Curly-Coated Retriever


One of the oldest of the Retrievers, the Curly-Coated Retriever is believed to have roots in such breeds as the English Water Spaniel, a smaller Newfoundland, and the Poodle, from which it gets its tightly curled coat. Developed in England to be a multipurpose hunting Retriever, the Curly is favored for its excellent field ability, endurance, and courage. Unsurpassed in the water, the Curly-Coated makes a fine family companion when challenged with exercise and activity.


Medium to large; 22 to 27 inches, 55 to 75 pounds.


Black or liver.


Eager, self-confident, and steadfast; determined in the field, sensitive at home. Independent; sometimes appears aloof or self-willed.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Hunter or active, outdoorsy owner in suburban or rural home.


Daily exercise (swimming and retrieving are best) and training to prevent boredom (and undesirable behaviors), fenced yard, companionship, and occasional combing.

Life expectancy:

8 to 12 years.