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Developed to retrieve live games whether on land or water, the Curly Coated Retriever is a favourite sporting (gundog) breed of English estate gamekeepers, hunters and poachers. Today, Curlies are used for therapy, drug detection as well as search and rescue. The Curly is an energetic and well-muscled dog that appears leggy and longer in length than it is tall. It weighs between 65 to 100 pounds and stands at 58 to 69 centimetres. The Curly Coated Retriever is standoffish with strangers but extremely loyal and affectionate with its family. It can live anywhere from 9 to 12 years if given the proper care.
Will you open your home to a Curly Coated Retriever? Here is a brief background of this hero dog breed.
There is not much on record in a Curly's heritage. Most reports claim that his lineage came from the now-extinct English Water Spaniels and Poodles. Whatever its ancestry, it is obviously bred to retrieve games and is the first known breed used for serious retrieving in England during the 1860s.
The Curly Coated Retriever was a popular dog of hunters, poachers and English estate gamekeepers until the Labrador came into the picture. World War II in 1919 did not help with keeping the breed's existence. In fact, after the war, there were only five Curlies registered in existence.
Some Curly Coated Retrievers were brought into the United States in 1907, but the breed was only recognised and registered in 1924. Importing the breeds helped in keeping its line alive.
Like all retrieving breeds, the Curly Coated Retriever is large and sturdy with its athletic build. Despite its large size weighing 65 to 100 pounds, this retriever dog is graceful. Characteristic appearance of a Curly is its coat of tight, crisp curls, hence the name. The curled coat repels water and protects it from rough brush. It also wears smooth hairs on the face, hocks and legs. Curlies are longer than they are tall standing at 58 to 69 centimetres at the withers. Its head is wedge-shaped and is slightly longer. The Curly has wide muzzle that is tapered. Their coat comes in either black or liver, which is the same colour as the nose. They have pendant ears and are soft-mouthed.
Coats of Curlies shed throughout the year, albeit minimally. However, they shed more and quite heavily during spring and autumn. With this in mind, Curlies need to be brushed weekly to remove loose hairs, which may become a mess around the house. They should only be bathed as needed, as frequent bathing may alter its water-resistant characteristic. Don't forget to check their ears for signs of infections, which is common for pendant ears. Clean the ears using a veterinarian-approved solution and soft cotton balls. Brush its teeth at least once per week to minimise bad breath and keep dental diseases at bay.
When it comes to temperament, the Curly is an easy-going and affectionate dog that is all too eager to please its owner. Its desire to please makes training easy to do and its intelligence helps with this as well. Curly Coated Retrievers operates in a pack, as with all gundogs, so they will need someone who knows how to train them and serve as the leader of the pack. When owners establish their authority as the leader, they look up to them for guidance and direction. Suffice to say, it is not the best dog breed of choice for first-time dog owners.
Curlies are aloof around strangers but are loving and loyal to their family. Anywhere it is, the Curly exhibit alertness and self-confidence. Since they are also intelligent, they have a mind of their own. That said, early socialisation and training is crucial and must be started at a young age. They are active, which means they get bored easily if not given enough physical and mental stimulation.
With regard to their interaction with children and other pets, Curlies are even-tempered and get along fine with children of all ages. However, it will be ill-advised to leave any dog with a child unsupervised. Other pets such as other dogs and cats that were raised alongside it are fine. Exemptions are neighbours’ pets h a Curly may perceive as fair game.
A typical serving of an adult Curly Coated Retriever is 3 to 4 cups of the best quality dog food per day. As a dog owner, knowing the basic nutritional needs of your Curly is important. Considering each breed's characteristics (age, size, level of activity and metabolism), its diet must be tailored to its needs. When doubtful, make sure to consult with a veterinarian.
Typical calorie needs of adult Curly Coated Retrievers per day:
It is important that you not only know how much to feed your Curly but also what to feed it. It does not matter what brand of dog food you buy as long as you are sure it is high-quality and provides the dog with enough protein for muscle and bone growth. Most importantly, feeding a Curly or any other dog with one large meal must be avoided. Most dog breeds will develop bloat or gastric torsion and are also prone to become overweight, which will put pressure on its joints. As much as possible, stick to a 2 to 3 meals a day schedule and measure its food based on its calorie requirement.
With an average life expectancy of 9 to 12 years, a Curly Coated Retriever must be generally healthy. However, this is not to say that this dog breed is not prone to health issues. Common health disorders experienced by Curlies are as follows: Hip Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Bloat or Gastric Torsion and some Eye Disorders. To make sure that your Curly is not experiencing any of these health disorders, check with your veterinarian to know about signs, symptoms and preventive measures.
Curlies are ideal for people who live an active lifestyle doing outdoor activities. This dog breed will need at least 2 hours of daily exercise that must include mental stimulating activities. Curly Coated Retrievers excel in many canine sports, including obedience and agility. When taking your it outside, make sure it's on a leash, or if playtime is done in the backyard and off-leash, the fence must be secured to prevent it from escaping.
Owning a dog may be expensive, especially for people who did not think ahead. However, including a dog in your financial or budget plan will save you from being short on funds and the likelihood of putting up your Curly for adoption. Here are a few things you should factor in when it comes to buying a Curly Coated Retriever:
In a rough estimation, you will be budgeting around £80 to £100 a month for recurring expenses, depending on the level of insurance cover you choose for your dog.
Are you sure the Curly Coated Retriever is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
It's awesome to get a unique dog like a Curly Coated Retriever for a pet. If you are not 100% sure it fits your lifestyle, use our Pet Finder to find a dog breed that is more you.
8th Feb 2019
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Whilst some dogs may enjoy an occasional swim, water dogs are built to work in the water. Waters dogs originating from gundogs were bred to work in the water. They differ from most dogs with their immense interest for swimming and their dense watertight coats.
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