A little about the
history can be dated back to 1890. When although the
"Curly" was a popular dog in the gundog community, it
was losing its popularity, so the club was formed with
the object of furthering its interest. Our first
recorded Secretary was
G.W. Mason (Gomersal) in 1899 and by 1912 the club had
£33.19s in the bank, and the Secretary was A.R. Fish
(Penwortham) The Clubs activities are a little vague, as
details of the meetings, were they were held, what was
decided, are difficult to find out. Apart from who was
the secretary at the time.
So to more
We used to hold the AGM's at Crufts when
it was in London. We were only allotted a certain time
(so much per hour) and problems always arose because the
meeting before us invariably over -ran and then before
we could finish people were walking into the room from
the next society. Our next move for the AGM was to
Manchester in Belle Vue. Tommy Spooner was on Manchester
committee and they provided us with a very nice room and
often free tea and biscuits which was like heaven after
the Crufts sessions. Committee meetings were held round
the benches at "suitable" shows. This was really quite
chaotic as you can imagine, with people wanting to
prepare dogs if it was before judging or leave if it was
afterwards. Really from the sublime to the
ridiculous, when committee meetings next moved to
Committee peoples homes. It made it much fairer in one
sense as everyone had a turn at the "long distance"
Somerset, Sheffield, Wales and those in between. People
often became too comfortable and length of meetings
increased. Our last destination is Featherstone, a
comfortable , warm room, where we take a working lunch.
Where we go from here remains to be seen.
Curly Coated Retrievers history and development
Their ancestry is unknown.
This is because in the very early days, dogs had their
purpose, such as retrieving, and various cross mating
would have taken place to produce the best dog for a
particular purpose. There would be several dogs around
in those early years that were used for retrieving that
are now extinct The Large Rough Water dog, Tweed Water
Spaniel, Lesser Newfoundland, to name a few together
with a few that remain, the Irish Water Spaniel, and
dogs from the Continent, the Wetterhound, Barbett, and
The curly was first
exhibited in the show-ring in 1860, and four years later
there were separate classes for the wavy coated and
curly coated varieties. They were very popular during
those early years and were on many of the large estates,
however the war years and the introduction of the
Labrador were to greatly reduce their popularity. Their
fortunes have ebbed and flowed throughout the years with
registrations as low as 5 in 1919 to the record of 168
Curlies are intelligent and
very smart. They are easily trained but you need to work
round their streak of independence. They become bored
quite easily so any training needs to be done in the
guise of a game. Certainly early socialization is a
must, giving him as many different situations as is
Q, Is it a labradoodle or a
A, This may well have
happened in the 18thCentury but they have been pure bred
from the early 1900ís.
Q, Do they moult?
A, Yes they do. Usually a
male will shed his coat once and year and females twice
annually (to tie in with their seasons) Some curlies
shed very little whilst others have a complete moult.
Q, What colours are there?
A, There are just two
colours, black and a dark brown which is called liver.
Q, Are they good with
A, Most curlies are very
good with children. Of course children must be
supervised and taught that a dog has feelings and must
be treated correctly and with care.
Q, What should I ask a
breeder for when buying a puppy?
A, You should ask about the
parentís health. They should have been x-rayed for hip
dysplasia and have a certificate from the K.C./B.V.A.
Ask about the breeds average score. They should also
have ideally been eye examined and should have a
certificate to show this. Ask about the age of the bitch
and how many litters she has produced (no bitch should
be bred from before the age of two years. Ask if the
breeder is a member of the parent Club. The breeder
should also furnish you with the name and address of the
Clubís Secretary; the clubs Rescue co-ordinators details
should also be given. Contact the Secretary for
information on other litters that may be available.
For further information
contact the Club Secretary:
A Russell, 62 Hillingdon Road, Stretford, Manchester M32
8PJ e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Rescue Co-ordinator:
Mrs Marie Gill, 57 Mow Cop Road, Mow Cop,
Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 4LZ. e-mail
The following are a couple of articles on the history of
the Curly Coated Retriever
accounts of similar dogs date back to 1803. The Curly is
likely to have been the first breed used for serious
retrieving work in England. He was shown for the first
time in 1860. A breed club was founded in 1896, and the
standard was established in 1913. In the mid-nineteenth
century in England, he was more popular as a pet than as
a hunting dog. Today, the breed is very limited in
number except in a few countries, including New Zealand.
no records of breeding kept before the late 1800ís, the
Kennel Club then began to keep records, and we can see
the development of the breed from these records.
World War saw a dramatic drop in the curly population,
mostly because of the lack of food. A few people,
however, helped to keep the breed alive even in those
very rough times.
1930s, we see the beginnings of the modern kennel
prefixes but again England was thrust into another war.
Dogs were shipped to potentially safe places to await
the end of the war, yet the breed almost died out for
the second time in 30 years.
1940s, there was a resurgence of breeding stock, with
the breeding of dogs that were to become the beginning
of the present-day pedigrees
1950ís and 60ís there was some very active breeding
being done, and the number of Curlies in England grew.
We began to see the exporting of Curlies to Australia,
Scandinavia, and the USA.
under the Chairmanship of Frank Till, the club was
reformed to become the club we recognise today. It held
its first open show on 23 September 1979 attracting 73
dogs making a total 136 entries. In 1984 the Kennel Club
gave its blessing for the club to hold a championship
show and the first was held on 25 August 1984 attracting
70 dogs making a total entry of 130. Last year (2005)
saw the club host its first Limit Show attracting a
total of 46 dogs, a limited obedience test was held in
conjunction with this show.
of the breed continued into the '70s and '80s with some
well-known prefixes coming to the front.
Rifleman began his historic show career in the early
1980ís, with best in show wins against dog entries of
16,315 and 23,627 at Englandís biggest shows. He became
an important producer and his offspring are in many
pedigrees throughout England, Europe, and Australia
breeders, using these early pedigrees, have developed
the modern curly and have influenced the development of
the breed worldwide.
This smartly upstanding, multi-purpose hunting retriever
is recognized by most canine historians as one of the
oldest of the retrieving breeds. Developed in England,
the Curly was long a favorite of English gamekeepers.
Prized for innate field ability, courage and indomitable
perseverance, a correctly built and tempered Curly will
work as long as there is work to be done, retrieving
both fur and feather in the heaviest of cover and the
iciest of waters. To work all day a Curly must be
balanced and sound, strong and robust, and quick and
agile. Outline, carriage and attitude all combine for a
grace and elegance somewhat uncommon among the other
retriever breeds, providing the unique, upstanding
quality desired in the breed. In outline, the Curly is
moderately angulated front and rear and, when comparing
height to length, gives the impression of being higher
on leg than the other retriever breeds. In carriage, the
Curly is an erect, alert, self-confident dog. In motion,
all parts blend into a smooth, powerful, harmonious
symmetry. The coat, a hallmark of the breed, is of great
importance for all curlies, whether companion, hunting
or show dogs. The perfect coat is a dense mass of small,
tight, distinct, crisp curls. The Curly is wickedly
smart and highly trainable and, as such, is cherished as
much for his role as loyal companion at home as he is in
is an active dog, with a great sense of fun. They are
well balanced and slightly longer than tall. They are
also distinguished from all the other retrievers both in
temperament, being slightly more aloof with strangers,
although a protective and loyal family dog, to their
distinctive tightly curled, dull coat, which is
impenetrable to water. The face and front of legs
remains straight haired. They are the tallest of the
retrievers ideally being 27Ē for a male and 25Ē for a
female. They are slow to mature and this needs to be
taken into account when any training is given. They are
highly intelligent dogs and their brains need to be used
to the full. Although their coat is so distinctive it is
virtually trouble free, no daily/ weekly brushing or
combing is required (although this can be helpful when
they do moult) Damp the coat down once a week, massaging
it with the fingers and patting flat is all that is
Self-confident, steadfast and proud, this active,
intelligent dog is a charming and gentle family
companion and a determined, durable hunter. The Curly is
alert, biddable and responsive to family and friends,
whether at home or in the field. Of independent nature
and discerning intelligence, a Curly sometimes appears
aloof or self-willed, and, as such, is often less
demonstrative, particularly toward strangers, than the
other retriever breeds. The Curly's independence and
poise should not be confused with shyness or a lack of
willingness to please. In the show ring, a
correctly-tempered Curly will steadily stand his ground,
submit easily to examination, and might or might not wag
his tail when doing so. In the field, the Curly is
eager, persistent and inherently courageous. At home, he
is calm and affectionate. Shyness is a fault and any dog
who shies away from show ring examination should be
penalized. Minor allowances can be made for puppies who
misbehave in the show ring due to overexuberance or lack
of training or experience.