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    1. #1
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      Really good article on show/field split sporting breeds...

      The Ugly Truth: Can Show Dogs be Hunting Dogs? - Gun Dog Magazine

      Anyone who has met Rocket Dog (as has Labradorks) will know immediately, she is the poster-child for the extreme field bred lab. The author describes field bred labs as whippets. I'd call her more of a hound-ish looking lab. But way far away from the breed standard, which is his point.

      I thought it was interesting that in the English Springer, Goldens, Irish Setters, and Labs... the hunters' complaints were that show-bred dogs carry too much bone and coat to work hard all day long in the field. (He says that this doesn't impair the show-lab's ability to do water-fowl.)

      Another point he makes is that breeds that win field events are bred for speed and nose, which makes them to "hot" for a hunter. I think I'd have to reluctantly agree with him since Rocket Dog is 3 years old and she's just now showing signs of becoming a "non-slip" retriever. (But my major gripe about hunters... they make very little effort to actually train their labs. They have no idea how smart their dogs are.)

      Anyway, the article is sort of a cri du coeur for trying to reunite these breeds and give kudos to the breeders looking for moderation and balance.

    2. #2
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      The breeds will never be reunited -- not just talking Labs but any breeds with divergence. People who are most successful at field trials generally don't care what their dogs look like; or more realistically they think their dogs look GREAT and fit their interpretation of the standard. They can win, they can stud out their dogs, they don't care. People who are generally most successful in the show ring know their dogs can't compete in field trials. They are winning in their venue, and most can pass instinct tests like JH with a bit of effort/training. Their dogs are fine personal hunters. That's enough for most. Some are going beyond and you see an increasing number of AKC CH or GCH master hunters, but there will never IMO be a true dual champion (field trial and AKC champion) in the breed again. Breeds that continue to produce dual champions are better suited for the speed and intensity of today's field games, as they were originally structured and created in ways that are advantageous for modern competition. Labs were not originally envisioned for today's competitions and certain lines and kennel programs bred for success in field trials where it is helpful to be structured to look like a black, yellow, or chocolate Greyhound. On the show side, there are some kennels that are equally extreme in their breedings.

      Everyone should just enjoy their dogs and/or breed the Labs that you think are the best, truest example of the breed, and compete with your breeding stock. All the online griping about the field/bench divide will not resolve it.

    3. #3
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      stupid question: What is the big difference between field rials and hunt trials? Can you not have dual champions in HUNT and conformation (VS field and conformation)? Is field considered "Better" than hunting as far as trialing goes? I mean wasn't hte lab created to sit in blinds for hours then go retriever ducks (short spurts of energy) VS what I am imaging field trials to be?

      Are ALL hunting-retrievers expected to compete to the same standard-speed in field trials?
      Rocky and Penny (Feb 10 2013 - July 23 2016)
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    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
      stupid question: What is the big difference between field rials and hunt trials? Can you not have dual champions in HUNT and conformation (VS field and conformation)? Is field considered "Better" than hunting as far as trialing goes? I mean wasn't hte lab created to sit in blinds for hours then go retriever ducks (short spurts of energy) VS what I am imaging field trials to be?

      Are ALL hunting-retrievers expected to compete to the same standard-speed in field trials?
      There is no hunt test championship for Labs in AKC, so you are not going to be an AKC conformation and hunt test "dual champion." There are many differences between hunt tests and field trials and various different orgs and venues under which you can compete. One difference is that AKC hunt tests are not dog/handler team vs. other dog/handler team. Field trials have more challenge and distance in marks and blinds. "Better" is subjective. IMO depends what your goals are, and what you want to do with your dog. You can read a lot online about hunt tests vs. field trials. When you get your next Lab are you interested in competing in these types of sports?

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by dxboon View Post
      . When you get your next Lab are you interested in competing in these types of sports?

      Me personally? i may dable in hunt classes or a working certificate if there are some around (I actually did take a hunt class with Rocky, he failed LOL) but it wouldn't be my main interest.

      OHHH I had no idea hunt trials were not AKC. Interesting. I hope to get out and see various events over the next year, volunteering and such. Obedience, Agility. Hopefully Hunt and Field as well. Since I'm not competing I have more time so it's a good time for me to learn. I'll read up on them.

      I dable in sports and pick what the dog likes. I did Flyball with Rocky (ok that was more for me LOL) and rally-o (he has his novice title) and he was a therapy dog. Hunt training was a fail. Dock Diving was a fail. Had scenting and Ratting came along earlier in my area he would have liked that, we did some seminars-class in both in the last two years and he seemed to enjoy them.

      With Penny it was dock diving and agility. She just loved them. I was trying to get into more "controlled" disciplines like Rally-O as well and maybe work up to a CGN but that was going to require lots of training (she loved jumping on people and was quirky sometimes on leash with other dogs). Similarly we were going to do more luring-ratting, cani-cross and skijore. She had a novice trick dog title. I had her less than 3 years so we didn't get very far into many sports. But...we tried quite a few and were making good headway into agility

      PERSONALLY i love agility. Cani-Cross because I run anyway. And I love trying various sports in general. oh and trick training I like a dog that loves to try things, and we'll do more of what clicks best. I want a dog in good physical condition to do all that, but happy to be lazy the rest of the day. Temperament is really more crucial though.

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    7. #6
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      Field trials is a sport for humans. The dogs are bred to win. I suppose you could say the same about some conformation dogs, too. Humans o the same things to other breeds (GSDs, Border Collies, smooshed faced dogs, etc.) and species, the horse being an extreme example of the things we will do to win (broken down Thoroughbreds, giant Quarter Horses on size 0 feet, etc.). Sometimes I think as humans our egos get in the way and we don't even consider the health, physical or mental, of the animals are are breeding to "win" these games for us.

      I have had a fair number of hunt test and field trial enthusiasts, including judges, talk about how great my dog would be for "real life" hunting and then tell me how annoying/unenjoyable/frustrating taking their field dog on a "real life" hunt is because the dog can't sit still in the blind, breaks, screams, etc. I've met a couple people that have "real life" hunting dogs that are conformation style dogs and then field dogs for competition.

      I have no doubt my dog could not mentally handle field trial training, just like a lot of field trial dogs cannot mentally handle real life hunts.

      Luckily there is something for everyone.

    8. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
      stupid question: What is the big difference between field rials and hunt trials? Can you not have dual champions in HUNT and conformation (VS field and conformation)? Is field considered "Better" than hunting as far as trialing goes? I mean wasn't hte lab created to sit in blinds for hours then go retriever ducks (short spurts of energy) VS what I am imaging field trials to be?

      Are ALL hunting-retrievers expected to compete to the same standard-speed in field trials?
      There are differences in what the dogs are asked to do between hunt tests and field trials (both of which are AKC), but the most significant difference (because it drives the other differences) is that in hunt tests, the teams are not competing with each other. Every one who passes the test can get the title. With field trials, it is competitive, so you need to perform better (faster, straighter, etc) than the other teams. As the dog/handler teams get better and better, there needed to be harder and harder trials to allow for separation, and of course, speed still helps, so selecting for dogs that are the fastest, most accurate, most driven etc., becomes more of a priority than meeting the breed standard. In conformation, being the “most” like the breed standard is what is selected for, so some of the field stuff can be left behind. There are plenty of field/hunt test dogs that meet the standard, but don’t represent it enough to win in conformation. CH/MH dogs have proven they have enough conformation to win, and enough “field” to pass a test, but it most likely won’t be enough “field” to win against competition.

      As Daos says, it is very unlikely we will ever see a dog that is the “most” in both conformation AND in field again.
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde) 6/4/2015
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      Remembering:
      Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
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    9. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
      Me personally? i may dable in hunt classes or a working certificate if there are some around (I actually did take a hunt class with Rocky, he failed LOL) but it wouldn't be my main interest.

      OHHH I had no idea hunt trials were not AKC. Interesting. I hope to get out and see various events over the next year, volunteering and such. Obedience, Agility. Hopefully Hunt and Field as well. Since I'm not competing I have more time so it's a good time for me to learn. I'll read up on them.

      I dable in sports and pick what the dog likes. I did Flyball with Rocky (ok that was more for me LOL) and rally-o (he has his novice title) and he was a therapy dog. Hunt training was a fail. Dock Diving was a fail. Had scenting and Ratting came along earlier in my area he would have liked that, we did some seminars-class in both in the last two years and he seemed to enjoy them.

      With Penny it was dock diving and agility. She just loved them. I was trying to get into more "controlled" disciplines like Rally-O as well and maybe work up to a CGN but that was going to require lots of training (she loved jumping on people and was quirky sometimes on leash with other dogs). Similarly we were going to do more luring-ratting, cani-cross and skijore. She had a novice trick dog title. I had her less than 3 years so we didn't get very far into many sports. But...we tried quite a few and were making good headway into agility

      PERSONALLY i love agility. Cani-Cross because I run anyway. And I love trying various sports in general. oh and trick training I like a dog that loves to try things, and we'll do more of what clicks best. I want a dog in good physical condition to do all that, but happy to be lazy the rest of the day. Temperament is really more crucial though.
      Hunt tests are AKC (there are also UKC hunt tests), but there is no hunting retriever champion title for Labs to get in AKC. I like belonging to an obedience club and going to classes, but I have a lot of time constraints with my work, so I cannot compete as much as I'd like. Right now it's mostly handling class with my puppy and getting him in the show ring. He's done three shows now, and I'm mostly focused on making all his experiences good ones. For now, dog "competition" is more about socializing the puppy and social time for me vs. trying to get titles.

    10. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by dxboon View Post
      Hunt tests are AKC (there are also UKC hunt tests), but there is no hunting retriever champion title for Labs to get in AKC. I like belonging to an obedience club and going to classes, but I have a lot of time constraints with my work, so I cannot compete as much as I'd like. Right now it's mostly handling class with my puppy and getting him in the show ring. He's done three shows now, and I'm mostly focused on making all his experiences good ones. For now, dog "competition" is more about socializing the puppy and social time for me vs. trying to get titles.
      I do love to compete, but the bond created by the training is why I really do it. In fact, I often think that I would enjoy it if all we did was train without the stress of obedience trials, but the trials are what keep me from slacking off with the training. I will say that showing Chloe towards an OTCH (which is competitive) is very different than previous dogs where I was just trying for the titles, which are pass/fail. Obedience is to the best of my knowledge the only sport where to get a championship you need to defeat dogs that already have one, so on the occasions where we beat OTCH dogs, it really does feel like an accomplishment.

      Personally, I love the precision of Obedience as I think it builds a tighter connection with the dog, but whatever you do, as long as you and the dog are having fun, that’s what’s really important.

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    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      Field trials is a sport for humans. The dogs are bred to win. I suppose you could say the same about some conformation dogs, too. Humans o the same things to other breeds (GSDs, Border Collies, smooshed faced dogs, etc.) and species, the horse being an extreme example of the things we will do to win (broken down Thoroughbreds, giant Quarter Horses on size 0 feet, etc.). Sometimes I think as humans our egos get in the way and we don't even consider the health, physical or mental, of the animals are are breeding to "win" these games for us.

      I have had a fair number of hunt test and field trial enthusiasts, including judges, talk about how great my dog would be for "real life" hunting and then tell me how annoying/unenjoyable/frustrating taking their field dog on a "real life" hunt is because the dog can't sit still in the blind, breaks, screams, etc. I've met a couple people that have "real life" hunting dogs that are conformation style dogs and then field dogs for competition.

      I have no doubt my dog could not mentally handle field trial training, just like a lot of field trial dogs cannot mentally handle real life hunts.

      Luckily there is something for everyone.
      All dog sports are for humans. Training is for humans. Pure breed dogs are for humans. LOL Dogs just want to be dogs. Vic

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