It is a common idea that purebred dogs and mixed dogs have different lifespans.
While that is true, the actual difference is not by much.
A mixed-breed dog has an average lifespan of 14.45 years while the average lifespan of a purebred dog is 14.14 years.
The curly-coated retriever is a purebred dog, meaning that they will have a shorter lifespan than if they were a mixed dog.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Curly-Coated Retriever?
Curly-coated retrievers have an average lifespan of 8-14 years. The most common ages that curly-coated retrievers get to be 8-12, however, there are instances where curly-coated retrievers live until they are 15-17.
There are several possible reasons why curly-coated retrievers have a shorter lifespan.
As we just discussed, one of the main reasons why this breed has a shorter lifespan is because they are a purebred dog.
Purebred dogs simply just have shorter lifespans.
Even if the dog has a decent health history, the lifespan of that bred doesn’t get up to the same number of years as a mixed dog does.
However, curly-coated retrievers don’t have a good health history.
A contributor to their shorter lifespan is due to the various amount of health issues that they can face.
These active dogs love to spend lots of time running and swimming around outdoors.
They have the ability to run through harsh underbrush and swim in colder waters due to their tightly curled coats.
However, this high amount of activity can cause problems over time.
Unclean water can still make your curly-coated retriever sick or bugs in tall or harsh underbrush can also cause problems.
What Kind of Health Problems Do Curly-Coated Retrievers Face?
Curly-coated retrievers are prone to health problems in 3 main areas: their bone health, eye health, and oral health.
Some of the problems that they face are much more severe than others, as can be seen by the effects of eye health problems can have.
In any creature, including humans, the cartilage between our bones wears down over time, causing pain and immobility.
With how active the curly-coated retriever is, their bones wear down more quickly and cause mobility problems.
Curly-coated retrievers are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, where these joints don’t form properly and can cause arthritis symptoms in the dog.
The pain can be treated but the dysplasia can’t be cured without surgery.
Even then, your curly-coated retriever may still face these joint issues.
This breed is also prone to knee problems. The most common knee problem is your curly-coated retriever’s kneecap slipping out of place.
This is similar to when a person pops their shoulder out of the socket.
It causes a lot of pain but usually can be fixed by popping the bone back in place.
This problem can cause pain but is usually a milder problem unless it is happening severely often.
At that point, surgery may be required.
Eye problems for your curly-coated retriever usually stem from genetic inheritance.
In most cases, leaving these problems untreated can cause your curly-coated retriever to go blind.
In older curly-coated retrievers, cataracts are a more common eye problem to face. This is also the least painful one, but the surest to cause blindness.
Surgery can remove cataracts from the dog’s eyes but many dogs adjust well to the oncoming blindness.
Another non-painful eye problem that curly-coated retrievers are prone to is Progressive Retinal Atrophy.
This is a genetic disease where your dog will end up going blind.
You can have your dog get a genetic test to see if they have it, but if they do, it is not curable.
Distichiasis is caused by extra hairs or lashes growing inside the eyelid which scrapes along the eye and causes irritation and eventually blindness.
Early diagnosis is important as proper surgery or procedures can fix the problem.
Entropion is the eyelid rolling inward so that the lashes are rubbing against the eye.
This again causes irritation and damage to the eye but can more easily be fixed by a surgical correction.
Finally, curly-coated retrievers are prone to Ectropion, which is the eyelid drooping away from the eye and exposing the eye to harmful outside elements.
This deformity can lead to blindness if the wrong irritants get into their eyes.
Again, if caught in time, surgical correction is a solution.
Oral Health Problems
Most dog breeds have a tendency of facing oral health problems.
However, curly-coated retrievers are even more prone to facing these health issues.
Curly-coated retrievers are prone to rotting and diseased teeth from tartar and plaque buildup.
Oral health is the gateway to all the other health systems, so keeping the teeth clean helps keep other organs working properly.
Curly-coated retrievers who face severe gum/tooth disease have a chance of facing liver, kidney, and other organ problems.
These problems can get so severe that they can lead to certain organ failures if left untreated.
Making sure that you have a regular tooth brushing routine for your curly-coated retriever can prevent many of these health problems that stem from plaque build-up damaging the teeth.
Other Health Problems
Sadly, even after that large list, there are still more health problems that your curly-coated retriever is more prone to face.
Some of these problems are common amongst many dog breeds, there is still a possibility for your curly-coated retriever and contribute to their smaller lifespan.
Here are the other health problems that contribute to the shorter lifespan of curly-coated retrievers:
- Heart disease
- Infections from outdoor play
- Parasites from outdoor underbrush
- Bloat or GVD
- Cancer (lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma)
- Other bleeding disorders
Many of these health problems impact the circulation of air or blood in your curly-coated retriever.
Checking for any oddities that form on your curly-coated retriever can make sure that you catch any early signs of a disease before they progress too far.
Many of these issues can be cured through surgery or medication, but they can also be fatal if ignored.
How to Keep Your Curly-Coated Retriever at Optimal Health
While many of the health problems your curly-coated retriever can have are genetically passed down, you can still keep them healthy and living longer through basic caring practices.
A really easy way to keep your curly-coated retriever at optimal health is by having a regular brushing routine.
Many of the oral problems that your dog may face can be prevented by keeping the plaque and tartar off of their teeth through brushing.
They also make several kinds of treats or toys that help keep your dog’s teeth nice and healthy while also letting them have fun.
It is also very important to give your dog high-quality dog food.
With the right kind of food, you can keep your curly-coated retriever nice and healthy.
When buying dog food, look and make sure that the first ingredient is a meat-based protein.
Many low-quality dog foods start with a grain or vegetable filler that can give your dog too much of the wrong nutrients which can make them sick.
Look for dog foods with clean ingredients to keep their digestive system working well.
To prevent many of the worse diseases that your curly-coated retriever can get, schedule regular checkups and learn how to do basic checkups with your dog. Knowing what kinds of bumps, lumps, and irritations to look for can catch any worse disease early enough to treat.
Finally, make sure that your curly-coated retriever gets plenty of exercise in safe areas.
If your forest areas have a problem with ticks, don’t let your dog run around in those areas to prevent diseases that ticks can bring.
That being said, they still need a lot of exercise, so bring them to a park or play in your backyard.
Always check the conditions of the land before taking your dog in them so they don’t get into something that can hurt them or make them sick.
Curly-coated retrievers are a purebred dog, so they won’t live as long as mixed breeds.
However, with the proper care and an observant eye, you can help lengthen your dog’s lifespan by using preventative action.
Keep your curly-coated retriever active and well-fed so they have the strength to be happy dogs. Just always keep their safety in different environments in mind.
This breed of dog is prone to many different kinds of health issues, so it’s important to learn the warning signs and to get your dog in the vet if you suspect a health issue.
Many of the health issues that these dogs face can lead to long-lasting damages, so using preventative action can prevent those damages from happening.
Most importantly, give your curly-coated retriever lots of love and attention.
All dogs deserve to be loved by their owners and to receive the best care that they can manage.
With the love you give, you will be given enough love by your curly-coated retriever to last several of their lifetimes.