Murray River Curly Coated Retriever

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25-60 lbs
18-24"
Australia
Murray River Curly, Curly

The Murray River Curly Coated Retriever, while developed over a hundred years ago, is not yet recognized as a breed by either its home kennel club, the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC), nor by any other kennel clubs. This is in large part due to a lack of interest in standardizing the breed for the show ring by owners of these dogs. Recent legislation in Australia that severely restricts the breeding of dogs not recognized by the ANKC has rekindled interest in saving this unique water dog and the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Association was formed in 2010 in large part due to the contributions of Ms. Karen Bell. 

Purpose
Hunting, Gundog
Date of Origin
1800s
Ancestry
Various Retrievers and Spaniels

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Health

Average Size
Male Murray River Curly Coated Retriever size stats
Height: 18-24 inches Weight: 25-60 lbs
Female Murray River Curly Coated Retriever size stats
Height: 18-24 inches Weight: 25-60 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Ear Infections
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
  • Nightblindness
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Skin Allergies
  • Bloat
Occasional Tests
  • Skin Biopsy or Intradermal Tests for specific allergies
  • X-rays or other radiographic imaging
  • Eye and Ear Examination

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Breed History

The Murray River Curly Coated Retriever is an extremely rare dog breed that was developed in Australia over a hundred years ago, as evidenced by photographs of these dogs as far back as the 1880s. While they are similar in name to the more commonly seen Curly Coated Retriever that developed in England, they are a smaller dog with longer, looser curls. These dogs were used mostly in the area of the Murry River that they were named for in order to retrieve ducks that had been shot from the riverbank and while they have been breeding true to type since at least 1894, it was designed as a working breed and records of their ancestry are sparse. Recent DNA testing on several Murray River Curly Coated Retrievers shows a genetic link to several breeds, including the American Water Spaniel, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the English Springer Spaniel, and the Irish Water Spaniel and many hunters and fanciers believe that there may be a link to the Norfolk Spaniel, a breed that became extinct in 1903. While these DNA tests showed markers indicating that these were purebred dogs, they have not yet been recognized by any kennel club, but the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Association was formed in 2010 by several breeders and fanciers in an attempt to save the breed from extinction as recent laws in Australia threatens their existence by severely restricting the breeding of dogs that are not listed as a recognized breed by the Australian National Kennel Council. 

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Breed Appearance

Murray River Curly Coated Retrievers are medium-sized dogs that are slightly longer than they are tall with deep chests, strong hindquarters, and long, sickle-shaped tails. Their legs are straight and strong and their feet are rounded with well-arched toes that have webbing between them.  They have a strong, blocky, wedge-shaped head with a powerful medium-sized muzzle that turns up at the end and sports a fully pigmented liver-colored nose. The almond-shaped eyes of this breed can range in color from a light golden hazel to a dark brown and their relatively large ears are covered in dark brown ringlets of fur that hang down from the eye line and lie close to the cheeks. These dogs all have a curly liver-colored or dark brown coat similar in some ways to the Curly Coated Retriever from England, but the coat of the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever has longer, looser curls.

Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Murray River Curly Coated Retriever eyes
Hazel
brown Murray River Curly Coated Retriever eyes
Brown
amber Murray River Curly Coated Retriever eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
brown Murray River Curly Coated Retriever nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
brown Murray River Curly Coated Retriever coat
Brown
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Murray River Curly Coated Retriever curly coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Breed Maintenance

This dog should not be bathed too frequently as doing so can strip the single-layer coat of natural oils that are needed to keep it strong and healthy. This is particularly important for dogs that spend time in the water as these oils are what helps the coat to be water resistant and dogs with single-layer coats may not have as much protection from the cold as dogs with double-layer coats, especially when they are wet. A good brushing session once or twice a week helps to control their moderate, year-round shedding and their ears should be checked for moisture, debris, and infection on a regular basis. Keeping the teeth clean and the nails trimmed to a comfortable length round out the grooming routine.

Brushes for Murray River Curly Coated Retriever
Pin Brush
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Murray River Curly Coated Retriever requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Temperament

These are typically social dogs that get along with most people and other canines exhibiting a very loving and loyal demeanor, although without adequate socialization they have a tendency to chase small, fast-moving animals such as cats and they can be somewhat wary of strangers. While all children should be supervised when interacting with dogs, Murray River Curly Coated Retrievers are frequently gentle with children of all ages, although some may prove to be too boisterous for very small children. This breed prefers to be as integrated into the family as possible and is prone to developing separation anxiety if kept isolated from their family for very long at all. These dogs are also naturally inquisitive animals and as there are a number of venomous snakes in the Murray River area of Australia to be curious about, they are particularly prone to snakebite. Intensive snake avoidance training should occur when they are young and extra precautions should be taken when walking or hunting in the summer. 

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Activity Requirements

The Murray River Curly Coated Retriever is an active working dog and they require at least an hour of vigorous activity each day. Long walks and even runs are helpful in expending their considerable energy, as are swimming sessions and endless games of fetch. It is important to check their ears regularly for trapped water, dirt, or debris on a regular basis and their curly coats should also be examined for ticks, particularly in the spring and early summer months. Along with more traditional activities, these versatile and sprightly dogs may also enjoy activities like agility training, dock diving, or even freestyle canine dance. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Murray River Curly Coated Retriever size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 30 lbs
Female Murray River Curly Coated Retriever size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 30 lbs
12 Months
Male Murray River Curly Coated Retriever size stats at 12 months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 38 lbs
Female Murray River Curly Coated Retriever size stats at 12 months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 38 lbs
18 Months
Male Murray River Curly Coated Retriever size stats at 18 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 42 lbs
Female Murray River Curly Coated Retriever size stats at 18 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 42 lbs

Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Owner Experiences

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