Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Curly-Coated Retrievers: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Curly-Coated Retriever temperament, personality, and behavior.

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Curly-Coated Retriever dog breed

Curly-Coated Retriever Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Curly-Coated Retriever Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

This strong and robust dog is also elegant and graceful, quick and agile. His daily exercise requirement is such that he belongs with an athletic owner who will take him jogging, biking, hiking, and swimming.

Though reserved and sometimes distrustful with strangers, he should remain poised and hold his ground. A Curly Coated Retriever puppy needs more socialization than other retrievers to develop a confident temperament.

Many have sensible protective instincts and may not welcome strangers into their homes as will a Golden or Labrador Retriever.

He relates well to other animals and is playful and accepting.

Described as "wickedly smart," he may use his intelligence in clever, independent ways that suit his own purposes. Thus he needs early obedience training to establish that you are in charge.

All retrievers are slow to mature, and the Curly-Coat remains playfully puppyish for many years. This sounds delightful, but does require patience and control to live with.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is the most unusual-looking of the six retriever breeds
  • Loves the great outdoors and thrives on vigorous athletic activities
  • Is steady and dependable
  • Is more cautious with strangers than Golden or Labrador Retrievers, but still usually polite
  • Is good with other animals
  • Is uncommon

A Curly-Coated Retriever may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • Vigorous exercise requirements
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
  • Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough
  • Shyness or timidity with strangers when not socialized enough
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Mouthiness -- carrying and chewing of objects, mouthing your hands
  • Waiting lists (hard to find)
  • Health problems

A Curly-Coated Retriever may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


More traits and characteristics of the Curly-Coated Retriever

If I was considering a Curly-Coated Retriever, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Curly Coated Retrievers MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing. Bored Curlies can make a shambles of your house and yard.

  2. Bounciness. Young Curly Coated Retrievers (up to about three years old) romp and jump with great vigor, and things can go flying, including toddlers.

  3. Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Curlycoated Retrievers need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become suspiciousness or shyness, which are difficult to live with.

  4. Stubbornness. Curlycoated Retrievers are not Golden Retrievers. They are versatile working dogs, capable of learning a great deal, but they can be stubborn and manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Curly to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Curly Coated Retriever Training Page discusses the program you need.

  5. Shedding and trimming. Curly Coated Retrievers shed -- they are not hypoallergenic dogs -- and they need occasional trimming to keep their curly locks from becoming too long, loose, and shaggy.

  6. Finding one. In the United States, fewer than 150 new Curly coated Retriever puppies are registered each year. (Compare that to over 60,000 new Golden Retriever puppies.)

  7. Health problems. All retriever breeds are susceptible to joint and bone problems, and eye diseases. Epilepsy and heart problems are increasing concerns in the Curly-Coated Retriever.



book cover To learn more about training Curly-Coated Retrievers to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Curly-Coated Retriever the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.



book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Curly-Coated Retriever. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.


If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Curly-Coated Retriever might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.


book cover Once you have your Curly-Coated Retriever home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.



Please consider adopting an ADULT Curly-Coated Retriever...

When you're acquiring a Curly-Coated Retriever PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Curly-Coated Retrievers who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter

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