• Janean Marti

Hey AKC: Here is a Second Lesson on Curly Coated Retriever History


The second dog show in London lasted a whopping six days. In those six days in April 1864, 933 dogs were exhibited.

In 1860, a group of sportsmen organized the first dog show in Birmingham, England. Only pointers and setters were exhibited in that show but the next show included other breeds, including curly coated retrievers.


Although the curly and wavy coated retrievers were shown together at that show under the generic classification "Retrievers", we know some were curly coated retrievers by their names and the names of their owners, which were listed in the catalog and later in the UK Kennel Club's first stud book.

By the 1864 London dog show, the curly and wavy coats were separated. Here is the listing for the curly coated dogs exhibited at the 1864 show.



The listing of the four curly coated retrievers entered at the 1864 London dog show. This listing is from the UK Kennel Club's first stud book.

Here is proof that by 1864, curly coated retrievers were considered an established breed. The dog "Tip" who took first place was born in 1861 and sired by a dog named Fag. We know this because Tip is listed in the first Kennel Club stud book. The second place dog, "Neptune", is one of a couple of curly coated retrievers from the 1860s named Neptune. In the bitch classes, "Rose" and "Mab" are two examples of several bitches carrying those names. Using the stud book listings, we can find a curly coat named "Mab", who was born in 1863, and it is probable the bitch exhibited at London was this bitch. Purebred dogs, especially those who also served as bird dogs, were very valuable commodities and were frequently sold and resold.


In the April, 2019 article "7 Fun Facts About the Curly Coated Retriever", the AKC claimed the curly coat wasn't purebred until the 1900s but we know better. The curly coated retriever is one of the oldest purebred dogs and was recognized as a purebred long before the Labrador and golden retriever breeds.


Perhaps the AKC doesn't want to rely on the English Kennel Club records and only recognizes dogs as purebred when they are listed in the AKC's own stud books. Well, lo and behold! Guess what? Back in 1888, the AKC listed two curly coated retrievers in their OWN stud book.


Let's look at a listing of a registered dog published in the AKC's own 1888 stud book.



The curly coated retriever, Meadowthorpe Diamond, registered in the 1888 American Kennel Club stud book. Although registered under a generic heading of "Retrievers", we know this was a curly coated retriever.

We know the dog, Meadowthorpe Diamond, registered in the 1888 AKC stud book was a curly coated retriever because we can trace his ancestors in the English Kennel Club stud books. The key, of course, is the AKC stud book listing of Diamond includes the English Kennel Club's stud book number for his sire and dam.

If you look at the excerpt of his registration in the 1888 AKC stud book, you can see Meadowthorpe Diamond's sire's name is followed by a number in parentheses. That number includes the letter E which indicates the number is a registration number from the English Kennel Club's stud book.


Here is another listing from the 1888 AKC stud book. It is another curly coated retriever registered under the generic "Retrievers" heading.



The registration listing of the curly coated retriever Meadowthorpe Molly in the 1888 American Kennel Club stud book.

Here is the curly coated retriever Meadowthorpe Molly as registered in the American Kennel Club's 1888 stud book. We know this is a curly coated retriever based on the English Kennel Club stud book registration numbers of her sire and dam, her pedigree, and her breeder who was a well known curly coated retriever breeder. All of the dogs listed in this pedigree were registered by the English Kennel Club as curly coated retrievers. ALL of them. In addition, both Meadowthorpe Diamond and Meadowthorpe Molly were shown at U.S dog shows as curly coated retrievers. I can provide further proof of that and will do so later.

For the time being, however, let's hope the AKC finally gets on board with the real history of the curly coated retriever. If you know an AKC official, please share this post. And please share all the real history and information we have at https://www.planetcurly.com


There is absolutely no question the curly coated retriever is one of the most ancient purebred dogs.


The curly coated retriever is one of the most ancient purebred dogs. See why.

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