curly coated golden retriever

Curly Coated Golden Retriever: Genetic Exploration

Ever seen a golden retriever with a twist? Let’s talk about the rare curly coated golden retriever and its unique charm.


Golden Retrievers are one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. They have been beloved by families for over a century because of their friendly nature, loyalty, and intelligence. In this article, we will explore the fascinating mystery surrounding the curly coat variation in Golden Retrievers.

Brief history of Golden Retrievers:

The journey of the Golden Retriever began in Scotland in the mid-19th century when a gentleman named Sir Dudley Majoribanks, or Lord Tweedmouth as he was known at that time, bred Yellow Retriever dogs to Tweed Water Spaniels. This breeding program aimed to create an all-around hunting dog that could retrieve game on land and water.

After several generations of careful breeding, Golden Retrievers were eventually recognized as a distinct breed by The Kennel Club in England in 1903. Over time, Golden Retrievers became popular not only as hunting dogs but also as family pets.

Their calm temperament and eagerness to please made them ideal companions for children and adults alike. Today, they continue to be cherished family members around the world.

Overview of Golden Retriever coat types:

Golden Retrievers are famous for their lustrous coats that come in varying shades of gold – from light cream to dark golden brown. Their thick double coats consist of a soft undercoat covered by longer guard hairs that provide protection against moisture and cold weather.

There are three main types of coat textures found among purebred Golden Retrievers: straight, wavy, and curly. The straight-coated Goldens have flat hair with no visible waves or curls throughout their entire body.

Wavy-coated Goldens have slightly waving hair throughout their body but it is not tightly curled or twisted. The curly-coated Goldens have tightly coiled hair throughout their body, with a texture similar to that of a Poodle.

The mystery of curly Golden Retrievers:

While straight and wavy coats are the most common among Golden Retrievers, the existence of curly coated Goldens is a topic of controversy for many breed enthusiasts. Curly coated Goldens have been observed for decades but their origin remains uncertain. Some suggest that they are the result of crossbreeding with other breeds like Poodles or Irish Water Spaniels, while others believe it may be a genetic mutation.

Regardless of their origin, there is no denying that curly-coated Golden Retrievers are stunning dogs. However, breeding them is not without its challenges as there are ethical considerations and health risks associated with breeding for specific coat types.

In the following sections, we will delve into the genetics behind Golden Retriever coat types and explore how curliness can occur in this breed. We will also discuss why some breeders opt to produce Curly-Coated Golden Retrievers and examine the impact this has on their health and welfare.

The Genetics of Coat Types in Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are known for their beautiful, flowing coats that come in shades ranging from cream to deep gold. However, not all Golden Retrievers have the same type of coat. In fact, there are several different coat types that can occur in this breed due to the role of genes in determining coat type.

What Determines Coat Type?

Coat type is determined by a combination of genetic factors. These factors include the presence or absence of certain genes as well as the interaction between these genes. The genes responsible for coat type can be dominant or recessive.

Dominant and Recessive Genes

Dominant genes are those that are expressed even when only one copy is present. In contrast, recessive genes require two copies to be expressed. When a dog inherits one dominant gene and one recessive gene for a particular trait, only the dominant gene will be expressed.

In Golden Retrievers, the gene for straight hair is dominant over the gene for curly hair. This means that if a dog inherits one copy of the straight hair gene and one copy of the curly hair gene, it will have straight hair because the dominant straight hair gene will be expressed.

How Curly Coats Can Occur in Golden Retrievers

While straight hair is dominant over curly hair in Golden Retrievers, it is still possible for some dogs to have curly coats. This occurs when a dog inherits two copies of the recessive curly hair gene from both parents.

It’s important to note that just because a dog has a curly coat doesn’t necessarily mean it has inherited genes from another breed with naturally curly coats such as Poodles or Irish Water Spaniels (although this can happen). Instead, it may simply be carrying two copies of recessive curling genes within its own breed.

The genetics of coat types in Golden Retrievers can be complex, with a number of factors contributing to a dog’s coat type. Understanding the role of genes in determining coat type, as well as dominant and recessive genes, can help explain why some Golden Retrievers have curly coats and others don’t.

Curly-Coated Breeds and Their Influence on Golden Retrievers

The curly-coated breeds which have played a significant role in shaping the coat of Golden Retrievers include Poodles, Irish Water Spaniels, and Barbets. These breeds have been selectively bred for their curly coats for many years, and their genes have found their way into the gene pool of Golden Retrievers.

Breeds with naturally curly coats

Poodles are known for being one of the most popular breeds with curly coats. They were originally bred as waterfowl hunters in Germany and France during the 16th century but later became popular show dogs. Their iconic curly coat is hypoallergenic and low-shedding, making them an ideal choice for allergy sufferers.

Irish Water Spaniels is another breed in this category that has distinctive curly hair that covers the entire body except for the face, throat, and feet. This breed was bred primarily to hunt waterfowl in Ireland where they were known as Shannon Spaniels.

Barbet is a lesser-known breed when it comes to curly coated dogs. They are French breed of gun dog which are hypoallergenic making them perfect pets if you suffer from allergies.They have long shaggy coats which can be wavy or slightly curled.

The impact of these breeds on the Golden Retriever gene pool

Golden Retrievers were initially developed as hunting dogs in Scotland in the mid-19th century. However due to their friendly temperament they quickly became popular family pets.Their coat type was not strictly defined until late 20th century when a specific standard was established by kennel clubs around the world. Historically, Poodles were crossed with Golden Retrievers to improve their non-shedding coat qualities since Golden Retriever’s shedding caused allergies among owners who loved this affectionate breed.

This crossbreeding helped produce first generation Golden Retrievers with curly coats, which were later bred back to other Golden Retrievers to produce a more diverse gene pool. Recently, some breeders have started experimenting with crossing Golden Retrievers and Barbets to create a new hybrid breed known as the “Curly Coated Retriever.” This new breed is an attempt to combine the best qualities of both breeds, including their friendly temperaments and non-shedding coats.

While Golden Retrievers are not naturally curly coated dogs, breeds like Poodles, Irish Water Spaniels and Barbets have played a significant role in shaping the coat of this beloved breed. Whether you prefer straight or curly-coated Golden Retrievers it’s important to understand the genetics behind coat type so that you can make informed decisions when selecting your ideal furry companion.

The Debate Over Curly-Coated Goldens

The Controversy Surrounding Curly-Coated Goldens

As with any genetic trait in dogs, there is a debate over whether breeding for curly coats in Golden Retrievers is ethical or not. Some argue that breeding for a specific coat type can lead to health problems and reduces genetic diversity. Others argue that selective breeding for certain traits is necessary to maintain the breed’s standard.

Those who oppose breeding for curly-coated Goldens believe that it is an unnecessary deviation from the breed standard and could lead to health problems such as skin irritations or susceptibility to ear infections. They also argue that it further divides the breed and reduces genetic diversity, which could ultimately be harmful.

On the other side of the debate, proponents of breeding for curly-coated Goldens argue that it can help decrease shedding and reduce allergens, which can be beneficial for people with allergies. They also believe that it could add an interesting new aspect to the breed without significantly compromising its overall health or temperament.

Arguments For and Against Breeding For Curly Coats

Those in favor of breeding for curly coats point out that many other breeds have been selectively bred for certain traits without compromising their overall health. Poodles, who are often used in crossbreeding experiments with Golden Retrievers to produce curly-coated offspring, are an example of this.

Opponents argue that Golden Retrievers were originally bred for their hunting abilities rather than their coat types, and therefore should not be selectively bred based on aesthetic factors alone. They contend that focusing too much on physical appearance could lead to larger issues within the breed, such as temperament problems or increased susceptibility to certain diseases.

Ultimately, both sides acknowledge the importance of maintaining responsible breeding practices regardless of coat type. This includes appropriate testing for hereditary conditions and careful consideration of mating pairs in order to produce healthy offspring.

The Ethical Considerations Involved in Breeding for a Specific Coat Type

The ethical considerations involved in breeding for a specific coat type are complex and multifaceted. Some argue that breeding for a specific trait, such as a curly coat, is fundamentally unnatural and could lead to health problems or behavioral issues. Others believe that selective breeding is necessary to maintain breed standards and produce consistent traits in offspring.

They argue that breeding for certain characteristics can ensure that the breed remains true to its original purpose and retains its unique qualities. Regardless of one’s stance on the issue, it is important to approach selective breeding with caution and mindfulness.

Breeders must carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of any particular trait before deciding whether or not to intentionally propagate it within their lines. The debate over breeding for curly-coated Goldens is complex and ongoing.

While there are compelling arguments on both sides, it is ultimately up to individual breeders to decide what traits they wish to focus on in their lines. Regardless of one’s stance on this particular issue, responsible breeding practices are crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of Golden Retrievers as a breed.

Caring for a Curly-Coated Golden Retriever

Grooming Requirements for a Curly-Coated Dog

Caring for a curly-coated Golden Retriever requires patience and dedication, as these dogs have specific grooming needs. The most important aspect of grooming is preventing matting, which can be difficult to remove without causing discomfort to the dog. Daily brushing with a slicker brush or comb can help to prevent mats from forming.

It is also important to regularly trim the hair around the ears, paws, and tail to avoid tangling. Baths are also crucial in keeping a curly-coated Golden Retriever clean and healthy.

It is recommended that they are bathed at least once every three months; however, if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors or has been playing in mud or dirty puddles more frequent baths may be necessary. It is essential to use high-quality shampoos and conditioners specifically designed for dogs with curly coats when bathing them.


When caring for your curly-coated Golden Retriever, there are several tips you should follow: – Start grooming your dog while they are still young so that they become accustomed to it early on.

– Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats or praising when grooming your dog so that it becomes an enjoyable experience. – Make sure not to cut too much hair off while trimming their coat as this can lead to bald patches.

– Regularly check their ears for signs of infection as their floppy ears tend to trap moisture which can lead to infections. – If you find any mats or tangles, do not try removing them with scissors as this could harm your pet.


Caring for a curly-coated Golden Retriever requires proper knowledge about their specific needs. Grooming is essential to prevent matting, infection and maintaining a healthy coat. Regular brushing and bathing are necessary to keep your curly-coated Golden Retriever looking and feeling great.

By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your pet has a silky soft coat and remains healthy for years to come. As with any dog, owning a curly-coated Golden Retriever is a rewarding experience that requires hard work but is well worth it in the end.

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