History and origin: The Curly-Coated Retriever is considered to be the oldest of the retrievers, tracing his origins back to 16th century England, perhaps a result of the mixing of Irish Water Spaniel, Poodle, and setter bloodlines. The outcome was a breed that would eagerly retrieve waterfowl from lakes or bays without being affected by the cold, thanks to his water-resistant coat.
Description: The Curly-Coated Retriever stands approximately 22 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 55 and 75 pounds. He has a strong medium-size body. The weather-resistant shedding coat is tightly curled. Do not comb or brush the coat. Just damp it down and massage with circular movements. Trimming is also necessary. The coat may be black or liver-colored.
About the breed: This breed is beautiful, hardy, active, intelligent, a good swimmer, and an excellent guarddog. He is a great worker both on land and in water and will retrieve any game. He is affectionate to his owners but less eager to please than the Labrador Retriever. Curly-Coated Retrievers are also slightly less active, more independent, more stubborn, and not as likely to welcome strangers. They can make good family pets, but they need more socialization than a Lab, and they will not tolerate roughhousing from children the way a Lab would. They need plenty of vigorous exercise. Curly-Coated Retrievers need obedience training early on, but they require a more patient training technique than a Lab. They are more sensitive and will shut down on you if you are not slow and consistent with your technique.
Feeding: Recommended feeding for this breed is 1 ½ — 2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 5 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.
Ideal home: The Curly-Coated Retriever needs a house with a fenced yard. Children are okay, but no roughhousing should be tolerated. Socialization with people and dogs should begin early, as should obedience training. A firm yet patient leader is called for with this breed. The elderly and the disabled may have a hard time keeping up with this active dog. Cautious or nervous persons should not consider the Curly-Coated Retriever, nor should those who do not have time to work the dog. A hunter would find this breed to be an excellent water retriever.