The Curly-Coated Retriever is a medium-sized dog breed of gun dog group. It is a very active, loyal, loving dog that makes a great companion for an active dog owner that can match their performance. It can give birth to 4-6 puppies at a time. Watching the puppies grow into an adult is interesting as well as challenging.

In this article, you will learn about the development process and the behavior of the Curly-Coated Retriever during different months.


The Curly-Coated Retriever puppies are born completely blind, deaf, toothless, and unable to walk. The only sense they have is touch and taste. The mother takes care of most of their needs from feeding to cleaning their body. During the first two weeks, all the puppies do is eat and sleep. They need at least 90% of sleep a day for the proper development of their body and mind.

Do not handle the puppies with a bare hand and unless its really important for few weeks. Let the mother take care of them on her own. Make a clean and cozy place for them and make access to fresh water and food to the mother.

Neonatal Stage (0-2 Weeks)

In the neonatal stage, the Curly-Coated Retriever puppies are very vulnerable where they are helpless and are completely relied on their mother. The puppies can’t even defecate or pee on their own, so the mother stimulates them to do so by licking the belly. the mother also keeps her puppies warm as they cannot generate their own body heat. If they are separated from the bitch for a long time, the puppies might die of hypothermia.

For a few weeks, the puppies should only feed on the mother’s milk. The milk produces colostrum which keeps the puppies safe from any kind of serious health problems and also provides all the nutrition that they need.

Curly-Coated Retriever Puppies feeding on their mother's milk
Curly-Coated Retriever Puppies feeding on their mother’s milk.
Image Source: American Kennel Club

Transitional Stage (2-4 Weeks)

The transitional stage is a very interesting stage of the Curly-Coated Retriever puppy’s development. The puppy will open its eyes for the first time since birth although the vision is blurry. After that, its ear canal opens and your puppy is able to hear the sound around its surrounding. Its other sense starts to develop as well and the puppy interacts with the mother and other littermates.

The puppies are able to walk, sit, and wag their tail by the time they get 4 weeks old. They make a whining, high-pitched squealing, and barking to communicate with the littermates. The puppies are also able to defecate and pee without the mother’s stimulation.

Socialization Stage (4-12 Weeks)

When the Curly-Coated Retriever puppies reach 4 weeks old it is time for their socialization. The first half of this period is spent mostly with the mother, the littermates, and the human family. The mother teaches them manners and how to play without hurting one another. When they are about 8 weeks old, take them out to introduce them to the outside world.

Keep your puppy on a leash while taking them out and slowly let them get adapted in the environment. Introduce them to different people and also dogs. A proper socialized dog gets comfortable around people and dogs and are never reserved or aggressive in front of them.

This is also the perfect age to start training your Curly-Coated Retriever the basic obedience and basic tricks. They are very much attentive and eager to please the owner, so they soak up commands and tricks easily.

Juvenile Stage (3-6 Months)

The juvenile stage is a period where you can see the puppy version of the Curly-Coated Retriever adult self. They become very chewy, so it is important that you invest on some chewable toys. The baby teeth gets replaced by adult teeth. Provide them with high quality puppy food 3 times a day.

Continue the socialization and the basic training for them to grow up to an obedient adult. Train them to housebreak at this age, so they do not pee or poo anywhere in the house.

Adolescence Stage (6-12 Months)

When the Curly-Coated Retriever puppy reaches 6 months, the adolescence period starts. They reach their sexual maturity where the female experience her first heat at the age of 6-9 months and the male starts showing interest in females. However, it is not the right age for breeding your dog as their body and mind are not fully mature. It might harm their body so make sure they do not involve in mating at such a young age.

Curly-Coated Retriever Puppies learning to retrieve
Curly-Coated Retriever Puppies learning to retrieve.
Image Source: American Kennel Club

The 6 months age is the perfect age for advanced training for your dog. So Teach them agility, retrieving, and other dog’s sports. The Curly-Coated Retriever tends to thrive on a lot of physical activities and mental stimulation. So, it is important to engage them in physical activities as well as mental challenges.

It is also time to switch their puppy food to adult dog food. While buying dog foods for your pooch, always check for the ingredient and nutrition contain inside it. Go for a high-quality dog food and if you are making it a homemade food, measure the nutrition and put it on your dog’s diet.

Vaccination Chart For Curly-Coated Retriever

6 to 8 WeeksDistemper, parvovirus
10 to 12 WeeksDHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus)
16 to 18 WeeksDHPP, rabies
Every 1 to 2 YearsDHPP
Every 1 to 3 YearsRabies (as required by law)
Vaccination Chart For Curly-Coated Retriever.

Vaccination Cost

The average cost of the DHPP vaccination is between $75-$100 and the cost for rabies vaccine is between $15-$20.

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