The Curly Coated Retriever was originally developed as a gun dog and their temperament and conformation reflect this purpose. Curlies are still used in many countries as bird hunting companions, including in both upland and waterfowl hunting. Like most retrievers, they are valued as pets and are a lively and fun-loving breed. As long as the Curly has enough exercise, it can be calm and laid back in the home environment, which makes them both a great activity dog as well as a placid member of the family.
The Curly can be sometimes aloof with strangers but are usually very loyal and affectionate with their owners and family. Curlies are extremely intelligent in general, but training can sometimes be difficult as they can easily get bored with repetitive training.