"Like" button for John's post ... and for Ann and Glenda for doing this. In the past, offers like this have been made to the conformation judges, but the invitation was not accepted. So, perhaps these particular judges deserve an extra warm welcome for stepping outside of their comfort zone?
It can do no harm at all for the judges to see the extraordinary physical and mental capabilities of the dogs running the field trial.
It is also part of Glenda's handiwork that some of the field trial dogs have been included as "demo dogs" in the Judges' Education seminars over the past several years at the National Specialties. For those judges, it may be one of the few times they ever have a chance to put their hands on such dogs. It can only be a good thing to give them such an experience.
Good work Glenda!
The other thing that is being done is to have the Judges Education Seminar include at least one field trial dog for the new and upcoming judges to go over. This way they will realize that the field dogs demonstrate a form which follows function although maybe without some of the trappings, ie., heavy, long coats, etc. The first time I worked with the JEC on this, the field Golden I suggested was Push---before he became a Canadian Dual Champion. It really helped open some eyes. I also suggested a "wet dog" contest, judging Goldens dry then looking at them all again when soaking wet. This suggestion was not met with overwhelming favor.
For those of you who are strictly Lab people, Fred Kampo has used his Labs at some of the LRC Judges' seminars and Lyn Yelton has as well. At the recent National Amateur, ten of the competitors, including the sire and son who both carry the NAFC title, were gone over by three Lab Judges for a conformation certificate, and all ten passed. What was interesting with Fred's Lab at the seminar was that all the novice judges thought he was oversize---until his dog was measured and was right in standard. It shows how the eye can deceive and only see what you are used to seeing.
For you Chessie owners, at one conformation show a Chessie came in second in the class and the judge later told the owner that the reason for that was because his muzzle was such that he wouldn't be able to hold a large duck or goose and the winner would. The owner then told the judge that his Chessie was a Field Champion. Since the vast majority of conformation judges of retrievers no longer hunt, or anything close to hunting, again, this is an opportunity for potential judges to actually see what retrievers that are fulfilling the original purpose of the breeds look like.
Sure we aren't going to change the way the world runs, but the reasoning behind the breed standards is to have a healthy, athletic, structurally sound dog and this is one way to educate more persons as to what that actually entails.
Re Barb's photo of the early Miss America contestants---I suspect that the majority of those in the early swimsuits could be just as competitive in today's swimsuits---and with no artificial enhancements!
This is probably a good comparison ... change the hairdo & the clothing, and the form beneathe is not so very different? But in our dogs, at least in some cases, it's more than the "accessories" that have changed.Quote:
Re Barb's photo of the early Miss America contestants---I suspect that the majority of those in the early swimsuits could be just as competitive in today's swimsuits
There is a difference between correct conformation that meets the standard and winning in the conformation ring. Goldens that show may or may not have correct conformation just as field dogs may or may not have correct conformation. However, there is certainly a difference in the style of the dogs and their ability to perform the tasks the standard says they are bred to do. IMHO, a hunting dog that cannot hunt is not a correct representative of the breed.
All the Standards leave some room for "interpretation" ... and that's where we get into trouble :-) There is a broad range of appearance that can meet the Standard (for conformation), but there is some whimsy in what "interpretation" may become the trend in conformation. The conformation of a working dog is constrained (in a good way) by purpose to stay within certain parameters of the possible range of interpretation of appearance. When purpose doesn't get factored into the assessment the range of interpretation can be much broader, and may tend to overly focus on one feature (like head or coat or "otter tail", etc.) and fail to consider the total package.
Then we do get into the aspect of breed "type" that Amy refers to. The very simplest definition of type is that appearance that assures you that the dog you are looking at is a Golden (or a Lab, or a Chessie, etc.) Years ago, I knew a dog who competed in obedience that looked very much like a Chessie. It was not a pedigree that was familiar to me (I think it may have been a BYB). When you saw the dog, you really had to study him to decide whether he was a Golden or a Chessie. Mostly the confusion was due to his medium-gold coat that was very curly; and his body type resembled some good-looking Chessie field dogs with the more level topline. His facial expression was that of a Golden.
The perennial debate in conformation circles is how to place appropriate weight on "type" v. structure/purpose. Glenda's work in getting demo dogs for judges' seminars from among the field competitors allows judges to see a different interpretation (people are now calling that "style") of type that is STILL acceptable within the parameters of defining a dog as a Golden (or Lab, etc.). The goal is to inform conformation judges that there may be a dog in their ring tomorrow that may not look like all the others ... but that "different" dog may be just as "correct" as the other dogs in the ring (and might even have some structural attributes and musculature that is superior to the other dogs).
Getting the judges to actually see the dogs working can give them a much better perspective on how "type" should conform to purpose. Then you will get the argument that field trials are too extreme to be compared to the breed's hunting purpose. True, field trials are the penultimate demonstration of the skills needed for hunting. It's hard for me to believe that the professional level skills of the field trial dog could not make a good hunting dog. It's sort of like saying that Peyton Manning is too extreme in his skills to play college football :-) Not to mention that some field trial dogs get to vacation ... being hunting dawgs :-)
Home run post Gerry.
I really don't think that we will ever see another Dual CH though.
The sport of Field trials has become more and more difficult.
I think that the best we can hope for is CH Master Hunter or CH ***.
I'm not being a poop just a realist.