Curly Coated Retrievers of SoftMaple
Call Us at 315 346 6608

SoftMaple Since 1979.... Kinky since 1993!

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Welcome to SoftMaple Curly Coated Retrievers site. SoftMaple is located in Northern NY, owned by Mark and Cathy Lewandowski.

How I started in dogs I started in pure bred dogs in the late 70's. Through 4H, I trained our familis's Irish Setter to her American and Canadian CDX, American UD, with an all breed High in Trial along the way. I was hooked! I joined an all breed club, in which I held offices as Vice President, Recording Secretary, Public Education, chief ring steward and Obedience Chairperson for our All breed dog show. Not bad for a high school student. ;-) I remained active in 4H while in school. When I was off on College break I would help teach the obedience classes and later Judge matches. At that time I also belonged to the Irish Setter Club of America and two regional Irish Setter Clubs.

While I loved Irish Setters, I knew they weren't the breed that fit my personality and lifestyle. I wanted a dog that was more versatile and required less grooming. I was looking for a dog that my husband could hunt with, I could do performance events and show on weekends, and still have a companion that was easy to live with day to day. When I met my first curly, I knew it was the breed for me. I set out to find out as much as I could about this unique breed. After years of collecting information, talking to breeders, studying pedigrees and pictures, I got my first Curly in 1993. Am And Can CH Karakul Blazing Autumn CDX, AX, CGC, ST, USDAA AD, Can CDX .

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What we do with our dogs
I enjoy doing agility with my dogs, obedience, have done tracking, barn hunt, luer coursing, rally, working tests, hunt tests and dock diving with our dogs. I trained the first AKC Novice Agility, Open Agility and Agility Excellent titled CCR. I also trained the first USDD titled CCR Agility Dog. My husband does personal duck hunting with all of our dogs. I work in a local community hospital as an RN. I have taken my dogs through the Therapy Dog International course so I can take them on Nursing home and Rehabilitation unit visits. We also have given demonstrations for Schools and scouting troops.

How we keep our dogs
Curlies do not do well as strictly Kennel dogs. They need to be part of the family, and around people. All our dogs are household companions. For the times the dogs need to be out without us, they need a safe secure environment. I do have kennel runs for times when my dogs need to be safe and I can't be with them. I do not keep a lot of dogs. I keep only as many as I can easily give personal attention to every day. Most times we have two or three dogs. All of our dogs live in the home. Yes, they are outside a lot, because we are outside a lot. I don't believe in keeping 20 or 30 dogs, then placing them when they are done winning ribbons for me. I have on occasion leased a bitch for a litter, who then went back to her own home, so you may see more pictures of dogs here than I own!

About our breeding
We as breeders are caretakers of the future of the Curly Coated Retriever. Breeding just to fill a demand for puppies can damage a breed for years to come. Not all dogs are worthy of being bred. Having a Championship title is not a good enough reason to breed a dog. There are many judgment calls that a breeder has to make according to their own conscience. There is no perfect dog, and unfortunately, no perfect breeders!

Breeding dogs is a labor of love. Their health and well-being is of primary importance. We check Hips (OFA, or foreign country of origin hip score equivalent), Eyes (CERF or OFA Eye certification)Cardiac auscultation or Echo, Glycogen Stroage Disease (GSDIIIa) and have been adding PRA, EIC and listen to the recomendations of the Curly Parent club for testing.

Since a dog is a living creature, we can not guarantee that the dog will not have any problems. We do our best to check the health history of the parents, grandparents and siblings. We study pedigrees and dogs to help make informed breeding decisions. No one has yet bred the perfect dog. We will stand behind our dogs if there is a problem.

The pups are raised in the home. We use the Bio Sensor method of early puppy stimulation. We have a large playroom for the puppies and are always adding new toys to stimulate them. We temperament test our puppies at 7 weeks of age. As we know the personalities of the puppies better than anyone having lived wiht them since birh, we try to match each puppy with the appropriate family for its needs. Every pup that leaves SoftMaple goes with the condition that if for any reason you cannot keep the dog I will always take it back, for whatever reason.

A curly is not for everyone. They are a strong willed, challenging, intelligent dog. We screen our prospective puppy buyers. Your not just buying a dog from SoftMaple, your joining a family. We ask you questions, and strongly encourage you to ask us questions. Anyone looking to add a Curly to their home shouldn't stop at just contacting one breeder. We encourage you to talk to as many breeders as you can.

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