The Curly-Coated Retriever is an old breed of hunting dog that unfortunately is rarely seen. The finely curled dogs impress with their intelligence, their willingness to cooperate, and their willingness to work. They are therefore not recommended as pure leisure companion dogs – they want to work! Anyone who enjoys dog sports wants to try out dummy work or mantrailing and has a bit of dog experience will make an excellent decision with the “Curly”.
Rare Retriever with a long tradition
Historians are certain: the Curly Coated Retriever is the oldest of all English retriever breeds. Its origins probably date back to the 17th century, 200 years longer than the development of the Labrador Retriever that is so well known today.
The experts also agree that one of the main original breeds was the English Waterdog – a finely curled working dog with outstanding performance, the best retrieving instinct, great intelligence, and unique love for the water. These first “Curlys” were crossed with the Greenland dog, an ancestor of the Newfoundland dog. In addition, it is now assumed that pointers, setters, poodles, and perhaps even the Irish Water Spaniel was also involved with the Curly Coated Retriever.
The physique of the reliable hunting dog in the 18th century hardly differs from today’s breeding goal. He just got a little bigger. The same applies to the character: the Curly Coated Retriever is still an excellent working retriever who loves to go hunting with his people and becomes a cuddly family member at home.
Nature of the Curly Coated Retriever
As one of the most original retrievers, the Curly combines all the qualities one could wish for in a retriever. He is loyal, very affectionate, hardworking, and reliable. He brings a large portion of “Will to Please” with him, in other words: He wants to please his people and is therefore very willing to cooperate with them.
His nature is balanced and obedient, but by no means boring. He always has a keen eye on his people and the environment. He is alert and alert without barking excessively. He meets strangers in a friendly manner or simply ignores them. At a young age, the Curly can be motivated to play at any time and can then overreact a little. With increasing maturity and workload, he becomes calmer.
Compared to other retriever breeds, the Curly Coated Retriever is considered to be more independent and headstrong. If there are no clear announcements in the upbringing, a Curly does not shy away from taking the lead and making his own decisions. This can become a challenge, especially when the motivated hunter goes hunting alone. Consistent training with clear rules is essential to lead a Curly Coated Retriever that is suitable for everyday use.
Upbringing and attitude
Today, the Curly Coated Retriever is still a serious working dog that finds its passion in retrieving. If you are not a hunter, you can still use these dogs to their full capacity by making dummy training the focus of your free time with the dog. Retrieving – searching and retrieving the game substitute – is physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs. One extra-long walk each day is enough to keep a Curly happy and content. In the best case, there is also the opportunity to swim on the long circuit through forests and meadows.
When properly utilized and optimally socialized from the start, the Curly-Coated Retriever is a pleasant and calm companion in everyday life. Whether it’s an office dog, companion to customers, or simply as a family dog - the Curly loves to be with you all the time.
Goal of “suitability for everyday use” in puppy training
A little nerd moves in with a Curly Coated Retriever puppy – it’s in the dwarves’ blood to please their humans. He is highly intelligent and learns very quickly. This makes it all the more important to prepare well for the “puppy training” task.
Thanks to its intelligence, the Curly is usually quickly housebroken. Going outside regularly after eating, sleeping and playing make it particularly easy for the dwarf dog.
The Curly learns basic commands such as “sit” and “down” just as quickly as it is housebroken. For everyday life with a hunting dog, however, the strengths of impulse control and frustration tolerance are almost more important. The point here is that the dog learns to hold back and control himself, even if a toy, treat or neighbor’s cat seems so tempting. A good dog school will address this training in the puppy courses. It also allows the puppy to meet other dogs, which is an important step in socialization. Puppy playgroups and selected play partners on the dog park help the Curly to learn how to socialize with other dogs and to properly meet them later in life.
Grooming the Curly Coated Retriever
Grooming the Curly Coated Retriever is easily summed up: It’s straightforward. The fine curls are dirt and water repellent. Shake once and the dog is as good as clean. It is best to make sure that he shakes himself outdoors and not only at home in the living room. To avoid matting, the coat should be brushed once a week. Too long fur is clipped. The best way to do this is to visit a professional dog grooming salon. The ears can also be cleaned there and the claws shortened.
Characteristics and health
In the case of the Curly Coated Retriever, bitches and dogs usually differ very significantly in terms of size and weight. It is therefore important not only to take a close look at the parents at the breeders in order to estimate the size to be expected. In addition, the choice of gender can influence the size and weight of the future four-legged companion.
Since there are currently only a few breeders for this dog breed, you have to expect a waiting time. Nevertheless, it is worth buying from a recognized breeder. Especially with a dog breed that is burdened by various hereditary diseases, the breeding selection and the health examination of the parent animals provide more security. The most common diseases include hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, various metabolic disorders such as glycogenosis, as well as kidney failure, and epilepsy.
The average life expectancy with good care is eight to 13 years.