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Drunken Poacher wrote,

"The marks were roughly 275yds x 2 = 550. Th dogs returned to the line each time so 550 x 2 = 1100yds."

Right, got it. Wasn't thinking straight on that one.

"There may be retrievers that run for 2-4 hours every day but I doubt any of them have FC/AFC titles."

I doubt it as well. The job doesn't demand it which is why you don't see many retrievers in the kind of elite condition they could be.
I would guess most get by on what they bring to the table initially with no extra conditioning or extra care put into their diet.
Simply do the job and the truth is they don't have to be in great shape to do the job.
 

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Simply do the job and the truth is they don't have to be in great shape to do the job.
Not being conditioned like a sled dog or a tracking hound doesn't make a dog fat and out of shape. Retrievers are not bred or built for that kind of work.
Retrievers are bred for brains and marking ability. Field Trial placements are awarded to dogs that display the most of each on a given weekend.
With everything there is a balance. Physical conditioning is important for a field trial retriever. Spend too much time on it and you won't have enough dog left to train on the concepts that will earn FC/AFC titles.

Bottom line, there are no obese FC/AFC retrievers actively competing.
 

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Not being conditioned like a sled dog or a tracking hound doesn't make a dog fat and out of shape. Retrievers are not bred or built for that kind of work.
Retrievers are bred for brains and marking ability. Field Trial placements are awarded to dogs that display the most of each on a given weekend.
With everything there is a balance. Physical conditioning is important for a field trial retriever. Spend too much time on it and you won't have enough dog left to train on the concepts that will earn FC/AFC titles.

Bottom line, there are no obese FC/AFC retrievers actively competing.
Saying retrievers are not bred or built to be in elite condition is a cop out in my opinion. It doesn't have to a track greyhound or top tracking hound or sled dog to be in the best shape in can be.
And I do agree, physical conditioning IS important for a field trail retriever.

Agreed again, retrievers, good ones anyway, are bred for brains and marking ability and are judged in trials or tests accordingly.
Those tests are not about challenging the dogs physically although there is some element that demands some physical effort inadvertently included.
Because being a physical challenge is not the primary concern for a test or trial the vast majority of dogs running them do not have to be in peak condition. As it is not a necessity most dogs are not in the condition they could be nor are they as lean as they should be.
This is why good 8 -10 year old dogs, dogs on the backside of their lives and careers are still competitive.
That said, I can say I have not seen an OBESE FC/AFC retriever competing. I have seen some I thought were overweight, (fat) and I knew they were not in the best shape they could be.
I could also say this for most of the non FC/AFC dogs I've seen competing in trials and tests.
 

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Top pros don't have time to clean kennels either, but it gets done.
Point taken.

Now, can you say you actually know of pros that are currently roading or having someone else road the dogs on their truck daily or every other day perhaps?
95-100 % was one number put out there.
I haven't heard of anyone doing it. BUT....I can't say I've called around to the top pros asking either.
I would be surprised.
 

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Now, can you say you actually know of pros that are currently roading or having someone else road the dogs on their truck daily or every other day perhaps?
Yes I and others have seen them doing it. At trials I have noticed ATV's on pro trailers with outriggers for roading.
 

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Instead of trying to gage size by weight ask for a specific shoulder height. Most retrievers are fat and out of shape and weight is not the best indicator of real true size.
An example would be when someone says they have a 90lb dog you can bet it's really a 65 or 70lb dog that weighs 90 lbs because it's fat.
So you’re saying a 90 lb actively campaigned FC AFC is actually 20-25 lbs overweight? How many have you seen in person?
 

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Is that right?
I guess it comes down to how you define "fat and out of shape". A dog running roughly 1000 yards once a day isn't gonna be in any kind of shape, at least certainly not the kind of shape it could or should be in. It wouldn't be in any kind of shape running double that distance for that matter TWICE a day.
The problem is the majority of dog owners, including competitive retriever owners have no clue what a conditioned dog looks like or how to get one into that sort of shape.
Here's a hint.... two set-ups a day won't do it ;)
Have you any idea what actually occurs in training, conditioning and caring for a true all-age retriever? If you think it’s just two quick setups a day, you are sadly mistaken. I can’t think of a single active all-age dog thatis not in excellent condition, and I see approximately 70-100 each week running. I also see hunting dogs that hunt 60+ days a year. Rarely are they in as good of shape as an active all-age dog.
 

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This thread has kind of gone off the rails, but, getting back to the OP: You say you have a small female and want to find a small FC/AFC male, presumably because you like that size. I sure get that. I love those little pocket rocket labs. If adult size were more predictable, I would probably be a lab owner.

However, I wouldn't think a 70 lb FC/AFC lab is small. I own Goldens, so the lab owners may rightfully disagree, but my impression is that most of the field line males are in the 60 to 80 lb range. I can't find a thread specifically about field lab sizes, but I think 70 would be a fairly average size. If you want a breeding that would have a better chance of producing small labs, I'd suggest trying to find a male less than 60 lbs. Keep in mind, size is determined by many genes. Also, it is hard to tell which 8 week old puppy in a litter will grow up to be the smallest adult. (Assuming no malnutrition)

The conformation and pet-line males are often very heavy, and not just because they are fat. Some of the pet-line advertising boasts about how big the dogs are; it is a selling point, apparently, with many of the pet owners. (Why is beyond me.) The conformation labs are usually short, but with enormous, barrel-shaped bodies and short legs. So, you may be thinking 70 is small compared to those groups of labs.
 
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As far as pros regularly roading dogs each week, I can personally attest to the following that do. Lardy (before retirement), Wayne Curtis, Andy Attar, Lynn Troy, Steve Yozamp, etc. just to name a few.
 

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Have you any idea what actually occurs in training, conditioning and caring for a true all-age retriever? If you think it’s just two quick setups a day, you are sadly mistaken. I can’t think of a single active all-age dog thatis not in excellent condition, and I see approximately 70-100 each week running. I also see hunting dogs that hunt 60+ days a year. Rarely are they in as good of shape as an active all-age dog.
I do actually and I agree an active all age dog is likely in better shape (maybe much better) than your average hunting dog.
I guess perspective is important here.

Again, I'll just have to disagree. The ones I've seen did not appear to be in the best shape they could be.

bjoiner wrote,

"As far as pros regularly roading dogs each week, I can personally attest to the following that do. Lardy (before retirement), Wayne Curtis, Andy Attar, Lynn Troy, Steve Yozamp, etc. just to name a few."

That's good and encouraging to hear.
 

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Think sled dogs.
Think track dogs.

Now tell me most retrievers are in shape for the elite athletes they should be.

I'll just have to disagree you with guys on this one as that hasn't been what I've seen.
I've watched the Sled dogs & would agree, that's what they do.
I've bet the Greyhounds, 3# of added weight would not be a bet.

Pointers & Setters are supposed to course until they get a snootful, so they would be in good shape.

The art of retrieving is multipurpose, a dog doing a lot of cold water retrieves is not probably want to
do many if it's in the same condition as a pointer.

Condition is being able to do the job at hand. Not uncommon at a National where the later tests come
on to have dogs going full bore for several minutes & covering a mile & a half minimum without a hunt.
Hunts just add more distance & time.
 
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This thread has kind of gone off the rails, but, getting back to the OP: You say you have a small female and want to find a small FC/AFC male, presumably because you like that size. I sure get that. I love those little pocket rocket labs. If adult size were more predictable, I would probably be a lab owner.

However, I wouldn't think a 70 lb FC/AFC lab is small. I own Goldens, so the lab owners may rightfully disagree, but my impression is that most of the field line males are in the 60 to 80 lb range. I can't find a thread specifically about field lab sizes, but I think 70 would be a fairly average size. If you want a breeding that would have a better chance of producing small labs, I'd suggest trying to find a male less than 60 lbs. Keep in mind, size is determined by many genes. Also, it is hard to tell which 8 week old puppy in a litter will grow up to be the smallest adult. (Assuming no malnutrition)

The conformation and pet-line males are often very heavy, and not just because they are fat. Some of the pet-line advertising boasts about how big the dogs are; it is a selling point, apparently, with many of the pet owners. (Why is beyond me.) The conformation labs are usually short, but with enormous, barrel-shaped bodies and short legs. So, you may be thinking 70 is small compared to those groups of labs.
The topic has kind of strayed somewhat but I don't necessarily consider that a bad thing. Is it?
Just a discussion, not meant to be aggressively argumentative and keeps the topic alive and engaged.
Hopefully no one is taking a difference of opinion as a personal attack.

Palhouse Dogs wrote,

"However, I wouldn't think a 70 lb FC/AFC lab is small"

I wouldn't either, in fact I would consider a lean, conditioned 70lb dog a larger dog. Not huge, but definitely not small.
 

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Competition retrievers are neither endurance runners nor sprinters, think middle distance runners. If their training is long slow runs and intervals our dogs get the intervals running marks and 50% of the time their breathing is restricted by a bird in mouth. The long slow comes from roading. When I first met Judy in 1978 she was roading Honcho 5 miles/day. Over the years we have reduced that to 2-3 miles/day and for a time when I was agile enough to get in and out of a canoe we swam them 1/2 mile 2-3 days a week. Almost everyone I know with a competitive all age dog has some form of a physical conditioning program and at today’s field trials a fat out of shape dog would be severely handicapped.
 

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100% agree with Ed. Different dogs have different specialties and different forms of training fit different breeds better. It doesn't mean they can't modify one to help improve what the other is doing. It's similar to Olympic athletes cross training to become better at their specialty.
 
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Getting back to the point of size, it is interesting that in most sporting breeds working dogs are smaller than show dogs. However there are a lot of big studs, some up to 90lb.
I have to think that is more about preference of looks than performance.
 

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I have to think that is more about preference of looks than performance.
No doubt that it is. The biggest difference isn't size, it's how the dogs are built.
Apparently this is what some people think a lab looks like.
Could this dog run an all age land series with style? How long would it last pheasant hunting?
If you want to see a breed ruined you can count on conformation breeders to do it.
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Grass Companion dog
 
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