Showsight Presents The Curly-coated Retriever

THE CURLY-COATED RETRIEVER

1. Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general, and your breed in particular. 2. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural, temperament-wise, or what. 3. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder. 4. Advice to a new breeder? 5. Advice to a new judge of your breed? 6. What’s the most common fault you see when traveling around the country? 7. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a particular point you’d like to make. 8. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show? IRIS ANDRE I live outside of Sacramento, California. Outside of dogs, I work for a healthcare organization and spend time with family. Overall, I feel that purebred dogs have improved and, in most part, due to advances in genetic testing, ability to access quality breed specimens across the world, and a high desire to focus on health of purebred dogs. The Curly Coated Retriever has made similar advances and we see this in improved coats, consistent type, and improved adherence to health testing. I have two concerns: First the mixed dog breeders espe- cially the Labradoodles who have become more popular than our small breed on a story and a song. They sell them as the best of two breeds but when a potential Curly owner meets our breed, the first thing they say is “Kinda like the Labradoodle but the Labradoodle is hypoallergenic?” Slogans for mixed breed to sell puppies and the popular movement away from pure bred dogs is a great concern. Second, overall breeding for proper structure and movement. We are seeing some lines become their own type due to close knit breeding decisions which is moving us away from our true standard. The biggest problem facing me as a breeder is taking the time to understand the pedigrees and potential health and temperament issues that might be present. Being a small club, we are pretty open with issues but as we move outside of our County and when we are adding new breeders, we sometimes miss important historical health and temperament information. Advice to a new breeder: take the time to get more than one person’s opinion and go outside your comfort zone of people to ask questions of longtime breeders. Advice to a new judge: As always use the standard for judg- ing our breed. Don’t let a lot of similar dogs in the ring make you believe that is the standard. First it is a Sporting Dog, fol- lowed by our key qualities: coat, structure/movement, type and temperament. Our breed is supposed to have a tail that is carried straight or fairly straight and never curled over the back. We have seen an increasing number of dogs with tails curled over

the back. We do not have consistent quality rears and need to continue to work at this. Curlies are generally shown by their owners and do allow some patience with some novice work in the ring by the handlers. We find our breeders enjoy showing in conforma- tion, hunting, obedience or agility and we don’t hand off our dogs easily. Remember to give them credit in the ring when excellent even though there is not a handler on the end of the leash. Curlies are a bit silly and mature late. I recall many a Curly when going around the ring will grab your dress and pull it down or rotate their head under your dress and lift it up for everyone to see. They do it with such ease and a smile on their face. SUE DAVIS I live in Vienna, Ohio and outside of dogs I am a director of admissions at a regional public university. I also enjoy going to amusement parks and traveling. I think we as a fancy know a lot more about breeding for health, structure, temperament, etc. then in the past. We have been able to improve purebreds as a result. We need to continue research and doing what is best for our specific breeds to insure they continue to thrive well into the future. I am concerned with the shrinking number of people getting in involved in breeding, showing, etc. Curlies are a rarer breed and we don’t have a lot of younger people get- ting involved in the breed. We need to encourage and foster young people. The biggest problem facing me as a breeder is finding appropriate Curlies to breed to is sometimes difficult due to the small numbers of dogs available. New breeders, please mentor with more than one person. Learn as much as you can from a variety of sources and opin- ions, and don’t be in such a rush to breed. Take your time and learn first. New judges—please become more familiar with the breed standard and also evaluate the structure of the dog along with the coat. It is not always all about the coat, the structure needs to be there too. The most common fault I see when traveling around the country is Probably lack of good fronts and/or rears. I have enjoyed very much showing as an owner handler. I would encourage anyone to actively compete as it helped me to become a better handler and showcase the dogs I bred. The funniest thing that I’ve ever experienced at a dog show? My husband owns a hearse and I once took it to a dog show. You can get a lot of crates and equipment in a hearse, but you sure do get some strange looks! KATHY KAIL We live in Southern California, not far from Disneyland. Our climate is almost ideal for one of my hobbies, which is working in our gardens as I love flowers! Which leads to

304 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2019

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