while at the vet the other day I was looking at the "Gaines Guide to American Dogs" poster that was in the room. It was printed sometime mid 80's. What I was wondering is why all the dogs still look the same some 20 years later except for the Labrador?
Do you see members of other breeds and critique them like you do Labradors? I certainly do not. I would not be able to judge a class of Pekinese or Great Danes like I do Labradors. Aldo ask 25 random people in the vet's office and they will think that the Labrador has not changed from that photo as well.
That's different than my experiences...almost everyone I know comments on how Labs have changed. That's not to say that I consider myself or the average dog person to be an expert on Labradors, it's just what I have seen/experienced.Originally Posted by WigWag
ETA: perhaps it is that the conformation style labs have changed less while the pet-bred goes through more extreme phases since they're not bred to a specific standard?
Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure
I think labs have changed because there are so many BYB's out there trying to make a buck off the most popular dog registered through the AKC. If you look at all the dogs that all the members' of this board have, they all vary so much and look different from the standard. But if you were to focus on the members who have dogs from solid foundations, bought from excellent breeders, those that show/breed/exhibit in performance events, you may notice that THOSE dogs do look like the "true" labrador. My 2 neighbors have chocolate labs and both of them are in awe of mine because theirs are taller, leaner, houndy heads, and when I asked where they got them...."oh some lady in abc-town, she had both the parents..."
People get used to seeing the pet bred labs that are Great Dane sized and 120# and then see a normal lab and think the dog is a runt.
Depends on where you are seeing your labs. I go to alot of shows, all the dogs look "normal" there...
I don't think its so much that the lab has changed.
Ruffy was whelped in the mid 80's and I'm sure the dog on the chart looked nothing like him:
Bolo and Ruler are not far off what we see in the ring today and these dogs are loooooooong gone. I think that most breeders have stayed pretty true to these ancestors although some like them bigger and some like them smaller.
I often look at those labs on the charts at the vet and laugh, they are so unusual looking as they are completely lacking in type and I'm not sure how many breeders would be happy to see them in their yard, but I sure wouldn't :P ;D
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
From the photos above, I think Bolo and Ruffy and quite distinct. I do think the breed has changed. It seems to me that something happened during WWII, as to my eye, there is a difference between pre-WWII and post-WWII Labradors. I am not sure about the chart that you're referring to though.
I believe this is the photo - this is on the big chart of breeds at my vet office:
I think he looks like Ruffy!
Our popular chart has a yellow lab on it that is very square and completely lacking in coat. Not as pretty as that dog!!
I agree he looks a lot like Ruffy.
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
That's Sam of Blaircourt I believe...poster child for the breed for many moons. He's a more moderate dog than Ruffy. Less coat, less bone, more leg. I like Ruffy also (he's in my pedigree here), don't get me wrong, but...Originally Posted by WigWag
I see a definite change in styles of labs in the ring here and am constantly hearing feedback as such by other breed handlers in my all breed club wondering what is happening to the Lab. MUCH more coat, bone, overdone heads (stops) w/ shorter muzzles on the whole. Please, no flames, but I'm afraid some of the heavier boned dogs just can't serve the purpose the breed is intended for... and I know jumping sports are much harder the more bone you add. I added a mere 2-3# to my one smallish girl for Intl shows in Feb (and she still looked like a waif in comparison to the others but took BOB under a respected judge from the SE)--- anyhow, I went to compete her in Open obed in trials shortly thereafter and she was LAZY-- went around the jump on the way back w/ the dumbbell, etc. :-[ My training friends laughed and said she's "fat". Yep... sad but true. Now she's slimmed down, and show breeders say "Feed your Dog" with disgust. ??? But she can jump and has more energy again. So part of the problem is we are seeing dogs w/ much added weight in the ring that gives a different appearance. And I do think that added weight brings on nicer, thicker/longer coats in many cases, and this has become almost essential to win.
That all said, we have 2 very nice multiple performance titled Labs that are winning multiple BIS's out here in the NW that are moderate, athletic dogs, so moderation may be coming back in vogue. -Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
I think it really depends on the dog's temperament and soundness and not the dog's type and amount of bone. Yes I've seen some big hefty show dogs who are lazy and "laid back" to the extreme but I have a big black male who has always been very athletic and *needs* his daily exercise - he still leaps on the bed, in and out of the SUV and for his soccerball and he's getting up there in age. I have a friend with a male who has a lot of bone (almost too much for me) and he's short on leg and very very typey yet he is extremely athletic - leaping into the pond, etc. My yellow bitch is fairly typey and is unbelievably fast - my goodness she runs like a Greyhound for her bumper!
As far as the short muzzle argument I don't like a super short muzzle either, however I have never seen a Labrador with a muzzle that is too short so as not to be able to pick up a duck or goose for that matter.
People from performance events are surprised when they see a really typey Labrador with a lot of working drive and ability do their thing. On a duck hunting trip my husband pulled up and opened the back of the SUV and the friend of his friend peeked in and his eyes widened and he laughed saying "THAT dog is going to go get a duck??? He won't be able to get out of his own way!" His eyes also widened when THAT dog leaped out of the crate and then bolted like a canon ball straight to his duck and back.