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Thread: Why no english looking labs loaded with FC/AFC pedigree's

  1. #1
    Senior Member mtncntrykid's Avatar
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    Default Why no english looking labs loaded with FC/AFC pedigree's

    Is it because the field trials are structured specifically for speed? Have we geared the breeding toward the long lean athletic no body fat look with the requirements to win?

    While I agree that the show ring in todays world seems to favor overweight dogs, the dogs of past (as pictured in the Westminster thread) were in my opinion the best of both worlds and represented the breed to perfection. Seems to me that we should be able to find dogs with that confirmation that can have loaded pedigree's.

    Am I wrong?

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    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    yes
    And I'd wager you know little to nothing of field trial dogs or field trials for that mater.
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    Senior Member Sabireley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtncntrykid View Post
    Is it because the field trials are structured specifically for speed? Have we geared the breeding toward the long lean athletic no body fat look with the requirements to win?

    While I agree that the show ring in todays world seems to favor overweight dogs, the dogs of past (as pictured in the Westminster thread) were in my opinion the best of both worlds and represented the breed to perfection. Seems to me that we should be able to find dogs with that confirmation that can have loaded pedigree's.

    Am I wrong?
    You're not wrong but Field Trials produce a winner each weekend. People who want to have a shot at winning buy puppies from parents with titles or track record of being able to do the work. That work includes staying healthy during years of daily, tough training, seeing long distances, swimming and running very long distances in harsh conditions, and being very trainable and biddable yet also able to work independently. The dogs and training methods are so good that the tests have become extreme in an effort to find a clear winner. This focus on winning in the American field trial venue has resulted in the type you see the most at weekend tests and trials. The dog work at this level is nothing short of awe inspiring and does produce remarkable animals whose form follows the function for which they were bred. Since the venue is based solely on performance, appearance does not come into play when awarding titles. Though many of them look like the field trial dogs of old, some of which were dual champions.

    Conversely, the conformation venue produces a winner each weekend. People who want to have a shot at winning buy puppies from parents with titles or a track record of winning in this venue. The venue is judged on appearance alone so performance or proven ability to retrieve does not come into play when awarding titles. There seems to be very little interest from either group to participate in the other venue. As long as winning in either venue is of primary importance, and the parent club allows the judging to continue unchanged, there will never be a dual champion.

    I'll add that I think it is the popularity of the breed that is part of the problem. People who would never buy a hunting dog to hunt buy labs (and goldens), so they have no clue what the dog was bred to do and what "working condition" means. It is less about the English or American lineage and more about accentuating some traits to the detriment of others. You might think that selecting primarily on performance would result in the desired type and conformation.
    Last edited by Sabireley; 02-16-2014 at 10:02 PM.

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    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Field trials are not geared toward speed. I've never seen a stopwatch at a trial. Judges do like to see style however, but it isn't the same thing. I think a lot of the dogs are lean because we keep them that way. That, and when dogs work that hard on a daily basis, it's hard to get enough food in them that the aren't lean.
    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

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    Senior Member mtncntrykid's Avatar
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    Sabireley,
    Thirty years ago when I was trialing, we were breeding our dog to be lean and small structured because they looked so much faster in the field. Seemed (intentionally or not) that the judges were impressed with the little speedsters. Todays field trial dogs seem to cater to the tall , longer structured dogs.
    Are the field trials so demanding these days that a dog with some percentage of body fat cannot complete the tests?

    Thank You for the response - Some of us learn by asking questions.

    Buzz,

    Thanks as well. Maybe I should change the word "lean" to "lanky". Style to me would be as I explained about little dogs for the speedy look. The look today strikes me more as big and powerful. Style or Performance?

    Breck,
    You were absolutely no help at all so I won't ask you anymore questions.
    Last edited by mtncntrykid; 02-16-2014 at 10:02 PM.

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    Senior Member mtncntrykid's Avatar
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    "that the tests have become extreme in an effort to find a clear winner"

    This makes most sense to me.

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    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtncntrykid View Post
    Sabireley,

    Buzz,

    Thanks as well. Maybe I should change the word "lean" to "lanky". Style to me would be as I explained about little dogs for the speedy look. The look today strikes me more as big and powerful. Style or Performance?
    I prefer to describe it as athletic looking. If I were to use a football analogy, we aren't breeding linemen. We're breeding athletes to play the more skilled positions. The lineman types aren't going to have the stamina to go all day long in challenging conditions.

    Oh, a lot of intelligence and biddable personality goes a long way too.
    Last edited by Buzz; 02-16-2014 at 09:58 PM.
    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

    Raven - Moneybird's Black Magic Marker***
    (Esprit's Power Play x Trumarc's Lean Cuisine)
    Mick - Moneybird's Jumpin' Jack Flash***
    (Clubmead's Road Warrior x Oakdale Whitewater Devil Dog)
    Peerless - Moneybird's Sole Survivor
    (Two River's Lucky Willie x Moneybird's Black Magic Marker)

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    Senior Member Scott Shafer's Avatar
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    For the most part most show Labs lack the drive, desire, Prey drive needed for FC/AFC work.........now that doesn't mean that there can never be a FC CH AFC ( not sure which title would come 1st..lol ) but that would have to be one very, very special dog.... IMHO.....

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    Senior Member mtncntrykid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Shafer View Post
    For the most part most show Labs lack the drive, desire, Prey drive needed for FC/AFC work.........now that doesn't mean that there can never be a FC CH AFC ( not sure which title would come 1st..lol ) but that would have to be one very, very special dog.... IMHO.....
    Is this because it has been breed out of them over the years? It seems that from 30 years ago to today a very small gap has become the grand canyon.

    Now that I am retired I thought I might play the game again but wow, there is a big difference.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sabireley's Avatar
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    Athletic is the right description. Go to a trial this Spring and watch the Open stake. The first series is usually impressive because of the complex tasks the successful dogs complete. The fourth series can add to that complexity substantial swims in harsh conditions ( cold temperatures, crosswind, cover, lily pads, multiple entries, rugged terrain, etc). A dog that trains to do this kind of work does not carrying any extra weight around. Some are small and speedy, some are big and strong, and some are in between. Vision, intelligence, trainability, stamina, and a big heart are equally important. Many years of selecting on performance OR appearance has increased the gap you mentioned.
    Last edited by Sabireley; 02-16-2014 at 10:22 PM.

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