Curly-Coated Retriever Vs Labrador Retriever: Which Breed Is Right For You

If you want a more social-friendly approach towards strangers and a needy pet, then you can opt for a Labrador Retriever. If you want to have a confident, intelligent, and independent dog, then you can go for Curly-Coated Retrievers.

The bonding between dogs and humans is considered as inevitably the strongest bond. Resources show there are more than 800 breeds of dogs. The same breeds are called pure breeds, whereas dogs with different parents are called mixed breeds, hybrids.

Dogs come in various sizes and personalities. They are born with some instincts and behavior that needs to match their needs with your lifestyle. If you are thinking about which breed is right for you, do not ignore mixed breeds as they can give you a fantastic combination of two different pure breeds in terms of looks and personality.

Retrievers hold the position of one of the most popular breeds (mixed). It is no wonder retrievers are amazingly smart, sweet-tempered, and fantastic companions. Their friendly and tolerant attitudes make them excellent as pets.

Now, if we talk about retriever breeds, six different breeds of retriever have been recognized. Here in this article, let us take a look at the Curly-coated Retriever and Labrador Retriever. This will help you determine what makes them each unique and which one is right for you.

1) Popularity

Both the breeds are friendly and trainable. But if we talk about the popularity, then the Labrador Retriever hits the scale, whereas the Curly-Coated Retriever is very less well known.

2) General care

This involves the needs of the pet, which includes special care, feeding, grooming, etc.

Shedding and grooming- Labrador Retrievers are double-coated and generally moderate shedders. Still, they can shed more heavily seasonally whereas, Curly-Coated Retrievers are single coated and are only seasonal shedders.

If we compare, we can see Curly-Coated Retrievers shed much less than Labrador retrievers throughout the year. While grooming, brushing a Labrador Retriever is hassle-free, whereas brushing a Curly-Coated Retriever’s fur can become frizzy.

3) Social

To get a happy and friendly dog, they need consistent training and socialization. Even if both the breeds are social, friendly, and are well responsive towards training, Labradors are often found more social and friendly towards any strangers. Curly-Coated Retrievers can be wary of strangers.

4) Lifespan

Lifespan is another essential factor to be considered while choosing a furry member for your family. Being the crossbreeds of the same ancestors, there is no such huge difference in their life span. The Curly-Coated retriever has a life span of 10 years and the Labradors of 12 years.

5) Training and exercise needs

All breeds, to keep them healthy and fit, need some training and exercise such as any activity, walk, etc. The Curly-Coated Retriever and Labrador Retriever, both being very active, have almost similar needs and practices of any given task. They enjoy playing fetch or running in an open area without a leash. They are even very great at swimming. Both the breeds are very well behaved trainees for obedience or any command.

Daily exercise is highly recommended for Labrador Retrievers as they have a high tendency to be overweight as compared to the Curly-Coated Retriever.

6) Size and appearance

All the retrievers are very similar in size, but their experience can have a significant impact before choosing anyone. If compared, the Curly-Coated Retrievers are slightly bigger than Labrador Retrievers.

  • Labrador grows up to 24 inches tall as adults and weighs between 55 to 80 pounds. (Full-grown adult).
  • Curly-Coated Retriever grows up to 27 inches tall as adults and weigh between 60 to 95 pounds.

7) Coats and colors

There is a slight difference in the color variation and the type of coat between these two breeds.

Labrador Retrievers have two-layered, dense coats with an inner and outer layer of fur. These furs can grow longer on their chest and tails if groomed and maintained well. Whereas Curly-Coated Retriever has a single layer fur with beautiful curls; hence they get the name “curly-coated.” Their hair is short, sleek, curly, and does not grow much longer.

No matter how much we adore fur babies, we cannot deny that color becomes the most important factor when choosing any pet.

Among these two breeds, the Labrador Retrievers give you a huge range whereas the other comes in only two standard colors.

The Curly-Coated Retriever comes only into standard colors- black and brown, whereas Labradors come into a range of pallets. Standard colors include black, liver (brown), and yellow. Another variety, the dilute colors include silver, champagne, and charcoal.

8) Personality

The most vital element to take care of before you choose between these two breeds is their personality. If you are looking for a super friendly, happy, social dog, then Labrador is known as the best ones with such personality. They are soft tempered non-aggressive socialized, and extremely loyal and loving towards their family.

Being the retriever family, the curly-coated is also known for being friendly, intelligent, smart, and loyal. They are generally known for their gentle nature, but unlike Labrador Retrievers, they are less needy. If you are looking for an intelligent, confident, and independent dog, then the Curly-Coated Retriever can be the ideal breed.

9) Ability to train

Being intelligent breeds, they are well accepted to take and respond to the training provided. Both the breeds are eager to learn and respond best to any positive reward training.

10) Biting tendency

No dogs bite until they are scared. But for many reasons, if you look at their biting nature, then the Curly-Coated Retrievers are gentler and have a low chance of biting somebody. But the Labrador Retrievers have a moderate chance of biting someone.

11) Apartment friendly

This is another most vital factor while choosing a dog. Every dog is different with different habitat needs. So, selecting an apartment-friendly dog is essential. 

If you belong to a concise apartment and do not have your lawn or garden, then Curly-Coated Retrievers are not the best choice for you and their lifestyle. But if you can take them out for a walk several times, they won’t mind being inside.

On the other hand, Labrador retrievers are one of the best dogs for an apartment lifestyle.

12) Stinky

The Labrador Retrievers need a little more baths and grooming as they have a high chance of stinkiness compared to the Curly-Coated Retrievers.

13) Prey drive impulse

Although both the breeds are sweet-tempered and non-aggressive, their prey drive impulse varies a lot. If you are fond of pets and have other pets too then, you have to make a cautious decision while choosing a dog. 

The Curly-Coated Retrievers have a high prey drive impulse response to chase or catch something. This can be harmful to any other small animals like birds, cats, etc. On the other hand, you can be much more relaxed with Labrador Retrievers as they have low to average impulse in chasing anything.

14) Emotional tolerance 

There can be certain situations when you have to keep your dog at home being left alone. How do they cope with the situation?

It has been seen that Labrador Retrievers may go through separation anxiety when you leave home, keeping it alone. This is because they are extremely attached and needy.

But things are little different for Curly-Coated Retrievers. They can cope well and do best when you are not at home or leave during work.

15) The response towards naive owners 

Are you getting a pet for the first time? Which one is good for the first owners?

If you are getting yourself a dog for the first time, go for the Curly-Coated Retrievers, as they are manageable for naive owners because of their easy personality. 

But if you get your hands on a Labrador Retriever, then you have to make him highly disciplined to control them. Their sweet and cute needs can easily make them spoiled due to their stubborn personality.

So, if you are thinking of getting a retriever, then both the Labrador Retriever and Curly-Coated Retriever are approximately the same with personality and appearance.

No dogs are willfully bad. It is just how well you train them to get them adopted in your comfort zone and habitat and how well they get adapted to it. All dogs have similar emotions as of a two-year-old human. A dog is a highly affectionate animal that we need to understand. It is not only the behaviors but also the instinctual emotional state of the animal.

Was this post helpful?

Leave a Comment