My friend acquired the book GOLDEN RETRIEVERS RESEARCH INTO THE FIRST CENTURY IN THE SHOW RING. We looked at it yesterday. It is a very interesting book which includes several photos through the years of well known Goldens.
We noticed a few things. First, there were Dual Champions in the past. Second, even the show dogs (In UK and USA) in the past with no field titles had quite a field look to them, evident in their coat, feathering, weight, leg and head. For those who have not seen these photos, get a look at the book. Third, as we thumbed through the book you could see the change as the photos progressed from older times to more modern times.
My friend is an old timer and has been involved in Goldens for 50 years. When we looked at some of the photos of the more current show dogs his comment was "Imagine hunting that dog all day. It couldn't last. And think about picking the burrs out of that coat at the end of the day."
I feel that for any working dog, any breed---there is quite a big difference between the dog that can do the work (a few retrieves for a training session) and the dog that can work for several hours and come back for more the next day. Believe me, I have seen dogs from many breeds at hunt tests that I don't think can work all day.
OK, so there were show dogs and field dogs in the past, just like the present. Why was a split in type not evident in the past but is evident now?
I am interested in all comments but especially from old timers who have witnessed the change.