flat coated, he can in no sense be assigned to any country outside of Great Britain. The presumption is strong that the " gentleman from France " was largely instrumental in the manufacture of the variety, but whatever the origin of the curly-coated Retriever he is a beautiful dog, and one is gratified to note that the old prejudice against him, and the old indictment as to his hard mouth, are fast giving place to praise of his intelligence and admiration of his working abilities.
Speaking generally, it seems to be accepted that he is slightly inferior in nose to his flat-coated cousin, and not quite so easy to break, but there are many keepers and handlers who have discovered in individual specimens extraordinary merit in the field combined with great endurance. It is not certain that any great improvement has been effected in the variety during recent years, but there are particular dogs today who are decidedly better than any that existed a dozen years or more ago, when such celebrities as True, Old Sam, King Koffee, Ben Wonder, Doden Ben, Lad and Una, were prominent, and there is no doubt that the curly coats attained show form in advance of the flat-coated variety.
The coat of the curly Retriever plays a very important part in his value and personality. There are many kinds of coat, but the only true and proper one is the close-fitting "nigger curl," of which each knot is solid and inseparable. A coat of this quality is not capable of improvement by any method of grooming, for the simple reason that its natural condition is in itself perfect. The little locks should be so close together as to be impervious to water, and all parts of the body should be evenly covered with them, including the tail and legs. A bad class of coat, and one which readily yields to the faker's art, is the thin open curl which by careful manipulation can be greatly improved. Another bad quality of coat is one in which, upon the withers and over the loins in particular, the curls do not tighten up naturally, but are large, loose, and soft to the feel. Regarding the dog as a