THE OUTLINE OF THE CURLY-COATED RETRIEVER
THE OVERALL IDEAL BODY LENGTH IS ACHIEVED BECAUSE THE RIBS EXTEND WELL BACK TO A SHORT LOIN, PROVIDING PLENTY OF LUNG ROOM FOR ARDUOUS DAYS OF HUNTING.
and the Gordon Setter, but not as much mass as a Bernese Mountain Dog or Mastiff. Hence, a 27-inch male would weigh about 95 pounds and the smallest 23 inch bitch should weigh at least 60 pounds. The Curly is not a lightly built or a bulky breed of dog. Rather, the breed displays the construction of an all-around athlete capable of spending grueling days retrieving in water or in the field in search of prey. All of these aspects of body, height, pro- portion, and substance blend together in a smooth, powerful, harmonious symmetry that gives the Curly-Coated Retriever its unique outline and silhouette. (As an interesting side note, the FCI standard and the entire rest of the world desires the Curly-Coated Retriever males to be 27 inches and bitches to be 25 inches. Only the AKC standard allows for a range of heights. Also, the FCI calls for a forechest that is visible.)
Proportion is an integral aspect of the outline. The Curly-Coated Retriever’s body appears slightly off-square, meaning it is only slightly longer from prosternum (promi- nent bump in the middle of forechest) to his buttocks than he is from withers to ground. The depth of chest from withers to elbow should equal the length of leg from elbow to ground. Hence, when comparing length to height, the Curly gives the impression of being higher on leg than other Retrievers, more upright, never appearing long or low-stationed. This characteristic upright appearance, or silhouette, adds to the smartly upstanding quality so desired in our breed. This upstanding feature gives the breed a certain nobility, a presence, if you will, and a proud carriage radiating self-confidence. Long cast, tubular appearing, long of loin or short of leg specimens are never desired. Additional, undesired length of body proportions usually come from too much length in the loin. And though these specimens with long loins may move well in the show ring, they are definitely not correct for the Curly-Coated Retriever. The overall ideal body length is achieved because the ribs extend well back to a short loin, providing plenty of lung room for arduous days of hunting. Additionally, Curly-Coated Retrievers must have sufficient bone, mass, and substance to balance their height as well as to benefit their power and durability in the field, navi- gating punishing cover, heavy currents, and difficult terrain. Their substance should be sturdy and robust, with nothing overdone, coarse or blocky. And neither should the Curly ever appear weedy, light of bone, frail or racy. Elegance and grace are achieved through the upstanding carriage and longer length of legs than the other Retrievers. The Curly will have more bone, mass, and substance than the Poodle, the Flat-Coated Retriever,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kathryn Cowsert is currently serving as Chairman of the Judges Education Committee for the Curly-Coated Retriever Club of America ( www.ccrca.org ) and has been involved with the breed since the early 1970’s. She is currently an AKC judge of all Sporting, Hound, and Non-Sporting breeds plus several Toy and Herding breeds.
262 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2021
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