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    1. #1
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      Please critique this Lab's conformation...

      I am always the optimist in wishing we could reunite the two strains of labradors and one day (why not dream big) see a Dual CH. But I know I am woefully ignorant when it comes to assessing a dog's conformation potential.

      One of the issues that separates the two strains is drive. Because field dogs in the US are bred for intense retrieving and hunting desire, speed and perseverance, our labs have well-earned reputations for being wild and crazy, not to mention being leggy and out of standard.

      Interestingly, the labs in the UK are probably much more balanced in terms of temperament. I saw this clip of a British field champ that really impressed me. (But as I noted above, I am pretty ignorant about anything that transpires in the ring.) I would like some conformation folks to weigh in and tell me what they think of him from their perspective.

      Here is the clip:
      Fenway Brock (2013) by Fenway Labradors - YouTube

    2. #2
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      I think he's a nice looking Labrador. Very nice head, but I doubt he has enough "body" for today's judges. I looked at the other dogs they have, and there are some very nice looking dogs, and some not so nice looking. I thought this chocolate dog was very nice!

      Fenway Timber - Welcome to Fenway Labrador Retrievers
      Last edited by barry581; 04-07-2017 at 04:50 PM.

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    4. #3
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      Please critique this Lab's conformation...

      I don't know about conformation but that lab is beautiful, smart and athletic. That is what a lab looks like in my mind.


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    5. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      I think he's a nice looking Labrador. Very nice head, but I doubt he has enough "body" for today's judges.
      Can you define that for me Barry? You have a good topline... the belly isn't all tucked up, his chest is deep in relation to his legs. (I'm exposing my ignorance here. Don't even have the right vocabulary.) Does the term have to do with skeletal structure or is it something (specifically adipose) that could be added to the dog if he were to go into the ring?

      Edit: I said in the original post that he was a UK field champ. He is not. He's a very good gun dog. Even so, he has abundant drive and would interest a lot of field people here.

    6. #5
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      He is very much like a chocolate that a friend owned. He had his bench championship and was all age qualified. His original field trainer was upset because he believed that Quin could have been a duel champion but he was in such high demand for stud service my friend's husband insisted she bring him home. There was a conflict there as the husband only saw the $$ not the importance of a duel champion. The other problem was that they had to put weight on him for the show ring and he lost training time getting back into shape. He amazed me, he would come to the line like a real gentleman and you would think he had no drive at all until the last bird was down and then he would explode off the line.
      In my jaded eyes the dog in the video looks like what a lab should be.

    7. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      I think he's a nice looking Labrador. Very nice head, but I doubt he has enough "body" for today's judges. I looked at the other dogs they have, and there are some very nice looking dogs, and some not so nice looking. I thought this chocolate dog was very nice!

      Fenway Timber - Welcome to Fenway Labrador Retrievers
      I agree. And I wouldn’t say that his chest is deep in relation to his legs at all, at least not by the standards of what’s currently winning in the ring. It’s not a question of adipose, either - it’s about a wider, deeper rib cage. I’m not saying that more chest is functionally necessary, but it is what is winning.

      Compare the body, especially the forequarters, of the chocolate Barry likes to the dog in the video and you should be able to see what we are talking about. The chocolate is closer in body type to conformation dogs today.
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, BN) 6/4/2015
      Sassy (Jamrah’s Blonde Ambition, BN) 6/4/2015

      Chloe (HIT HC Windsong’s Femme Fatale, UDX2, OM4) 6/7/2009


      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
      and Mulder (Coventry’s I Want to Believe, UD, VER, WC, RN) 5/26/1999 - 4/20/2015

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    8. #7
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      Thanks... I see what you mean.

      I get it. You're right. Unless the the dogs running have conformation pedigrees, every one of them at a HT or FT will be sleek and slim and there's no way your could put enough weight on them to conceal that. And it makes them look leggy, even if they are within standard height.

      But do you think if that Fenway dog was on enough calories to put on some weight, would it appear in the ring that he had more body?

    9. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Thanks... I see what you mean.

      I get it. You're right. Unless the the dogs running have conformation pedigrees, every one of them at a HT or FT will be sleek and slim and there's no way your could put enough weight on them to conceal that. And it makes them look leggy, even if they are within standard height.

      But do you think if that Fenway dog was on enough calories to put on some weight, would it appear in the ring that he had more body?
      You mean the one in the video? Possibly, but the thing is, dogs (and people) put weight on everywhere, not just in one area, so the basic proportions still don’t change.

      And on the reverse of this, just because a dog appears big, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily adipose tissue (aka fat). Chloe has a wide ribcage, and no matter how skinny I keep her (and her ribs are easily felt) she’s just going to look bigger to the eye than the same height, same body condition field Lab we were training with this morning who is built with a narrower ribcage.

      Plus, coat can really add a TON of “weight” to a dog, and the dog in the video does not appear to have a particularly thick coat. The difference in weight between Chloe in summer when she is out of coat and winter when she is in full coat is negligible in reality, but looks like at least 5-10 lbs to the eye. Honestly, I think her coat is a little long for a Labrador, but the conformation people love it.
      Last edited by Annette47; 04-07-2017 at 07:35 PM.

    10. #9
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      Hmmm... so what you're saying is my dream of the reunited lines is still on the drawing board.

      Are the people trying to breed the "moderate lab" using a lot of UK lines? It would seem to me that trying to split the difference starting with today's FC/AFC's would be a relatively herculean task, but might be easier going to the UK gun dogs. (I think their FC's do not appear that different from ours.)

      (I guess my ignorance is showing again. By "moderate" I mean like median or mean in statistics, as much field as show, strictly speaking not looking like either side, but having some of the appearance and functionality of both. I'm probably using the wrong terminology.)

    11. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Can you define that for me Barry? You have a good topline... the belly isn't all tucked up, his chest is deep in relation to his legs. (I'm exposing my ignorance here. Don't even have the right vocabulary.) Does the term have to do with skeletal structure or is it something (specifically adipose) that could be added to the dog if he were to go into the ring?

      Edit: I said in the original post that he was a UK field champ. He is not. He's a very good gun dog. Even so, he has abundant drive and would interest a lot of field people here.
      If you look at conformation Champions from the side you will see a much deeper chest, and a bit shorter in leg, giving a much different outline. I do agree this dog has a very nice topline, and looks very fit and athletic. 40 years ago he'd be a winner. Now, I doubt it. He does remind me of my first black male, Clancy, although I think Clancy was a bit bigger overall. Sophie is built like this dog, but I keep her a bit on the lean side too.

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