Origin: United Kingdom (England)
Dog Breed Group: Gun Dog
Life Span: 10-12 years
Weight: Male: 32-32.5, Female: 30-30.5
Height: Male: 23-24.5, Female: 20-22.5
Origin of Name: The Curly-coated Retriever is a breed of dog originally bred in England for upland bird and waterfowl hunting.
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Curtains are believed to be one of the oldest breeds. Unlike the Spaniards and Setters, however, the retrievers are new to the sports scene. They arrived only in the late 1700s, after wing shooting with rifles became practical.
The genetic puzzle which is a curly-coated retriever was introduced simultaneously in England in the 1800s. There is no written record of the early history of the breed, but we can make some educated assumptions. The Curley is popularly thought to have been descended from two breeds, which are now extinct, the English Water Spaniel and the Retripping Potter. Irish water spaniel blood is also believed to be one of the ancestral breeds of Curley, as was a small type of St. John's Dog, Newfoundland. By 1860, his unique looks and proud bearing made Curlize a popular attraction at England's first dog show.
In the early 1880s, the curly was passed over the puddle to tighten the curly's distinctive, low-shedding curls. Poodle Blood may also have contributed to Curley's elegant carriage and intricate character.
By the end of the 19th century, Curley had taken his place as a cherished companion of British sportsmen. In this period the curley was exported as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, where it remains popular among hunters as a motive, praising the steady temperament and tender mouth.
The spectacular rise of Labs and Goldens has long assumed Curley's prominence among retriever breeds, but they maintain a small but dominant worldwide following. The Curley entered the AKC Stud Book in 1924.