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shape of his head and to his eyes. His frame is important, of course, but in the Retriever the mental qualities are of more significance than bodily points.

There has been a tendency in recent years among Retriever breeders to fall into the common error of exaggerating a particular point, and of breeding dogs with a head far too fine and narrow-it is what has been aptly called the alligator headlacking in brain capacity and power of jaw. A perfect head should be long and clean, but neither weak nor snipy. The eye should be placed just halfway between the occiput and the tip of the nose.

It is pleasing to add that to this beautiful breed the phrase " handsome is as handsome does " applies in full measure. Not only is the average Retriever of a companionable disposition, with delightful intelligence that is always responsive, but he is a good and faithful guard and a courageous protector of person and property. It has already been said that the majority of the best-looking Retrievers are also good working dogs, and it may here be added that many of the most successful working dogs are sired by prize-winners in the show ring.


The curly-coated Retriever is commonly believed to be of earlier origin than his flat-coated relative, and he is of less pure descent. He probably owes ancestral tribute to the Poodle. Such a cross may conceivably have been resorted to by the early Retriever breeders, and there was little to lose from a merely sporting point of view from this alien introduction, for the Poodle is well known to be by nature, if not by systematic training, an excellent water dog, capable of being taught anything that the canine mind can comprehend. During the early years of the nineteenth century the Poodle was fairly plentiful in England, and we had no other curly-coated dog of similar size and type apart from the Irish Water Spaniel, who may himself lay claim to Poodle relationship ; while as to the Retriever, either curly or

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




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