Good stuff right there Marvin,thanks for your insight!!!Hopin a lot of the younger crowd is takin this in.....Jimjd - i've erased the quote for ease of answering -
Heres a few things I`ve noticed about what has been going on in the last 30 yrs.
An influx of cruciate ligament tears. Somewhat bigger dogs, longer tests, more training - I have always been partial to smaller dogs - Code Blue, Watergator Sam, Paha Sapa Chief size - they hold up well over their lifetimes.
Cancer is more prevalent - When it strikes a high profile dog we notice it more - I would say because of a lot of use of a limited gene pool we are seeing more conditions - food allergy, skeletal, CNM - in the old days the best local stud was bred to the best local bitch, pups went to the good trainers, sometimes that worked, but we actually saw the dogs so knew their issues.
Markin ability is better - I started in '63, the guy that taught me a lot of what I know was a guy named Bob Sparks who owned at the time a pup named Moon - In my days of watching dogs I have never seen a dog that could consistently mark better - on occasion dogs like Ray's Rascal & Corky could come close or equal, but none better. 9 Derbies, 30 points, 5 wins, 1 second, 1 third, 2 greenies against some very high powered Derby dogs - I've ran against Lean Mac, trained with & ran against Charmain -
Trainability is better - training tools & techniques are better - help is more available - people who know are willing to share what they know - people have more leisure time to devote to this pursuit
Ability to get in water has greatly diminished! (this has me concerned) - Don't agree, water for training is at a premium - unless you have the knack of reading dogs it is an easy part of the process to screw up - I have seen some great water dogs all through my trialing experience.
now realize this is a generalized statement and I don`t get a ton of super well bred FT bred dogs through here to work with also.