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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read Jeffrey Pepper's SO LONG... in the current GR News. He comments "As with other breeds, fads have become a part of showing dogs-some to the benefit of the breed and some to the detriment." He discusses "grooming practices...to enhance the outward appearance to minimize faults and create the impression of correct structure" and "moving dogs at breakneck speed around the ring, as though good movement is dependent on the speed with which the legs move. Short legs move faster than the more correct longer leg, so short legs become more desirable".

Actually he has a lot to say in a short column and this is a good read for all those concerned about the divergence of types in their breed, whatever the breed is.
 

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Excellent column, well written.
 

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..do not have the issue yet.
 

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I just read Jeffrey Pepper's SO LONG... in the current GR News. He comments "As with other breeds, fads have become a part of showing dogs-some to the benefit of the breed and some to the detriment." He discusses "grooming practices...to enhance the outward appearance to minimize faults and create the impression of correct structure" and "moving dogs at breakneck speed around the ring, as though good movement is dependent on the speed with which the legs move. Short legs move faster than the more correct longer leg, so short legs become more desirable".

Actually he has a lot to say in a short column and this is a good read for all those concerned about the divergence of types in their breed, whatever the breed is.
Good for him! So I guess when he shows Goldens he doesn't employ any of these grooming practices? Whiskers on!
 

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I always read such good things about the Field issue. I wish it wasnt so costly to join GRCA to get these issues. ( I know youre going to try and tell me its not) I can only subscribe to so many organizations, pubs, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good for him! So I guess when he shows Goldens he doesn't employ any of these grooming practices? Whiskers on!
Actually, I was surprised about the position he took. I don't know him but I expected a more conformation friendly comment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I always read such good things about the Field issue. I wish it wasnt so costly to join GRCA to get these issues. ( I know youre going to try and tell me its not) I can only subscribe to so many organizations, pubs, etc.
I certainly understand. I myself am overextended with memberships, magazines, and positions in clubs.
 

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Good for him! So I guess when he shows Goldens he doesn't employ any of these grooming practices? Whiskers on!
As far as I know, Jeff hasn't shown Goldens in a long time. He and his former wife, Barbara, did show Goldens years ago under the Pepperhill prefix. Back then, there was less of the "foofing and poofing" than is done today.

Jeff then became involved in a feisty small breed, the ??? Petit Griffon (or something like that). That could have made him take a step back and take another look at the Golden breed.

Back in the 80s, I met Jeff accidentally while walking one of my dogs across a soccer field at a Natl Specialty. He stopped me to ask if he had ever judged the dog. He had not :) The dog was a Ki gr-grandson sired by a ** Golden who had a touch of Tigathoe with some show stuff thrown in. So, even then, Jeff was kind of open-minded taking note of a nice dog when he saw it, even outside of the show ring. In fact, that WAS a very nice dog, and he could mark, too :)

At a CCA, some years ago, Jeff was one of the evaluators, and he singled out one of the field-bred dogs to friends around the judging ring to note the dog's superior front-end structure. As per the rules, the evaluators do not know who these dogs are when they see them in their ring. The owner also was not a conformation person, so also unknown to Jeff. Later, when Jeff learned who the dog was, he suggested showing the dog at some small shows. He admitted that the dog would have a hard go at the show ring since the dog was quite "different" from the style prevalent there. No, I am not the dog's breeder, though I wish I could claim to be :)

In her later years, Marcia Schlehr noted that Betty Gay, known mostly for her show breeding, had an "epiphany" when she visited the Scottish highlands where the Golden breed originated. When Betty went hiking in the area, she realized that dogs who could hunt in such terrain had to really be physically fit. And also felt it would be a serious influence of how she judged dogs in the conformation ring thereafter.

I think it's valuable to get the field-bred dogs into the CCA evaluations. Many of these judges may never have seen "hard working condition" before, so how can they know what it feels like under their hands? I recall that Push was also used as a demo dog for the Judges Education seminar at the National at Gettysburg in 2005.

I understand well how difficult it is for the field people to get their dogs in front of the conformation judges, but the GRCA National Specialty is a high-profile outing ... it would be so great to see some of the outstanding field dogs out there in the Field Trial Classes. If those judges never see a high-level working dog any other time, it would be very educational for the judges to see a good selection of them at least once in their judging careers. If we could get more judges to see them, it could make a difference in how those judges think.
 

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As far as I know, Jeff hasn't shown Goldens in a long time. He and his former wife, Barbara, did show Goldens years ago under the Pepperhill prefix. Back then, there was less of the "foofing and poofing" than is done today.

Jeff then became involved in a feisty small breed, the ??? Petit Griffon (or something like that). That could have made him take a step back and take another look at the Golden breed.

Back in the 80s, I met Jeff accidentally while walking one of my dogs across a soccer field at a Natl Specialty. He stopped me to ask if he had ever judged the dog. He had not :) The dog was a Ki gr-grandson sired by a ** Golden who had a touch of Tigathoe with some show stuff thrown in. So, even then, Jeff was kind of open-minded taking note of a nice dog when he saw it, even outside of the show ring. In fact, that WAS a very nice dog, and he could mark, too :)

At a CCA, some years ago, Jeff was one of the evaluators, and he singled out one of the field-bred dogs to friends around the judging ring to note the dog's superior front-end structure. As per the rules, the evaluators do not know who these dogs are when they see them in their ring. The owner also was not a conformation person, so also unknown to Jeff. Later, when Jeff learned who the dog was, he suggested showing the dog at some small shows. He admitted that the dog would have a hard go at the show ring since the dog was quite "different" from the style prevalent there. No, I am not the dog's breeder, though I wish I could claim to be :)

In her later years, Marcia Schlehr noted that Betty Gay, known mostly for her show breeding, had an "epiphany" when she visited the Scottish highlands where the Golden breed originated. When Betty went hiking in the area, she realized that dogs who could hunt in such terrain had to really be physically fit. And also felt it would be a serious influence of how she judged dogs in the conformation ring thereafter.

I think it's valuable to get the field-bred dogs into the CCA evaluations. Many of these judges may never have seen "hard working condition" before, so how can they know what it feels like under their hands? I recall that Push was also used as a demo dog for the Judges Education seminar at the National at Gettysburg in 2005.

I understand well how difficult it is for the field people to get their dogs in front of the conformation judges, but the GRCA National Specialty is a high-profile outing ... it would be so great to see some of the outstanding field dogs out there in the Field Trial Classes. If those judges never see a high-level working dog any other time, it would be very educational for the judges to see a good selection of them at least once in their judging careers. If we could get more judges to see them, it could make a difference in how those judges think.
What a great post, Gerry! I totally agree that these judges needs to see a fit Golden in the ring. I have a male with a CCA, put together much like Push, who would never do well in the AKC breed ring, but excels in the field. To my thoughts, that is what a Golden should be. A dog bred and built to retreive.
Diane
 

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very well said Gerry.


I think it's valuable to get the field-bred dogs into the CCA evaluations. Many of these judges may never have seen "hard working condition" before, so how can they know what it feels like under their hands? I recall that Push was also used as a demo dog for the Judges Education seminar at the National at Gettysburg in 2005.

I understand well how difficult it is for the field people to get their dogs in front of the conformation judges, but the GRCA National Specialty is a high-profile outing ... it would be so great to see some of the outstanding field dogs out there in the Field Trial Classes. If those judges never see a high-level working dog any other time, it would be very educational for the judges to see a good selection of them at least once in their judging careers. If we could get more judges to see them, it could make a difference in how those judges think.
 

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It was Nancy Talbott not Betty Gay who had the ephiphany. It is written about in the article called "Gathering at Guisachan"---subtitle "Not your ordinary Gentleman's Hunting Dog". This was in the N/D '08 Field Theme Issue. It included photos taken by Nancy. I do have a pdf of it---was used for proofing so may have some typos in it.

Nancy is an outstanding judge and breeder of both Goldens and Labs.

I have been working with a small group of individuals, including Ainslie who is Chair of the JEC for the GRCA, and we are trying to have at least one field Golden included in each Judges' Clinic at a NS. When I was on the JEC, I was the one that found Push for them, and they were delighted to have him be a part of it. It opened a lot of eyes.

We hope to have more field dogs included in any evaluations of Goldens and in information provided to conformation judges.

As someone wrote on RTF re Westminster about "form follows fashion" we would like to change "fashion" back to "function" once again.

Glenda
 

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As someone wrote on RTF re Westminster about "form follows fashion" we would like to change "fashion" back to "function" once again.

Glenda

Amen Glenda!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
There is a lesson here. Whether it is Betty Gay or Nancy Talbott matters not although it is nice to get the record straight. Thanks, Glenda. If these conformation judges got out and took a hike in some hunting areas and went through some brush they would really understand what they would want and didn't want in a working dog.

At the beginning of my dog career, after owning two goldens, I was in the market for a third. I didn't know that there were two types out there but after having hunted I knew what I wanted in the dog's physical characteristics. With some people helping me I ended up with a puppy from Twin Branch (Clarissa King) in Georgia. That's when I started to see what was really going on.
 

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I have to chime in about Nancy Talbot, very knowledgeable about structure, complimentary and appreciative of the condition and muscle of my two field goldens that I had evaluated at the CCA. She was instructive as well, and pointed out that one of my girls had the best shoulder layback of the day. Now they do not have the gorgeous coat or all of the bone, but the correct structure must be there because they both passed. Actually, all three of the judges were very good and it was a worthwhile experience. So, Glenda I plan on signing up a couple more field goldens for the National Specialty.

Colleen
 

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I think that the evaluators in the CCAs generally will give due credit to the working Goldens in their evaluations. I think there have been several instances where front-end structure has especially been complimented in evaluations. They even "forgive" less-than-perfect show behavior ... like the charismatic senior (bitch, of course), who, when directed by her owner to "stand", proceeded to lay down, and roll over to give her back a good scratching :) first.

However, it would be great to have the field dogs in Field Trial Classes as well ... the evaluators who have volunteered for that duty already have an interest and appreciation for the functional form of the breed; not all judges may be of the same persuasion. So, it would be good to have more judges see these dogs and actually place their hands on them. Perhaps they might even take a liking to the athletic form these dogs exhibit?

Then there was my impossible suggestion that any judge that would judge the GRCA National would have to attend at least one field event in the preceding year ... even a Working Certificate!

Years ago Laurie Doumaux had started an informal program of "escorts" for any show judges who wished to attend field events. She recruited volunteers throughout the country. However, that program seemed to vanish over time.

Glad for the correction on Nancy Talbott v. Betty Gaye.
 

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This is all good! Makes my day!
 

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"IF" the judges are going to attend a "Field " event please please have them attend something more than a WC.
Good grief.
Sue
 

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Hi Gerry:

It has been brought up again about having judges, and this would work for any sporting group, actually see the field dogs in action. Know what they have to do and watch how they do it and what physical attributes are needed to accomplish this.

I agree with Sue---not a WC or WCX---much prefer the actual field trial or MH level. We are hoping at a NS to get the judges over to the field grounds and see the dogs work. What would be even better is to have them put their hands on these working dogs and really understand what "hard working condition" is.

Years ago the AKC had a demonstration of field work (various breeds) held in Northern California which conformation judges attended. The only problem was the one demonstrating the Labs, Goldens, and Chessies brought dogs where rocks had to be thrown to get them in the water, etc. It was sad as there were many outstanding Goldens in that area who could have provided excellent examples but they weren't asked. After the demo, a few of the judges were still hanging around. There was a well known professional field dog trainer working on the grounds at the same time. Some of these judges went over and saw him working Derby dogs and were blown away!!! They could not believe what these dogs could do and would do with style and enthusiasm. The Labs actually had legs and the Goldens would leap into the water!

At one time, many of the judges of sporting dogs hunted or had hunted at one time. This is no longer the case. Many judges now have never been exposed to dogs who actually have a purpose. The LRC is trying to have judges of Labs be exposed to field trial dogs in the same manner we are working on trying to get judges of Goldens aware of the physical capabilities needed to accomplish a day's work in the field.

Polite letters to the Boards of both groups encouraging them to have judges, especially at the National Specialties, who have seen dogs actually working at a high level in the field might show that we really do care. The members of the Board of the LRC often work and/or judge at their hunt tests at their NS. We need to encourage more members of the GRCA Board to attend at least part of the field trial. I do know that some of them make a big effort to do this. Often the President of the GRCA comes over to the field trial as do other Board members----we need to reward this with positive feedback and show our appreciation whenever it occurs.

Glenda
 

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Not sure I agree about judges attending a field trial. The standard says the dog is "primarily a hunting dog", not a field trial dog. The physical attributes necessary for running field trials aren't necessarily those needed for hunting dogs. The field trial dogs are extreme athletes.
Having them attend a MH *might* come closer to a hunting situation.
But getting some of the field trial dogs in the ring, or at least into the CCA, would sure go a long way toward helping judges understand what "hard working condition" is. If they were able to put their hands on the dogs they might realize what the show dogs are "missing".
 
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