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Hi All
I am just new to this forum. But I am not new to Labs or agility. I have had Field Labs and have run agility for 17yrs. I have had 8 labs from field lines. 2 males (90lbs and 70lbs) and 6 females all who,weighted between 59lbs and 45lbs. My goals in life have been to prove to the agility world that Labs are a great choice for agility. All my dogs have come from very successful field lines. All have had many FC s in their pedigree. I find that I have not had a bad temperament in the bunch. They have all been polite with other dogs, good w,people and great w,kids. I could take them anywhere and not worry about them being difficult to live with. As for structure everyone has had good structure. They may vary in rear end angulation and chest depth a little which did affect turning ability but over all the field Labs I have had have been very sound dogs.
As for speed yep the BCs are a little faster. Zoom my now 10 yr old was usually equal to or no more than 2 sec behind the faster BC. As was previously said speed can kill. So Zoom won the 2008 AAC national championships (26in class) beating many Border Collies. She also took me to the 2009 FCI World Championships in Austria on the course I did not mess up and she ran clean she finished 18 of 89 dogs. Labs can be competitive and there are many out there just as fast as she is. Zoom is 22.5in tall and 55lbs she is tallish but lightly built. Yes I do pick puppies with smaller structure Longer backs are ok but I find a shorter back can turn better. But turning abili is also affected by rear end angulation. I find that Labs don't jump as efficiently as BCs do. I find that with most of my Labs I have to cue my dog to turn before they leave the ground rather than expect them to turn over the bar. BCs can turn over a bar much better. I found I could not walk a course with my BC running friends as my dog really did move differently. As for drive I think Labs have just as much drive as a BC but they can think at the same time. So frequently you see BCs who are so crazy that they either go crazy or do their own thing. They figure it out eventually but slower than a Lab will. I must admit that I prefer working with the females as they think better than the males.

My friend Erin has referred to Zoom , she is Choppers litter mate and even at almost 10 yrs old won AACNationals last year running in16in Vet class. She has spondylitis so,I have dropped her jump height She ran one course 33 secs under time. Even at 10 she is beating the Border collies. I had a girl Kes who won Nationals twice as well,she was a more heavy chested dog but she gave every thing she had. She passed away at 12.5yrs.

Right now I have Swift 5 yrs who is more stocky ( 55 lbs) and just over 21 in she has been 2nd in the 26in class at Regionals twice now jumping almost 5 in over her shoulder. She does not have Zooms drive but she is usually only a second or,two behind her. Then I have Furai. A Kicker Daughter out of a Chopper/ Zoom sister. She is tiny 20.5in tall and 45lbs she is not quite 3. She finished 6th at just over 2yrs last year in the large 22in class at Regionals this year. Pretty good for a baby. She can turn over a bar. She is a bendy little,thing who once she has her confidence will give those BCs a run for their money Then I have Kicks who is also a Kicker daughter out of Danielle Pellicci's Spice she is 15 weeks and was picked for her smaller compact size and that other sister and mother not to mention their at athletism and brilliance already I can see that she has the confidence and ability to think and th drive that she will right up there with her sister and aunt! (zoom is a distant relative).
So do I think a small compact well bred field lab is competitive with the BC s and Aussies. Sure I do.
 
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