Site hosted by Build your free website today!


Curly ears are prone to a lot of wax buildup. This could predispose them to ear infections. Trimming the ears is not just a cosmetic thing. If the dog has a lot of hair under and around the ear, it blocks ventilation. Its a good idea to trim your curlies ear- at least the underside. The hair on the ear flap may get long, straggly, or corkscrew curls. Check your curly's ears for mats, burrs, foxtails, or any sour odor coming from the ear canal. What the experts have to say about trimming the ear:

From The Curly Coated Retriever
By Audrey Nicholls; Darelyn Curly Coated Retrievers

Trim along the edge of the leather to give a neat outline. Cut the curls on the ears to make them short, especially the ones on the top of the ears, but not so short as to lose the curl

Exert From Grooming & Preparation of the Curly-Coated Retriever for the Showring
Submitted by Sue Tokolics

Trimming – Very little is required, but I’ll begin with the head. The ears should be trimmed to a neat outline, removing all hair protruding beyond the "leathers". The curls on the ears will become much curlier if kept short. Remove all the bulky curls and hair under the ears so they lie close to the head. The line of curls on the top of the skull can be tidied up by trimming and accentuation a neat line where the smooth hair begins.

From How to Raise and Train Curly Coated Retriever by Eileen Clark
TFH Publications Inc.

With regard to the ears, the curls here may also get long and straggly and should be kept short and close by careful use of the scissors. See that the ears lie close to the head. It may sometimes be necessary to think of the hair under the ear on the side of the head to achieve this end. Do not neglect the ear itself. Of the several breeds of dogs I have kept, I have found curlies need just a little more attention where ears are concerned. They seem to have a larger ear cavity than other retrievers, and I always found these needed cleaning more often but on the other hand my dogs never once had a case of canker or any other ear trouble.

From Ms Viki Knowles, Blazeaway Kennels, Australia,
Originally published in the Curly Commentator

The ears should be trimmed to a neat outline, removing all hair protruding beyond the "leathers". The curls on the ears will become much curlier if kept short. Remove all the bulky curls and hair under the ears so they lie close to the head.

From Curly-Coated Retriever, a Complete and Reliable handbook.
By Gary and Mary Meek. TFH Publications Inc.

The ears can get quite shaggy as the curl is usually looser and should be shortened all over, and the edges of the ear trimmed even with the ear leathers.

Grooming the Curly-Coated Retriever
Show trim

Head: Trim hair short under the ears (#7 Blade) so ears will lie flat to the head. Take down the hair on the ears to ½ - ¾ inch and trim close all around the edges. The object is to make the ears look small and tight to the head.

Before and after trimming
Before trimming, the bushy hair under the ear prevents the ear leather from laying flat against the head.

Before and After

Before and After
Trimming the inside and underside of the ear improves ventilation.


Your Curlies ears should be clean, slighly pink-gray and have no odor. Problems with the ear to watch for include:

  • Red, irritated skin
  • Dirt or wax build up
  • "Coffee grounds" (rare)
  • Discharge
  • Foul odor
  • Frequent head shaking, or scratching/pawing at ear(s).

The most common problems with ears are ear infections (yeast or bacterial). Ear mites are actaully pretty uncommon in dogs. In any case, any of the above symptoms are grounds for having the vet check your dog's ears out.

Ear mites are treated with medication. Sometimes a reapplication is needed. Some people have gotten rid of light infestations by cleaning the ear out and then coating lightly with baby oil or mineral oil.

Ear infections are a little harder to treat, usually requiring daily ear drops for a week or so, weekly drops for some time after that. Some dogs prone to ear infections need to have ear drops on a regular basis. Drop-eared dogs are a bit more prone to ear infections, as prick ears normally allow more air circulation.

An easy home remedy to *prevent* ear infections (will not cure an existing one) is:

2 Tablespoons Boric Acid
4 oz Rubbing Alcohol
1 Tablespoon Glycerine
Shake well. Put 1 small eyedropperfull in each ear. Rub it around first, and then let the dog shake. Do this once a week and you shouldn't see any ear infections. It works by raising the pH level slightly inside the ear, making it less hospitable to bacteria.

To clean out an ear that's simply dirty (some buildup of dirt and wax is normal, but excessive ear wax may indicate that something else is wrong), take a cotton ball, dip in hydrogen peroxide if you like (squeeze excess out) and wipe the dog's ear out. The canal is rather deep, so you will not injure your dog so long as you only use your finger to probe the canal. Clean all around the little crevices as best as you can. Use another cotton ball for the other ear. Be sure to dry the ears out thoroughly.

About the Curly Coated Retriever's Coat

Page created by SoftMaple Curlies

Order your copy of The Puppy Diary

Or mail a check to:
$19.95 ($5.50 Shipping and Handling)
Cathy Lewandowski
8282 Soft Maple Road
Croghan NY 13327

About the Book

Follow a litter of puppies from birthday until they go to their new homes. The diary contains lots of pictures, tips on puppy rearing, some breed specific information, and lots of information on the care of any breed of dog.

I started doing an on-line puppy diary since many of the people that would be getting one of my pups would not be able to travel here to see the pups. I did not want to put a bunch of cute puppy pictures online, and encourage anyone to have a litter just because they wanted to see cute puppies! Breeding dogs, if done the right way, is a lot of work. Lost sleep and sometimes heartache. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to raise a litter of puppies. Once I started doing The Puppy Diary, I realized I had a captive audience. These people logged on every day to see the pictures, and read what was happening. I used this opportunity to cram as much education into each day as I could. Health, Coat issues, grooming, feeding, socializing, vet care, puppy evaluations, shipping puppies.... you name it! I tried to put it in The Diary. It was suggested that I make it into a book. Well here it is! There are 560 pictures and over 300 pages of living with and watching one litter grow up.

I am sure may conscientious, caring breeders raise litters similar to the way I do. Its is a good look into the time, money, commitment it takes to bring up a litter of pups. Some of the things that go on behind the scenes, that the eventual puppies owners (family), never realize go into the litter. Enjoy my litter as I see them. Day to day


Chapter One (Week One) ... Page 1

Seger comes into season
Happy Birthday!
Removing the Dewclaws
Start of the Bio Sensor program

Chapter Two (Week Two) ... Page 48
Coat issues.
Tail Gland Hyperplasia
Do Curlies Shed?

Chapter Three (Week Three) ... Page 94
End of Bio Sensor Exercises
Worming The puppies
Eyes are open
First pup escapes from the box

Chapter Four (Week Four) ... Page 130
Weaning. The great food fight!
Introduction to the puppy play room
Shark Cage

Chapter Five (Week Five) ... Page 156
Field dog? Show Dog? CPE?
Happy Mothers Day!
First Stacked pictures

Chapter Six (Week Six) ... Page 195
Toys! Toys! Toys!
What’s In A Name?
Kids and Dogs
Introduction to Wings

Chapter Seven (Week Seven) ... Page 236
About Puppies and Retrieving
Socialize your puppy
First Shots & Vet Visit
Splish Splash, first bath!

Chapter Eight (Week Eight) ... Page 286
Shape up or ship out!
Requirements to ship puppies
See all the pups!

Coat Care

Trimming the ears

Trimming the tail

Trimming the legs

Bad hair day!

Breeding: What We're Taught

Back to SoftMaple