Breed Traits and Characteristics of Curly-Coated Retrievers

No two dog breeds are the same, even if they are in the same family. 

A curly-coated retriever has many differences from its cousin, the golden retriever. 

When planning on adding a dog to your loving family, you must research the kind of dog you are going to get.

That way, you know what to expect from your dog and what you need to do for your dog.

What Are The Breed Traits And Characteristics Of Curly-Coated Retrievers?

The curly-coated retriever has many distinctive traits that make this breed who they are. From their signature curly coat to their high levels of energy, curly-coated retrievers are one of a kind. Here, we will discuss all the different traits that this breed of dog has. 

The most distinctive feature of the curly-coated retriever is its curly coat. 

This breed typically has a dark brown or black coat of tightly curled fur on their entire body except for their face. 

On their face, the fur is short and straight. 

This coat isn’t just for looks though, the curly coats that these dogs have are waterproof. 

When a curly-coated retriever goes swimming, their coats lock out all the water to keep their skin nice and dry. 

The reason why these dogs have curly coats relates to their history.

Originating in England in the 1860s, these dogs were first bred for their hunting and retrieving qualities. 

They would go out into the water and retrieve waterfowl for themselves or for their owners. 

Their coats allow them to go out into colder waters while staying warm and they can dry off immediately after exiting the water.

Curly-coated retrievers’ coats also protect them from harsh underbrush. These are outdoor dogs that love to run around in almost any terrain. 

With how tightly curled their fur is, it acts as a protective layer that prevents sharp sticks, rocks, or any other dangerous terrain from hurting their skin. 

The curly coats that curly-coated retrievers help them do all their outdoor activities from protecting them from outdoor dangers to keeping them dry out in the water. 

They wouldn’t have the history that they do without their coat.

What is the Energy Level of a Curly-Coated Retriever?

With how much these dogs love to run around, it makes sense that they have a very high level of energy. 

They absolutely love to play and need at least 40 minutes of exercise a day. 

Curly-coated retrievers get their exercise through playing with their family, playing with other dogs in their family, running around in the backyard, or even joining you on your adventures. 

These dogs are up for anything as long as they are using up their energy.

Are Curly-Coated Retrievers Intelligent?

Breed Traits and Characteristics of Curly Coated Retrievers 1 Breed Traits and Characteristics of Curly-Coated Retrievers

While these dogs love to mess around, they are also very intelligent. 

When it comes to training, these dogs can pick up new commands and behaviors quickly and with ease.

These dogs know what is going on around them and are always searching for information. 

Sometimes, they are too intelligent which then translates into stubbornness. 

With proper training, your curly-coated retriever won’t be as stubborn, but they sure do like to do their own thing of their own accord.

Training stubbornness can usually be combatted by having their owner around. 

At that point, their want to impress their owner kicks in and diminishes the stubbornness.

Are Curly-Coated Retrievers Loyal? 

Curly-coated retrievers love their families with their entire being. 

They will do anything to protect them and love being around them. 

With that, curly-coated retrievers are insanely loyal. 

They will stand by their owners at all times, even when a stranger makes them anxious. 

Curly-coated retrievers can make okay guard dogs too.

They aren’t too big on action, but if they perceive a situation as an upcoming threat, they will do what they can to alert their owner and protect them. 

Are Curly-Coated Retrievers Good Around Kids?

As said earlier, curly-coated retrievers love their families with their entire being.

It’s like their heart is the size of their body. 

With that, they are pretty good around children.

If a child is super energetic, they will make great playing partners for the curly-coated retriever. 

They can play together so they both use up their energy.

The only worry for curly-coated retrievers around kids is the possibility of a small child being knocked over. 

Curly-coated retrievers can get really into playing and forget that the small child that they are playing with can be knocked over easily. 

Keeping an eye on their play can help make sure that no one gets hurt and no hard feelings are created. 

What Are the Curly-Coated Retrievers Grooming Needs?

With their coats being made up of tightly curled fur, there isn’t much grooming that needs to be done. 

Baths should be infrequent as shampoos used to wash fur changes the texture and temporarily stops their coats from being waterproof. 

These dogs are an average shedder and have two main shedding seasons.

It can help to comb, not brush, out their fur during these shedding seasons to help the process along.

Outside of these shedding periods, there isn’t a huge need for combing. 

The reason why you should comb their coats instead of brushing it has to do with their fur texture.

A brush will make their fur frizzy, and you’ll have to wet down their coats for it to return to normal. 

With a comb, their fur texture will be better protected while also not tugging at the fur as much. 

If your curly-coated retriever likes to adventure outside, make sure you check the bugs around your area.

Just because their coats are tightly curled doesn’t mean that they are immune to the diseases that bugs carry

Doing a bug (like a flea and tick) treatment when you are bathing them will help prevent them from getting sick.

You can also get a flea and tick collar at many pet stores that help with this too. 

How Social Are Curly-Coated Retrievers?

With how energetic they are and how much they love to play, you may think that these are incredibly social dogs. However, that is not the case. 

Around strangers that are humans and that are animals, curly-coated retrievers act timid around them.

These dogs are cautious around new people, preferring to stay closer to their owners than adventuring out into their own social world.

If their owners show that the stranger is friendly, then the curly-coated retriever will act very friendly around them. 

Curly-coated retrievers are described as polite yet reserved when meeting new people both outside the home and with any visitors in the home. 

Through socialization training, these dogs can become less fearful of strangers and instead more friendly. 

With the level of anxiety that curly-coated retrievers feel around strangers, having training to combat that social anxiety can help them in their everyday life. 

Where Can I Find a Curly-Coated Retriever?

Curly-coated retrievers aren’t going to be a breed of dog that you can commonly find in an adoption shelter. 

Most people get these dogs from breeders as they are actually rare.

After facing near extinction in the early-mid 1900s, there haven’t been many curly-coated retrievers in the United States, much less the world. 

To find a curly-coated retriever, you will want to find a good breeder with a high-quality reputation. 

Don’t fall victim to the low-quality breeders who treat their animals poorly which in turn gives you animals with a lot of health problems.

A good curly-coated retriever breeder will be able to give you all the paperwork on the dog, including the paperwork on who the parents are. 

Having all this information shows you that they know what they are doing and also lets you know what kind of health problems that your curly-coated retriever may have inherited. 

Final Thoughts

There are so many things to know about curly-coated retrievers and we have only covered a portion.

Curly-coated retrievers have many physical and personality characteristics that make them one of a kind. 

The first thing that anyone can see in a curly-coated retriever is their interesting coats that are made up of tightly curled fur everywhere except for their face. 

Curly-coated retrievers are amazing dogs that are full of love and joy

They love their family, even down to the small children that they might sometimes knock over on accident. 

When it comes to their family, these dogs don’t have a malicious bone in their body.

The only people or animals that these dogs are vicious to are those who present danger to the ones they love or the animals that they hunt. 

Otherwise, they are either too kind or too timid to hurt anyone or anything. 

If you are looking for an active pet to take along with all your adventures or just a super distinct dog that is sure to be unique, a curly-coated retriever might be right for you. 

It will give you a chance to say that you have one of the oldest retriever breeds. 

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