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    1. #1
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      Conformation question...

      In just asking the question, I'm going to demonstrate my profound ignorance so please be patient with me.

      As you might already know, I'm goint through chemo (and doing pretty darn well, actually.) I sometimes only have the energy to sit in front of my "smart tv" and watch videos on Youtube. If you know the format, you know that Youtube will take over and starts making recommendations. Consequently, I got on a dog show crumb trail and I was watching the Sporting Group and Best of Show particularly in the more famous events like Crufts or WKC.

      My question is... in these "big league" events, how do Labs fare against Pointers, Setters etc. I have not seen a Lab win Group or BOS. But as I said, I know almost nothing about this element of competition.

      Where have Labs taken the big ribbons?

    2. #2
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      I seem to remember a big article about how Lab have never taken BOS at Westminster and, honestly, I don't see it happening even at local shows. I have a ton of FB friends who do social media and I follow the kennel clubs, and it just does not seem to happen. I am not sure about group though. I'm not entrenched in the politics to know much else; maybe someone else can shed some light?

      IMHO, generally speaking, Labs are not flashy. They are sort of generic. Even at an obedience show, where the Lab wins, you hear, "oh, he's cute!" or "that was a nice round". But, get a Golden in there and it's like a quarter horse vs. the Lipizzaner Stallions! I still love our Labs and while they are a little plain, comparatively speaking, there is a lot to love about them. I know in hunt tests you see flash, but most people, unless they already love Labs, will never be able to appreciate the work they do in the field.

    3. #3
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      I know It Ch Loch Mor Romeo was the Gundog Group Winner at Crufts in 2013 (I was there). I think he was also Reserve BIS. There was another Lab who won the Gundog Group there in 2004, but I can seem to find the dogs name.

    4. #4
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      Labs do win in the group ring from time to time. Not too many at Westminster, probably a handful. I've seen some labs win Best in Show at some of the local all breed dog shows, but the numbers are low for those as well.

      The flashier dogs do seem to win more.

      None of my dogs have ever gotten a Best of Breed before which allows them to compete in the Sporting Group, but Tickle has gotten an Owner Handler Best of Breed (meaning the owner is showing the dog, not a handler....it's a different competition along side the normal competition)....and even pulled off a Group One once. I swear I thought the judge was pointing at someone else not us, because it's rarely the Labradors!

    5. #5
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      What can we do about that??? It's almost like the Breed judges are setting us up to go no further.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      What can we do about that??? It's almost like the Breed judges are setting us up to go no further.
      Considering that it seems like it's always been that way, (it's not like Labs used to do really well and now don't - seems pretty flat to me) probably nothing other than keep trying!

    7. #7
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      Labradors are not a flashy coated breed, and don't show as well, and aren't as popular, like the setters and other flashy showy breeds in the Sporting Group.

      Labradors aren't supposed to fly around the ring like a setter or a pointer, they are made to move at a nice paced trot, not a fast running trot, and that doesn't translate to flashy movement, even though it is excellent movement for a full day of hunting. That doesn't look as good to the spectators, and judges as the big movers and flashier colors and coats.

      Labradors have been recognized in groups at Westminster in the past few years, with really good quality dogs representing. The breed judges can help by interpreting our standard better, and realizing that there are some really well made dogs that are very close to the Breed Standard competing, and reward them for that. It does seem a conundrum that the most popular pet dog and highest AKC registered dog breed in America does not do better at conformation shows as far as winning group 1's and BIS more often.
      Another thing, is that other breeds tease the Labrador ring for how sloppy our handlers look, (by handlers I do not mean professional handlers, mostly owner handlers) I often see handlers in jeans instead of nice slacks and blouse or even better, a dress (for the ladies) and slacks and collared shirt for the men. We do show outdoors and when it is muddy maybe we could get away with it... but it still looks bad Group judges do not want to send a gorgeous correct Labrador to the BIS ring with a handler that looks sloppy, so they go with another breed, with a properly attired handler that has a chance at a BIS instead.
      All correctable.

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      TuMicks (08-12-2018)

    9. #8
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      It does seem a conundrum that the most popular pet dog and highest AKC registered dog breed in America does not do better at conformation shows as far as winning group 1's and BIS more often.

      It would interesting to know if there is any other such conundrum with any other breeds/groups or if the Lab is a victim of the "familiarity breeds contempt" phenomenon. I know that sounds a bit silly, but everywhere a person looks there's a lab. Maybe the dog fanciers/exhibitors/judges just get numb from seeing them everywhere. I mean... when a flashy Gordon Setter goes prancing and flowing around the ring, Labs might just fade into the background.

      When is it appropriate for the LRC to think about how to stop being the Rodney Dangerfield of Dogdom.
      Last edited by TuMicks; 08-11-2018 at 08:46 PM.

    10. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      It does seem a conundrum that the most popular pet dog and highest AKC registered dog breed in America does not do better at conformation shows as far as winning group 1's and BIS more often.

      It would interesting to know if there is any other such conundrum with any other breeds/groups or if the Lab is a victim of the "familiarity breeds contempt" phenomenon. I know that sounds a bit silly, but everywhere a person looks there's a lab. Maybe the dog fanciers/exhibitors/judges just get numb from seeing them everywhere. I mean... when a flashy Gordon Setter goes prancing and flowing around the ring, Labs might just fade into the background.

      When is it appropriate for the LRC to think about how to stop being the Rodney Dangerfield of Dogdom.
      Dog fanciers/exhibitors/judges just see the Labradors at the shows, which in terms of familiarity really isn't any greater than most other breeds, unless they are exceedingly rare breeds. Plus the Labradors they see are usually very good representatives of the breed, unlike J Q Public who sees poorly bred "Labradors" (read any mixed breed black dog) all over the place perhaps.

      I don't feel it is a LRC issue? It's tough competition against the other Sporting Breeds.

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      windycanyon (08-12-2018)

    12. #10
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      It's just frustrating. The breed (our breed) is cleaning up in all the field sports. We're hugely competitive in the Obedience ring. Lab breeders are doing everything right. I'm just sitting here watching Youtube and feeling like the football fanatic who sees the referees give their team one bad call after another. (Not a perfect analogy, but you get my drift.) I keep thinking "We was robbed."

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