here is a great article on overweight labs at shows!!!
BTW what do you all think of the breeder??
I have read that article before...and many parts are absolutely true, even to me (a novice)! I am more frustrated than anything by constantly being told by area breeder-friends to put more weight on my dog (especially for specialty shows), when all I want to do is keep him lean and in good shape. I don't mind tuck-up in a lab, and actually like a dog to have a "waist." My pet-bred girl, especially with her elbow problems, etc., gets kept quite lean, and I think it benefits her a ton to not have to carry around so much weight.
As far as opinions on the breeder? I know someone on another board who has a pretty boy from them and he does quite well, but I've heard extremely mixed reviews about this person as a breeder. I don't know them personally, but I'm a novice and on the complete opposite side of the continent from them.
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
The standard is an interpretation. Yes, there are labs out there that are too fat or without much muscle tone. But there are way more that are a beautiful speciman of the breed. Go to the Potomac - there is quite a bit of consistent type there- so ALL those breeders that have been breeding for 20, 30+ years are wrong? Personally, I like the labs that are found in Europe/UK - it's personal taste, but it doesn't mean I can't appreciate the bench labs in the U.S.
Not to pick on 'pet' lab owners but part of the problem is that there are so many poorly bred labs now that people don't know what a proper lab is supposed to look like. How many times have you heard people who own a bench style lab say they are constantly being asked 'what type of dog is that?' Well, if you are used to seeing that long legged, tucked up, long muzzle lab running around the dog park, you start thinking that is the norm. A lab is a swimming dog and a 'gentleman's hunting dog - it is supposed to be in good enough shape to retrieve in land and water, walk along side it's master during a days hunt and use it's nose to find dropped birds. It was not bred for field trails where it's being timed how quickly it retrieves and at what distance - get a pointer for that.
Well, I think the author makes some valid points, but some of her statements sound incorrect to me. For example, she talks about Labs suffocating in Florida heat ("15 minutes in the Florida heat and we have heat prostration and imminent death"). Well, Labs were never bred for Florida heat; they were bred for Newfoundland ocean waters and England's cold weather during bird hunting season. They were not bred to be heat-dwelling dogs. So, I don't see the point of her statement here.
Also, the standard calls for "no excess fat," which means that some amount of fat is allowed. Labs do need to have a layer of fat to protect their bodies from the elements. As far as some layer of fat being mutually exclusive with athletic, I'd say just look at some of the football players who have a layer of fat on their bodies and are still athletic. Of course, I'm not advocating an obese Lab. I agree that a Lab must be fit, and I agree if the judges are putting up obese out-of-shape dogs, that's not right. However, a layer of fat (not in excess) and a true double coat can make a Lab appear "fat" from the ringside. That is why judges put their hands down on the dogs to feel if there is muscle mass or excess fat behind that appearance.
Unfortunately, it appears that some judges are misguided and do put up fat dogs and thus the ringside advice of getting your own dog fatter for the ring. But my hope is that there are judges still out there who do understand the standard and interpret it right and judge accordingly. Just my novice opinion.