Balancing detail and form

I am in the process of adding the curly fur to Playbow that is one of the hallmarks of the Cocker Spaniel (the other being the floppy ears).  The curly hair is mainly on the legs and underbelly.  The rest of the hair is sleek and smooth.  I read a post on a sculpture forum where a sculptor was having difficulty maintaining the essence of his sketches in the sculpted shape, and it got me thinking about my conundrum with the hair.  The smooth sleek areas allow the muscle and bone to show the bold strokes of the pose, while the curly hair is full of minute detail that catches the eye.  The curly bits have a great tendency to hide any subtlety in the shape, however.  I really want to keep the form of the back and head plainly visible, as it makes you want to run your hands over the surface, just like petting a real dog.  The trick will be deciding where the blend lines will be, and blending the two areas effectively.