Curly Coated RetrieverOne of the most distinctive features about this dog is his coat, the colour of which is either black or liver. His body, ears and tail are covered with tight, crisp curls, whilst his face and muzzle are smooth haired. His coat is waterproof and, even after a swim, he shakes himself a few times and is practically dry. This unique coat does require specialised treatment to keep it at its best.
He has a remarkable ability to mark the fall of game and remember locations, and is brilliant at retrieving the wounded duck hiding in water or rushes. In fact, a good nose, combined with intelligence, endurance and strength, gives him the ability to retrieve most game. He is friendly, but despite this, is a good guard dog. He needs plenty of exercise, and is essentially an outdoor type.
The breed is around 200 years old, having evolved from crosses of water spaniels and varieties of retrievers and, say some, pointers. Cross breeding with Poodles is believed to have been used to tighten the curl in the coat. It was at its most popular as shooting dog in the latter part of the nineteenth century and many Curlies were exported to New Zealand and Australia to hunt birds.
More information on the breed can be found on the Kennel Club website