The tallest of the Retrievers, the Curly Coated Retriever was established as early as 1860 and was used for bird and waterfowl hunting. Since then the breed has had a rocky history, owing to declines in popularity the breed became nearly extinct through both World Wars. Now the Retriever remains a popular breed, being a placid, gentle animal that fits in well with an active family.
Appearance, Health and Hygiene
The Retriever stands at a height of 69 centimetres, and is covered in distinctive tight curls in either black or chocolate. Has an intelligent, aloof and regal bearing.
As with most working dogs, it’s a strong and hardy breed, hardwearing and built for the outdoors. It can be prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems and epilepsy. The ears should be checked and cleaned regularly.
The Retriever sheds an average amount of hair, and little grooming or maintenance required. Of course if the pet is spending a great deal of time in the outdoors a going over with a brush to ensure no burrs or ticks are present is needed. The coat is rather oily so it can cause problems with people who suffer from allergies.
As a Pet
Like all Retrievers, has an even temperament, although it is not as biddable and easy to train as other Retrievers. It develops to maturity quite late (up to three years), so be prepared for a very long period of this pet being an energetic and playful puppy. This period is a great time to train the animal to proper behaviour as well as working off the youthful energy.
One challenge with this breed is that it can become bored of training quite quickly. The repetition of rote commands can bore the dog. Instead, a variety of games, challenges and activities will keep it interested for longer. The owner/trainer must be firm and use calm, firm leadership; otherwise the Retriever can become a handful quite quickly.
This is a breed that loves the outdoors, so it will naturally suit a family of adventures that love to spend their weekends outdoors camping and swimming. It loves the water and to be running around. A 2km walk per day or some form of ball game is the absolute minimum to meet this breed’s physical and mental stimulation needs. A backyard is also the smallest size to keep this animal in – it will not suit an apartment life.
In terms of family relationships, it is a gentle, affectionate animal. It will most certainly be part of the family, and will not tolerate being left by itself for long periods of time. And while it is boisterous outside of the house, it is largely calm and quiet within. It will get along well with young children but be watchful – as it is quite a tall dog it can knock over small children quite easily.
One word of warning for potential owners with a lovely shoe collection – this is a very mouthy dog that loves chewing. This can be a nightmare if an inquisitive puppy starts chewing on something not meant for mouths, like hard plastic. Very firm boundaries must be established, as well as proper chew toys that the Retriever is allowed to chew on. It must understand which is proper to chew on and what is not allowed, otherwise a very nice set of heels might become very slobbery and gnawed on quite quickly!