late 60s showing, raising ES and Flat Coated Retrievers plus my finger on several other breeds. I started to judge in 1988.
DW: The correct silhouette is paramount. Too often the breed gets judged as a weedy Labrador Retriever or a black Golden Retriever. Neither is correct! The Flat-Coat is racier and more moderate in bone. It should never appear cobby and should show some tuck up. The headpiece is a unique characteristic of the breed and does not resemble any of the other Retriever breeds being perhaps closest to the Curly-Coated Retriever. It is a long muzzle with slight stop and nearly equal muzzle and back skull. The head should be in parallel planes. It should be a long, strong, clean one-piece head. Too often dogs with excessive broad back skulls and backskulls that drop off to the rear are being rewarded. Shaving or barbering of the head, neck and body coat should be severely penalized by the judge. AY: The head must be one piece, correct width and length with proper eye shape and placement. The silhouette should show the correct head, level topline, prow, neck into shoulder, balance with good angles fore and aft and the correct tail. Add good bone and correct coat and you are there! The character is a happy, Peter Pan with a con- stant wag of his tail. Without that he is not correct. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? KA: I have seen some dogs with what I consider exaggerated angulation, particularly in the rear. Flat-Coat should be balanced, front and rear with proper layback of shoulder and corresponding angulation in the rear. MD: Dogs are becoming too angulated in the rear, and some heads are becoming extreme as well. Conversely, we also have a lot of straight fronts and rears. Moderate is a word that is way over used in dogs, but truly, we want moderation. Moderate angles, front and rear and balance. Heads should have very perceivable stop, but not no stop. Again, conversely, we have some pretty rough heads right now as well. Everything in moderation. CH: Moderation. any exaggeration of the important traits. too tall, too short head too long, etc. KL: Unfortunately, many of the headpieces are becoming too heavy. The head should be seen as “one piece molded” with no stop. ShM: Head without length and breadth of muzzle, too racy, too many extremes losing moderation. SiM: Overly-refined head, improper coat, poor movement. DW: A too-straight shoulder and an upright upper arm are becoming more and more common. Exaggerated rear angulation is also becoming more common.
Photo courtesy of ann yuhasz
1. Describe the breed in three words. KA: Athletic, Versatile, and Fun-loving MD: Beautiful, incandescent and racey. CH: Elegant, movement and outline. KL: Raciness without weediness. ShM: Peter Pan.
SiM: Joyful, one-piece, silhouette. DW: Exuberant, racy and elegant. AY: The three words that I believe that describe the FC are head, silhouette and character. 2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? KA: Five things: Proper head type, breed silhouette, move- ment, coat and temperament. MD: Proper head piece, silhouette standing and moving, proper reach and drive CH: Elegance, movement and outline. KL: FCRs are a ‘head breed’ and, as such, must first have correct type in head. Second, this breed is longer than square and should not be cobby. Good lay-back and proper angles are so very important so that the dog can do what he was bred to do without breaking down. The silhouette is another very important aspect - topline should be straight with the tailset slightly off the croup. ShM: Silhouette, soundness, one-piece head with depth and breadth of muzzle. SiM: Strength, attitude and balance.
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