(Ch), one with a Grand Champion (GCH), and most have additional obedience, agil- ity, and therapy dog titles as well. Th ere are approximately 120 AKC Junior Hunters in the breed and 28 Senior Hunters, also num- bers that are steadily increasing. We recently had a GCH member of the breed earn the breed’s fi rst Quali fi ed All Age status at an all-breed fi eld trial and have had a hand- ful with fi eld trial ribbons throughout the breed’s history. Th e Curly-Coated Retriever Club of America hosts an annual all-breed AKC hunt test. Th e club also endorses three levels of working certi fi cate fi eld tests and an upland hunting certi fi cate test which are held by local clubs and in conjunction with the National Specialty each year. Larger numbers of curlies may never see an organized fi eld test, but are skilled hunting companions in homes and in fi elds all over the country. Th ey are uti- lized for both waterfowl (ducks and geese) and upland game (pheasant, grouse, quail, etc.) and can track wounded game as well. Th ey can be involved in hunting furred game as well such as rabbits and squirrels. Once an avid outdoorsman spends a day in the fi eld with a curly, they may never have another breed. Judging the Curly As a judge, analyze the standard for not just the what and the where, but also the why? Why is each part of the standard written, what is it advantage in the fi eld? Does that curly have a strong enough rear that can still propel them properly at 12 years old? Can the dog you are evaluating go all day in the fi eld? Not too many curl- ies are just standing around while hunting. Do they look functional while moving, not just stacked? Other Venues Th eir abilities are not just limited to the fi eld. As versatile, athletic dogs with a quick mind and a big heart, Curlies can be successful in agility, obedience, rally, lure coursing, dock diving, tracking, and many other venues. Th ey are loving, loyal com- panions to the niche of people who have them. And, take heed, Curlies are like potato chips, one usually leads to more!
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