UNDERSTANDING THE FLAT-COATED RETRIEVER
rounding to the croup with tail held off the back, and moder- ate rear angulation. Moving from the undeniable headpiece towards the hindquarters, the Flat-Coat has a strong, slightly arched neck. The neck should be moderately long, and the neck-to-shoulder transition should be smooth, with not only good layback of shoulder, but also good lay-in. At times, we see short or ewe necks, which consequently affect reach. Flat- Coats that lack prow and forechest should be faulted. This is one of the key elements contributing to the outline and should be high in consideration. It should be prominent and well- developed. The underline of the dog should have a deep chest, tapering to a moderate tuck-up. The topline should be strong and level. A weak topline is often a product of a short rib cage. Rib cage should be deep, with good length and good return, and should be gently sprung, described in the standard as a blunted triangle. The loin should be well-muscled and long enough to allow the dog to sufficiently move, but never weak or loosely coupled. The croup should be very slightly rounded, with tail well set on. The tail should be fairly straight and carried happily. Steep croups are a bit of a problem as of late, affecting the overall outline of the dog—and often the set and carriage of the tail. Tail should be well-feathered and carried not much above the level of the back. With all parts and pieces considered, it important to understand that overall balance is key—balance front to rear and balance shoulder to ground. The front should not be too over loaded and conversely the rear should not appear weak. The length from the withers to the elbow should be equal to the length of the elbow to the ground. With the correct proportions and silhouette as described above, when viewed from the side, Flat-Coats should cover ground efficiently without choppy or mincing steps. The movement appears balanced, free-flowing and well-coor- dinated. Front and rear legs reach well forward and drive WITH ALL PARTS AND PIECES CONSIDERED, IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT OVER- ALL BALANCE IS KEY—BALANCE FRONT TO REAR AND BALANCE SHOULDER TO GROUND.
The Moving Silhouette should be balanced, free-flowing and well- coordinated, with good reach and drive.
The croup should be very slightly rounded, with tail well set on. The tail should be fairly straight and be carried happily, but not above the backline.
One of the key elements contributing to the outline is the prow. It should be prominent and well-developed.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2021 | 259
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