Posts Categorised: Dog show

We had a great weekend! Jazzy finished her CD obedience title with a second place on Saturday and a first place on Sunday.

Jazzy had great scores and on Sunday it was even good enough to have us in the lead for High in Trial for a couple of hours – until a dog in Utility B turned in a blazing performance and knocked us out by a few points. Oh well! She did enjoy her special hamburger!

The CD, or ‘Companion Dog’, obedience title involves a lot of walking with the dog at heel, both on and off-leash. There is also a recall where the dog has to stay sitting as the handler walks across the ring and calls the dog and a stand for examination where the dog must stand still, off-leash, and not move while the judge touches the dog. And finally the long sit and long down exercises where all the dogs line up along one side of the ring and must stay put as the handler walks across the ring. This is done off-leash, first sitting for one minute and then staying down for three minutes.

According to AKC, “The Achiever Dog certificate program is designed to recognize those exhibitors and dogs who participate in multiple sports. A dog will receive an AKC Achiever Dog certificate when they have been awarded a placement or earned a qualifying score in three different sports.”

Jazzy earned titles in obedience, Rally and hunt tests.

 

I came across a great article about a first-timer’s experience at a dog show. He was asked to come out and experience a dog show and then talk with the club members about the threats they were facing from the Humane Society and the rest of the animal rights movement.

The author made some great observations and some suggestions. I guess some people don’t realize yet that the main purpose of the HSUS and PETA is to destroy our right to love and be loved by our pets.

Here’s the link: “What I Learned at the Dog Show”

Boomer’s first dog show

What a trooper! Boomer competed in the puppy class at his first dogs show and took all the noise and dogs and even a pigeon in the ring in stride.

Watch for Boomer and his sister, Ouija, in more dog shows soon.

English Labs, American, field-type, show dog – how can there be so many different styles of dogs and all be considered Labradors? My guess is that the breed is just too popular – what is it, 15 years now that they’ve been the #1 breed in America per the AKC? Distinctive styles have evolved to suit everyone’s varying tastes, and I’m not saying that’s a good thing, it just is.

The English Labs tend to have heavy bodies, blocky heads and short legs. This is where most of the current show dogs come from. I think they’re a product of the more is better syndrome – the standard calls for a broad head, so let’s make it massive, etc. They’re also a product of what wins – a dog wins Best of Breed at a prestigious show and people sign up in droves to breed to him in hopes of duplicating him and his wins. Unfortunately some of these dogs have become caricatures of the original Labs who were bred to be field dogs. A 120 pound, 22″ dog with profuse coat wouldn’t be my first choice to chase wild ringnecks in South Dakota.

On the other hand, American Labs tend to be tall and slender with whip-like tails and lots of energy. These are the field dogs who can spend all day hunting or running multiple marks at tremendous distances and still want more. They too are products of the more is better and the whatever wins syndromes. These dogs are generally bred for their abilities rather than their looks – trainability, marking ability, and intelligence. These breedings are all about trying to produce field trial winners with less regard for the dog’s structure or appearance.

I’ve seen an adult female Lab who had the height, bone structure and even head shape of a Whippet. I’ve also seen a huge adult male Lab who had heavy bone,¬†massive head, thick coat and, except for the height difference, could have been mistaken for a Newfoundland.

To be fair, dogs from both ends of the spectrum fill particular needs and are loved and cherished by their owners. Plus there are many dogs that fall somewhere between the two extremes. However the extremes are quite different from the classic Lab – a medium sized dog who loved to retrieve.

I imagine owners of both styles are asked, “What breed of dog is that?” If that’s the case then those dogs are not “typy.” Type equals that which makes a Lab distinguishable from a Golden or a Rottie or a German Shepherd. According to the Labrador standard, the “most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather resistant coat; an ‘otter’ tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its ‘kind’ friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament.”

Here are a couple of classic Labs:

First, is Dual CH-NFC-AFC-Can CH Shed of Arden, (the black dog) a great Lab of the past. He not only earned a show championship in two countries, but was also a three-time National Field Champion! Shed was not so tall and lanky as many of the field dogs of today, nor was he so blocky as most of the current show dogs.

Another great from the past was CH Shamrock Acres Light Brigade. “Briggs was an outstanding show dog and sire. He produced 93 AKC Champions and won 12 Best in Show awards and 75 Sporting Group placements.” Compared to show dogs today he had way more leg and less substance, but look at those shoulders and the balance! I’d bet he moved exceptionally well.

By the way, most of my dogs have both of these famous boys in their pedigree!

I am happy to see some progress – or at least interest – in returning to the moderate Lab, one not overdone or underdone in body style and that still has the desire to retrieve.

A well-respected, long-time show breeder told me recently that the dog can be pretty, but MUST have the desire to retrieve to be a true Lab.

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