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Thread: Labradors - are we splitting the breed?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by vergy View Post
    I think you'll find that the show dog may be closer to the actual breed standard than many trial type dogs. Go back and read the history of the Labrador retriever. They were medium sized dogs built strong in legs, chest, head etc. I care very much about the looks of my dogs. I have seen many dogs that perform in some sort of game or another and they are gettinq quite unattractive. May as well get a grey hound. I do agree the show lab is too short and robust but I am seeing some trial dogs built for speed with skinny heads, noses and legs etc..very off the standard and ugly!
    Reading this post motivated me to find my "yellow book", The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc. book "The Official Book of the Labrador Retriever" and check out the photos of FTCHs, Dual CHs, and CHs of the past. You will see a transformation from the early show labs, which looked incredibly like the athletes we see in 21st century Field Trial dogs, to the short squatty bodied Show Labs of today.

    From the late 40s thru the later part of the 60s and even later, great retrievers like Dual CH-NFTCH. Shed of Arden, pg.18, and 12 time BIS, CH-Shamrock Acres Light Brigade,"Briggs" (pgs. 16&70), would be much more easily mistaken for today's Field Trial Champion than today's Show Champion. I actually owned a beautiful Show bred HRCH/SH grandson of Briggs from 1991-2001. In today's world, most people would never guess that my Char was "Show" bred.
    Last edited by David Maddox; 05-13-2013 at 08:21 PM.
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  2. #32
    Senior Member txrancher's Avatar
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    and all 4 of those dual champions are pretty enough for me to feed!
    I ignore stupidity unless you bring it to my attention!
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  3. #33
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    Here is a link to the The Labrador Club of America http://www.thelabradorclub.com/subpa...Breed+Standard
    The original post raised the issue of the breed being split. We agree there are differences in the the show ring Labrador and the field trial Labrador.
    It may take the dedicated breeder looking 3-5 or more generations into the future to creat the all around Labrador- good looking with performance to match. There have been dual champions in the past and there will be dual champions in the future. It will take p work and patince so please don't be discourage by what now appears to be a split.

  4. #34
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    There are good representitives of the breed in all venues. One just has to know where and how to look for them.
    You will not find them here. My personal dogs have some of the best conformation of any dogs in the trial or huntest venues in the country. These dogs are all from "trial pedigrees" and have a very solid health history, OFA & CERF, along with solid temperments. Did it happen by accident, NO WAY, NO HOW. I'm picky and I know what to look for. The good ones are out there, YA just gotta find em, and know em when ya see em.
    Discipline is no excuse for a lack of enthusiasm !!

  5. #35
    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    great reading, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdNMouth View Post
    Barb,
    Here's a brief history of Labs from The Labrador Retriever Club website: http://www.thelabradorclub.com/subpa...in_purpose.php

    Yes the ancestors retrieved fish & nets but was not at that point a purebred dog but instead a type of Newfoundland. It was also even at that point used to hunt game.
    Early specimens were described as "extremely quick running, swimming & fighting"
    The above was taken from the article.
    The breed wasn't registered as a purebreds till much later. Also notice how often the words "elegance without refinement" was used to describe early specimens. The Lab wasn't a purebred till after English sportsmen got a hold of it.

    Barb Gibson
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  6. #36
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwood View Post
    There have been dual champions in the past and there will be dual champions in the future.
    I respectfully disagree, the chasm is too wide. The last 2 or 3 Dual Champions were field trial breeding the last one being 30 years ago. They were numerous in the 50s, not uncommon in the 60s, rare in the 70s and 80s, and non existent today.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    In the beginning, competitions were used to find the best dogs of a breed. Today, dogs are bred for specific competitions rather than for the breed standard first and then competitions, and I don't see that changing, sadly.
    Sharon Potter

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  8. #38
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    This is my goal, FC or AFC/ CH....I am 51 , I figure I have 30 yrs to get it done. I think I have a good start with a nice Grady son and a fc/afc X CH/M bitch, and a specialtly type bitch sired by a CH/QAA dog. Only time will tell, but wish me luck!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwood View Post
    Here is a link to the The Labrador Club of America http://www.thelabradorclub.com/subpa...Breed+Standard
    The original post raised the issue of the breed being split. We agree there are differences in the the show ring Labrador and the field trial Labrador.
    It may take the dedicated breeder looking 3-5 or more generations into the future to creat the all around Labrador- good looking with performance to match. There have been dual champions in the past and there will be dual champions in the future. It will take p work and patince so please don't be discourage by what now appears to be a split.
    BB
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  9. #39
    Senior Member Billie's Avatar
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    Good luck! I look forward to seeing it happen. !
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  10. #40
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    I agree with Helen, looking back to the paintings or photos of the early days of the breed, should give us a good idea of what the people wanted who "created" the breed. We also should keep in mind that they may not all have been perfect in structure. There is always variation, even within the same litter.

    We also have to keep in mind that our titling venues have become very "stylized" ... to suit our human whimsy. Even a field trial might not accurately simulate the stamina a dog needs for an extended hunting outing. Obviously, a show ring or an obedience ring cannot prove such stamina either.

    If one truly wants to sort it out the appearance factor, then maybe the thing to do is read the older Standard of the Breed, and then read the most recent one, and discern what has changed. From that one might be able to come up with their own "vision" of what those descriptions (Standard of the Breed) are trying to explain. I'd venture a guess that most visions would end up somewhere between the show and field dogs' appearance (generally speaking, of course) Then you must honestly apply that "vision" to the dog standing in front of you.

    My own dogs do not have the perfect head that I would envision for a Golden, but I can forgive the faulty details if the overall expression is pleasing. Still, I cannot lie to myself about the flaws I see if I hope to improve on the flaw in the next generation.

    The same process can be applied to working abilities like work ethic or marking ability. A given dog may be "good", but not perfect. I must acknowledge lack of perfection in order to seek improvement in the next generation.

    Also agree with the fact that the gap seems to get ever wider, gets ever more impossible to bridge. With that in mind, Bridget may not achieve her Dual CH goal, but in the quest, it is very possible that she will produce some darn nice dogs who are pleasing to look at (by both sides of the tracks) and have high levels of working ability to go along with that.

    If your goals are based on traits you desire to produce, not just on the titles assigned by others who may have different ideals in mind, then you can find the quest more rewarding. A Lab who is pointed in both field trials and the show ring would be a HUGE accomplishment, I think. The show judges who rewarded the dog would have a good image in their minds of a working physique worthy of the Standard; and the field judges would be acknowledging the dog's working ability in spite of the fact that he may look a little different than those they are most used to seeing. That would prove that there are some very good dog people representing both perspectives.

    Meanwhile, it serves the breed well, if the focus is on the common ground that is shared by all who love the breed (whatever your breed is). If there is any dim hope of any bridging of the gap, it lies with cultivating good will rather than disdain, as there is always something to learn.
    Last edited by Gerry Clinchy; 05-14-2013 at 12:50 PM.
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