In Australia all Labs are put in the show ring together. Separating colours (ok colors) is unthinkable, though there is a lot of carping about judges not liking one colour or another (of course, mostly by those who don't win :).
In looking at pictures of US chocos I notice that light eyes are pretty common. Here I wouldn't put a light eyed chocolate in the ring . . . I'm not a good looser . . . and eye colour is a big consideration in breeding decisions . . . much as I hate breeding for cosmetic features. This hurts because my favorite bitch, by many criteria (excellent hips/elbows, Optigen A, good mover, good coat, nice head, tireless runner) is a yellow eyed choco (picture attached).
Has the separation of colours made it more acceptable for chocos to have light eyes in the US -- and allowed breeding programs to focus on more substantial traits? Or am I missing something. Do light eyed chocos consistently loose out in the BOB contest?
I'm not an expert, by any means, but I think that eye color is much more important to some people than others with regards to chocolates. Most don't want yellow eyes in a chocolate, since it is incorrect according to the AKC breed standard, but when someone has a dog who is absolutely stunning in every other way, most are willing to overlook light eyes, whether a chocolate, black, or yellow.
I have recently seen a multiple BOB winning, nationally-ranked champion yellow bitch who has light eyes, and also chatted a bit with the owner of a black who has light eyes (so the owner tries to make sure those eyes are always shaded from the sun when the judge comes by to look). These dogs are certainly champion material in every other way, so if the eye color is the only fault, then why keep it out of the ring?
It doesn't have anything to do with separation of colors, in my opinion, and eyes that are too dark can often be seen as giving a harsh expression just as much as eyes that are too light. JMHO.
Jarrah is a very pretty girl, by the way. Do you have any photos that show how light her eyes are?
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
I don't think light eye in the US is common nor does it have anything to do with showing under separate colors. Yes, people who do have nice dogs where the only fault might be the eyes may still show the dog. The same way many still show their dogs with missing teeth.
I think it's harder to get the right color eye in chocolates. It can take awhile for them to darken enough. If I had waited on showing my girl until her eye was dark enough, she wouldn't have hit the ring until after 2. I don't know as much about whether the other colors have as much of a problem with light eyes as do chocolates, but then again I just attribute that to chocolate are only now really coming into their own with good breeders making the right decision about pedigrees to fix what so many BYB's ruined in the past.
One more point about the division of colour. It would have no influence on quality as a dog would still need to win the open chocolate class and go on to be awarded winners to get points. Dividing the classes reflects the size of the open classes in the US and at specialties and I believe it is simply to make the judge's job easier. In the end, the chocolate dog would still need to defeat the blacks and yellows.
I don't have any BYB dogs in my chocolates' pedigrees, nor do most breeders. I don't believe that has anything to do with light eyes although I suppose chocolates with a field background might be predisposed to lighter eyes. Most chocolates go back to a limited gene pool and if popular dogs like Donalbain Marksman or Lindall Mastercraft produced light eyes, then obviously there could be an issue down the line. I won't name him, but one prominent chocolate stud tended to produce a light eye. There are also some that produce light coats, one of which is an english import.
Light eyes (also dark eyes) are also an issue in other colours, but just not as noticeable or disturbing as headlamp yellow eyes
I have a black bitch with an overly dark eye and I think it harshens her expression and I keep that in mind when breeding her.
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
Thanks for the thoughts and opinions . . . attached is a picture of yellow eyed Jarrah with her yellow eyed mother. The chocolate comes on one side from Driftway Regal Oak (I think his sire, Rochby Royal Oak was also yellow carrying chocolate) . . . the other side is harder to trace to well known dogs. I wasn't after a choco . . . but she was the pick girl from her mother's last litter. Nice tongue, heh? (No it isn't hiding a pink nose).
Americans don't seperate the open classes in small shows, but in large shows the colors are separated to make the classes more manageable.Originally Posted by sandgrubberWhere are you looking at the US Chocolates? Are you looking at dogs who are winning in the ring? I have only seen a few big winning chocolates in person, but they had correct eye coloring.Originally Posted by sandgrubber