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  #81  
Old 02-14-2014, 12:03 PM
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That Lab....all the bile in my stomach just tried to come out. The judge should be ashamed of himself, and the owner should be charged with cruelty. That is nothing short of morbid obesity.
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  #82  
Old 02-14-2014, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by GingerKid View Post
Tolerance to handling is something that can be easily trained in adult dogs, and it is even easier of the touch desensitization starts at a young age. I have seen adult dogs that had issues with anyone touching them at all turn into dogs that had no issues being fully handled by complete strangers (including dental checks) after a few weeks of constant and consistent touch desensitization work. Desensitizing a dog to touch early can make a huge difference, regardless of the dog's temperament, so some of the difference between show and pet Eskies is likely the owners and the mount of effort they put in to training and building a sound dog. Based on the dogs that come into the shelter with intolerance to handling (as either strays or as surrenders), touch sensitivity is something too many pet owners just accept.
Well I have Belgians so...I know all too well about behavior issues that are often easy to work through/prevent but ends up being a major problem when people just accept it.

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Originally Posted by GingerKid View Post
I can't say for sure, but probably all of the Eskies I have met have been pet-bred. Some of them have been in a shelter setting, where two of the four Eskies I worked with were owner surrenders for biting (the other two were brought in as strays). Most of my dog experience is in rescue, and conformation shows are not well (i.e. never) advertised in that community so I've been having problems getting information on shows so I can meet different breeds. I feel like a lot of points that you brought up are good ones, but at the same time, make me really hesistant about getting into showing, and in the future, breeding. (Well, that and money ).
How so?

You can find a list of all upcoming AKC shows everywhere in the US at: www.infodog.com



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Don't worry, I wasn't saying that you meant they all die young.

All I meant was that in my peer group, those with conformation-bred Goldens don't seem to be losing dogs any younger than those with field and/or obedience bred Goldens.
Yeah that is my experience too. Same with the pet bred dogs I see at work - some live to be very old and some die young of cancer. The breeder my friend's show bred Goldens are from seems to have dogs who live to be pretty old. My friend's 8 or 9 year old is still playing Flyball and her 12 year old is still a happy, healthy dog.

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Originally Posted by Miakoda View Post
That Lab....all the bile in my stomach just tried to come out. The judge should be ashamed of himself, and the owner should be charged with cruelty. That is nothing short of morbid obesity.
It's no different than what half of the pet owned population of the breed looks like. I'm wondering if the WKC BOB is the same dog I saw in group at the big cluster show around here last summer. I know that dog was a big winning show dog and most people ringside (almost all people who show) were pretty appalled by how fat the dog was. I will never understand why that is the desired look in the Lab ring but it's been that way for probably close to 20 years. I remember in the 90s someone at the local training club who did agility with their show bred Lab was told they'd have to put 20lbs on her to be competitive in the breed ring. So it's hardly a new trend.
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  #83  
Old 02-14-2014, 04:10 PM
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To be fair, show bred Goldens are bred for...well showing. And companionship. They are a wildly popular breed in our modern times, so there are many modern "jobs" for them. The most common is being a good companion. How many people are actually seeking out Goldens to hunt with? Don't those people go to breeder who actively hunt with their dogs? The same as people who show go to breeders who actively show?
I agree to a large extent, and I'm really not opposed to breeding for a purpose if you are staying within the breed standard. My only real objection is implying that the (for example) show bred dogs are every bit as capable in the field as the working/sport/whatever bred ones. At least admit you are breeding for *your* purpose. (You being in general, of course)
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  #84  
Old 02-14-2014, 10:43 PM
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I agree to a large extent, and I'm really not opposed to breeding for a purpose if you are staying within the breed standard. My only real objection is implying that the (for example) show bred dogs are every bit as capable in the field as the working/sport/whatever bred ones. At least admit you are breeding for *your* purpose. (You being in general, of course)
Sorry this is a novel lol

I honestly don't think many people would make that implication (do they really?). Working bred dogs are bred to herd and it's a priority so obviously...they are more naturally capable of herding. I mean it's common sense.

The issue usually arrises when it becomes a "drive" pissing contest. (usually with show dogs being the butt of every "dead eyed and fluffy" joke) which is ridiculous. Like you said, they are just bred for a different purpose. And when it comes to GOOD show breeders, correct temperament/health is right up there with the physical standard.
Just like with GOOD working/sports breeders, health/temperament is also there WITH the ability to do the work/sport.

Let me also say for the record that I think "drive" is becoming a stupid word with no definition. Perhaps it's time to consider that a dog that have a type of drive or drive for something that you don't understand without saying the dog doesn't have any at all.

I've met dogs who are DRIVEN to please and will retrieve all day, tug all day, chase all day, work all day..
but isn't it MAYBE possible that a dog can also be driven to show? to be a calm service dog and sit around when necessary and be quiet? to go around a ring? to do canine freestyle and dance around lol?

Isn't it the SAME drive that pushes them to please?

of course there are breeders who don't do the right thing. Where temperament/health/behavior goes to the wayside in preference for whatever they are working towards but those aren't the breeders really worth mentioning because they suck. And it happens in ALL kinds of breeders.

Merlin will never herd and honestly probably could never herd anything... and what really bothers people the most is that I don't care. Honestly, there are few things that I find less relevant to what I want in a dog than ability to herd.

When I went looking for service dog prospect I gave exactly no shits about breed dramas and breed purity and "herding ability", I cared about finding a dog that had the drive to do the work I needed him to do, work with me... with health and temperament to back it up. And that's what I found.

Ability to work closely with a handler? Ability to focus? Ability to work? Ability to love what they do? Drive to learn? Drive to work? Yes that's why I chose an aussie. and I think for MANY lines, of all kinds, that aspect is kept, it's just put towards different avenues other than herding.

So no I don't think breeding towards your purpose is a bad thing.

just my 2 pennies.
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  #85  
Old 02-14-2014, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SizzleDog View Post
Let's say breeders start making ears a priority. What happens to the dogs that end up with bad ears in the meantime? Can't be shown, can't really be bred, and finding pet homes could/would be difficult. Entire breeding programs could be wiped out. And much, much bigger issues (health, temperament, and structure) could be neglected and be allowed to run rampant. As far as ears go, IMO they're really low on the list of things that need to be drastically changed and specifically bred for, until such time as it is illegal to crop them. Dogs don't run or jump with their ears.
There are a couple points here that I want to respond to - and I want to preface it but saying, overall, I agree with you. Overall health and temperament should be more important than little cosmetics like ears.

The main thing to me is not that ears aren't being bred for: it's that it seems like they're just being entirely written off because cropped is more popular in the ring. That, to me, is a sign of a much bigger problem, especially when things other than just ears are being changed because it's popular, against what the standard says. See all of the increasingly ridiculously coated dogs when the standard calls for moderation in coat - and that doesn't affect the dog's health negatively, only their ability to work and function (at the level that they should be able to, that is.) Brachycephalic dogs that have absolutely no snout any more, stenotic nares, and in many breeds (like bulldogs) such an extreme physical build that they have a hard time whelping naturally... because it's popular and that's winning so let's breed for more and more extremes, to the dog's detriment. And THEN acting as if you're breeding to "better the breed". Uh huh, right. How exactly is that "bettering" a dog?

I think that a lot of breeders have their hearts in the right place, and that they're genuinely trying to do what's best for their dogs, both currently and going forward. But I honestly believe that there are breeders out there who don't have the long term in mind and are all about now, now, now. Breeding into corners because that's what's popular now with no thought to how it's screwing breeds over in the long run. THAT is what I have a problem with. If your goal is just ribbons, you have no business breeding dogs. Get into baking or sewing or cars or anything that doesn't involve manipulating the futures of living creatures for your own ego.

I mean... it's actually in the Labrador standard that the dog should be built in a way that it can function tirelessly as a gun dog ("possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions") Do I think everyone breeding labs needs to be out there actively hunting with them? No, definitely not... the purpose and uses of dogs change and evolve. But it's in the standard that the dog should be physically built to hunt for long hours under difficult conditions, and there's no doubt that some of the big name show labs are absolutely NOT built for that. When you breed against the standard, is it even a lab, or (insert x breed) anymore? On the flip side I've seen some gorgeous show labs, too. It's not a show issue, it's an issue with the people, exhibitors and judges alike.

Geez... ramble ramble. Sorry!
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  #86  
Old 02-15-2014, 06:11 AM
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With regards to the Labs, I came across this link last night: http://slimdoggy.com/no-wonder-a-lab...t-westminster/

What's most interesting is the comment section, where people are defending the size of these labs....
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  #87  
Old 02-15-2014, 07:08 AM
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I honestly don't think many people would make that implication (do they really?).
Maybe not the breeders, to be fair. Or maybe they do - I honestly don't look at many breeder's sites, and those I do tend to be working or (*gasp*) sport breeders. Where I was really noticing it was while watching the Westminster, and the announcer's comments. It does look like a fair number of the gun type dogs do actually do double duty, at least going by titles. But to comment over and over that the dogs were still bred to go out and be able to do their job...well, probably not. And that is *ok*. I may not always personally love the changes, and I bet there are people in every breed who are certain the show ring is killing their breed, but you've got a purpose, you are being responsible about it...go for it. Just don't pretend.
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  #88  
Old 02-15-2014, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozfozz View Post
With regards to the Labs, I came across this link last night: http://slimdoggy.com/no-wonder-a-lab...t-westminster/

What's most interesting is the comment section, where people are defending the size of these labs....
No wonder almost all of my Labrador patients are overweight and the only one I know that isn't (which belongs to my friend so they have no choice or I would be on their case) is constantly being called out in public for being "too skinny".

Owning a sighthound is the worst. I once had someone driving by in a car lean out there window and yell that they were going to report me for animal abuse for not feeding my dogs. I mean, I know they're skinnier than other dogs (and I mean fit dogs... not just the average overweight lab) but they're GREYHOUNDS.

And the trend for heavier dogs is not just in breeds like labs. I wouldn't call most of the greyhounds that are shown OVERweight, but there is certainly a trend for them to be better padded than I care for on my own dogs. It can be hard with the different colours to really tell without getting your hands on them, but I don't SEE the last few ribs usually on show dogs, and that's what I think is right on a greyhound... personally. It's not like those labs though. That's just... ugh.

They should have a vet that looks at all the breed winners like they started doing at Crufts. Hopefully a good one that would be willing to say "that dog is overweight" and pull the dog.
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  #89  
Old 02-15-2014, 07:49 AM
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I do not care for the look of bench-bred AKC BCs at ALL. Largely too short, too heavily-boned, and what's with the Aussie head?

My sample size of dogs I have met in person is fairly limited, but they've all been so, well, bland.

I did toy with the idea of showing Bean in UKC conformation and I was told he could have finished, but I never got around to the training. He certainly has his faults-- he is over-angulated behind, he's got a goofy small head-- but he's also got a pretty nice front and he's a nice moderate dog. Not fine-boned and weedy like Steve. But not so heavily-boned that he looks clunky.

I prefer Steve's sporter-collie type, but Bean is, imo, a more correct dog.
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  #90  
Old 02-15-2014, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozfozz View Post
With regards to the Labs, I came across this link last night: http://slimdoggy.com/no-wonder-a-lab...t-westminster/

What's most interesting is the comment section, where people are defending the size of these labs....
I do see what they're saying somewhat. Several of my friends have labradors, one of which is very bench type looking. He was a rescue so no telling his actual pedigree. He's an older dog and from the side, he looks fat. My friend is an agility person (not with this dog obviously!) and keeps her dogs lean but he just has no tuck. From above he has a waist though. He is sweeter than heck but at least nowadays is not an athletic dog in the slightest.

I don't think the Westminster dogs are carrying as much excess weight as they look like but are definitely carrying some. That said, I think it's bizarre there is such a push to breed labs so short, and not athletic and thick. It's just the antithesis to a functional retriever. It kind of baffles me.
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