Curly-Coated Retrievers
History of SoftMaple

HITCathy started her love for dogs with Irish Setters in 1979. Training her first Setter (Moonshadows Katie Scarlet UD, Can CDX) through her local 4H. She was encouraged to enter her in an AKC obedience trial given by her local all breed club. 

setter1 After that, Cathy joined The North Country Kennel Club where she held offices of Recording Secretary, Vice President, Obedience Chairperson, Chief Ring Steward and was on the Public education committee.

Member of the Irish Setter Club of Western New York, The Irish Setter Club of Central New York and the Irish Setter Club of America. As well as the Owner Handler Association of America








jumps The 4H classes that Cathy attended only did Novice and Graduate novice levels at that time. Her instructors encouraged her to continue with Open obedience. When Cathy got to the Utility Level in Obedience, she made a set of jumps to donate to the 4H chapter.

Cathy trained Scarlet to her Utility Degree. Earning her American & Canadian CD, CDX and her American UD. Scarlet earned an All-Breed High In Trial and was in several run-offs for HIT. Earning class placements with every qualifying leg of each title. A once in a lifetime obedience dog. Cathy and Scarlet participated in therapy visits, school demonstrations and did some tracking. Cathy’s second Irish Setter Rebel was shown in conformation. Then Cathy had to go away to college where she studied to become a Veterinary Technician.



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Cathy with her first obedience dog Scarlet 1982 & Mark with his first obedience dog Aysa - earning her CD at 11 months


Cathy and her husband Mark purchased their first Curly Coated Retriever in 1993 from Karakul Curlies.  Cathy had seen one curly at a dog show in the past, so she was trusting long time breeder Sheila Anderson.  Sally was out of Best In Show Winning CH Karakul Titan ROM.

Cathy and Mark attended the First AKC Recognized CCRCA National Specialty held in Ambler PA June of 1994. (Fat Sally won her large puppy class!)


Sally and Cathy at the First AKC Recognized CCRCA National Specialty


agilitySally was supposed to be Marks hunting dog, but while trying to find training classes for puppy socialization, Cathy stumbled upon a new sport, AKC Agility. ( The first AKC sanctioned agility match was held in 1994) Cathy and Sally competed at the first AKC Agility trial that was held in New York. (Fingerlakes cluster- Onondoga Kennel Association, Septemper 1995) Earning their first leg with a class placement. They were hooked!
In 1995 Sally became the first Curly Coated Retriever to earn an AKC Agility title. She also became the first CCR to earn an AD, OA, and Agility Excellent title. She is also the first CCR to earn a USDAA agility title. Sally became Am & Can CH Karakul Blazing Autumn CDX,AX,USDAA AD,CGC,ST,Can CDX.


Sally had fair hips and a so-so coat. So she was never bred. Cathy got her second Curly as a foundation bitch. CH Avanti's Best Bet CD CGC ROMX. Cathy got Betty from Sheila Anderson. They co-owned her and after Cathy finished her Championship, Betty was bred to Am & Can Ch Pasha N'Charwin's Black Jack Am &Can WC ROM in 1996. That was the first litter of Curly Coated Retrievers born at SoftMaple.


CH Avanti's Best Bet CD CGC ROMX


Out of this litter of 12 pups, three females when on to contribute as brood bitches to three different curly kennels. SR, U-CH, UAG1, CH Soft Maple Kyrabean Queen, CD, U-CD, OAJ, OA, NA, NAJ, NAP, NJP, OAP, RN, RA, JH, WCX, WC (WCI, WC), TT, TDI, CGC went to Kyraco Curlies. CH Soft Maple Natural Finish ROM, ROMX went to Nyehyrst Curlies. And CH Soft Maple's Warrior Princess ST went on to Wannawin Curlies.


jet122 SoftMaple’s second litter in 1997 to CH Riverwatch Desert Wind ROM resulted in 14 puppies. Including the breeds first Champion/Master Hunter CH SoftMaple's O' Dark Thirty MH, CD, WCQ, CGC, RN, TT, HOF, ROM.

Also in this litter were CH Soft Maple's Turning Leaf - who went to HnterBay Curlies. CH Soft Maple Crossing Delancy WC JH who went to JollyBodies Curlies. CH Soft Maple Black Teddy WC, JH, who went to Sun Devil Curlies. Soft Maple's Velvet Elvis WC, JH who went to BackCast Curlies.    (Here Jet is shown with one of his owners Ellen of JollyCurl, and his field trainer Mary Fowler of GraceFarms)



SoftMaple's third litter only produced three male puppies. Hunter- CH Soft Maple Water Works CGC went to HunterBay Curlies.  


CH Soft Maple Water Works CGC


With the breeding philosophy of not wanting to breed into a corner, SoftMaple’s 4th litter was out of Bumper who was leased from Fairway Curlies in California. CH Mathel Felicitation ROM was shipped overseas to be bred to Luxembourg Champion, Dutch,VDH, German Ch. Caballus Inferno JWW'98, W'98, Europasieger '99, Bundessieger'99. Bumper was out of a Finnish Sire and English Dam. Sam’s pedigree was also full of a combination of great English and Finnish Curlies. SoftMaple wanted to create a strong stable line based on older US dogs, and then a separate line with select foreign bloodlines. With the goal of combining these lines, and then breeding back out.

This litter resulted in 14 live puppies (out of a litter of 17) Forever more known as The International Litter. 8 of these puppies went on to earn their Championships. Several went on to make lasting impressions on other breeders breeding programs. Among these puppies were:

Ch Fairway's Softmaple Finnheir CGC, CD, RE, AX, OAJ, NAP, NJP, NF
CH SoftMaple's International Fling CGC, ROM
CH SoftMaple's Fairway Explorer CGC
CH SoftMaple Dese's Int'l D'Lite CGC
CH SoftMaple Boyerie Int'l Dateline
CH Soft Maple Avanti Mileage Plus
Ch. Fairway Pizzazz Rendezvous
CH SoftMaple N HunterBay's NYwkend CGC TT


CH SoftMaple Boyerie Int'l Dateline Going Best of Winners at the CCRCA National Specialty


KC seger12  

SoftMaple's 5th litter produced CH Softmaple's Pheasant Dreams WC, CGC, RN, RA, UWC, JH, ROM.    Moxie made and continues to make a huge impact on the breed.    Best of Winners at the 2004 CCRCA National Specialty. Judges Award of Merit at the 2008 and 2009 CCRCA National Specialties. Winner of the Brood Bitch Class. Multi Group Placer, and the first Liver Bitch to Win a Sporting Group.  She produced numerouse Champions and her grandkids are making their mark in the showring, field and other events. 



Beautyrun SoftMaple's Sixth litter produced CH SoftMaple Gunflint's Beauty CGC. Beauty earned a total of 19 group placements in one year of showing. She finished her Championship from the classess earning group placments. Beauty was the second group winning dog sired by CH SoftMaple's O'Dark Thirty MH, WCX, CD, CGC, TT, HOF. Beauty retired after just one year of showing, ending her career as the #1 CCR at the time, and became her owners service dog


12107097_10207326772225283_8178834673236803128_n SoftMaple's seventh litter, fresh chilled semen was imported from Sweden out of SJCH SUCH Ringlets Constant Wind. Bred to one of the International kids, CH SoftMaple's Fairway Explorer CGC. This litter resulted in 5 puppies. CH SoftMaple's Comin' To America CD, CGC and CH SoftMaple Boyerie's Int Affair finished their championship easily. Alfie finished his Championship with 5 majors from the puppy class going over specials. Aysa was Reserve Winners Bitch at the CCRCA National Specialty from the puppy class, and finished her Championship in one weekend, 3 shows, three 5 point majors going over specials each day at 9 months of age, then finished her CD at 11 months.   This litter ended up being GSDII carriers.  This was when the disease was first brought to light, and we knew very little about it.   We had Aysa spayed. Alphie never sired a litter. 
Only one pup in this litter was bred, SoftMaple N HunterBay's Poetic Justice CGC came back to SoftMaple later and was bred to Jet. CH SoftMaple's O'Dark Thirty JH, SH, MH, WC, WCQ, WCX, CD, CGC, TT, HOF This litter of Bailey to Jet produced Sampson.   CH HunterBay's O'Dark Justice WC 

agil17 SoftMaple's 8th litter was CH SoftMaple's International Fling CGC to imported CH Aberbran Bar Von Bern JH, WC, WCQ, SH, ROM. There were 11 pups in this litter. Some real nice working dogs including U-AG2 Softmaple Frolic In The Wind RN NAJ NF OJC TN-O NCC NAC TG-N, TD, TDX (Gambol) Unfortunatly, it was soon discovered by another breeder with a different litter that the sire passed on the glycogen storage disease type IIIa (GSDIIIa) So none of these pups were ever bred. At that point we did not have a definite genetic test to find carriers of this disease.    Now we do have a genetic test for the GSDIIa mutation. 

SoftMaple's 9th litter was out of New Zealand Import CH SR Curlygleann Kiwi Dream WC CGC TDI bred to one of the International Kids, CH SoftMaple N HunterBay's NYwkend CGC, TT. Out of that litter was Bouclee who went to start Sarasota Curlies. UH HR CH SoftMaple's Ma Belle Bouclee SH WCQ6 UWC CGC TDIA

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Stephen and 11 1/2 year old Bouclee passed the WCQ for the 6th time

sam2 SoftMaple's 10th litter CH SoftMaple's O'Dark Thirty JH, SH, MH, WC, WCQ, WCX, CD, CGC, TT, HOF to SoftMaple N HunterBay's Poetic Justice CGC produced 9 pups. This is the litter that produced Sampson, CH HunterBay's O'Dark Justice WC

SoftMaple's 11th litter was Boyerie Dese Maestro Music Please to CH SoftMaple Gunflint's Beauty CGC. Out of this litter of 10 pups they kept Torrie. CH SoftMaple's Yankee Pudel CGC. Torrie had a litter with Boyerie curlies in Georgia, and two litters at SoftMaple.  

SoftMaple's 12th litter was CH Softmaple's Pheasant Dreams WC, CGC, RN, RA, UWC, JH, ROM to Ch. Dese's Black As Coal, CD, WC, CGC, TT, RN, JH. Out of the Moxi X Coal litter, two boys went overseas. Swiper (SoftMaple Ringlets Jet-Setter) went to Sweden to live at Ringlets Retrievers. I had imported semen from one of the Ringlets dual champions (Show CH and Field Champion Tarras- father of  CH SoftMaple's Comin' To America CD, CGC, TT, TDI)
Denzel (IN & NOR CH SWE SH CH TK2 Softmaple Cimramin Jorneyman) went to Cimramin curlies in Finland

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The two exports from our 2005 litter

Swiper (Sweden)  and Denzel (Finland)

Also in our 12th litter was Gabby HR GCH SoftMaple's Dark Star CDX SH CGC WCQ4 UWC.  Who lived with Skywatcher Curlies

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2006 CCRCA National Best in puppy Sweeps ~ Best opposite Veteran Sweeps 2013

And Scooter - Ch Softmaple Boot Scoot'n Dese Who lived at Dese Curlies.

scooter scoot scooter  

Best Veteran and JAM 2013 CCRCA National ~~ 2014 CCRCA national JAM

Our 2006 litter out of CH SoftMaple's Fairway Explorer CGC bred to CH, SHR Elflock False Echoes WC produced three puppies. The liver male was exported to Austrailia to Dizzyki Kennels. Au. Ch. Softmaple BackCast Traveler. Mowglie has produced 15 Champions to date.

mowauspic Mow

Mowglie lives in Austrailia

SoftMaple's 2011 litter out of GCh Softmaple's Stand and Be Liver to Flyway JH, RN, NA,P NF,P UWC, WCX, CA, TN-N, TNG-N, RATI, RATN and CH SoftMaple's Yankee Pudel CGC produced CH SoftMaple N Flyway's Nobody puts Baby in a Corner RN WC CAT, CH Softmaples Fly By Night WC, BN, RA, CA, CGC, RATI, Multi Group placing Can CH Softmaple's Held for Ransom and Famous Lodi ~ SHR CH Softmaple Green River JH DJA AJ RATO CGCA WC TDI. Lodi is the first CCR to earn an AKC Dock Diving title- and that is just one of his many talents!

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Lodi, first AKC Dock Diving Curly- two time WKC Select Dog


SoftMaple's 2012 litter out of GCH Softmaple's Stand and Be Liver to Flyway CA WCX JH RN NAP NFP bred to Imported FLATCURLS Follow Me Forever To Softmaple, produced our girl Dana. U-GrCH CH SoftMaple's Sexy And I Know It CGC, BN, RN, WC, CGN, TDI, CA, RATI, RATN, RATO, DJ. On a whim, Cathy entered Dana at the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club. Dana had just finished her Championship and was a year and a half old. She was the Westminster Kennel Club Best of Breed winner with very stiff competition. This was the kind of thing a kid in 4H dog classes dreams of happening.


 d11 BOB

SoftMaple continues to incorporate the older US lines entwined with some select foreign bloodlines. Paying close attention to health, breed type, trainability and keeping in mind you need to produce a curly with the personality and temperament that people can live with. We strive for versatility. We may not always have the curly that is #1 or the best in one particular sport. But we do have multi-titled versatile Curlies that excel at a variety of events.


Breeding Philosophy

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.

We work closely with other dedicated reputable breeders. We try to be honest about the good things as well as the bad things in our breeding program. There is not a bloodline out there that is 100% free from all health problems. You can’t discount every dog that has an issue lurking in the pedigree. You just need to arm yourself with this knowledge and work with other breeders and stud owners who you can trust to be honest.

me5 So if you ask around, you will hear of SoftMaple dogs that have had cardiac problems, coat issues, seizures, etc. If you ask us yourself, we will tell you the same. When an issue arises, we shed some tears, warn others, and try to work out where the issue is coming from (if it is a genetic based issue) and try to use this information to make informed choices for future breedings.  Also knowing that sometimes the best option is to NOT breed a particular dog, or any dogs from an entire litter.


SoftMaple strives with each breeding to produce the next generation of dogs that are better than their parents. Breeding as closely as possible to the breed standard without introducing health issues and undesirable traits. Our main goal is to leave the breed better than we found it.


Three generations of SoftMaple


Momma Swayze (5 yrs old) Wranger (8 weeks) Grandma Torrie (11 1/2)

Curly Coated Retriever breeder history