First of all let me start by saying that I'm not interested nor in breeding or showing, this is just curiosity and knowledge in the breed.
I would like to know from the experts, when a litter of labs is born how do you recognise a show prospect among the litter.* I mean do you look for something particular? I know you have years of experience and you probably see a show prospect with just one look, but what are the signs you look for.
Thanks for your patience and your replies, again I'm just asking for my own knowledge, Bailey is spayed and for the time being DH doesn't want another puppy and most probably our next lab will be an older lab.* So please rest your mind that I'm not going to use this information in anyway.
basically you look for the pup that is closest to the standard. you start at the head and work your way down to the tail. you develop an eye so that you can look at a puppy and determine if its the best. you grade each puppy and pray you have at least one that meets your standard and can keep. you're very lucky if you have 1 or 2 to choose from.
♣ Laura ♣
I am probably the farthest thing from an "expert" as possible, but I have been to several puppy evaluations now for different litters, and depending on the bloodlines of the puppies, there may be different ages at which you "evaluate" the puppies to determine which will be show prospects or not. Some are earlier, some are much later. The ones that I went to were all around 8 wks old.
We were basically evaluating each little puppy as a tiny version of what it should look like as an adult, and therefore, like Labby mentioned above, you are looking for the puppies that really seem to fit all aspects of the breed standard, and are something each breeder thinks should do well based on previous experience. Angles (joint angles- stifle, elbow, shoulder, etc.), shoulder layback, faces/head, bite, coat, substance/"bone", tail-set, topline, and length of neck were just some of the things we looked at in each puppy. Some litters won't have a single "show prospect" in it, unfortunately, but some have a couple to run with.
I hope that makes sense. If you are ever interested, get involved with your local labrador retriever club and ask some of the breeders whether or not you could come over when they make their final evaluations. It is really interesting, especially if you have a couple of different breeders doing the evaluations of each litter!
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
When set up at 5 weeks and then again close to 8 weeks, the puppy must be balanced. Front, rear angles, topline and length of neck should be present and accounted for. Tailset, again, will add to the balance of the dog. Its the first thing anyone sees when you walk in the ring. I want a pleasing expression, a dog that makes good eye contact and when I smile at them, they bark back Head types will vary, I can see merit in a few different types but I do want a nice eye and kind expression. I like a cheeky personality too...the more the merrier! I like puppies with good coats also, bone must balance with the style of dog and be enough to carry off the coat(often coat and bone are in bed together, you get them both...or not at all).
If you are lucky, the puppy with the X factor jumps right out at you!