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Thread: the perfect lab

  1. #21
    windycanyon's Avatar
    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    Tatyana, how much time have you spent really working with and listening to dual purpose breeders? Have you involved yourself in venues outside of obedience yet? I'm not trying to be nasty here-- you actually just sound alot like me a few years ago, that's all. I've learned SO much in the past 10 yrs by involving myself w/ the different factions and continue to learn. I'm blessed to be surrounded by these folks at club events. I think one of the first things to realize is that comments by folks (like MRW, etc) can be interpreted as many ways as we WANT to interpret them (moderate is an example of a word that is tough to define!). Straight stifles are no more correct than cowhocked stifles. Get that copy of the illustrated standard, attend a CC eval where you can hear the judges' critiques as they go over the dogs (for the most part I will tell you the judges are probably way too nice, lol). The LRC CC was designed for those of us w/ performance at heart, but who want to learn more about conformation so we can improve in future generations or purchases. The IABAC (Intl) shows are also very helpful depending on the judges.

    As for agility, to be very honest, a well constructed lab bred to the standard is still out of its element at the more advanced levels. Our labs are not light boned border collies and are at much higher risk for injuries due to the way they are (or should be) constructed. That said, I have a pup in a competition home who is a MXJ/AX and going for MACH... I'm very proud of his accomplishments but he's on the lighter edn of moderate boned and I admit he will look like a waif (even in the hunting retriever dog class) at LRC where he'll be vying for the Dog for all Reasons award! They *still* need to keep him very thin to be so competitive in agility. Some folks are getting into weight pulling too.. but just because they like it doesn't mean our dogs were built for it. As for waiting until 2yo to do alot of stuff w/ our labs, would you run your 8 yo child in marathons or in track and field events? It's just common sense to let them grow up first before stressing joints. Someday if you decide to become a breeder and are offering health guarantees in your contracts, you'll understand that this is simply a common sense approach that some pet owners wouldn't get if they didn't have it outlined for them. I train w/ FT folks btw, and even they are careful w/ young growing dogs. I've seen many FT dogs break down physically by the time they were 8-10 too, btw. Nothing worse than having an injury mess up your dog for life when it was preventable. -Anne

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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  3. #22
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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    Do you have a copy of "The Versatile Labrador Retriever" by Nancy Martin (Doral publishing)? It's a great book with lots of photos, standard discussions, etc--- covers the field aspects nicely too.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

  4. #23
    Tatyana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    Tatyana, how much time have you spent really working with and listening to dual purpose breeders? Have you involved yourself in venues outside of obedience yet?
    Dual purpose meaning what? "Dual purpose" traditionally means CH/FC not CH/MH. And yes, I've talked to some breeders, gone to all-breed and specialty shows and was going to try to do conformation. I decided that it was not my cup of tea. As far as other venues besides obedience, yes, my dog has a tracking title as well. We've been doing "field" training for a while now and will try to enter upcoming hunt tests locally. I even thought about agility before my dog got diagnosed with ED. I volunteer as both hunt tests and field trials, stay involved with local retriever clubs and go to watch both events when there is a chance.

    would you run your 8 yo child in marathons or in track and field events?
    I started training for track when I was 8; I was not competitive until several years later but I was a competitive sprinter and went to the national once. I am not saying that people train their dogs under 2 y.o. on AA set ups, but they do run marks and the dogs survive. I have not heard of many hunters wait till their dogs are over 2 y.o. to start taking them hunting either.

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  6. #24
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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    You are not comparing apples to apples here. No one I know is keeping their dogs from exercising or running marks until they are 2 (mine are out at 5-6 mos doing 3 mile group walks, beginning field training, etc..). My friends ran derbys w/ their youngsters the past year, and are running SH/MH tests now. The FT situation is SO incredibly different today than it was years ago, that's not even fair to compare a dual of yesterday vs today. It was more similar to an MH than you may realize. We Americans just have to keep raising that bar, hence the separation between venues. I would NOT do agility (any jumping over 12" anyhow) w/ a youngster. As far as obed folks going for incorrect labs (or however that was worded), my guess is that by and large, they are going for drive, that "heart" that so many field labs tend to have more of (please, no flames here from you conformation folks, but I do see more of an issue w/ softness in my lines now than I did when just field). Dang, this perfection game is just not easy! But if it were easy, we'd all have FC/CH's too. :P

    Do you know for sure your boy has ED or could it have been an injury to the growth plate? If just dx'd as DJD, it could be either one. That's why we caution against too much jumping/pounding etc as a youngster, try to avoid the injuries masquerading as genetic issues. Hunt test venues are not free from holes either-- so a fast charging dog can easily screw up a joint if you aren't very careful.

    I guess I'm curious-- your boy is from show lines, right? Why not get a FC lab if that seems more your style? I personally could not live w/ many from the "popular" lines of today and I'm "only" 46 yrs old and very active. I don't care for much of the temperaments I've been seeing and think you have to be much more careful in selecting for that now than we used to have to be.

    (PS My 11 mo old pup is running at JH at Natls on Sunday barring any hormonal onset, anyhow! She's also been in comp obed classes for the past 3 mos, has been tracking, doing puppy agility. Her grams had 8 titles---CDX SH OA OAJ plus was tracking cert'd by age 4. Is that not an example of versatility? I'd have gone further w/ her if that was my one and only, but as a breeder, had 2 litters w/ her and now 4 youngsters to train and compete in btw trying to run a business. "Dual" by your definition would require the dog be on a pro trainer anymore or you'd have to be very wealthy.)

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

  7. #25
    Tatyana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    Do you know for sure your boy has ED or could it have been an injury to the growth plate?
    Well, I'm as sure as a radiologist from a vet school in Colorado and Dr. Keller from the OFA that he has Grade II ED, FCP, which one large fragment removed from each elbow during his bilateral orthroscopic surgery. I tried to keep in the protective bubble as much as I could (eventually he got too heavy for me to carry up and down the stairs) with no jumping until well after his diagnosis and surgery, no field training until well after his diagnosis and surgery. I don't have any other dogs for him to rump around with and injure himself. I have no fence to let him run around the yard freely (he was always on leash until his recall got better) and injure himself. So, I think I'm pretty sure that he has ED.

    I guess I'm curious-- your boy is from show lines, right?
    Scotty is from show lines and love him with all my heart. When I got him, I did not know what venues there were available for a Labrador (in fact, I thought that Petsmart training was it). I found JL and everybody here said go to a reputable show breeder, etc. Nobody suggested a field bred Labrador otherwise I could have gone a different route. I do not regret getting Scotty even with all of this faults and imperfections, he is my heart dog and we've learned a lot together.

    Why not get a FC lab if that seems more your style?
    Do you mean get an already FC-titled Lab? I don't want to purchase an adult dog that already has a title; the journey to the title is more important to me that the title itself. If you mean get a puppy from field trial lines, I am doing just that.

  8. #26
    Tatyana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    "Dual" by your definition would require the dog be on a pro trainer anymore or you'd have to be very wealthy.
    I believe that has been the case with most dual Labradors throughout the history of the breed, which is full of Lords, Ladies, Dukes, etc. in England and reads like who's who of the industrial revolution in the U.S. However, there are quite a few amateur trained FCs/AFCs nowadays (with most of these amateurs becoming really good trainers over the years).

  9. #27
    windycanyon's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    That is considered genetic (at least last I read on OFA, etc), so no, his issue is not due to an injury in your case.

    FC was my slang--I really meant a pup from FC lineage (sire/dam etc).

    So do you feel wealthy? Go for it! Yes, there are lots of "amateur" trainers out there but don't let that term fool you. They aren't amateurs in the sense that we think of amateurs (only that they've never collected a $ for any of their assistance to others) and they've probably spent at least $20K to get to where they are now.

    -Anne


    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

  10. #28
    Tatyana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    So do you feel wealthy? Wink Go for it! Yes, there are lots of "amateur" trainers out there but don't let that term fool you. They aren't amateurs in the sense that we think of amateurs (only that they've never collected a $ for any of their assistance to others) and they've probably spent at least $20K to get to where they are now.
    I don't think I "feel" wealthy and I certainly know that I'm not wealthy, but I believe that I can manage my finances to allow myself a chance at training a dog for at least Qaul level and hopefully AA level. I know that with many people, it takes several dogs before they finally get a dog that is talented enough to compete at AA level. I have worked hard to enlist the help and support of some great field trial people. So, we'll see what happens.

  11. #29
    meandclint is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    Tatyana - what I don't quite understand is why the hostility towards show type dogs and their breeders? I am admittedly biased towards a show type dog however I appreciate the talent and athleticism of the field trial bred dog. If you have decided you personally prefer the performance venues and the dog that goes along with those then why all the negative comments towards those that prefer the show type?

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    DefaultRe: the perfect lab

    Quote Originally Posted by WigWag
    Tatyana - what I don't quite understand is why the hostility towards show type dogs and their breeders? I am admittedly biased towards a show type dog however I appreciate the talent and athleticism of the field trial bred dog. If you have decided you personally prefer the performance venues and the dog that goes along with those then why all the negative comments towards those that prefer the show type?
    I second this quesiton. I don't understand why you hand around the conformation section waiting to turn anything you possibly can into a show/field debate...it gets old :

    To answer the original question, the perfect lab my not be out there, but Aggie (the chocolate bitch Sharon posted) gets pretty dang close to it in both structure and temperament! IMO.

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