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break, but when once broken no dog can surpass him as a sportsman's dog. They also make good guards. I once lived in a colliery district as gamekeeper, and whilst passing up a narrow lane one very dark night, accompanied by a curly bitch which I led in a slip, to my astonishment felt half a brick come swash out of the fence at my head. I heard my assailant doing a bolt down the lane, and slipped Flora, with a “ Go for him!” which she did in a minute, and made him sing “Oh!” She had got him by the posterior, and brought half of his trousers back, which I took down to the policeman, and we soon found out my assailant, who had to do a month-all through my having a good curlycoated retriever.
MR. JOHN BROOKS.-I am quite satisfied with the type of the curly-coated retriever of to-day. As for the breed it is one of the best for work in the field, with its perfect temper and almost human intelligence. I have kept and bred these dogs for twentyfive years, and consider them far superior to the flat-coated variety, both as regards temper and durability, the latter being more of the nature of a collie.
MESSRS. TAYLOR BROTHERS.-We think the type is correct, and have been fortunate enough to breed the record-price dog in the fancy. The show-bench champions would do as well as any of the breed if they had the opportunity. In showing there should be some rule laid down whether to exhibit them wet or dry ; some judges object to their being wet, but others do not.
STANDARD OF POINTS OF THE CURLY-COATED
(Curly-coated Retriever Club's) Head.-Long and narrow for the length, with jaws long and strong ; free from lippiness, with good teeth ; wide open nostrils, moist and black.
Eyes.-Cannot be too dark ; rather large, showing great intelligence and splendid temper; a full, pug's eye objectionable.
Ears.-Small and set on low, lying close to the head, and covered with short curls.
Coat.-Should be one mass of short, crisp curls from the occiput bone to the point of the tail ; a saddle back, or patch of uncurled hair behind the shoulders, and white patch on breast should be penalised; but a few white hairs allowed in an otherwise good dog. Colour, black or liver.
SHOULDERS.-Should be very deep, muscular, and obliquely placed.
not too long, and set well under the body. Feet should be round and compact, with toes well arched.
TAIL.-Should be short, carried pretty straight, and covered with short, crisp curls. Tapering towards the point.
GENERAL APPEARANCE. -Should be that of a strong, smart dog, with long, graceful neck, muscular and well placed, and free from throatiness (as in bloodhounds). Moderately low on leg, active, lively, and beaming with intelligence and expression.
The Labrador retriever, from which are descended our modern English varieties, is to be found in a few kennels in England. A good many were imported into this country in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, especially by the then Duke of Buccleuch, and it is probably in the Buccleuch kennels that the best dogs are to be found at the present day, and in those of Sir Richard Graham, of Netherby in Cumberland. They are excellent retrievers in the field, though not so soft mouthed as their English cousins, but those who have had to deal with them prefer them to the latter. I fancy there must be some bond of alliance between the Labrador retriever and the Chesapeake Bay dog, of which dog-fanciers across the Atlantic are very proud, although the colour of the former is brown and not black, which the true Labrador must be. The Chesapeake dog is said to be descended from a couple of dogs saved from a sinking English ship bound from Newfoundland to England; they were described as dogs not so large as a Newfoundland, with hair not long, but thick and wavy. They seem to have had a genius for retrieving duck, and “would follow a wounded one for miles through ice and heavy sea, and if successful in a capture, always bring it back to their owner.” There is a picture of a Chesapeake Bay dog in the American Book of the Dog, which, except that its feet are shocking, and, barring the colour, has a great generic similarity to the Labrador retriever.
At the 1903 Kennel Club Show there was a very fine bench of Labrador retrievers put up in the flatcoated retriever section, and no less than sixteen specimens faced the judge. The first prize was awarded to the Hon. A. Holland-Hibbert's Sentry, whose photograph I am happy to have been able to secure for reproduction as an illustration of this interesting breed, which for stamina and spirit, and for being at home in the water, knows no equal amongst our English sporting dogs of similar character. Mr. Holland-Hibbert considers the modern type of Labrador dog first-rate, but regrets the want of new blood ; he considers them the best retrievers for speed, endurance, perseverance, and nose, and describes them as “ doing their work at a gallop, and very easily broken."
Amongst the best flat-coated retrievers are Champions Black Quilt, Horton Rector, Wimpole Peter, Worsley Bess, Sweet Fern, Black Queen, Paul of Riverside, and Bring 'em. Notwithstanding, I have selected Mr. Harding Cox's Black Drake for illustration, because I think he claims that honour by reason of his being the sire of four champions (three included in my list), and a perfect host of other winners. Although he may not have had the perfection of some of his progeny, such a sire deserves to be considered from a special point of view, and he was a remarkable winner in his day.