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Curly-Coated Retriever

Tags: Sporting, Large-sized, Requires firm, dedicated training

We're not a terribly ancient breed -- more of a "designer breed" of the 1800s when hunters in Great Britain wanted a sporting dog with endurance to retrieve game from pre-dawn to dusk in the thickest of brambles or the iciest of waters. They also wanted a tight, curly, water-resistant coat (black or liver colored) to protect our sizable (23-27 inches at the shoulder, 66-75 pound) frames. Into the gene pool of the retriever that became the Curly-coated went Newfoundland, Irish and possibly English Water Spaniel, Labrador and Poodle. The AKC recognized us in 1924.

Rave review

  • Affectionate, devoted family pet
  • Agile and active
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie
  • Hardy hunter
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Pleased to please
  • Steadfast and strong

Report card

  • Better busy than bored
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Independent thinker
  • Lives to work
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Takes to training
  • Training must be firm and gentle

What to expect

I need you to keep me busy -- not necessarily hunting, though that would be great -- or else I'm liable to get into mischief. Anything that gives me exercise -- on land or in the water will do. Canine sports of all kinds, long runs or walks, or just retrieving (you might call it fetching) sticks thrown as far as you can in the water. Gosh I love that water and you don't even have to bring a beach towel because my curly flat coat shakes dry in a snap.

Watch for

Possibility of skin conditions (bilateral alopecia), Cushing's disease (or Pseudocushing's), hypothyroidism, and juvenile osteoporosis.

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