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Thread: First Golden Retriever Bench Champion

  1. #71
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Good idea Barb, thanks for the tip. Would love that.

    And congratulations on your wonderfully broad rear assembly.

  2. #72
    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    Dunno if it's too late to get in, but Norcal GRC is having their CCA at the end of this month, I think. Go to the GRCA website and look for upcoming CCA events.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    Good idea Barb, thanks for the tip. Would love that.

    And congratulations on your wonderfully broad rear assembly. ha ha ha !

    Barb Gibson
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  3. #73
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    [QUOTE=Sue Kiefer;1125272]Gerry,
    "Sherman" the dog listed as "Pekay" was born in 1982?
    Pat used to run Hunt Tests as well. But now you'll find nothing but all show.
    Yes baby steps. But by the time you make that one baby step technology with training will have passed you by yet again and you'll offer nothing to the breed as far as hunting ability through either Hunt Tests (as they are changing/getting more difficult) or Trials. Then we are back to WC which don't show me crap about the abilities of a hunting dog.)
    Loading the breed ring with all field dogs that would be fun to watch a judge struggle with that. I'd love that. Too bad that couldn't happen every weekend somewhere. Wouldn't that be fun to read about?

    Only REAL HUNTING will show you "crap" about the dog's ability as a hunting dog. FT's and HT's are GAMES that get farther from hunting by the minute, it seems.

    I wish the few breeders of Goldens that are striving to produce an honest to god Dual Champion all the best. It's a worthy endeavor.-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

  4. #74
    Senior Member twall's Avatar
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    Does the AKC still hold their Sporting Dog Judges Institute?

    I participated in a field demonstration with one of our chessies back the late '90's. This was part of a two or three day event about all breeds in the sproting group and their breed standard. We have every breed except the Weim in the field doing what they are supposed to do. All dogs were CH's with field titles. After our bitch did watermarks one of the teachers, Anne Rogers Clark, had a number of the judges go over her and see how a correct coat kept her skin dry.

    Maybe something like this put on by the GRCA at the national specialty or other event would increase judge understanding of the working requirements of the breed.

    Tom
    Tom Wall

  5. #75
    Senior Member Judy Chute's Avatar
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    Hi Jennifer..unless you are thinking of the breed ring in the future and or just unable to tolerate any white...I would forget about the white toes on your lovely girl.

    Hip(OFA/PennHip), elbows, eyes and heart are important information to have just for her well-being, your knowledge...

    Orthopedic specialist that you go to for her hip/elbows would show you her xrays before sending in..talk to you about what he or she sees, good or bad. Eyes and heart health of course..

    Temperment ... you know what you have. If there are any concerns about a boy that you really like, ask questions about his daily life, his WHOLE life..kennel dog, lived in the house, socialization or not...the training focus for him as a pup, did he change owner/trainers/handlers as it went..did the wish list of accomplishments change..say Derby points ...or was the big picture the AA Stakes and trained with that in mind. ...a boy that has Hunt Test accomplishment (exellent pedigree..longeivity/clearances) but does he have more to offer if that owner had wanted to ..either HT or FT.

    Longeivity in the pedigree, if short life span dogs without given cause of death, ask questions and try to find out the reason. Could be accidental or a cause that is not passed on.

    Then, there are some issues that you can avoid being carried on to puppies by a boy that is clear of them or visa-versa. Some issues may not be worth discounting a particular boy, if the combination of the two would more than likely produce outstanding puppies. (not talking of failed hips, heart, eyes etc..of course)

    A knowledgeable person can advise of weaknesses that are inherited, passed on..and how to avoid that..or things that are not of concern..unless a pet peeve.

    Such as the white factor..some don't care, some hate it..can and has been a heated topic..but white does not cause temperament issues, issues with being sound, movement, ability to do well in the field etc..that has been published by the medical community anyway.

    If a person does not want white or doesn't care..then that is their choice to make! Golden Retriever's shade of golden color as well..it's a personal choice..and some feel depth of that color blends the dog into the hunting environment..like camo..so prefer it...others could care less.

    When looking at the combination of pedigrees for your hope of wonderful puppies...do you get a really great feeling about that combination..

    Also..coat can change as a dog matures, thickness and length.

    Barb's idea of CCA feedback is a good idea and might give you more confidence in what you have!

    Best,

    Judy
    Last edited by Judy Chute; 07-11-2013 at 10:34 AM. Reason: IMHO..of course..
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  6. #76
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    At the beginning of US field trials I've read somewhere that Goldens were considered the superior water dog. How times have changed!

    Why the change? There are probably several reasons.

    ...
    Gerald Ford.
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

  7. #77
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Thanks for your post, Judy! In February/March I will start getting all of her health testing and x-rays done to evaluate her soundness. After that I think I will take Barb's advice and get a CCA evaluation done, hopefully by people with field dog experience.

    My concern was that if she is evaluated against the standard by judges more in tuned to a more moderate or show line dog, that I would get mis-information about how my girl stacks up. But I guess structure is structure. It's either good or not. Performance will tell the rest of the story.

    Sorry to all for my rambling post last night. I was tired and should have edited.

  8. #78
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    Hi Tom:

    I don't know if the AKC still has their sporting dog event for judges, but quite a few years ago they held one in the Morgan Hill area of California.
    It was held on a ranch where some of us were training and Bill Totten (pro) was working with his dogs as well. For those of us who saw the retrievers being used as demo dogs in the event, it was a travesty. They wouldn't go in the water or rocks were thrown to get them to go out and get a bird, etc. The AKC had chosen the wrong person to chair and manage the retriever section. Ironically, some of the judges lingered around afterwards, came and saw us training Goldens and Labs (sorry no Chessies in the group that day) and were overwhelmed at what they could do---many of these were young Derby dogs. They asked why they weren't shown these retrievers working rather than the ones they saw.

    There were many outstanding examples of field retrievers readily available in that area: Goldens, Labs, and Chessies yet the AKC showed examples of field work with ones who were extraordinarily inept and/or poorly trained. I don't know what they used with the other sporting breeds, but if this was an example, then no wonder many of those judging conformation don't have a clue as to what a working retriever should be expected to accomplish if it were asked to do the job for which it was originally developed. This is why it is important to get the conformation judges to view hunting tests and field trials---better yet, is some of you that hunt ask them to join you for a day!

    I am not concerned with a Dual Champion, what I would like to see is the increasing gap between conformation and field dogs narrow and the divide lessen. It would be nice to get back to one breed which contains variations of a theme. This includes the Labs as well. The Chessie people are doing the best job of maintaining their breed as it was orginally intended to be.

    Glenda

  9. #79
    Senior Member Judy Chute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    Good idea Barb, thanks for the tip. Would love that.

    And congratulations on your wonderfully broad rear assembly.
    ... LOL...passed on by pedigree
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  10. #80
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    This thread has really made ponder confirmation regarding field bred dogs. In reading the breed standard and the articles in GRCA news, I have been wondering how closely to apply the standard and it's ideas to a field trial hopeful to evaluate breeding potential.

    I don't usually try to be picky about spelling ... but the word is "conformation" as in "conforming to the Standard". You're not alone, Jen, in this ... so I'm not picking on you. Those two words are close in spelling, but not really the same thing.

    We talk a lot about how the standard has been misapplied to the show lines and made them too heavy boned, big headed and heavy coated. But we don't talk about how to really analyze the bodies of our field dogs meant for breeding beyond health testing and titles. Obviously, we focus on breeding the winners and title holders, but are titles enough if you want to further the breed toward a standard?

    You can trust the Standard, but you must also understand it. It takes some time to do that. Marcia Schlehr told of a respected breeder-judge who went to a Golden event in Scotland at the Lord Tweedmouth estate. Part of the activities included a hike in the surrounding countryside. For that judge, it was an "epiphany" in understanding the kind of dog that could hunt in that terrain. That insight could explain why Campfire looked the way he did in 1912 (keeping in mind that the Golden breed only began around 1865, as I recall).

    Barb's suggestion to enter a CCA is an excellent one. You will get an in-depth explanation as to how the Standard is applied to your dog. It is sometimes easier to relate to things when you are relating to your own dog. This will be an "introduction".

    The CCA evaluators for the National are an especially fine group. Division I includes one judge (Laura Weinmann) who is also a hunt test judge, and who, herself, has a MH dog who last year became QAA. Ainslee Mills has been the chair of the judges' education committee and very instrumental of bringing the field Goldens into the judges' seminars. I don't know Hach Hachtel, but have heard his name mentioned with respect by people I know. Division II includes Pluis Davern who has also worked dogs in obedience and field & is a licensed conformation judge; along with Marcia Schlehr who wrote that book that you've been seeing excerpted in the GRCA News. Marcia has always been very interested in preserving the purpose of the breed. Laureen Kinney has also bred and run dogs in Canada and the US in hunt tests and field trials, as well as bred CHs. Among these 6 people, it would be hard to find a question about the Standard that they could not answer. These people may not be very familiar to people who are looking at the field trial results, but they are all people who have a sincere respect for the purpose of the breed. I'm sure that the 42 available entries will fill quickly.


    I have been hoping to breed my young female once she passes her medical tests and gets a significant field title to prove her worth. But as I look at her, I wonder about her "Golden" confirmation. I personally think she is lovely and balanced and incredibly built as an athlete, but what do I know?

    How do I trust the current breed standard and its current application to the typical golden? Is that standard going to make for a field trial winner, which is what I want? How do I judge her tail set, her ears, her length of leg and depth of chest. She is 23 inches tall, but she looks "tall" in comparison to my other show line boy who is the exact same height, because her chest isn't as deep and her build is more sleek.

    It is often said that the goal of breeding is to have offspring that are better than either the sire or the dam (regardless of which traits you are referring to). In reality, the outcome is usually one or two that truly fulfill that goal. The majority may be adequate or equal to the parents. Then there could be one or two that make you hate to admit they were born in your kitchen That happens to both field and show breeders. Mother Nature does not discriminate.

    I've read interpretations of the standard that say the specimen shouldn't look reedy or setter-like. I kind of see that in my female and in most field bred females. They are built for speed and moving on a dime. How do we balance and judge the qualities called for in the standard with those necessary for winning trials or running in the pheasant field on a long, warm fall day?

    When I see the photos and drawings that go along with most discussions of the Golden standard, I see they are much bulkier than the reality of my female dog.

    I would like a real discussion and analysis about how to gauge a field line dog's confirmation for purposes of deciding whether to breed that dog. There are some past and currently living highly titled female golden field dogs that I feel are very ugly and not even close to the middle of the chart for what a golden should appear to be. And frankly, I'm a little biased regarding my own female. Maybe others would see her as too setter like.

    Where should a person start when trying to analyze their field dog's confirmation beyond field titles and absence of obvious deformities like cow hocks and bowed spine.

    You will get a start on getting the answers to those questions by entering a CCA. As a secondary assist, if you know someone who has done a CCA, they may be willing to go over their evaluation sheets with you on their own dog. Developing an "eye" for these things, and learning how to use your hands to feel the conformation of the dog beneathe its skin takes a long while. Even the most knowledgeable people continue to discuss these things and gain insights from their peers that also have a lot of knowledge.

    My dog has white toes. What about that? For me, it's something I'm OK with if she's otherwise balanced, capable and long lived. As a field person and not a show person, do I consider the white toes only in as much as it will effect marketability, or should I weigh it heavily as a flaw for all future goldens in the line I continue?

    Boy, do I hate to open this can of worms! If your dog has 4 white feet, a blaze on its chest, and it looks more like a Toller than a Golden, that is a question of "type". A Golden should be recognizable as a Golden at first glance ... even if it has a lot of flaws. If a dog has a lot of flaws and also lacks "type", you've got a real problem. Most times it's not that easy to decide

    I can't tolerate faulty temperament or lack of desire to retrieve. Period. Stupid should also probably be on that list. I can't deal with a slow learner. It can take some time and experience to find out which things you can "fix" and which things you cannot fix. I think white is fixable. Others may have different opinions.

    Coat? My female has a low maintenance flat coat with typical feathering. No way her coat will keep her warm on a long morning winter duck hunt. She will require neoprene and other measures to keep her warm in the 3rd or 5th hour.

    That would be a fault that directly addresses purpose. I've noted, however, that many hunters use vests nowadays simply because they see no reason to make their dogs endure more discomfort than necessary. Some of them might do fine even without the vests, but there is no harm in using them either. I can't really argue with that. Hunt tests and field trials both allow the dogs a period of effort, and then they return to a warm crate; possibly even being dried before going into their crates. So, this "fault" in your dog may be as faulty as you think.


    If breed standard is to be seriously considered for field breeders, how do we balance these physical traits and factors against raw talent and desire and winning (not that I'm there, lol)?
    That last question is the toughest! Each individual will arrive at their own unique decision. You may change your mind as you go along as well Your own personal decision will likely be influenced by becoming familiar with the Standard and watching the work of the best working dogs.

    When I go to a Natl Spec, I go to watch the field trial. Since there are few Goldens in field trials (often less than 5 in an entire all-breed trial), the Natl Spec is the best place to see field trial Goldens. And you get to see dogs from all over the country, not just one area. I can find many local dog shows to see conformation Goldens. There are also plenty of obedience and agility events where Goldens are well represented. The Natl Spec, however, is the only place to see a large number of Goldens in a field trial.

    Jen, you are wise to start asking these questions now. I was not nearly as bright and perceptive when I first started in Goldens!

    Never hesitate to ask questions. If you get a brutally honest answer that appears to be a put-down, don't necessarily believe that's what it is. Think about the answer, and learn from it. Don't let your hurt feelings get in the way of the learning. Be a fly on the wall when you hear knowledgeable people discuss topics you'd like to know more about.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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