146 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
whole, the following may be taken as an all-round description :
General Appearance-That of a smart, active, clean-cut and alert dog, full of go and fire-a sportsman from stem to stern. Head-Long and not weedy in the muzzle, nor thick and coarse in the skull, but tapering down and finishing with a stout broad muzzle. Skull-Should be flat and moderately broad between the ears, which are rather small, and well covered with hair. Ears-Should lie close to the side of the head, but not dead in their carriage. Face-The face should be smooth, and any indication of a forelock should be penalised. Eye-The eye should in all cases be dark and not too deeply set. Neck-Well placed in the shoulders and nicely arched, of moderate length and yet powerful and free from throatiness. Shoulders-Well laid back and as free from massiveness as possible, though there is a decided tendency in this variety to such a fault. Legs-Straight and well covered with coat. The bone should show quality and yet be fairly abundant. FeetCompact and hound-like. Body-Should show great power, with deep, well-rounded ribs. As little cut-up in the flank as possible. TallStrong at the base, set on in a line with the back and tapering to a point, the size of the curls upon it diminishing gradually to the end. Hind-quarters-Should show great development of muscle, with bent hocks, the lower leg being strong and the hind feet compact. Any suspicion of cow hocks should be heavily penalised. Colour-Mostly a dull black. Some liver-coloured dogs are seen with very good coats and bodies, but their heads are generally thick and coarse, and the colour of their eyes does not always match, as it should do, with the colour of the coat. A few dogs of this colour have achieved distinction on the show bench.
Within recent years the original smooth-coated Labrador dog has taken its place as a recognised variety of the Retriever and become prominent both at exhibitions and as a worker. It is not probable that any have been imported into England for the past quarter of a century, but without the assistance of shows or imported blood they have survived marvellously. Thanks especially to the kennels of such breeders as the Dukes of Buccleuch and Hamilton, the Earl of Verulam, Lords Wimborne, Home, and Malmesbury, the Hon. A. Holland Hibbert, Sir Savile Crossley, Mr. F. P. Barnett, Mr. C. Liddell, Mr. 0. L. Mansel, and others equally enthusiastic.
To the Duke of Buccleuch's kennel we are probably more indebted in the last twenty years than to any other. Its