Showsight Presents The Curly-coated Retriever

THE OUTLINE OF THE CURLY-COATED RETRIEVER

THE OUTLINE OF THE CURLY-COATED RETRIEVER

BY KATHRYN COWSERT

T he Curly-Coated Retriever has a unique profile that distinguishes it from other breeds. The characteristic silhouette of an erect, upstanding, athletic-appearing Curly-Coated Retriever is achieved through the body shape, proportion, and substance, coupled with the head and tail, that create a distinctive outline. In order to perform as a multi-purpose hunting retriever that is strong, robust, quick, and agile, the Curly must have the body of a true athlete. A Curly may be asked to retrieve large geese in freezing waters one day, and the next day be required to find, flush, and retrieve a pheasant or rabbit in the field or bog. All parts comprising the conformation of this canine ath- lete must aid in the accomplishment of its hunting tasks in variable environments. There is nothing frivolous or unnecessary in the compo- nents required for this workman-like breed. The distinctive Curly outline gives us our first impression of the power, athleticism, balance, and symmetry needed to be a functional hunting companion. The headpiece is wedge-shaped from the side, showing equal length between muzzle and backskull, with parallel planes. The neck is strong and slightly arched, flowing smoothly into moderately laid-back shoulders. The chest appears decidedly deep, with the forelegs set under those shoulders (withers). The ribcage extends well back into the body, with a moder- ate tuck-up underneath (flank) and a deep, muscular, short loin. The hindquarters consist of strong, powerful thighs, with a moderate bend of stifle and well-let-down hocks. The tail is straight. The overall body appearance or package should appear strong, robust, and athletic. Curly-Coated Retrievers are generally known as the tallest of the retrievers. You would deter- mine the height of a Curly by measuring from the ground, straight up the foreleg to the upper tips of the scapula, also known as the withers. At the highest point of the withers, males can range in size from 25 to 27 inches, and females are between 23 to 25 inches. To give a point of reference for this desired size range among other gundog breeds, the maximum height of a Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever male is 25 inches, which is the minimum height for a Curly male. Hence, the Curly should appear taller than either of those breeds. Weimaraner males should be 25-27 inches and Gordon Setter males between 24-27 inches. This indicates that our Curly’s range of 25 to 27 inches for males suggests a taller than average, powerful gundog and the tallest of the Retrievers. Curlies are allowed to be outside of this desired range, but we have a necessary requirement in our standard, which states that Curlies outside of this desired range must be superior specimens in every other aspect of their conformation, with the key word here being “superior,” never ordinary.

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2021 | 261

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