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Looking Around with Lee – The Golden Retriever

Click here to read the complete article
362 – The Annual, 2017-18

By Lee Canalizo

BREED EXPERTS COMMENT ON THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER

The next breed we tackle in my ongoing series of interviews with breed experts is the Golden Retriever. I reached out to longtime, expert breeders of Golden Retrievers to dis- cuss the breed and get their perspective about changes they have seen in the breed over the past few decades.

I asked them the following questions:

1. Do you feel we have changed the make and shape of the Golden Retriever?
2. What do you see in the breed TODAY that you did not see in the past 30-40 years?
3. What did you see in the breed THEN that you DO NOT see today, both in and outside the show ring?

Comments from Marcia R. Schlehr
Kyrie Golden Retrievers

1. Do you feel we have changed the make and shape of the Golden Retriever?

Goldens have changed, yes, with more marked differences be- tween “show” and “field” types as people bred for more specialized purposes. Many of the present show dogs are short on leg and no- tably longer in overall body proportion than what the standard calls for, and grooming practices have resulted in atypical incorrect, soft, open, and excessive coats. At the other extreme, field-bred dogs too often are racy in build, appearing fine-boned, bred for speed rather than for endurance and strength. Although a good number of more moderate working types often exceed the show type in basic construction, particularly forequarters.

2. What do you see in the breed TODAY that you did not see in the past 30-40 years?

The Golden breed was intended to be a useful, versatile gun dog, working in all sorts of terrain, a dog of equable temperament,biddable and willing; of sturdy, normal canine structure, without any sort of exaggeration. Those qualities also enable the Golden to excel in a number of endeavors, such as various sorts of service and assistance dogs from guide dog to scenting specialist. At present, it seems that this versatility is in danger of being lost as people seek “specialist” dogs for various endeavors such as agility, field trials, conformation shows, etc.

What we see in the show ring these days is too often a “glam- our” dog with excessive and incorrect coat, too much substance, mediocre head and expression. Movement seems to emphasize speed and “flash” rather than basic soundness, efficiency and en- durance. The Golden is not to be either that glamorous runway model, or a sickly sweet “teddy bear” — but should be a handsome and capable athlete with a generous personality.

Click here to read the complete article
362 – The Annual, 2017-18

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=137636

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