Breeds with the MOST significant difference between show and working lines?

lancerandrara

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#1
I am bored (as usual afjklsdfl) and just pondering this question to myself with my own thoughts, and I thought I'd throw it on chaz too. Since I just went to the AKC conformation show in Costa Mesa, I've been thinking back and forth about the various breeds that I met there.

What's your experience? What breeds (that apply) have the biggest rift between their show lines and working lines? And how do they compare?
 

MicksMom

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#3
English Setters come to mind. The most obvious difference is the length of their coat, and size. The field bred lines tend to be a little more compact and sturdier looking, with a shorter coat. And, in my experience, more mellow. The same can be said of the differences between field and show bred Golden Retrievers, except for the mellow part (every Golden I've met, whether field or show bred, has been mellow).

Labs are a bit different- the show bred ones are more compact and heavier with a thicker coat while the field bred lines are leggier, more stream lined and have a thinner coat.
 

Slick

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#4
I'm not really involved in show at all, but German Shepherds come to mind. I grew up with my uncle having these awesome working German shepherds on his farm, and remember being SOOO shocked when I saw the show version. Some of those GSDs don't even look like they could properly run a lap around the ring...my uncle's dogs would sometimes run next to his tractor for hours no problem! They were super super athletic dogs.
 
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#5
Border Collies, German Shepherds and a lot of the gundogs breeds, mainly the english springer/cocker spaniels and setters (but also Goldies and labs). Some of the HPR breeds (such as GSP, Weim, Viszla) I can't tell the difference from looking at them if are a working dog or a show one, and some do both anyway. Maybe the coat is the main thing that makes the show and work dogs look different in some of these breeds, but the show ones also seem bigger in general.
 
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#6
People in the Bouvier des Flandres breed complain about the ever growing distance between working and show lines.
 

crazedACD

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#7
I work with 100+ field bred Labs and yeah...there really aren't any that could even look at the confo ring. There hasn't been a dual champion (Field Trial Champion and conformation) Labrador in over 30 years. There are plenty of confo ch. with hunt test titles, but field trials are too competitive for a show lab to hack it. Field trials are judged on speed and style and well..this isn't going to be a very speedy dog :p.

There are more moderate show labs but eh, that was Westminster BOB in 2014.

These are two of our labs..
 

lancerandrara

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#8
Geez, the Labs really are quite a distinct difference. Is the chubby/saggy look something genetic/bred toward, or are they actually overweight? I wonder why this sagginess seems to be desirable.
 

thehoundgirl

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Geez, the Labs really are quite a distinct difference. Is the chubby/saggy look something genetic/bred toward, or are they actually overweight? I wonder why this sagginess seems to be desirable.
Unfortunately show labs look like obese that. I don't like that look, personally. I grew up with a purebred Lab and he was not even like that. I like the size of the Labs crazedACD posted.
 

*blackrose

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#10
I was going to say Labradors as well. Seems like the more moderate types are either performance or pet-bred. Although I really love the looks of some of the "British" feild Labs in the area. Moderate in size and type while still retaining the stereotypical Labrador tail/head/coat and the drive and ability to work and do well. Gorgeous dogs.

As for whether show dogs are overweight, part of it is the way they're built - they look like they're carrying more weight than they are. That being said, I personally think many (if not all) could also loose about 10 pounds and look much better.
 

Samsonyte!

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#11
I saw something earlier about how labs and goldens are actually supposed to have less of a tuck-up and look kind of "fat" because in some northern field trials they break ice to retrieve birds, and having more of a tuck-up or shorter rib cage would cause them to sustain more damage to their organs when doing so. Now I don't know anything about labs or goldens or field trials but I thought it was interesting anyway. So while a lot of show-bred labs are kinda fat, they aren't supposed to be lean dogs to begin with.

Another breed that definitely comes to mind is GSD, but they are also stacked in such a way that makes their back look like it has a much more extreme slope. Still, I don't know that a show-bred GSD would last very long doing IPO work or any herding.

Show border collies are a lot floofier than their working counterparts and also a bit stockier but other than that I don't see that drastic of a difference? Actually I think a lot of the time a show and working dog of any breed looks a lot different when it's more just the coat than anything else.

Idk that turned into a bit of a ramble and like I said I don't know how true any of this stuff is, just what I've heard and observed.
 

MicksMom

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#12
I saw something earlier about how labs and goldens are actually supposed to have less of a tuck-up and look kind of "fat" because in some northern field trials they break ice to retrieve birds, and having more of a tuck-up or shorter rib cage would cause them to sustain more damage to their organs when doing so...
I don't know about Goldens, but that is true for Labs.

From the breed standard: "...The underline is almost straight, with little or no tuck-up in mature animals..."

Plus, they do have a layer of fat by their neck & shoulders, which also makes them look fat, especially in pictures and on TV.

Complete standard here: http://www.thelabradorclub.com/subpages/show_contents.php?page=Breed+Standard

I'm in no way a fan of "overly done" dogs of any breed. I've found in Labs it goes "both ways"- I've seen show bred Labs that look like whiskey barrels on legs, and I've also seen Labs from field lines that look more like big Whippets. Heck, I even knew one who looked like he was part Great Dane.

In comaprison to the 2014 Westminster BOB Lab, this is the 2015 Westminster BOB.
http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2015/photos/breed/SR73715301.html

 

Elrohwen

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#13
Definitely English springers and English cockers. Some of it is amount of coat and color. Field bred springers are typically bred for more white, while bench bred dogs usually have a solid blanket with minimal ticking. And field bred cockers seem to often be solid black or liver, while you see bench bred dogs in a variety of colors and patterns. But the heads are also pretty different and the bench dogs have a lot more bone.

Springers:



Cockers:

 

Beanie

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#14
I think in terms of BCs it's a temperament thing more than looks. They tend to have more coat and they are generally fat, but most of the difference isn't really visual.
Shelties are samsies, ring shelties are heavily coated and fat but their attitude is way different. I think that is the case for a lot of herding breeds, the show variety may not look super far off, but it sure acts differently.
 

SpringerLover

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#15
Definitely English springers and English cockers. Some of it is amount of coat and color. Field bred springers are typically bred for more white, while bench bred dogs usually have a solid blanket with minimal ticking.
We actually joke there are 4-5 types of Springers: American bench, American field, BYB, British field, British show.

All defined by coat length, color, and build.
 

Elrohwen

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#16
We actually joke there are 4-5 types of Springers: American bench, American field, BYB, British field, British show.

All defined by coat length, color, and build.
I was reading an article about the topic of different lines, and they used the ESS as an example of how British and American bench dogs are actually very similar. Obviously the typical coat pattern is different, but they said otherwise the dogs were basically the same. I don't really see it ... they look pretty different to me in head shape especially. Wish I remember where I read that.

How are American and British field lines different from each other? I have no experience there.
 

SpringerLover

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#17
The British dogs had much less of a split overall. The British field dogs are house dogs that work hard. Most American field dogs are not good house pets. The British dogs also have normal length legs... Many American field dogs are awkwardly short on leg.
 

Laurelin

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#18
I don't think BCs are very evenly split. I think there's a lot more overlap than people commonly talk about (and more splits than show and work). It's true the extremes do not look like each other but most the 'sport bred' dogs I know have some show lines and working lines in them.
 
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#19
I'm very much a breed outsider looking in but I know a lot of BCs and I consider there to be plenty enough overlap between show, sports-bred and working lines too. Especially compared to many of the gun dog breeds mentioned.

I mean, the show line dogs are hairier, have squarer heads and muzzles and are more likely to be red than others, the sports bred dogs are more jittery and more likely to be merle than others, and the working dogs have the most consistent stock instinct (including breed specific stuff like eye and clap) and the most easily trained off switch. (According to what I've seen so far.) But there's a lot of perceptible crossover from my perspective - the most dramatic difference for me is definitely the difference in appearance between straight show bred dogs and many working bred dogs which seem to lean light-coated, light-boned, slinky and pointy. The biggest/most consistent behavioral difference between lines or types that I've noticed is just absence/presence of stock sense, which is fairly narrow.

If we're talking herding dogs (excluding continentals/tenders) I think I've seen the largest gulf between working and conformation Aussies.

With Catahoulas, I get the sense that some people who strictly work dogs are definitely lamenting a great gulf between lines that doesn't actually exist yet, or are at least badly exaggerating the one that's there, as lots of Catahoulas that place well/qualify in the conformation ring also hunt, herd and place/qualify in those competitions too. Regarding that, I guess that when you're so steeped in the culture of a breed it might be easy to make a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to intrabreed variation and politics.

Anyway, I pretty much think that Labs and some of the spaniels take the cake on this one by a pretty wide margin, with GSDs following.
 
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