Sharon, Don't forget the Irish Setter
I agree that beauty pageant is a better description of what conformation has morphed into rather than sport.
As for your question, I think that is the most productive thing people can do is to try to figure out realistically how to change things. There are no easy answers, but in my opinion the change has to come from the rank and file. (Rhetorical question coming up) How many are members of LRCA, and after the debacle at Westminster wrote/called/emailed the board of LRCA to express their dismay at what the BOB lab looked like? The membership of LRCA needs to let the parent club know how upset they are with the direction the breed has taken in the conformation ring. The LRCA is the ultimate authority on what is happening.
If enough people raise hell with LRCA, perhaps they will begin to address the issue by educating the judges as to how to judge a labrador, and educate the clubs as to how to select judges who know what a labrador should look like. The parent clubs are responsible for educating the judges.
People will breed for what wins in the ring. If the judges are educated as to what a proper Labrador should be, and then pressured to judge accordingly by not getting any judging assignments otherwise, perhaps the Labradors can start to swing back a more realistic dog for their function.
There has been progress in the conformation Goldens that way. Plus some very strong advocates for the breed, a few of whom are members of this forum.
CH Rosewood Little Giant VCD2 UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP MFP T2BP TD DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG
also UCH HR UH UUD NN UJJ URO1 UHIT
(golden retriever) born 3-10-07
a.k.a. "Tito", "The Tito Monster"
If I/we/you can't continue to advance our methods that focus on making training easier to learn/less painful for the dogs, we have no right to be training them. (Alec Sparks)
FTCH AFTCH NOREMAC'S UNDERTAKER (DIGGER)
-2016 (Can) National Retriever Championship Finalist
-2015 #2 (Can) All Age Retriever
-2014 (Can) National Retriever Championship Finalist
-2012 (Can) National Amateur Retriever Championship Finalist
AFTCH BARFLY'S DEADLY AIM (SNIPER)
-2011 (Can)High Point Junior (Derby) Champion
I'm glad to see that a few breeds are getting back toward functionality, like Barb mentioned with the Goldens. I love seeing a dog that looks like it could do its job in the field, like this year's Golden at Westminster. Some English Setters are heading that way too, with owners working toward show and field with some success. One that really makes me laugh is when they say the haircut on a standard poodle comes from the days when it needed to retrieve, to keep the joints warm. How about leaving all the hair and keeping the whole dog warm?
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers...too many to list.
I will repeat this but not give out the name of the owner. A person who is in to Goldens does field show and agility work. He went to one ot the Golden specialties and along with other stuff had entered a dog to get its confirmation certificate. The dog failed. The dog went on to get quite a few show ribbons, Dont know if it made CH.
"Communism only works in Heaven, where they don't need it, and in Hell, where they already have it" Ronald Reagan
The American Border Collie Association fought against akc recognition for years and finally lost in 1995. They still feel it will distroy their true quality and working instinct. Still a lot of the working breeders have kept their stick from being registered with the akc.