Showsight Presents The Curly-coated Retriever

The biggest problem as a breeder is finding stud dogs. Advice to a new breeder. Take is slow, talk to the ‘oldtim- ers’ and listen to what they have to say, learn from their expe- rience. See as many dogs as you can before you decide to breed a litter. Go to nationals, ask people if you can go over their dogs Advice to a new judge. Don’t get stuck on one thing, look at the entire package. Understand what makes a Curly differ- ent from the other retrievers. Please don’t take a handler’s word for what is correct or not correct, talk to breeders. Most common fault, right now we have a real issue with rears, long hocks and cow hocks, and tail carriage. It seems that we have improved our fronts, but the rears have suffered. SCOTT SHIFFLETT I live in Maryland. Outside of my dogs, I ride horses, and enjoy cooking and visiting with friends. The quality of purebred dogs overall is in good shape. Interesting to see new breeds being accepted into the AKC and learning about them. Every show/event provides an opportunity to learn. Overall the Curly-Coated Retriever Breed is in good shape. Overall the breeders are doing a good job of preserving the breed and being true to the breed standard. The Curly-Coated Retriever Club of America (CCRCA) provides their members and breeders of current health concerns/risks in our breed. I believe over the last 10 years the quality of the CCR has improved. However, we cannot be complacent. We must be vigilant in breeding and watchful of any lingering issues. As a breeder of CCRs, we strive to ensure that this breed main- tains the suitability of hunting and conformation in one dog. I would not want to see the CCR split for field or conformation like some Breeds. Without good structure, I don’t believe you will have a dog that Can Hunt all day. We want to keep form and function as one. The biggest problem facing me as a breeder is the CCR gene pool is extremely small. This often times makes it chal- lenging to find suitable mates. One of the biggest problems that I and others have faced recently is getting the bitch preg- nant and /or carrying a litter to full term. Some of this may be overcome by working closely with a reproductive veteri- narian. My biggest concern is that breeders are not always mindful of issues whether it be health, structure or tem- perament in the lines that one is breeding. A better in-depth understanding of pedigrees is needed. One should seek out advice from other breeders and ask questions. The CCR has a small gene pool. One should be mindful and knowledgeable about issues in a line and strive to improve what you are breeding. New breeders and even experienced breeders should seek a mentor and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I also believe people have a tendency to want to breed to “the flavor of the month”. In my opinion this isn’t a good practice. Be subjective and be honest with yourself when looking to breed a litter. A litter is a breeder’s respon- sibility from the day they are born until the day they leave this earth. A big issue that we are facing are dogs with weak rears. It is unfortunate but often times judges will go for quite a long time before seeing a CCR. Judges who are new to judg- ing CCRs or just haven’t seen one for a while should review the breed standard. The CCRCA now has an Illustrated Breed Standard, which judges should request. Judges need

to remember that the tight crisp curl of the coat is in fact the Hallmark of the Breed. Patterning on the throat and hind legs should be considered a major fault. Also, the Curly Coat is considered the tallest of the retrievers. Breeders need to research the pedigrees and use as many sources as possible to research the pedigree to gain a better understanding of potential health issues, temperament issues or structure. A new breeder needs to seek out a mentor. Breeders need to understand what they are producing. Take your time and evaluate your litters as they progress through the life cycles. For me as a breeder, I am striving to improve my breeding stock by concentrating on health, temperament and structure according to the CCR breed standard. It is also important to attend the National Specialty to see dogs that are not in your area. We all need to develop and improve our network. Listen to people who have been in the breed for a long time. ANN SHINKLE I live in Florida. I believe that our Curlies have progressed well when it concerns the quality of coats, improvement of temperament (very few shy Curlies have I seen lately); working ability in all activities that AKC offers now, as well as many other subjects. However, I do wish to stress that we have gone downhill fast with tail carriage (some tails are now carried at a 90 degree angle). The tail set, as it comes off the rear end, on the whole, is fairly normal in most Curlies BUT not the carriage. l believe that it was 19 years ago that a well known Curly breeder and judge from England pointed this out to all of us when she judged Curly Sweepstakes at our Specialty that year. Unfor- tunately, some of us have not followed this very worthwhile advice. The whole outline of the Curly is not as it should be when that tail is curled over the back of up in air. BOB THOMPSON I live on ten acres in Spring Grove, Illinois. Outside of dogs, I travel and spend time with my grandkids. Most breeds are doing fine. The most disappointing breeds are those where the working breed and the show breed have separated in structure and substance or where breeding to a judge’s standard has resulted in dogs that can no longer per- form as intended. Luckily that is not terribly widespread. There has been only rare divergence between show dogs and true breed standard dogs in the Curly-Coated Retriever world. That is due in part to the diligence of most breeders and to the rarity of the breed. Biggest concern is they will be “Doodled”. There was a recent sale to a “fill in the blank” doodle breeder. That is very concerning. The biggest problem facing me as a breeder is finding the best homes. My advice to a new breeder is to seek advice from current breeders. Advice to a new judge: please, please, please read the stan- dard for our breed. Please recognize that most of our dogs are not shown by professional handlers. Please be sure you reward the dog/ bitch on their own merits. S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2019 • 309

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