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hound fashion ; the hair on them must be short. Eyes should be of medium size, dark in colour, bright, intelligent-looking, and mild in expression, indicating a good temper.
NOSE AND Jaws are to be considered from two points of view—first, as to the powers of scent, and, secondly, as to the capacity for carrying a hare or pheasant without risk of damage. For both purposes the jaws should be long, and, for the development of scenting powers, the nose should be wide, the nostrils open, and its end moist and cool. Teeth level, and neither over nor under-shot.
Neck, LOINS, AND BACK.- Whatever be the breed of dog, his neck should be long enough to allow him to stoop in seeking a trail. A chumpy neck is especially bad ; for, while a little dog may get along on a foot scent with a short neck, a comparatively large and unwieldy dog tries himself terribly by the necessity for crouching in his pace. Loins and back wide, deep, and strong.
QUARTERS AND STIFLES.-Must be muscular, and so formed as to enable the retriever to do his work fast enough to please the modern sportsman, with ease to himself. The stifles should be nicely turned.
SHOULDERS.-Should be long and sloping; otherwise, even with a proper length of neck, the dog cannot stoop to a foot scent without fatigue.
Chest.—Should be broad as well as deep, with well-developed and well-sprung ribs.
LEGS, KNEES, AND Hocks.-.When tolerably fast work is to be done by a heavy dog, it is important that these parts should be strong and free from disease in their joints. Hence the legs must not only be long and muscular, but they must be clean and free from lumber. The knees should be broad and the hocks well developed and clean.
Feet are rather larger, proportionately, than in the setter, but they should be compact, and the toes well arched. Soles thick and strong.
Tail.- Should be bushy in proportion to the dog, but not feathered. It should be carried gaily, but not curled over the back.
COAT.-Is short, but not so short as in the pointer or hound; it should be close and thick and straight as possible; a thin open coat, underneath which the skin is easily found, is bad, however straight it may be.
COLOUR.-Should be a rich black, free from rustiness and from , white.
SYMMETRY AND TEMPERAMENT.-The symmetry and elegance of this dog are considerable, and should be highly valued. The evidences of good temper must be regarded with great care, since his utility mainly depends upon his disposition. A sour-headed brute, with a vicious look about his eyes, should be disqualified.
Weight.-Dogs from 50 lbs. to 68 lbs. ; bitches rather smaller.
Skull, ears, and eyes ,
. 100 (Note.- Whilst these are the scale of points as laid down by authorities, the reader is recommended to compare them with Mr. Harding Cox's description of an “ideal” flat-coated retriever, especially with regard to head properties and ribs. As one of the leading judges of the day Mr. Cox's opinion is second to none, and any modifications he suggests in the official description of the dog should be carefully studied.)
THE CURLY-COATED RETRIEVER The curly-coated retriever has been described as a "waning" variety of the breed, and one that has not "come to stay,” its position being usurped by its flatcoated brother, than whom it is an older dog, certainly on the show-bench, for it was first exhibited in the earliest days of dog shows. That was over forty years ago, and more than a decade had to pass before the now more popular variety got an opening at all. And yet at the last Kennel Club Show there were a hundred more entries of the flat-coated than there were of the curly, which sufficiently reflects the comparative popularity of the two dogs. And this notwithstanding that the curly retriever has a specialist club to foster and push it on, with a president and six vice-presidents, amongst whom appear some names to conjure with in the canine world; as also in its list of three dozen members, which contains many of those held to be cognoscenti in the fancy.
Here is Mr. Robert Paterson's description of an ideal curly-coated retriever, which forms a peg for me to hang my other critical contributions on to :
The curly-coated retriever is much before the flat-coated variety in my opinion for style. He has a most perfect head, and shows no “setter" as he has been developed to-day, although occasionally some specimens are inclined to be snipey in muzzle. Apart from this I consider them much the best dogs in the general. They are much shorter in back, with strong hind. quarters, and do not show so much weakness there as the flat; but they are generally weaker in the eyes, and many of them suffer from a watery discharge, or the appearance of it. The curly retriever should have as dark an eye as can possibly be got ; stand well from the ground, with good, long, straight legs, nice round feet, and of course plenty of bone. But their chief beauty and smart appearance lies in their coat, which should be one mass of short, crisp curls, and when of a glossy, jetty black colour I cannot imagine any handsomer dog in this respect. But if an ideal dog must have an ideal temper, I fear the curly-coated retriever is not the one to come successfully out of the test. Notwithstanding I like them so well that I always manage to keep one or two.
MR. G. W. MASON (the Honourable Secretary of the Curlycoated Retriever Club). — For extraordinary intelligence and faithfulness there is no breed of dog that, in my opinion, can compare with a curly-coated retriever ; and it is scarcely necessary to add that of all breeds this is the handsomest. Some of our socalled breakers have condemned it as hard-mouthed, but I have no hesitation in saying that in nine cases out of ten the fault lies with the breaker. I have bred hundreds of them, and to my knowledge have never bred a hard-mouthed one. I have seen puppies at two months' old, on many occasions, fetch a blown egg out of water without damaging it in the least.
MR. TOM WELBURN.—The modern curly-coated retriever is as near perfection as it can be, with the exception that it might, as a rule, have a little more bone and substance than we see in a lot of the show-bench specimens of to-day. I do not agree with some of the point values—as, for instance, allowing twenty-five points for coat. This is ridiculous, in my opinion. I have seen many good specimens sent out of the show-ring because they did not happen to possess a good coat, or a dark eye; otherwise they were far superior to many of the winners. There is no better companion than the curly-coated retriever. I have had thirty-two years amongst sporting dogs, and I have not yet found any of another breed to excel him at work, and have tried many, including the flat-coated variety that we hear so much about, but which I consider only a drawing-room dog. The curly is harder to