The body, ears and tail of a Curly Coated Retriever are covered with tight, crisp curls, lying close to the skin, while the face and muzzle are smooth-haired. The color is black or liver. This unique coat needs little grooming, but does require specialist treatment, sometimes on a weekly basis, to keep it at its best. It should not have bare patches when nurtured.
Equipment needed: A wide-toothed comb to remove dead hair.
Breed tip: The coat is not brushed, as this would make it fluffy.
- Rub over the curls with a wet hand to remove the dead hair.
- Bathe the dog in a protein pH-balanced shampoo. The coat comes up beautifully when washed in tea-tree oil and lavender. Of course, you must make sure that these oils are kept away from the eyes, as they can both cause extreme eye irritation.
- Apply a nourishing conditioner or a purifying shampoo and mask conditioning finish, a couple of times a year, and rinse. This breed is often bathed in a shampoo mixed with oil (leading grooming supply shops should stock a suitable product).
- Dry with an absorbent towel by pressing it against the coat, rather than rubbing it. Pat the curls and allow them to dry naturally in a warm room or cage-dryer.
- Check the dog’s nails , ears and teeth.
- Spray the coat with an oil-enhanced conditioner and finger-touch in. Any hairs on the body that are straying from their curls, and which can’t be encouraged in, can be snipped off with scissors.
- The ears are trimmed along the edge of the leather to give a neat look. Hold the leather, snipping the hair that is held at the end of your fingers for safety.
- The head is trimmed from the ear toward the throat. Hair can be trimmed with thinning scissors to prevent a topknot appearance. Trim the long hairs from the neck and the throat, to the brisket.
- The dog’s forelegs can be trimmed round at the elbow and at the back of the leg to give a neat look.The foot hair is trimmed close to the foot for neatness.
- The underside of the tail is trimmed fairly short. Start at the root and work toward the tip, but not too close.
- The finished dog.