THE RETRIEVERS 143
Cornwall Legh must be included. Many of Colonel Legh's bitches were of Shirley blood, but it is believed that a breed of Retrievers had existed at High Legh for several generations, with which a judicious cross was made, the result being not only the formation of a remarkable kennel, but also a decided influence for good upon the breed in general.
But since the Shirley days, when competition was more limited than it is at present, no kennel of Retrievers has ever attained anything like the distinction of that owned by Mr. H. Reginald Cooke, at Riverside, Nantwich. By acquiring the best specimens of the breed from all available sources, Mr. Cooke has gathered together a stock which has never been equalled. His ideas of type and conformation are the outcome of close and attentive study and consistent practice, and one needs to go to Riverside if one desires to see the highest examples of what a modern flat-coated Retriever can be.
Since Dr. Bond Moore imparted to the Retriever a fixity of character, the coats have become longer and less wavy, and in conformation of skull, colour of eye, straightness of legs, and quality of bone, there has been a perceptible improvement.
As there is no club devoted to the breed, and consequently no official standard of points, the following description of the perfect Retriever is offered
General Appearance-That of a well-proportioned bright and active
sporting dog, showing power without lumber and raciness without weediness. Head-Long, fine, without being weak, the muzzle square, the underjaw strong with an absence of lippiness or throatiness. Eyes -Dark as possible, with a very intelligent, mild expression. NeckLong and clean. Ears-Small, well set on, and carried close to the head. Shoulders-Oblique, running well into the back, with plenty of depth of chest. Body-Short and square, and well ribbed up. Stern -Short and straight, and carried gaily, but not curled over the back. Fore-legs-straight, pasterns strong, feet small and round. QuartersStrong ; stifles well bent. Coat-Dense black or liver, of fine quality and texture. Flat, not wavy. Weight-From 65 lb. to 80 lb. for dogs ;
bitches rather less.
As a rule the Retriever should be chosen for the intelligent look of his face, and particular attention should be paid to the