, quail and other fowl. The coat was carefully bred for, so that they could withstand cold water hunting and heavy underbrush.

Physical Characteristics
Height at Withers: female 23 25″ 58.5 63.5 cm, male 25 27″ 63.5-68.5 cm.
Weight: 70 80 lb 32-36 kg.
Coat: The distinctive curly dense coat is made up of an outer coat with discrete short tight curls, though straight shorter hair is found on the face, feet and the pinna hair covering is intermediate in curl. Accepted coat colors are black and liver. Very small white patches are allowed. Black is dominant, liver is recessive in inheritance. Rare yellows occur but are not an accepted breed color. Has low grooming needs except during shedding times; the coat does not need trimming. Some breeders rarely or never brush these dogs but just periodically bathe them.
Longevity: 10-13 years
Points of Conformation: High head carriage, a distinct, tightly curled water-resistant coat, slightly longer than tall conformation characterize the Curly-coated Retriever. They possess moderate muscling and bone. The wedge-shaped head is more narrow, refined, with the muzzle tapering more than with the other retrievers. The stop is shallow, and the almond shaped eyes are black, brown or amber. The large nose is black or brown. The small ears are folded and close lying, with heavy leather. The neck is moderate in length, and not throaty. The topline is level, with a slight slope downward at the croup. The thorax is deep and moderately sprung ribs stay full towards the rear of the rib cage. The abdomen is moderately tucked up. The tail is straight, thick, tapering and reaches to the tarsus. Limbs are straight boned, and the feet are round with well-knuckled toes. Metacarpals and metatarsals are short. The dewclaws on the forelimb are often removed, and the ones on the hind limbs are usually removed. The dog moves with a long stride, with agility, speed and smoothness.

Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: Willing to please, calm and affectionate, hardy, high trainability, a good guard dog. He is noted to persevere in the field during a hunt. A Curly may be somewhat aloof with strangers. Slow to mature, some also have an independent streak. Early socialization and obedience training is recommended. A low activity level around the home, but typically has high exercise needs. Not recommended for apartment living. The Curly-coated Retriever needs close human companionship.

Normal Physiologic Variations
The coat tends to be oily so bathing 3 or 4 times a year is recommended as a minimum.

Drug Sensitivities
None reported

Inherited Diseases
Hip Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing degenerative joint disease and hip arthritis. OFA reports 15.3% affected.
Elbow Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing elbow arthritis. OFA reports 0.5% affected.