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OK, y'all... I have the cutest, prettiest, hardest-working-get-the-job-done little female lab that ever marked a fall. Not to mention she is ate up with personality. She's just now getting it all together and is probably on the cusp of being able to run with the best of them (as in hold her own at the National.)

Having said that... There are always dogs at HT's that are sooo competent and exciting to watch, I almost covet owning them... except for the fact that some (not all) are just are butt-ugly. And I start wondering if maybe my concern for looks makes me a forever-novice. What do the real hard core types on this forum think?

1) How much does appearance matter to you?

2) what features do you think are appealing in a field lab.
 

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OK, I'll break out the ten foot pole since a dog's appearance is important to me. Once we get beyond health, talent, intelligence and trainability, I like a moderately built lab with proper functional conformation, a proper dual coat, and a lab head. I like them 60-75 pounds and neither stocky nor weedy. I look for good feet and properly shaped eyes (hate a round-eyed lab). I prefer more bone than we find in most field labs (and more than my dogs have). I don't expect a true otter tail in a field lab, but I don't want a severely curled tail or one held straight up over the back. Head and ear structure as well as expression are difficult to describe, so I'll give some examples of some that I prefer. Patton, Riparian Roughrider, Watermark's the Boss, Candlewood's Man in Black, Ali, etc. There's a pic from an old RFTN that Grandaddy has that has Grangemead Precocious and a few of his sons that tells the whole story.
 
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