The Curly Coated Retriever is one of the oldest English retriever breeds. The breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1854, but the breed type has been around for more than 400 years. Because the Curlys descend from the Waterdog, which was described in 1621 as a strong swimmer with a long, curly coat. 100 year later it was also recognized by the FCI in 1954.
In the development of today’s Curly, Greenland dogs, pointers, setters, and probably also poodles and Irish water spaniels were crossed. The Curly is a bit larger today than in the past, but the preference for water, its sharpness, its stamina, and the pronounced sense of retrieval are still evident today.