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Thread: Labradors - are we splitting the breed?

  1. #141
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Looking at hind limb structure, many field dogs are too straight behind...and many show dogs are over-angulated and sickle-hocked to the point of losing power and drive. Again, extremes....but different in their existence. It's not all that common for field trial breeders to look hard at rear structure and make breeding decisions with that in mind (it's way down the list, as a rule)...while many of the show dog folks select for the over angled extreme. One side ignores it, the other side over-does it.

    Having said that, I do believe there is a correlation between too-straight hind limb structure and CCL tears. However, one also has to take into consideration the work the dog is doing. A hard running athlete is more likely to injure itself than a dog that does no strenuous work. I've seen some show dogs that are so over-angluated in the hocks that I'd expect plantar ligament issues if stressed. And if you really want to see a show dog that is ruined in the rear, take a look at the horrible hocks on the Gordon Setters...yikes! Some of them almost make the show German Shepard Dogs look normal.
    Last edited by Sharon Potter; 05-24-2013 at 04:34 PM.
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  2. #142
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    I believe that there is more involved in CCL tears than conformation, they were relatively uncommon 25-30 years ago, I believe there is a genetically based predisposition that will hopefully be identified by DNA analysis. Familial history suggests there is a genetic component.

  3. #143
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    I believe that there is more involved in CCL tears than conformation, they were relatively uncommon 25-30 years ago, I believe there is a genetically based predisposition that will hopefully be identified by DNA analysis. Familial history suggests there is a genetic component.
    Dr. Ed, I agree...there's more to it and very likely a genetic component. Any possibility that genetic component could also be structural? Today's field dogs tend to be straighter behind than they were a few decades back. Just a random thought...
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  4. #144
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    Sharon
    I am working with a show bred Gordon that makes me dizzy when he is moving away. Granted he is young (12 mos), but he is very narrow and his legs are all over the place...
    If the field breeders would pay more attention to movement and balance it would go a long way. I personally feel that the HEART (guts,tenacity,will) of the field bred dog overcomes the short comings of the structure.

    Dr Ed as a long time participant, what is your experience with arthritis and other joint issues in the older dog. Have you found straighter, post legged dogs (front and rear) might be retiring earlier? Is the any correlation to work longevity to structure?
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  5. #145
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Potter View Post
    Dr. Ed, I agree...there's more to it and very likely a genetic component. Any possibility that genetic component could also be structural? Today's field dogs tend to be straighter behind than they were a few decades back. Just a random thought...
    Structural is an ill defined factor. Perhaps weak or deficient cruciate ligaments but stifle angulation I doubt partially based on my own dogs now in the sixth generation. Also there is an immune mediated theory so mostly we just have speculation.

  6. #146
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    Structural is an ill defined factor. Perhaps weak or deficient cruciate ligaments but stifle angulation I doubt partially based on my own dogs now in the sixth generation. Also there is an immune mediated theory so mostly we just have speculation.
    Interesting. I enjoy hearing your thoughts on the subject. I'll be very curious to see what comes up in the research in the future. All I've based my theory on is the number of dogs I've seen, said to myself "there's a CCL just waiting to blow" and eventually, I hear it happened and was repaired. I'm going to take a wild guess and say I've said that about 50 dogs, and approximately 75% of those have eventually had cruciate repairs.
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  7. #147
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget Bodine View Post
    Sharon
    I am working with a show bred Gordon that makes me dizzy when he is moving away. Granted he is young (12 mos), but he is very narrow and his legs are all over the place...
    If the field breeders would pay more attention to movement and balance it would go a long way. I personally feel that the HEART (guts,tenacity,will) of the field bred dog overcomes the short comings of the structure.
    Bridget, I've seen some show Gordons who were almost walking on their hocks. All to get that overstretched, sloping topline and camped out pose...and they move like a trainwreck. Such a difference from the field Gordons....another breed split.

    And I agree that the heart and desire often overcome structural deficiencies. In the end, without heart, we have nothing.
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  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by tall View Post
    So what does an Otter Tail have to do with either performance or structure? Appears to me to be pure vanity in a human conceived idea of beauty. I will say most, if not all, of the top field dogs I have seen have nothing like an otter tail. Show dogs are never seen without one.
    I agree, otter tail = snail tail. Show Labrador dogs SUCK in the field. The breed isn't being spilt. It is split. Any one thinks today's "Bench Champion" can become a FC, prove me wrong.
    What its prominence suggest, and what all science confirms is that the dog is a creature of the nose- A. Horowitz.

  9. #149
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    The dogs use their tail as a rudder when swimming. So, at least in theory, a thicker tail, heavier at the base, adds stability and strength to the "rudder". And yeah, I know all the thinner tailed dogs can swim...but we'll never know if they'd be better with the otter tail.
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  10. #150
    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
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    This whole argument get so old. To each his own. I and my circle of breeder friends choose to breed moderate dogs who can spend the day hunting with their owners. Can they do field trials? Probably not. Do they have double coats and a rudder? Yes. Can they live in the house and lay at their owners feet and relax and be ready to go in a minute? Yes. Do they look like a lab? Yes.

    Do they win in the show ring? Yes, but it's really hard and takes a long time. Do they get to MH level? Yes. Does a dog need to be a CH or an AFC/FC to be a good hunting partner? No. Are there extremes on both sides? Yes. Labradors shouldn't look like greyhounds and have curved tails. Labradors shouldn't be so short they can't cover ground effortlessly. Labs shouldn't need a vest in the cold weather because they should have a tight DOUBLE coat. They shouldn't have a long coat.

    My dogs are from long lived, classic lines, with minimal health problems, no lines are clear of everything. They can hunt, do agility, do obedience, be a couch potato. I have a bitch from my last litter that is working on her OTCH. I kept one that is halfway to her CH/MH. Two others are with families with kids that swim them in the Chesapeake bay everyday.

    I don't think we should split the breed. But REALLY, can't you appreciate some of the things that make Labs, Labs? Both sides have great qualities.

    Isn't the lab supposed to do it all? Isn't that the reason they've been number one for 10+ years unfortunately? Come on people....keep an open mind.

    Sue Puff
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