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Thread: Show vs. Field enlightenment

  1. #1
    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    Default Show vs. Field enlightenment

    I, along with all of you can't understand the split.

    The show type dog can't do the field work. But they consistently win for how they look. The people producing the show type dogs are working hard and have spent many years trying to get that look. I'm sure they are very dedicated to their "game" and know what they want. The show judges are rewarding their efforts. The standard has been changed fairly recently according to what I read here.

    Labrador retrievers have been around for a long time. Long before they came here and ended up in field trials. There's a connection to Newfoundland dogs. Depending what version of history you read Labs came from them or they came from Labs. The show people always talk about coat and otter tails for water work. There's usually a reference somewhere to Labs helping fishermen.

    Maybe the show people are trying to produce a dog that was around in the 1800's or earlier. Pre field trial if you will, or whenever pre field trial was.

    I read something yesterday on the internet after a link from RTF along these lines but can't find it again.

    It is about the only plausible explanation I can see to explain the difference between the field and show Labradors. Old type and new type Labrador retrievers.
    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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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Lash View Post
    ....The show people always talk about coat and otter tails for water work. There's usually a reference somewhere to Labs helping fishermen.....
    Our Human ideas about what should work, are flawed.

    What works is what works.

    If you want to produce what works, you need to forget what you think should work, and select for what actually does work.

    The Show Ring is the opposite.
    They define what works by what they decide should work, and then they select and breed for those traits until they are grossly exaggerated.

    This is what produces flat-faced Pugs and Bulldogs that need surgery in order to breathe, and frog-legged German Shepherds that have useless rear legs.

    No breed is immune to this inevitable outcome.

    The breeds that still have an actual purpose in life, are the ones that eventually split.
    Because, in order to continue producing dogs that can actually DO the work that the breed was intended to do, they HAVE TO part ways with what the Show Ring eventually produces.
    Last edited by copterdoc; 02-23-2014 at 10:08 AM.
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    Right on copterdoc. John there are lots of good books out there w/pictures of the 1850-70s working English Labs. See w/your own eyes how todays show Labs have diverged. Start w/Wolters.

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    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    If you want to produce what works, you need to forget what you think should work, and select for what actually does work.
    Nice concept if it works! James Lamb Free has pics of Labs, etc in his book. One I have singled out looks like our old hunting Lab when we are kids. It no way does the pic from the book or Blackie1 resemble the show Lab of today. I don't really admire what the show people are doing to their Labs in spite of all their care b/c it can't be healthy nor does it exhibit a working Lab!IMO
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    I know that the VDD has their own issues, but I admire that there is no apparent divide between working and "show" (even though I'm not sure that there is such a thing for them) dogs. Each Deutsch Drahthaar carries hunt test results and a score for coat and conformation.

    Of course I went the other direction and have a golden...

  6. #6
    Senior Member .44 magnum's Avatar
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    Because both sides in this issue choose to not enter each others game the split happens. Only 60 or so Dual Champs have happened in Labrador History .

    The only issue one can have with the Westminster judge is her interpretation of the standard. A NFC field Champ was not present at Westminster. He or she would have looked very different then the winner and also be not to standard.

    What is the task of a Show Labrador. When in the ring he must have a calm temperament, not be barking, and just trot down and back and stack and be examined.

    A National Field Champ must compete and show athletic ability, marking, trust, attention, intelligence, scenting, running ability, swimming ability, etc.

    On rare occasions you get a dual Champion. But it takes the want of the owner to go for it. Some have the time and money to do it if they have the right dog.

    What is the real shame today is in the show side a want to keep putting more substance into a small package restricted for height. It makes for a non-athletic look. All Labradors, both field and show should have an ability to have fun hunting and running in the fields or woods and be able to swim. Sadly many Show Labradors are put with a Professional handler who drags them to shows in a van and live in a hotel room or worse their metal crates out in the van. Pro handlers know what judges look for, fatten up dogs before a show if the judge likes substance. Even owner/ handlers know the type a judge likes. They won't enter an event unless they think they have a chance to win.

    The show dogs also produce extremely calm pets and companions. Many families who own one of these Show types would never give them up. Breeding for temperament in a correct Labrador should be the hallmark of a good breeder. What is correct has a wide range in todays Labrador.

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    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    As I said earlier, I can't understand the split. It makes absolutely no sense to have the show lab be the representative for what Labs are or should be.

    You don't need to be a judge to see that they couldn't run around very long. I'm sure the breeders are intelligent. I'm sure the judges are intelligent. I thought that it might make sense if they envisioned a dog with a different purpose than we do.

    I think anyone would agree that both types couldn't serve the same purpose.

    Why not officially have two separate breeds then? Don't know that there's enough time in a dog's life to do both though.
    Last edited by John Lash; 02-23-2014 at 12:49 PM.
    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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    Senior Member Swack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swliszka View Post
    Right on copterdoc. John there are lots of good books out there w/pictures of the 1850-70s working English Labs. See w/your own eyes how todays show Labs have diverged. Start w/Wolters.
    swliszka,

    I wish what you say was true about lots of good books with pictures from the 1850 - 70s of working English (British) Labs. But, sadly it's not. The earliest photographic technology wasn't invented until the 1840's. The earliest photographs of Labs I'm aware of are from 1867. They are of Lord Home's Nan & Nell. The next earliest photograph of a Lab I know of is of Buccleuch Avon, who was born in 1885. He is known to be one of the founders of the breed. The only other photograph I know of a Lab prior to 1900 is of a Lab named Brayton Sir Richard. If you know of others I'd be interested in seeing them. Let me know.

    There's been much discussion about the proper height of the Labrador on the forum lately. Here's a quote that may lend some historical perspective to the size of the earliest Labradors. It comes from a book entitled The Labrador Dog; Its Home and History by Lord George Scott and Sir John Middleton, published in 1936. I believe the following quote is from the Buccleuch family game book. The 6th Duke of Buccleuch was Lord George Scott's father. The quote is referring to two dogs given to the 6th Duke of Buccleuch by the 3rd Earl of Malmesbury. Ned and Avon are among a handful of St. John's waterdogs who became the founders of the Labrador retriever.

    Ned was a compact little dog of perfect shape, about nineteen inches; Avon was slightly larger, perhaps nearer twenty inches and a lovely little dog in his prime.”

    Swack
    Last edited by Swack; 02-23-2014 at 04:11 PM.
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    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swack View Post
    Ned was a compact little dog of perfect shape, about nineteen inches; Avon was slightly larger, perhaps nearer twenty inches and a lovely little dog in his prime.”

    Swack
    Funny Swack..I read that the other day too..made me think about what I was taught. My mentor, now deceased, had the more classical type of labs. They did show and they did hunt. Regardless, she told me once, "If you can't get your dog in a john boat on the water, the dog is too big."

    I've always kept that in the back of my head when breeding. My boy is 75 pounds. I can get him in the boat. If he was much larger, I'd be swimming with him! My youngest girl is 55 pounds and under the height standard by a half to and inch I'd guess. I'd like her a little taller, but she's a tough little girl and persistent. I like that about her. She's been looked at a couple of different times to get measured in the ring. Will be interesting to see if she ever finishes because she's definitely not a huge girl. Ah well, she likes birds!
    Sue Puffenbarger
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    In a Labrador Filed Trial dog the only thing that matters relative to the show side is if your puppy has white between the paws from Dual CH Banchory Bolo (1915-27)
    banchoryboloanddescendants.jpg
    .
    bolo1.jpg
    "Darla" AFC Candlewoods Lil Smokin Tequila (2002-2013)(fondly remembered)
    "Smoke" Smokin Auggies Menace, QAA (2003- )(retired nut case, ask Rando)
    "Simba" Humewood Simba (1999-2014)(my 1st dog)

    .
    Per favore, non mi rompere i coglioni.
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