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Thread: Labrador Breed Standard

  1. #21
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    In line with the messages here ...

    When the LRC changed the standard the last time (early 90's), there was concern about the legitimacy of the LRC actions. For one thing, a noted historian of the breed was on the Standard Committee but was not invited to any of the meetings. Instead, a small set of the Committee met and worked out the changes. When the issue of height was concerned, they simply measured the host's dogs and said that was about right.

    The standard was presented to AKC Board and Delegate body folks said, "Whoa. We didn't know anything about this." The AKC Board sent the standard back to the LRC for re-doing the vote.

    At about the same time, the gentleman who was excluded from the meetings started talking to his home club (LRC of the Potomac) and they filed suit. The suit failed and the second vote was allowed to stand or to go forward, can't remember the sequence of events here At that time, the excluded member started a somewhat tongue in cheek movement to have the Labrador Retriever split into two breeds....the Labrador Retriever and the American Field Trial Retriever.

    I suspect, though I don't know for a fact, that the folks who call the Labs in the show ring "pigs", don't have any fact-based idea on what the Labrador Retriever really looked like when it traveled from the U.K to the US. While the argument can be made that the show dog is a plump caricature of a Lab, many of the dogs in the field are simply at the other end of the continuum.
    Eric

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  2. #22
    Junior Member dogdaddy's Avatar
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    The credibility of the breed standard (which is set by the LRC not the AKC)went out the window when they increased the height by 1 inch twice, once in 1987 and again in 1994. They did so in response to class action lawsuits filed by East coast breed clubs whose dogs were being DQ'd for AKC show events for being too tall inspite of the overage allowance. The LRC failed to stand up and make breeders breed to the existing standard which used to be the same as the original standard as set by the Kennel Club(of England). Not passing judgement on the LRC as I am sure I do not have all the info that they had when they caved in and made these monumental changes. Just my two cents on "their" breed standard. Dogs that fit the low end of the original standard technically are unfit for the show ring as the height range was not expanded at only the high end but raised at the low end as well. I am old school and feel that it should be changed back to the original height range.

  3. #23
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    I'm sitting with the 1995 copyright of The Official Book of the Labrador Labrador Retriever (LRC, Inc in yellow) and I'm seeing a very gradual change in the show Labrador Retriever from the early days of the late 1920s to mid 1980s. Then a very distinct change from the mid 80s to 90s.
    One of the first photos is of, what I think, a great looking bitch in CH-Tabathas Dodena of Franklin.
    I would venture to guess that a huge majority of Lab folks, both show and field, would say that this bitch was a field bred Lab. That is, if she were alive today. She has a moderately structured head with what seems to be a very "field like" snout. Then I turned and found a photo of 12 time BIS CH-Briggs (p.16). He too has a moderate head and snout, as does Dual Ch-NFTCH-Shed of Arden (p.18). I find it ironic that as I work my way thru the book, once I pass the section on "Famous Show Labradors" and 13 time BIS CH-Rick, I begin to first notice a change in the show Lab's head structure, wide between the eyes with short snout, at or about page 300.

    With all of the talk about the height and weight, am I accurate in assuming that the "pig"/"Rottweiler" comparisons may be inferring that the new show champion's boxy head is a major issue as well?

    I'll try to figure out a way to post pics.
    Last edited by David Maddox; 02-23-2014 at 11:41 AM.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaddy View Post
    The credibility of the breed standard (which is set by the LRC not the AKC)went out the window when they increased the height by 1 inch twice, once in 1987 and again in 1994. They did so in response to class action lawsuits filed by East coast breed clubs whose dogs were being DQ'd for AKC show events for being too tall inspite of the overage allowance. The LRC failed to stand up and make breeders breed to the existing standard which used to be the same as the original standard as set by the Kennel Club(of England). Not passing judgement on the LRC as I am sure I do not have all the info that they had when they caved in and made these monumental changes. Just my two cents on "their" breed standard. Dogs that fit the low end of the original standard technically are unfit for the show ring as the height range was not expanded at only the high end but raised at the low end as well. I am old school and feel that it should be changed back to the original height range.
    I believe your history may be selective. In the UK, there has been a similar evolution & split between the working Labrador & the bench Labrador, confirmed by a similar, glaring lack of dual champions. This UK evolution is approximately 75 years prior to the beginnings of US split. Early sketches of the original breed in the UK show a taller dog that is fit for working, showing a disparity between the working dogs and their bench counterparts in succeeding years. Your look at history begins much too late & ignores the breed origins in the UK. And don't forget, virtually all of the Labradors which were the early DC's in the US had UK heritage that goes directly to dogs that met the Kennel Club std.
    David Didier, GA

  5. #25
    Senior Member Jeffrey Towler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Maddox View Post
    I'm sitting with the 1995 copyright of The Official Book of the Labrador Labrador Retriever (LRC, Inc in yellow) and I'm seeing a very gradual change in the show Labrador Retriever from the early days of the late 1920s to mid 1980s. Then a very distinct change from the mid 80s to 90s.
    One of the first photos is of, what I think, a great looking bitch in CH-Tabathas Dodena of Franklin.
    I would venture to guess that a huge majority of Lab folks, both show and field, would say that this bitch was a field bred Lab. That is, if she were alive today. She has a moderately structured head with what seems to be a very "field like" snout. Then I turned and found a photo of 12 time BIS CH-Briggs (p.16). He too has a moderate head and snout, as does Dual Ch-NFTCH-Shed of Arden (p.18). I find it ironic that as I work my way thru the book, once I pass the section on "Famous Show Labradors" and 13 time BIS CH-Rick, I begin to first notice a change in the show Lab's head structure, wide between the eyes with short snout, at or about page 300.

    With all of the talk about the height and weight, am I accurate in assuming that the "pig"/"Rottweiler" comparisons may be inferring that the new show champion's boxy head is a major issue as well?

    I'll try to figure out a way to post pics.
    Thanks David. I am looking forward to the photos.

    JT

  6. #26
    Senior Member Swack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaddy View Post
    The credibility of the breed standard (which is set by the LRC not the AKC)went out the window when they increased the height by 1 inch twice, once in 1987 and again in 1994. They did so in response to class action lawsuits filed by East coast breed clubs whose dogs were being DQ'd for AKC show events for being too tall inspite of the overage allowance. The LRC failed to stand up and make breeders breed to the existing standard which used to be the same as the original standard as set by the Kennel Club(of England). Not passing judgement on the LRC as I am sure I do not have all the info that they had when they caved in and made these monumental changes. Just my two cents on "their" breed standard. Dogs that fit the low end of the original standard technically are unfit for the show ring as the height range was not expanded at only the high end but raised at the low end as well. I am old school and feel that it should be changed back to the original height range.
    dogdaddy,

    The statement highlighted above didn't ring true to me, so I went to my library and got out my first Labrador breed book entitled The Labrador Retriever by Dorothy Howe, published in 1984. The Labrador standard is written on pages 214-215. Here's what the standard from 1984 says: "The Height at Shoulders: Dogs - 22 1/2 inches to 24 1/2 inches; bitches- 21 1/2 inches to 23 1/2 inches.

    I checked the Lab standard today on-line. Following is the current standard for height: Size--The height at the withers for a dog is 22½ to 24½ inches; for a bitch is 21½ to 23½ inches.

    There's been no change in the standard for the height of the Labrador retriever in the past thirty years. Has the standard earned back any credibility?

    Swack
    Jeff Swackhamer

  7. #27
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    OK a bit discombobulated but here are a few observations.

    No way Tabathas could be confused with a FT dog.
    However Shed of Arden is a different story.
    Little clip showing Shed and his Hall of Fame descendants down through Harley & Abe
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3E-253nINk
    .
    and the bench saying we've turned labs into "Pin Heads" is meaningless. I think they've created the block heads.

    Here is a pin head from 1938.
    Blind of Arden, cover of Life Magazine, 75 years ago. Winner of first retriever test way back when out on Long Island.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/LIFE-MAGAZIN...item4ad00f3849
    .
    Pic of Blind & Decoy from the 30's.
    http://caninechronicle.com/wp-conten...-and-Decoy.jpg
    .
    .
    .
    as far as the so called British look you hear today, well they didn't look "that" way back then.
    Here is a pic of 2 dogs from King George V's Sandringham kennel shown at Cruft's in 1925. Look anything like any FC you've seen? Yes!
    http://caninechronicle.com/wp-conten...ge-V-1932-.jpg
    .
    .
    I arbitrarily picked a UK Labrador Gundog website from the UK I just found after a 1 minute search.
    Look at their dogs. If you saw any of them going to line at a FT here you wouldn't know the difference.
    especially this one...http://fernshotgundogs.co.uk/images/...derheyEvan.jpg
    .
    http://www.fernshotgundogs.co.uk/Pho...pg&startFrom=0
    .

    etc etc

    edit
    I guess I found a pretty good UK Gundog trainers website above. Looked a little deeper and here's a video of one of his dogs running down a pricked cock pheasant runner.
    Pretty impressive.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5wu3VCKrpM
    Last edited by Breck; 02-23-2014 at 01:17 PM.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member .44 magnum's Avatar
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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'll take Loch Mor Romeo over any Field Lab or Show dog today. he is top dog in Europe. In my eyes he is a perfect or close to it in a Labrador. One able to go for hours hunting both upland and waterfowl. Put an excellent temperament with that and correct coat, tail, top and bottom lines, as well as a perfect otter tail he screams Labrador to the standard. Not one Field Lab lover would agree with me. The English crowd at Crufts certainly see him as a true Labrador.

    Watch a Labrador go one dog short of winning Crufts. The crowd loved him. Listen to what the commentators say. Romeo is a special dog. He is big, yet in balance. Watch the speed his owner handler shows him at, and Romeo moves fluidly with no effort.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS2dUCZhmcs

  9. #29
    Senior Member Jeffrey Towler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .44 magnum View Post
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'll take Loch Mor Romeo over any Field Lab or Show dog today. he is top dog in Europe. In my eyes he is a perfect or close to it in a Labrador. One able to go for hours hunting both upland and waterfowl. Put an excellent temperament with that and correct coat, tail, top and bottom lines, as well as a perfect otter tail he screams Labrador to the standard. Not one Field Lab lover would agree with me. The English crowd at Crufts certainly see him as a true Labrador.

    Watch a Labrador go one dog short of winning Crufts. The crowd loved him. Listen to what the commentators say. Romeo is a special dog. He is big, yet in balance. Watch the speed his owner handler shows him at, and Romeo moves fluidly with no effort.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS2dUCZhmcs
    How do you know he can hunt for hours?

  10. #30
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    At 8:24 the commentators said they'd gotten a lot of tweets saying he was "quite chunky."
    John Lash

    "If you run Field Trials, you learn to swallow your disappointment quickly."

    "Field trials are not a game for good dogs. They're for great dogs with great training." E. Graham

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