I went to a show today to do a little self-education and came out with several questions....
1) I thought all the labs seemed somewhat short (probably just because my personal lab is 23.5")....are specialty labs this size also?
2) Since the dogs are remaining anonymous, and there is no way of identifying them from these pictures....I think it should be safe to ask this next question (please tell me if I should remove the pictures though!)
Personally I liked this dog best:
But this dog went WD:
What makes dog #2 "better" ? What is a judge looking for in Labs?
ETA: I know generally what a judge looks for in a Lab, just not what sets a winner apart.
Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure
There's so many things that a judge is looking for: typiness, structure, movement, attitude, etc. Add to that the fact that every judge has a different opinion of what their perfect lab should be. The best way to develop an idea of what should be winning is to go to many shows and observe. Find a mentor that raises/shows a type of lab that you find appealing. Most importantly, a good study of the labrador retriever standard will be a good basic start. Where are you from? There may be a labrador club in your area where you can find someone willing to help you.
I like the 2nd one.
But then, I am a little biased......
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Wow- did you see the set of legs in #2's photo? That couldn't have hurt (and yes, I am a married woman...I'm jealous of whoever is showing that dog!)! LOL J/K...though I did have one of my thin, beautiful friends show my dog to a RWD under a judge that was known for liking a nice set of legs in a handler. Not saying that was right or wrong, but it was an interesting experiment that couldn't hurt, right?
Actually, I think I'm with you... I prefer the "type" (including coat, substance- at least in the photos) of the yellow to that of the chocolate (it is a dark choco, right? It is tough to tell with the indoor lighting), though the yellow doesn't seem to have much "rear" in that particular photo and so the dog looks a little bit unbalanced to me.
There really isn't anything "better" about one or the other in general- it is all subjective, depending on what the judge likes and what the judge is looking for. As you've seen on this forum, everyone likes something a bit different, it seems, and certain people have certain "pet-peeves," judges included. Some judges like a lot of substance and coat, and some like a lighter-boned "model." I, for one, like a big, chunky butt and strong, straight topline leading directly into a tail (no low tailsets for me) that isn't too curved and isn't held very high. This feature in a labrador always makes me watch that dog. Other things I like are a sweet, beautiful lab face and round, tight feet (which around here can be difficult to evaluate since almost all of our shows are outdoors in the grass).
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
if these two were the only ones to choice from i would agree with the judge for the #2 dog( choc) as the yellow appears to not be balance and the rear does not match the front( almost like looking at two different dogs), also it appears the the choc has a better reach of neck and clean, the yellow looks stuffy in the neck and not seated well, also the choc appears( this is hard to really see) but has a better upper arm than the yellow. the yellow is short in upper arm
And I went back and compared the set of the dogs' legs!! LOLOriginally Posted by CaliforniaLabLover
I compared dog legs at first too, then I went back to the original photo...that handler is *built.* She could probably beat the judge up if her dog wasn't chosen :P :P
Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure
I agree with Denise...there appears to be a roll over the yellow's shoulders meaning his front is prolly not correct (although it is hard to tell from the angle of the pic). The chocolate has a better pelvic angle and appears to have better second thigh and good type. Also a bit better boned right down to the feet and the yellow may not have great pigment.
Now the same two dogs may meet up next week and have very different outcomes.
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
Between the two, I would also go with the second one (chocolate). As others have mentioned, it looks like the choc boy is more balanced. He also looks a bit taller and leaner, which I prefer. It also looks like he has a sloping croup, which is not desirable.
Gotta love the judging of dogs...side by side in reality may have shown a different picture! I liked the #2 dog better from what I could see for points that others did mention, but if the photos were identical, who knows.
And it's a tough sport, judges are supposed to know the standard and pick the best fairly, but they are human too, and when you are down to several dogs that all meet the standard, it can often fall down to picking the dog that caught your eye vs. which ones turn of stifle is just that much more correct than the other.
I've been at shows where strangers (but who know the breed) will tell me my dog should have won over someone else's, but that's all part of it. You make the best presentation you can, you trust the judges opinion and do your best. And often there ARE judges that have types and colors and prefer movement over some other trait, and it becomes a game of knowing judges what they prefer, what your dog has to offer and possibly NOT showing to certain judges because your dog might NEVER win under them.