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Thread: First Golden Retriever Bench Champion

  1. #11
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    I wish I had a copy of that first photo in my wallet so I could show people what a Golden Retriever used to be, when they ask what kind of dog my athletic built, wavy coated, dark red field Golden is.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Even that 2004 show champion is moderate compared to a lot of the "teddy bears" in the GRCA ads of today.

    I don't think that it's particularly heart breaking as someone mentioned earlier. They are beautiful dogs with great personality and they fit the bill for a lot of house holds who don't use dogs for hunting or field tests. I have one at my house along with my field bred model. He is happy to go train with us and sit at the line watching his "sister" work. Then he gets his fun bumper for being a good boy. He is a joy to have in our lives and very cuddly. Great with my two toddler grandkids.

    The only sad thing is when an unknowledgeable buyer goes to a show style breeder with hopes for a hunt test dog and the show style breeder says: "Sure, this dog will be fine for that."

    Edit: That said, there ARE breeders out there who breed HT titled moderate dogs who can do the work. It's the extreme show style that I'm talking about.
    Last edited by Jennifer Henion; 07-05-2013 at 01:51 PM.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    I wish I had a copy of that first photo in my wallet so I could show people what a Golden Retriever used to be, when they ask what kind of dog my athletic built, wavy coated, dark red field Golden is.
    Glenda says that there will be photos in an upcoming News, so you could print them out, John
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Erik Nilsson's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the info, always interested in Golden history and especially the field lines
    HRC- Our season never ends

    "Shoot fast or shoot last"

    HR UH Nilsson's on a wing n a prayer SH WCX

  5. #15
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    The history of field lines might look somewhat different, Erik.

    I would like to see more photos in GRCA News and k9data that show similar body shots of our field dogs. Same for our agility Goldens. I know it is not the nature of field people to do this ... the work is about a dog in action, not static ... but it is really historical information that can help new generations of Golden people learn about the breed.

    Since structural integrity is very important to a working dog, the working Goldens have been "protected" ... to a degree ... by "natural selection". There are knowledgeable conformation experts who have found (through the CCA) that there IS some very admirable conformational structure expressed in the field Goldens who have participated in the CCA. Some observers at such events are sometimes surprised at the respectable structural scores that are given to the field Goldens. Those involved in field pursuits can benefit from expanding their education in this regard to further their understanding about how structural integrity furthers the purpose of keeping the dogs' bodies sound.

    For example: there may be dogs that would resemble Campfire on a quick look. However, they may not have some of his structural virtues. Even I am not old enough to have known Campfire in the flesh ... so going by the photo, I see a front angulation that supports a nice length of neck set well onto his shoulder/withers making a smooth transition to his solid, level topline. Although it may be his position, it appears that his rear angulation is not quite as good as his front's.

    The front end is a very important factor in a Golden's work. We have so often focused on the rear due to hip dysplasia; yet, years ago, Torch Flinn used to say that "the back end goes where the front end will take it." When a dog leaps a ditch, the front end is part of the launch; the back end helps. More important, perhaps, is that the front also takes the "punishment" of the landing; the back end does not take the same "jolt" that the front end has taken on the landing.

    This could be why field Goldens often have a good front end. Working dogs who tend to "break down" often can be less likely to reach fullest potential and thereby NOT play as an important part in breeding (and, therefore, the future of the breeding programs). So, if two dogs have near-equal working ability, we can benefit by also then looking to the structural integrity of each of the dogs in making our choice of a stud dog or a puppy. Based on this pragmatic evidence of "durability", it is not so surprising that a Golden who works hard in the field has evolved a good front end. Also not surprising that, at least a few years back, there was quite a lot of discussion in conformation that front ends had "deteriorated". Use it or lose it?

    The front angulation also has a role in supporting the neck. For the goose hunter, the neck needs this support in carrying a larger bird. We may not see a large bird like a goose in hunt tests or field trials, but hunters do.

    You have seen portions of Marcia Schlehr's "Blue Book" on breed structure in the GRCA News. It is worth carefully removing those pages from the books and keeping them for future reference and study. Did you skip over them because you were busy that day? I've found that cutting out articles like those and saving them can provide interesting reading when you have more time. You can also get "The Blue Book" from GRCA for easier reference as well.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    I am discovering another challenge to the contemporary show-bred Golden. I am training a puppy now, and he seems to have desire and talent. But I don't know how any of you evaluate structure through all of that coat! I have a hard time judging his structure and movement even to tell if he is sound or not.

    Does anyone trim their Golden's coat for field work? This puppy's owner will allow it if there is some reason to think it will help.

    Amy Dahl

  7. #17
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    There have been some photos of these early Goldens but getting truly good ones has proven extremely difficult----the quality is poor and doesn't reproduce well in a magazine. If anyone has actual photos of some of the early Goldens, I would love to have a good scan of them at 300 dpi, high resolution. In the last few years, the GRNews has featured some of the earlier Goldens in articles, with photos when available.

    John---let me see if I can come up with some to send you, although they probably won't be in color. Look through some of the past issues under the articles "Great Goldens from the Past", if you see one you like, let me know, and I will try to send you a copy. When anyone asks me what breed my Goldens were/are, I state "They are field Goldens, and darn good ones."

  8. #18
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afdahl View Post
    I am discovering another challenge to the contemporary show-bred Golden. I am training a puppy now, and he seems to have desire and talent. But I don't know how any of you evaluate structure through all of that coat! I have a hard time judging his structure and movement even to tell if he is sound or not.

    Does anyone trim their Golden's coat for field work? This puppy's owner will allow it if there is some reason to think it will help.
    Amy Dahl
    Definitely, it's useful to trim! Saves time and effort later

    This is not a totally new problem ... in the article about Honor's Dorado of Sprindrif, it was noted that his owner hacked off his front "apron" and other unnecessary hair for field work. One of the photos showed the "hacked" apron pretty well.

    I also trim the "pants" and tail of my girls before whelping.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  9. #19
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    A lot of very good information Gerry.

    A thought and desire I have often had is wishing the golden could not get a CH without a significant working title. JH would not fit the bill in my opinion. Perhaps this approach would lend some credence to the Golden as a true sporting (field) dog. Perhaps the long and rather useless coats would fade away through necessity of field work. Perhaps working ability and talent would be placed a little higher on the show breeders wishes.

    Any thoughts?

    A side note: I am truly grateful to the works of Glenda Brown for all her hard with with the annual field write up in the Golden Retriever magazines. Education to the working merits of the breed is invaluable!
    Randy Hand
    Semper Klamath River Amber Ale** (Amber)
    Klamath's Heartbreak Kid (Valentino)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexGold View Post
    Sometime someone forgot, "Pretty is as pretty does" and began breeding them to be fluffy instead of working retrievers. It is nearly as bad with the Labs. I would have to chuckle when someone would bring their "show dog" to a hunt test to show that they could play the game too. I would be out in a blind and though not in all cases, but most, you would hear the show dog huffing, puffing and wheezing to run a 100 yard mark.
    It is MUCH worse in Labs in my opinion. Both show AND field breeders have done the breed wrong.

    The dog pictured at the top of this thread is extremely pleasing to the eye. Obviously in shape to do an extended days work. I would love to have seen him at work-he must have moved effortlessly.-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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