Murray River Curly Coated Retriever

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Australia
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever

The Murray River Curly Coated Retriever, although developed over a hundred years ago, is not yet recognized as a breed by its original Kennel Club, the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC), nor by any other Kennel Club. This is largely due to a lack of interest in standardizing the breed for the show ring by the owners of these dogs. Recent legislation in Australia severely restricting the breeding of dogs not recognized by the ANKC has rekindled interest in safeguarding this unique water dog, and the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever Association was formed in 2010 largely thanks to the contributions of Mrs Karen Bell.

History of the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever

The Murray River Curly Coated Retriever is an extremely rare breed of dog that was developed in Australia over a hundred years ago, as evidenced by photographs of these dogs dating back to the 1880s. Although they have a similar name to the more common Curly Coated Retriever that developed in England, they are smaller dogs with longer, looser curls. These dogs were mainly used in the Murry River area, for which they were named to retrieve ducks that had been shot from the bank, and although they have bred true to type since at least 1894, it was conceived as a working breed and records of their ancestry are scarce. Recent DNA tests on several Murray River Curly Coated Retrievers show a genetic link to several breeds, including the American Water Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, English Springer Spaniel and Irish Water Spaniel, and many hunters and fanciers believe there may be a link to the Norfolk Spaniel, a breed that became extinct in 1903. Although these DNA tests showed markers indicating that they 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 enthusiasts in a bid to save the breed from extinction as recent legislation 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.

 

Appearance of the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever

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 rises at the tip and sports a fully pigmented liver-colored nose. This breed's almond-shaped eyes can vary in color from light golden hazel to dark brown, and their relatively large ears are covered with curls of dark brown fur that hang from the eye line and lie close to the cheeks. These dogs all have liver or dark brown curly coats similar in some respects to the English Curly Coated Retriever, but the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever's coat has longer, looser curls.

Temperament of the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever

They are generally social dogs that get along with most people and other dogs, displaying very affectionate and loyal behavior, although without proper socialization, they tend to chase small, fast-moving animals like cats and can be a little wary of strangers. Although all children should be supervised when interacting with dogs, Murray River Curly Coated Retrievers are often gentle with children of all ages, although some may prove too noisy for very young children. This breed prefers to be as integrated into the family as possible, and is prone to developing separation anxiety if kept isolated from its family for very long. These dogs are also naturally curious animals, and as there are a number of venomous snakes in the Murray River region of Australia, they are particularly prone to snakebites. Intensive snake-avoidance training should take place when they are young, and extra precautions should be taken when walking or hunting in summer.

Needs and activities of the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever

The Murray River Curly Coated Retriever is an active working dog, and needs at least an hour of vigorous activity every day. Long walks and even runs are useful for expending their considerable energy, as are swimming sessions and endless games of fetch. It's important to check their ears regularly for water, dirt or trapped debris, and their curly coats should also be examined for ticks, especially in spring and early summer. In addition to more traditional activities, these versatile, lively dogs can also enjoy activities such as agility training, dock diving or even freestyle canine dancing.

Maintenance of the Murray River Curly Coated Retriever

This dog should not be bathed too frequently, as this can strip away the unique layer of natural oils that are needed to keep him strong and healthy. This is particularly important for dogs that spend time in the water, as these oils help the coat to resist water, and single-coated dogs may not be as protected from the cold as double-coated dogs, especially when wet. A good brushing session once or twice a week helps control their moderate shedding throughout the year, and their ears should be checked regularly for moisture, debris and infection. Keeping teeth clean and nails trimmed to a comfortable length complete the grooming routine.

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