From the makers of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the latest news and views regarding inherited disorders and conformation issues in purebred dogs.
Pretty soon, they'll be as low-slung as a basset hound, and then the breeders will change the standard and pretend that they've always been that way for "working" purposes.
Ain't the the truth. Where have the big beautiful dogs of the 19th Century gone? So low to the ground they're practically in their graves already.
Yes, why would you want to shorten the legs of a dog that is already prone to hip problems as well as make it difficult for the dog to do what it was bred for? Going the way of the bench/show Labs. Urgh.
Have either of you actually been to a show and watched the Goldens? Doesn't sound like it to me
I have two daughters from the father of the dog being discussed. At 11 and a half they have passed a comprehensive health screen at the vet recently and my vet bills have been minimal throughout their lives. My paler one has been working on shoots since she was one and still puts in a full day`s work, which at her age which is pretty good for any working dog. She wouldn`t be able to do that unless she was properly constructed for a gundog and healthy to boot. So I am completely confused why the negative comments here? I thought health and welfare of pedigree dogs was paramount here, not looks????
What's wrong with it? It looks like it's having a nice stretch. No, seriously? I don't see brachycephalia, wads of excess skin, or any other horribleness. I can't see how this dog's basic anatomy would inconvenience it. The prosternum and undercarriage look a bit odd, but this isn't a breed I'm really familiar with, and it could just be how the coat falls and the position -- it doesn't look the same on the two pictures at the bottom. Looking on the pedigree on the page you linked, it doesn't look to be horrendously inbred, at least not within the 5 generations of the pedigree on there.
It says in the name "GOLDEN retriever." Not bleached retriever.
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Dwarves can occur from normal parents even though it is a dominant mutation. This happens frequently in people and various animals when an error is make in the dividing or replication of the DNA.But a puppy, person, kitten, etc which is born with a dwarf mutation can pass the mutation on to any offspring which it might have.So a person could have a dwarf puppy in any litter - purebred Collies, Irish Setters, Greyhounds, German Shepherd Dogs, Foxhounds. Perhaps that is where many of the dwarf dog breeds came from?
How nice! Looks like the Sussex Spaniels are getting off the high-profile list. Good to see the improvement! Cheers for the breeder. A bit pale coloured, but much better legs and wrinkle.
Loks quite nice to me. Perhaps a bit short and fat, but its paresnt pictures on the pedigree look very nice. Does this dog have health problems?Carol
No Carol, neither do his parents or his progeny. That's my point. He is being shown as an example on looks alone... isn't that what Ms Harrison campaigns against? Judging a dog solely on what it looks like... and yet here she is doing it herself? And not having sought permission for use of the photo or the link. Neither strike me as the work of a professional such as she claims to be.
Its not professional at all, its a attempt to boost the ever waining popularity of this blog. Negative attention is/better than none.
I'm sitting here comparing the dogs from the kennel you have provided http://www.duboisdelarayere.com/ to this one http://bounderhillgoldens.com/index.asp?ID=3 when did the breed begin to diverge this much?
The site of the Bounderhill Goldens are American and their breed standards are different to the UK breed standard
My thought is that having recently been involved in watching retrievers working, the short legged labs and goldies really struggled. The weight of a cock pheasant and it's plumage meant that they couldn't jump over fences or even fallen trees without either dropping the bird or tripping. Neither desirable in a working dog. The better balanced dogs were more active and still eager at the end of the day whereas the short legged ones were happy to jump into the back of landrovers and rest. The colouring of goldies for many years has become lighter and these dogs have much broader heads, higher ear set and stockier. One of the estates near to me has true golden coloured, strong, beautifully proportioned dogs. These dogs would be unplaced at a dog show, but they are definitely fit for purpose and do the job they were designed to do and clearly love, tireless, eager, handsome dogs. Nothing like the dog depicted above.
Without any evidence that this dog's appearance is related to a health issue, this discussion is no different than what goes on in the breed ring…….. judging an individual dog by appearance not health, function, or temperament
Obesity is not a genetically inherited trait, and the fat thing in the top picture actually has great structure in spite of being heavy. Theres a lot of things you COULD be ripping into, a dogs WEIGHT is not a legitimate one.
actually obesity is inherited. spend time with a few different breeds and you would know that. I have cavaliers and another breed who are naturally slim . The cavaliers are greedier and put on weight much easier. I can feed my second breed anything and they stay skinny.
As the breeder of this dog, I would like to point out that he has passed all appropriate health tests, as have his mother and father. His mother is as close to the original style golden as possible... see her - Rosie - through our website. She died this year... therefore your use of this is extremely hurtful. She was over 14 years old... proving how healthy she was. I still have his dad - Soli - who is now over 13 years old and (touch wood) still healthy. The dog shown has proven he can work in the field as well as won in the show ring. So thank you to those who have recognised that this is not a fair use of him. Shame on you, Jemima Harrison for not even having the courtesy to contact us before using his image negatively... nor getting your facts straight. He is British bred and I am proud of him and his ancestors. Just look at the photos of the goldens shown in his pedigree for proof.
I agree whole heartedly... These dogs have excellent life spans and are a joy to watch in the ring.... They also are capable of working...The picture shows him in a show position, not working position.
Thank you, Julie. I went to your website and looked at the images of the dogs being wet and dirty and playing in fields, and I saw nothing wrong, and they look like happy dogs from a nice breeder. I am sorry you and your dogs have been abused by such people as this.
Mrs HarrisonI insist on answering you in person.I am the happy owner of the dog you have posted on your blog.I wish all Golden fans to have a dog like my Seal. He's an exceptional dog with a fabulous temperament, and very good health.He's a great stud dog, that has produced very healthy offspring, with great working abilities.I can understand that people prefer one type of dog to another, but in my opninion it's important to respect other peoples preferances and choices.I think your behaviour is more then unpleasant, using a dog's picture and the link to a site, without asking permission. It's very inappropriate, and shows lack of education and moral value.Therefore I insist that you would remove the picture and the link from your blog.If your dogs have your attitude and behaviour, I prefer my dogs and my lines.I would like to thank the breeder of my dog for giving me this fabulous dog, and for the work she has done for our lovely breed.
Christ what a pompous lot you all are.It's really no wonder that the KC and the breed clubs are utterly screwed. I am sure you wouldn't object to people posting pictures of your dog if it had just won a rosette or a cup at a dog show though? Just in case you forgot, this is a blog dedicated to discussing the health and welfare of pedigree dogs. The fact that people are immediately defensive and fail to look at the bigger picture is intrinsic to why the blog probably exists in the first place.
So far, I have not noticed anyone on here posting in defence of the dog and its breeder use an ad hominem attack (such as calling other posters 'a pompous lot'). I am still waiting for someone to explain what the 'bigger picture is'. The dog is not significantly inbred according to available information, it does not have extreme anatomical features that are likely to cause it pain or discomfort, and the only explanation people seem to have posited are that the dog is stockier than the historical photograph and it has shorter legs, and one person claiming the dog must not be able to properly do the work it is able to do because of these differences, which is unproven anecdote, and no better than arguments put forward by show aficionados that the show type is the proper form for best working function. The dog's build and leg length still appear to me to be within normal limits. In fact, the shorter, stockier dog is probably closer to wild dogs than the taller one, if you look at an image of a dingo or a wolf.
And in answer to that: this dog is healthy and his welfare is superb. So why is he being used as an example? He has no health problems, neither do his parents or his progeny so why was he used? Because Ms Harrison is judging him by his looks alone, in her opinion... isn't that what she is supposed to oppose? He is an example of a healthy, happy and well-adjusted dog who is capable of doing what is expected of him. If a judge didn't like him, so be it, but they wouldn't hold him up as an unjustified example.
In response to anon 17 Dec 23:32. Wolves and dingos, as well as other cursorial species of canids (i.e. African wild dogs and coyotes) have much longer legs proportionately than the modern golden shown here. Closer to the older golden.
This looks like a perfectly well proportioned golden Retriever to me, what exactly do you think is wrong with it??
Er, it's hardly got any legs?? And the legs are disproportionate to it's body size.....apart from that I guess it's fine then.
Er....if you had any knowledge of anatomy & have been able to put your hands on him you can see that he does not have short legs, its COAT & trimming that gives the appearance of shorter legs!!
Heard it all now....The long coat hides longer legs does it? I guess it's all an optical illusion is it to fool people...
I would like to add to the breeders comment, that I know this dog really well.he's a sound and healthy dog, and a great working dog.he can easily do a days work, without having to rest in the Range Rover!!! He has a wonderful temperament, like all his offspring.This picture was obviously used without permission of the owner! One picture (at a young age) can never tell the whole story of a dog. this dog has produced a big 'old-fashioned' beautiful darker dog, that is working Champion, Show Champion in 7 countries, Vice-WW, res CC at Cruft's...this is just plain prejudice to me...Excuse me for my English, it's not my mother language.
I feel for the lady who bred this dog, and it must be hurtful...I can understand that. I am not a retriever person. But honestly, my first though was - what happened to his legs? They are undoubtedly short. I am a GSD person and I saw the same shortness of leg appear in what became the 'alsatian' so called 'branch of the GSD.
As the breeder, I have not bred the perfect dog yet! Doesn't mean that he should be vilified... he is happy, healthy and well-adjusted. He has many superb breed characteristics that can be relied upon regarding to his progeny. Did any faults breed on? Were his parents bred from with the same attributes? What happened next? None of this has been examined by Ms Harrison. More importantly... would you want your dog's photo to be used in this way, without your permission?
Could you please let me know how to put a couple of photos on here that will show both the mother and father... so you can see exactly how far off the mark you are? Thank you.
I would also like to add my comment... the breeder produces really working class dogs..which are healthy, and good temperment, more so than others. The breeder is nearer to the working root of 'Golden Retrievers' than many others .. and this is critisism is very unfair...
I think the dog is beautiful, irrelevant of colour and if he is healthy then who cares. This post was written to attack the kc but you have all turned on one of your own and started to slate the breeder who didn't even give permission for the photo to be used. Perhaps you should all look to your Allah and ask the kc why this and most breeds are crumbling. Now if all the key board warriors could get back to their own dogs and think about what you can do to change the way kc say you should breed your dogs then you may actually be able to 'save' your beloved breeds....
Jemima Harrison - ignorance personified.
First of all, how can you use a photo from a web site without permission? Second, shame on you for not doing your homework on both Kennels that you have slated in your statement. Perhaps anyone who wants to comment should perhaps have a look at the dogs in question and maybe ask the owners some questions
This is just disgusting and is so not true, this person must know nothing about our breed because if they did they could see how wonderful this dog is >>>> I would be so proud to own him .It is very hurtful to his Breeder and owner, and to everyone who are lucky enough to have these lines in their dogs pedigree, I am proud to say I have lots of his wonderful ancestors in my dogs pedigree .... They are Healthy Beautiful clever and can do a days work, nothing wrong with our show dogs, hence why so many are worked and has a working cert ....No breed would look the same as a 1920s picture thank god ... and thanks to great breeders we have improved the looks temperament well everything in our popular breed .... Its such a shame that others with no experience of our breed can be so RUDE and hurtful .... I would say he is a perfect looking Golden Retriever ...... Also it is disgusting that a picture and a pedigree can be put on without permission ....COPYRIGHT remember that or has people forgot about that
The issue may be right but the picture illustrating the issue (changes in the breed type) is badly chosen, as is the dog's pedigree. Barking under the wrong tree, and thus doing harm not just to the breeder and owner of this particular dog, but to the topic as well.
Oh god the comments on here!When will you people realise that if you are going to beauty pageants with your dog's and asking people to judge them, then what on earth is wrong with anyone else doing that!! You pay money for people to do that! But wait! Is it's because the people who frequent dog shows are only ever saying nice things about your dogs perhaps....?
Because they go to a beauty pageant specifically because they want their dog to be judged. If they don't like what the judge says and don't want to go again, that's their problem. They do not set up a website so someone can take material from it, ridicule them (and I still don't understand what is supposedly wrong with this dog and why it is being used supposedly as an example that the breed is unhealthy), and use it for an agenda on their own blog. To make a crude analogy, isn't that a little like someone entering their kid in a beauty pageant, and then another parent publishing a school photograph on the Internet saying, "Look at this child -- it is ugly and badly dressed, and it has BO and learning difficulties!" The fact that the parent entered it in a beauty pageant doesn't justify that kind of behaviour.
That is a ridiculous analogy!Do you think dogs actually have the cognitive ability to care what people think about them?Do you really think JH published that picture because she thought the dog looked 'ugly'?And even if she did, the dog's feelings are incapable of being hurt - because they don't understand abstraction. It's the human ego that gets hurt in these discussions, hence the inflated reaction to this picture being posted on this blog.As far as I understand, this blog is concerned with the welfare and health issues of breeding dogs for form not function. Having spotted that Golden, it's obvious that there are some issuse to do with disproportionate leg length to body. It's a critical observation. We do this all the time in science....
Spot on anon 1240 and it is the human ego that has done so much damage to pedigree dogs. In turn it closes minds and failure to understand what is being said which in the main is constructive.
Some children (and some adults) do not have the cognitive ability to care what people think of them. Does this mean this sort of behaviour towards them and those who may care about them is excusable or should be encouraged?I do not see any science. Because something is 'obvious to you' does it make it objective or based on evidence.
Anon 18:24And your point is.....?What has that got to do with dog breeding and showing?
He is a very beautiful dog. But to many people from other countries he just doesn't look like a Golden Retriever. A collie is a beautiful dog too, but it isn't a Golden Retriever.Golden Retriever fans familiar with the original type of Golden Retriever are shocked to see this photo. It is as if someone painted St. Joan of Arc as a fat dwarf woman with white hair. Shocking!If the same painting was labelled "my little old aunt", people would say "cute, sweet, beautiful, nice", but label the same painting "St. Joan of Arc" and people get angry at you.The above dog photo is a nice photo of a cute, beautiful dog - most everybody sees that. But people from other countries don't see a Golden Retriever in the photo.People who have been forced to helplessly watch as their own favorite breed was changed by the show ring fancy, feel "oh no! Is another breed going to be changed?"
Well Jemima Harrison - what an amazing own goal you have scored here. You have picked on a dog who is an excellent example of our lovely breed who has a pedigree full of wonderful dogs who have proven themselves many times over in the quality of offspring they have produced. Please do some research and educate yourself on the Breed Standard of the Golden Retriever before you attempt any further comments on our lovely breed.Our papers report today that 1 in 5 puppies bought from puppy farms are put to sleep before the age of 6 months. If you are really the dog lover you say you are you would be far better putting your efforts into stopping these unscrupulous dealers and leaving alone a breeder I know for a fact has dedicated many years to producing top quality stock proven both in the ring and working in the field.
Anon 2204, I showed a gundog breed for 40 years (and that is NOT SOMETHING I AM PROUD OF NOW) so do have some background on the process of breeding and showing to breed standard and what a lot of nonsense it really is now proving to be. When I first started showing, a very wise lady talked to me about breed and breed characteristics and how to instantly recognise a breed. Her simple process was to think of a dog as a blackout silhouette. I was unimpressed by this advice at the time but as time went by I realised what she meant. Take flat coated retrievers, golden retrievers, irish setter, engish setter, and a Gordon setter. They are all gundogs, hairy, long legged and with a similar tail shape and placement. Try it, take a black silhouette of each of them and the differences jump out. I was astonished, the flatcoat's head shape, neck and topline were markedly different from the irish's racey outline, which was quite distinct from the English's level top line, head carriage, the goldie clearly more solid workmanlike good proportions and the Gordon was definitely different from all of these breeds. So why when they are blacked out are the differences more noticeable, it is because of the breed characteristics. Somehow not seeing the dogs in colour, their expression, or movement emphasises what makes a breed a breed. Purely from a conformation point of view. So when we see "Seal" above at the moment in time of his development he is out of balance. Yes he does have good points, but that particular photograph does not show a typical workmanlike goldie. If blacked out, he could be a number of breed types, say field spaniels. And hereby lies the problem of breeding for a type of dog, the exaggerations become popular and considered normal. Seal appears to have a very good all round record and there is no doubt that he is a typical happy go lucky goldie, but if a dog of his type were over used at stud then very quickly there would be a different type of goldie. Perhaps a recent photograph of him may show he grew on and is different in shape from what is shown above. Anyone interested in animals is going to judge them, not to be unkind, but it is irresistable. Horses, cows, sheep in a field, a group of cats, a number of dogs together, hens etc etc automatically we scan them for balance, breed characteristic, appeal. It's a human failing perhaps but we do it all of the time, cars, houses, clothes, we look at and admire what appeals to us personally. I think the personal comments should be off this particular dog, because I think the point is that a breed conformation can change rapidly and be untypical of what we are used to seeing and for me Seal is definitely different from my memory of show goldies hence my earlier comments. There has always been a difference in goldies re cream and gold colouring just like yellow labs are taller than blacks and the chocolates heavier over the shoulders. At the end of the day showing is a beauty parade/pageant and for that fact alone perhaps they should be abandoned and concentration of seeing the dogs in a muddy field, soaking wet and thoroughly enjoying themselves doing what they love best just being with their people doing what comes naturally to them - no?
Terrible back sprung leg. Breeding dogs to sit so sprung down on the hide leg shows little understanding of structure and weight bearing on the dogs skeletal and muscle conformation. It might be what they like in the show ring but it would struggle to do a whole season on a shoot.
Actually... once again a comment from ignorance. This dog regularly works all day, throughout the season, competently, on shoots with no ill-effects at all. Do yours?
Has he ever done a full season ? A day here and there is not the same as working a season. Julie you show your ignorance and your utter condescension in your comment. As working on shoots we often see dogs just brought out to say they have done what they where supposed to be bred for, get the tick in the box so to speak.I work for someone at the moment who has a mixture of Cocker, Springer, Ladrador and a bit of Collie, its a farm dog. He herds cattle and the farmer who owns it takes him on a big shoot that runs over part of his land. He turns up with his mutt and mixes with all the much higher bred pure dogs but when a bird needs retrieving from water, his dog is the only one who will do the job. It makes him laugh every time it happens. You breed dogs sitting down on their hocks like the above it puts more stress on every thing, the hips and the patella's especially and if a dog is bred to do long hours working through rough and arduous terrain the back leg needs to be more like what you will see on the wolf, evolution as done a much better job than humans in producing dogs with a back end that can stick working for long hours.Having worked with dogs all my life and my ancestors before me if you saw a dog sprung on his hocks like that, you know you might get some work out of him but not for long and you would not consider to buy a dog with a back end like that for the job he is meant to do. And in answer to your question Julie, Yes, my little spaniels work and they are brilliant at flushing thick covers and they also are brilliant little diggers, so I also use them when I go out with my brother with his ferrets netting. At the end of the day I have an opinion Julie which has come from hours, days and years working around and living with dogs and knowledge handed to me by ancestors and people I know now, if you don't like my opinion that's okay but just lay off being so condescending and instead give a constructive counter arguement to an opinion.
Listen folks... no perfect dog exists except (or course!) our own pets. Any photo could be used to illustrate points, good or bad... what is unfair is that the photo and link have been used without the owner's permission. I can take criticism... although I know that Jemima Harrison has a rather blunt axe to grind. I criticise my own stronger than anyone else... hence I have a lad at home that I love to bits who isn't shown... he is very happy, healthy and is 10 years old. He has never sired any pups because he wouldn't give anything to the breed. The biggest problem I can read here is people who instantly condemn without being educated. This boy is not what some would consider to be a traditional golden, for whatever reason, but his breed attributes are still correct in the main. He fulfills most of the criteria of what a golden retriever is meant to be. He is not perfect... but he is better and produces better than many. Look at his father, or his mother, or his children, they may be more to your taste. What is most important is that he is a healthy, well-adjusted, sound, biddable golden. He has produced the same. Whether he or his progeny are short on the leg or not, in your opinion, Ms Harrison is making the point that pedigree dogs are not healthy, have changed to be less healthy... and this is (certainly in his case) just plainly untrue.I thank those who have supported myself and my dogs, either through actual knowledge of us, or through recognition of the injustice of having one's dog thrust forward in such a negative manner. For those with criticism, I am open to that, all I ask is that you do it from a basis of knowledge and not prejudice. 'Pedigree' to me does not mean 'unhealthy'... it means striving to reach a standard that produces healthy and happy dogs of a particular type (or breed) that can be relied upon to grow and be as predicted, for happy owners. Not to win in a show ring. If they do that, then brilliant, an added bonus of which I am proud.Breeding a cross-breed or mongrel is not a 'bad' thing as far as I am concerned, as long as they have had the same care given to their breeding as I give to my dogs. Do they have health testing? Are they carefully screened for problems before being bred from? Can they be reasonably predicted to be reliable, happy and healthy? Then the breeders are doing the same as me. I do not condemn them. Why should they condemn me? If my dogs are not considered 'standard', to what 'standard' are they breeding their cross-breeds and mongrels and do they measure up? This is only fair.Hope this doesn't come over as 'pompous'... I hope that I have addressed the key fact of the health of the pedigree dog shown here, and it's ancestors and progeny... the former of which I personally have known, loved and lived with. Ms Harrison has hit on the wrong dog... and is judging him on looks alone... isn't that what she is so strongly campaigning against? Judging on looks?
Hi Georgina,You make us sound like drunk men, drooling into their beers, saying:"Oh look that one is at least an 8!" "Oh no, look how big on the bottom, not more than a 4.""The bottom looks fine, and a nice expression too. She'd be a 7 but her shoulders are overloaded, so I'd only give her a 6."Thanks for the laugh.
Hi Jemima,Seriously, there has been discussion on who to use as an outcross for some of the short leg spaniels who have become too inbred, and who have too little variation left in their breed.What about Seal or a dog like him? If he is as healthy, good tempered, well bred, and useful as his fans say, he might be a good romantic match.In some countries the low spaniel gene pools are becoming gene puddles. And some whole breeds are not such more than one big family - genetically. And they have gotten too too too short legged and heavy.Perfection can't be found or made, but what is seen as low slung for a Goldie, could also be seen as high legged for a Clumber, Sussex, or Field Spaniel. Seal could be an improvement for low spaniels, somewhat like Fiona the Dalmatian, if he checks out well health wise. Nobody is really faulting Seal as a dog, just as not typical for a Goldie.Of course we haven't seen him in person.
Right, hopefully people will recognise that, as the breeder of one of the dogs shown, I have taken time to answer and have done so with honesty and integrity... the same way I try to act in the dog world, my profession and my life.Now the time has come to ask Jemima Harrison to act in the same manner.You do NOT have permission to use the image of this dog, nor to use the link to the owner's website. Please remove it immediately.The discussion may well continue... and probably should. But the image MUST NOT remain. You are acting against copyright laws and unethically.I add my weight to Bruno's request. Please bear in mind that you do not have legality on your side here.Remove the image and link. And may I suugest you contact the person who owns whatever image you chose to replace it, so that you at least begin to learn to act professionally and with some integrity.
This makes me so angry - There are undeniably pedigree breeders out there who don't give a d**m about their dogs health and welfare. Puppy farms churn out sad unhealthy little mites from sad unhealthy bitches - many of which are suffering horrendously. Yet Ms Harrison chooses to vilify a dog who doesn't 'look' right to her but is fit and healthy and was bred from fit and healthy parents. Ms Harrison and all your supporters I accuse you of doing exactly the same as the pedigree breeders you so want to expose - you are judging dogs on looks alone. If you attacked those who are undeniably breeding unhealthy dogs you would have the support of all the good pedigree breeders out there who genuinely care about all dogs being healthy not just their own chosen ones.Julie (not a breeder, just a dog lover)
Very good comment. Why pick on a dog that has all the relevant health checks and has a superb temperament, just because Ms Harrison doesn't like the look of him. Go and vent your anger on a group of people who deserve to be vilified - puppy farmers.
Some of you don't get this blog. Its about the damage that aspects of purebreeding can do and how through showing of animals exaggerations have been rewarded and thus encouraged. Yes, puppy farming is a problem but we also have children starving in the world, so if you wish to discuss the topics of puppy farming I suggest you get on to your MP about that one.It is plain to see that the picture of the most recent retriever is markedly different than the older picture of a retriever and I think the issue is whether these changes are benefiting the breed for the purpose it was bred for ?Frankly anyone who knows a bit about dogs and where shown both photos without knowing any back ground to the dogs would look at both and the job they are bred for and would consider the older photo of a dog the better type for the purpose it should be bred for. Unfortunately most of you are taking things personally rather than looking at what you see in the photos as an objective critic.
"....anyone who knows a bit about dogs and where shown both photos without knowing any back ground to the dogs would look at both and the job they are bred for and would consider the older photo of a dog the better type for the purpose it should be bred for."This is what the kennel clubs claim show judges do every day; look at a dog and decide if it is of the right size, shape, color, ear set, coat length/type, etc to be able to perform the function for which the breed was developed. Kennel club BS; the only way to see if an individual dog is capable of performing the function for which the breed was developed is to assess that dog while performing the function. One cannot tell simply by looking at it (or a photo) if a dog can perform a function.The main exception is for go-to-ground breeds when the individual dog is too large to get into a vermin den.
PipedreamFarm, I know that it is about function but the blog is comparing two looks and I meant if the photo's where all you had to go on and where asked to express an opinion the older photo looks a better type to do the job and most people I know who work and breed dogs to work would agree. and I must apologise though for using the word "anyone", as I should of put "anyone I know".I didn't actually say it would do the job but it looks a better type to do the job from just photos. Lighter in weight and longer in leg to body depth to start with, which for any dog expect to jump and pitch over a five bar gate in a retrieve and be on their legs for a long time is an advantage to start with.
In my breed one might argue a 45lb Border Collie would be better able to move livestock than a 25lb Border Collie; however, size of the dog relative to the livestock has little to do with performing the function. Where is the evidence to confirm size does matter for retrieving fowl upon which you make the argument?
As a small sized example of a water dog take a look at Boykin Spaniels.
PipedreamFarm. Working in farming with collies around sheep and cattle, attitude of the dog is the most effective but if you want a collie to work for many years with an attitude for the job his/her skeletal conformation is of value and looking at the way it is put together is important as if you want your dog to work and move stock for a few years and a 25lb dog can have the same skeletal conformation as a 45lb dog. I believe hip dysplasia is a big problem in the modern collie ? The boykin has a good ratio of leg to body depth like the old photo of the retriever above but the more recent photo of a retriever above shows a big bodied dog on short legs more like a dog used for flushing dense cover. Boykins I believe water retrievers, don't really see this breed in the UK and I would imagine used in tighter coverted areas hence the size but retrievers are normally used on shoots over more open country hence they are meant to be taller and more athletic to cover more open ground. Size or type in pure breeds tends not to be an indicator of a dogs ability to retrieve but more to do with the type of terrain its going to retrieve over. Stockier types tend to be used for dense covered retrieving and flushing and legger athletic types tend to be used for more open country retrieving.I have a young Brittany at the moment in training being used to Springers and Cockers and you can see why they are their type, god can they travel a dog more suited to open country not dense covert.Not sure what point you are trying to drive home now but I still think as a conformational type from the photos above the old photo looks the dog more suited to retrieve across open country and from water whether he's 25lb or 45lb in weight. Yes, I'm judging the dog, not on shape colour or its breed standard but on being a type more able to do a job its supposdly bred for, for a good few years easily, sorry if that's a problem for you.
Based upon my years of experience looking at the range of body type in working border collies that can get the job done for years moving livestock over a wide range of terrain I continue to find it difficult to believe one can reliable determine from a photo if a dog is built for function. I can believe that one can tell from photos if a dog fits their preferred type. We will continue to disagree on this point.
I have not said "one can reliable determine from a photo if a dog is built for function." I have put forward a scenario of if I was asked by looking at the photos above which dog I would think is built more for the function it is bred for I would chose the older photo of the dog. I have not stated that in my opinion type is the reliable way to chose a dog for function, its a myraid of thinks that come into play when chosing a dog and that include the personality of not just the dog but the human for a function, as you know. I'm not disagreeing with you.
Looks like a good honest dog to me, Breed standard calls for the length of his leg to be equal to the distance between wither and elbow - ie 50/50 body and leg - to me he fills that criteria. He is strong on his hocks, is standing on good feet, he looks well ribbed and has enough length of neck to carry a heavy pheasant or goose without tripping over it. His tail carriage looks good and I imagine he moves with style. If you are going to pick on Golden Retrievers as an example of how breeds have changed over the years (and I don't think most breeders would disagree that they have changed) that doesn't mean they are now unhealthy. If you want a poor example of a breed then go and see what the puppy farmers are producing and selling, don't pick on two very reputable kennels who ensure all their stock is healthy tested and are well within the breed average before they are used for breeding on.
Wither to elbow in photo is around 2.5cm and elbow to foot is 2cm, that's not quite 50/50 and the breed standard on the KC website mentions nothing about the 50/50 body and leg length. You start getting the tape measure out, its never a good thing to be breeding a dog to.Are we talking show breeders or people who breed them just for work ?
First let me say that I haven't read Jemima saying anything bad about Seal, or any of Seal's people. Look back, she posted two photos, a photo of an original type Golden Retriever, and a photo of another type of Golden Retriever.What follows is a few comments from people who are reacting to the idea "Is this what Golden Retrievers look like in France?" Or to the idea that this might be the latest show fashion in Golden Retrievers. The idea of this much change brings panic to the thoughts of people who would have to cope with the change.This post also seemed to panic people who know Seal and his people, as if being on this blog is automatically a bad thing. I can understand, but the post itself is just two photos and a few words. The internet makes us all travelers. We see things from other cultures, and we also see people and lives up closer than we otherwise would. Sometimes we don't know what we are really seeing - is this a typical Golden Retriever from France, is this one dwarf Golden Retriever - the only dwarf of his breed, or is this a Spaniel or spaniel mix?This post never really got very far into discussing the merits and disadvantages of short legged bird dogs vs long legged bird dogs - but several commenters tried.People who have been following along with PDE (myself included) have seen how far some show breeders have taken the short leg dogs to extreme. Instead of being like Seal, they are so short in the leg that the fur on the bottom of their chest gets rubbed off as it scrapes against the grass and bumps into the ground, and some of the male dogs have been bred to have legs so short that their male parts bounce against grass and ground too.People want to hear that nobody is trying to breed Golden Retrievers with legs that short.
I am curious, is this dog typical of Golden Retrievers anywhere?Is he a dwarf? Is there a photo of him standing next to a more typical Golden Retriever? Is he about 1/3 less tall than other Golden Retrievers? Does he produce more short leg dogs? Can his gene be doubled to produce very short legs like with show basset hounds?Or is this a gene like in German Shepherd Dogs where the dog is not shorter, but the proportions have become heavier?Or is this just a photo of a normal Golden Retriever puppy, but we are seeing it as if it were a grown dog?
Both Goldens and Labs have gotten so heavy-bodied, it's concerning. What was wrong with the leggy leanness of old? Does anyone think that the shift in structure is an improvement?
Why are golden breeders turning their breed white? Such lovely color is all but gone in the show ring, but can still be seen in the working goldens thankfully. I train working retrievers for a living. This dog wouldn't last a day. Although I'm sure he's a lovely pet, it's a shame what is happening to the sporting breeds in the show ring. The goldens and the labs have a discerning split: the pet and the serious working dog. Each turns their nose up at the other.
I have a working labrador and working border collie so obviously I favor working type over show type. Yes this dog has less than ideal looks for a working breed however as others have pointed out the dog is healthy and has a good temperament and produces nice puppies for pet homes. Not everyone wants a high drive high energy working dog. I doubt his conformation would exclude him from functioning as a pet dog which is the point of this blog. Obviously if you wanted a working dog you'd get one from proven working lines. It's ridiculous to expect a show or pet bred dog to be able to perform at the same standard as a working line dog. Furthermore many working line dogs are bred with winning competitions in field trials or sheep dog trials in mind, which requires a different set of skills to a general purpose farm dog or a weekend retriever. This blog is starting to become more and more extreme. Having a dig at a short legged GR who has no proven health problems and by the sounds of things is a wonderful pet is just sad. It degrades the credibility of this blog which I think raises some very important issues that DO affect welfare and need to be addressed. Shame....
The golden retreivers that are actually used look like the dog below. There are dogs that have working gun dog certificates, but what is that really? The body type of the golden retriever in the UK is based upon trying to breed a dog that looks like Nous, the first golden retriever, when in reality it was a type specimen of the type of wavy-coated retriever that was later modified for through serious selection for picking up work.http://retrieverman.net/2010/12/25/the-origin-and-evolution-of-the-wavy-coated-retriever/
I actualy came across this post by accident while looking for somethkng else, regarding my other breed (giant)For those who are a tad bewildered why the Stormerick kennel are upset hy this post, the fact that this dog appears on a blog with the sub heading. "from the makers of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the latest news and views regarding inherited disorders and conformation issues in purebred dogs" followed by "Golden Retriever. ... apparently" IMPLIES that Seal is not a good healthy example of the breed.Any breeder who has spent years striving for good health & temperaments in their lines would be offended at such implication.My own golden is from this kennel, a nephew to Seal I believe.He's not the tallest golden on the planet, but he's perfectly in proportion, super sound, but most importantly (to me) is incredibly healthy with an inbreeding coefficient well below the breed average. He has an outstanding temperament and works as a PAT dog with Mentally Disordered Offenders.Us humans have evolved from hunched over apes & all breeds of dogs have evolved, bringing with it pluses & negatives.I really cannot understand why this particular dog has become the subject of a health issues exposed blog. I really wish Miss Harrison would concentrate her efforts on exposing true killer health issues in dogs, congenital heart problems, epilepsy, renal dysplacia and the like, none of which run in this dogs lines.....
I should add that I do also have another golden at home, who looks much more like the old picture posted above.He comes from completely different lines to Seal, taller, slighter build, but is a walking health disaster. suffers from VonWillebrands, allergic to everything and while very sweet is mad as a box of frogs.just goes to show, just because one looks like they used, doesn't make them necessarily healthier.
Hi Heather,Recently this blog had a post with photos of Shar Pei puppies, and the topic was how much these puppies have been improved, their type is less wrinkled, less extreme. And this blog had a post about Fiona the LUA Dalmatian, and what an improvement her genes will bring.It is not always bad to be featured here.
The point I'm making is that this whole post is based on the way Seal looks, which is evidently not pleasing to some, but does not affect his function.This wasn't a post about a specific health issue, ie random photo taken from an article about HD for example with a following debate on whether dogs who appear shorter in leg are more prone to HD etc etc.By the virtue of being on this blog with a title golden retriever..... apparently, implies a health issue, I'm sorry but it does.would invite anyone to spend a week with me and mine, seeing how my taller, slighter (NOT Stormerick bred) mad golden can't go anywhere without me carrying a first aid kit a combat medic would be proud of, bleeding at the slightest nick or scrape, wondering whether this will be the time he does actually bleed to death as my daughter has to phone the vet as I need both hands to stop the blood & still tell me that the way HE looks makes him "better & healthier".Better yet would be time spent 'exposing' said mad goldens breeder & their like for doing back to back repeat matings, where there is clearly a serious health issue, thereby creating more litters of ticking timebombs like the mad one, instead of using pictures of fit for function dogs as an example of....... what? I'm not sure what the intention was, other than a bad example of the breed as is implied.Shame for the blog really, that a dog bred by one of the most well respected and conscientious kennels in the UK was chosen to demonstrate the breed looks different now, in this way
Yes, but *where* is the breed going? Look at the dogs of old, now look at what we've got today. Now ask yourself what they'll look like in another 30 years...
Exactly... so take a look at the progeny from this dog... have they been intelligently bred? The proof is in the pudding... this dog works successfully being fit for purpose and is healthy. His progeny work, are fit for purpose and are healthy. Other dogs bearing these breeding lines are also workers, fit for purpose (and that includes a variety of purposes in this day and age as, suprisingly shoots are not as popular as they once were!) In many cases the role assigned to the golden retriever breed has changed... now used as assistance dogs, PAT dogs, popular family pets, etc. Would a high-energy dog bred for working in the field alone be suitable for all these roles. Possibly not... I don't know. I don't presume to dictate what would be best, but I do know that our lines and our goldens have been highly successful in these modern-day requirements for a golden, along with keeping the working instinct and ability. I am proud of this achievement.As for colour... look at the father, the mother, grandparents and most importantly progeny. The pale gene is dominant, hence the frequency of this colour and yes, some people are breeding specifically for this paler colour. I am not. Do a google search for Stormerick goldens and you will see a complete variety... within the breed standard... of pale through to dark golden. Touch wood, every one of them has been/is a healthy and well-adjusted golden retriever. You will also see some variation of type... as genes are tricky things! Many have had the chance to express their working instincts but those that have not are still happy in their allotted roles... as are their owners. Job done.Maybe some of the breeds that are changing actually need to change to survive in a modern society? Where is the place for the mega-high energy border collie today? Some may still be worked on farms, but most end up in rescue where they last 7 days and are put to sleep. Is that what we want? Just to keep the 'old-type' alive?Obviously I am not justifying any change to a breed that reduces the health or welfare of the dog. Breeds that have changed so the dog cannot breathe correctly, or those whose anatomy has created a dog unable to stand/run in comfort simply because it looks better to someone's eyes... this I cannot agree with. Neither would I justify that in the golden retriever. The illustrated dog is over-stretched in this standing position by the handler, thrusting its neck too far forward and dropping its rear down in response... you encourage a head up and the bottom will lower. However the dog is shown in the photo, the facts remain:1. It has proven to be a healthy, sound specimen of the breed.2. It is fit for purpose and has been proven to be so.3. JH has broken copyright law by using this image and the link alongside it.4. JH hasn't shown the courage or decency to respond to the request of the legal owner of both the image and the link to remove it.5. The discussion may be valid but the method most certainly is not.Come on Jemima... stand up and be counted.
I agree........ Jemima please justify what you have done. You have taken two photographs and compared them, and if you cannot judge a book by it`s cover how can you judge a dog by it`s picture? It is quite absurd to try and criticise construction from a photograph, if that was the case judges would simply ask for photos and save themselves a trip. Some breeds have thicker and longer coats, and a picture is not always a true reflection of what the construction is underneath, hence the need to go over the dog manually. Let alone the fact that health, temparement and welfare are so much more important than looks.You have clearly caused a great deal of hurt and distress quite uneccessarily, without knowing all the facts, without seeing this dog either working or in the flesh, otherwise you would not have made the inferences you have. Both the breeder and owner have asked you to reply and take down the photo and link. You have done neither. I am also extemely disappointed at the injustice of your actions. I hope you will offer an apology at the very least for all the distess caused. And if you really want to help pedigree dogs as you claim, please concentrate on the pedigree breeders that hide away and could not care less what they breed, not the ones that breed healthy fit specimens and are extremely proud of their achievements.
"The Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog - the latest news and views on inherited disorders and conformation issues in purebred dogs"Seal's conformation raises an issue absolutely pertinent to this blog. His conformation illustrates the slow creep in so many breeds away from the original dogs.And as with so many others, it's towards lower, stockier and with excess coat. I'm a retriever-gal at heart. I was genuinely shocked when I saw the picture.To me this is breeding by parts of the dog... the photograph shows a head that's got much broader.. too much bone.. the showring's erroneous obsession with a level top line. You've got to step back and look at the silhouette, as someone has already noted, and if you squint at this dog, his proportions are markedly different to the dogs of old. And although I don't doubt the claims that this dog can work, he can never be as quick or as athletic as the dogs of yore, especially as he ages. It's simply a less functional shape.*This* is the point I'm making.Here are Pietoro's historical pictures of the breed - look and compare and ask yourself where this breed will be in another few decades:http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Pietoro/library/Dog%20Breed%20Historical%20Pictures/Golden%20Retriever?sort=9&page=1I'm delighted that Seal has good health results and isn't massively inbred (although 9.2% is still too high in my book, whatever the breed average and he has been fairly-well used at stud in a breed that has a documented problem with popular sires). Re use of the pic... this blog is hosted in the US so I'm using it under "fair use" which allows for comment + review and for non-profit education. Re the weblink... you cannot copyright those. Jemima
To extend the discussion, this pretty neatly illustrates the issue, too:http://fuglydog.tumblr.com/page/61
'Let alone the fact that health, temparement and welfare are so much more important than looks'So why so defensive to some constructive criticism if looks are unimportant?
At what point have I/we not been open to contructive criticism? Have I not at all points, made it clear that health, temperament and well-being are by far the most important issues?Have I, at any point said that I would not have preferred a longer leg? BUT what has this dog produced? What genes has he carried forward? Are his progeny shorter-legged? Are they balanced? Has he carried forward positive attributes?How has any criticism been constructive on here?
Again, you're defensive. Your reactions depict the very pathology at work here. Your response in all this has had an air of 'How dare you!' THAT is the meme that is so destructive for dogs. Because you actually believe that you have a superior role in all this.It's madness. Because when you DO compare those two pictures, the older picture has a better physical example of a dog. A dog that you may compare to any village dog. That is as nature intended.
Actually I am not defensive at all. I take the criticism of the changing of the breed quite seriously... it has changed and I take a shot at answering why on here, although I am certainly not the be all and end all of knowledge! I am asking you (and others too, just in case you feel defensive) some questions. No entire breed can be held up by a single photograph. What do we know about the original dog? I do not wish to say anything about him that would be considered detrimental as I have no idea of the answers to any questions although I have taken time to look back and consider his pedigree, which has a Very high co-efficient. He obviously had no health tests such as are done today as they weren't around when he was alive. He seems to have lived to a good age as he sired a litter at approximately 10 years old if the data is to be believed.The role for which he was bred is still alive but nowhere near as popular today. I assume that he worked however who is to say how frequently this was... did he do a full season? How can we know? I certainly do not have a 'superior role in all this'. Unlike those who wish to condemn an entire breed's development on one photograph! What I do say is that I have acted ethically in the breeding of our dogs, which cannot be said for the behaviour of JH in her use of photo and hiding behind hostage in USA, or the use of linking to a website that is not hers and without permission. It may not be illegal... but it certainly is unethical.
i had a friend whose parents seemed to manage to always get a goldie with about the same shape as this stud. they always got athritis not young but to soon. as far as how much did the vintage dog work probably a whole lot more than yours and most modern working dogs. people actually used to rely on their animals. lets not forget before breeds people just bred dogs that were the most useful making types. Your dog is not catastrophic but its not an improvement and uninspiring. Why are breeds that are supposed to be sporting being bred heavier? I really would like to know why are athletic builds with long legs being traded for bulky and short?However this dog is not as bad as some show labs yuck. as a breeder you are up to scrutiny as you are in a way small or great affecting the inheritance of the human race. Dogs along with all domesticated animals and plants are all the inheritance of all people and we should all question always if we are improving. Bad selection not only brings diseases to animals but plants as well which is why we eat the cavendish banana and not the gros michel. Genetic diversity is not only a hot issue for animals but for the crops we consume as well. In short these decisions effect us all.
Since now that I see that the breed has shorter legs, I have to say labs are similar too.
In some of his head shots, Seal could pass for a slightly off-white Great Pyrenees.
JH picked on this dog from many others. Why?There is no doubt that the breed HAS changed. Seal's DNA carries older type genes, and he has produced older 'type' goldens that have proven themselves in every way possible. Just as a red-haired parent can produce a black-haired child. The problem with using photos: what does Seal look like in the flesh? Most definitely NOT a great pyrenees! It is also true that the older 'type' of golden is highly unlikely to win in the conformation ring - yes judges are not often judging to the older 'type'. This does not necessarily mean that everyone is breeding to what 'judges' want.They are probably breeding more to what is required by the people who buy their puppies. Only a tiny fraction of the golden retrievers bred each year end up in the conformation ring. Surely our ultimate aim is to breed healthy and biddable puppies that are most likely to provide their owners with years of companionship, conforming to both the breed standard and what they want?Do you really want to reverse time and live with what you had in the 1930s? You are asking for time to stand still... this is not possible. Nutrition has improved bringing changes in growth/development. Standards of care have hopefully improved. Veterinary care has improved. It was not common for entire litters of pups to survive, but it is far more common these days. In an ideal world I would be able to show that many other Golden Retrievers do retain many of the attributes of the older 'type'... but JH is prohibiting this by not responding and allowing other photographs to be used therefore all I can do is reiterate: don't react from prejudice responding to one image. Go 'out there' and look! There is no refuting that changes have taken place. But why? Have they improved the health and welfare of the dog for fitness for MODERN day requirements? To resist change when it actually does not help the dogs live a full and happy life is surely against the dogs' interests and those of their future owners. A high-energy older type might be at home out on a shoot, but is it likely to be happy in a normal pet home? Is it going to live a long, healthy life able to work in the field, as a PAT dog, as an assistance dog, as a family pet when called upon? A well-bred golden retriever should be able to do all that. It might not look completely like the older-type but it still retains breed characteristics that are correct and it can still fulfil its original purpose... maybe not in the same way/level but the fit for purpose stands. In fact, it can fulfil far more than it ever did before. It is still a golden retriever, even if you decide that there are aspects to the way it looks that you don't like. So go find one that you do like... there are very many 'out there'. Why pick on a breed that is, in the majority, healthier than ever and able to serve its original purpose plus many new ones asked of it? Will it face problems in later life? Both this dog's parents were/are healthy and simply succumbed to the ravages of old age. To have a sire that is the dog equivalent of 91 years old that is still chasing a ball, still figuring out how to get into the biscuit tub, has never shown any negative characteristics other than ignoring the recall if a pretty female is around and (touch wood) is healthy, is surely a good sign!Jemima, Seal may have sired litters, but are they HEALTHY? Yes. Are there enough breeding lines that do not have him in their pedigrees to ensure that the breeding co-efficient remains healthy? Of course, Yes. Is he representative of the breed as a whole? No.Have you been ethical in your use of image, link and implication? No.
Julie, Blogger doesn't allow pix to be posted in the Comments. But you are very welcome to post links to those pictures to illustrate what you mean.
Jemima, discussions on conformation, construction and working ability are fascinating and make for often lively comments amongst Golden Retriever breeders and owners. There is nothing wrong with debating this, there is everything wrong with debating this on Pedigree Dogs Exposed...the blog, and even more wrong with the publication of the owner, pedigree and web site. The programme Pedigree Dogs Exposed showed a number of dogs suffering from diseases and welfare issues that compromised the health of the animal. There is clearly no case to answer for here as Seal is healthy and sires healthy puppies.I can personally vouch for the breeding as I have two daughters from Seal`s father that are fit and healthy at 11 and a half and my paler one works on shoots (I have been working on shoots for over 12 years now).If you wanted to compare a Golden Retriever type of 80 years ago to the more modern day type why do it on this blog with all the inferences it carries, and even worse why name the dog and provide links to the pedigree and home page? What on earth could you have hoped to achieve by this? Other than seeing the distress and hurt of good breeders, and I still cannot understand why you deliberately would want to do so. So here is a suggestion, if you want a discussion on the finer points of conformation in Golden Retrievers please go and see them work, both in the field and as Guide dogs/PAT dogs/Obedience/Agility/Show competitors and then have this discussion on another blog more relevant to this sort of debate. As it is close to Christmas I do wish all the folk on this blog and others a very Merry Christmas, and let`s go forward looking at the positives of good breeding practices and reputable kennels and celebrate what they have to offer to the many pet owners delighted with their Golden Retrievers.
'JH picked on this dog...'Is the wha you really believe this blog is about?! 'Picking' on dogs!? Are we talking about children being emotionally bullied at school here? Or are we using evidence ( such as photographic evidence) to discuss concerns with pedigree dog breeding and the cult of the dog show world that upholds some warped ideas when it comes to healthy conformation?
This is the kind of golden retriever that is normally used in North America, not the similarities to Haulstone Dan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pFhV3NL00E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAXDZD058rA Another video, same dog.
http://retrieverman.net/2011/04/12/the-white-wavy-coated-retrievers-and-yellow-labradors-of-hyde/Not all goldens looked in the past as the dog at the beginning of this post
The older style dog might have better structure and be more visually appealing to some but is it actually healthier? I don't like the way show retrievers in general are going. Too heavy and yes, I agree they often have short legs. But to imply the dog is not healthy or that the short legs would affect his function as a pet is misleading.
Why are people not willing to sign their names on here? Loads of folk using 'anonymous'. It isn't difficult to put your name to anything you say if you are willing to stand by it. It is just a little irritation to those of us willing to put our names down.
Because names are actually irrelevant. What matters is the issue. Anonomous commenters, providing they remain civil, are detached from names and are therefore freeing themselves from any sort of bias and judgement that may be attached to their name with previous comments. Impartiality.Who I am and what my name is really has nothing of any note whatsoever in life. My actions have consequences though, as does everybody elses. Ncluding pedigree dog breeders. The problem with a lot of pedigree dog breeders is that they can not detach their personal ego and feelings from any criticism about their work. Imagine if scientists working on a cure for cancer behaved in the same way. Science is independent of authority, ego and seeks the truth. If you are genuinely breeding dogs for the correct reasons, then you would welcome and relish the challenge of any criticism that comes your way. Because if you ARE breeding for the correct reasons, then what have you got to hide?I am no one of any note in the dog world and am the guardian of an adopted mutt. Given the general snobbery and attitude experienced on here by breeders who DO sign their names, I imagine they may very well turn their noses up at anything that I would have to say at pedigree dog breeding once they see my name attached to any future comments huh?
A little bit more sampling would have helped the author's case a bit more. Also, why can't a breed change from what it originally looked like and how the breed was originally meant to function. If you take authors argument to its logical conclusion we are only left with wolves, well actually strands of RNA.I think if the modern golden retriever spec is healthy and suitable for the lifestyle most of these animals will lead, then i see nothing wrong with the evolution of the breed. seal is a gorgeous dog by the way. :)
I would like to throw my oar into this discussion, albeit belatedly. I am posting in two parts due to the length of the post.I believe it is morally unethical to use a photograph to highlight perceived faults without permission from the breeder/owner. It is nigh on impossible to judge a dog based on a photograph. Photographs can be deceiving for a number of reasons; faults can be hidden by good trimming or by how the dog has been posed (“stacked”) for the photograph. For instance, a dog that appears to have a well angulated upper arm could in fact instead have a prominent breastbone, so creating the impression of good angulation when indeed it is lacking! Additionally, I find some of the comments in this thread disrespectful, unproductive and unconducive to rational discussion. I am disappointed that despite requests from the breeders, the photograph has not been removed.In this instance, both breeders mentioned here have superb reputations within Golden Retriever circles both for their breeding programmes and integrity, and their stud dogs have been used because they produce high quality offspring of a type and temperament sought by other breeders. They have dedicated decades to producing good quality dogs to now have this work undermined by a single photograph taken out of context. I have long admired their lines and the lines behind their dogs and would have no hesitation in using their dogs in a future breeding programme or mating a bitch to one of their dogs. Another point is that while a stud dog or brood bitch may have its faults, and most do, it is the positive attributes they pass on that are important. One may decide to use a dog in a breeding programme aware of a dogs faults but seeking those positive attributes that their offspring inherit. Yes, shortness of leg and length of body are increasingly apparent in the breed and is a concern to many involved in it. In a conversation recently with one of the most respected Golden Retriever breeders and Judges, he lamented the increase in these traits. I partly blame judges for this; unfortunately, I see winning dogs with significant faults that win because they are showy, well handled and have luxurious coats that more easily catch the eyes of Judges – especially non-breed specific ones. Unfortunately, as people become more accustomed to seeing these traits, they become the norm, to the point where we lose sight of what things used to be. (As an example, can anybody still remember how much tastier fresh veg of yesteryear was compared to today’s mass produced greenhouse produce).
Personally, I believe that the single most important point within the breed standard is the following: “Kindly, friendly and confident.” Given that 99% of Golden’s are sold to pet homes, these attributes are essential for pet owners, especially those with children. Anything else is secondary. The average pet owner doesn’t understand or care about any of the more subtle conformation characteristics that breeders and exhibitors obsess about, they just want a beautiful dog to love that will love them back and be an integral part of the family. That is the modern Golden’s main purpose in life.With the changes in lifestyle over the last century, the number of dogs required to work in the field have diminished greatly and this is reflected in the show ring, with blockier, heavier showy dogs with longer coats. Arguably, these dogs are more aesthetically beautiful than their working bred cousins, however, in my humble opinion Judges and responsible breeders should strive to avoid extremes that take the breed completely away from its working origins or move it away from a more traditional Golden Retriever silhouette. It would also be nice if some breeders took more into account the working attributes of the dogs they use for breeding, rather than basing decisions purely on aesthetics. One of the other problems in controlling breed characteristics is the breeding by pet owners with little or no knowledge who either just want a puppy out of their pet or seek to make a quick buck from a litter of puppies with a neighbours Golden as well as the awful puppy farms akin to production lines that only care about the bottom line.In conclusion, like most breeds, the Golden has its problems, but these in no way affect its ability to form part of a loving family or be an athletic ball-fetching fun loving dog within the modern breed aesthetics.
I invite those who have posted here to view this photo:http://www.duboisdelarayere.com/males/Furyo.htmThis dog is Furyo Noroy du Plessy, owned by the same breeder as "Seal" and a "Seal" son. Furyo was a large dog who one could hardly accuse of being short on leg...and a World Champion. I have spent time with Furyo's offspring (Seal's grandchildren) in the South of Spain at the fantastic Terra di Siena kennels, doing a days work and looking fantastic. All is not as it can seem from a simple photograph. As Julie stated, you need to look at a dogs past and what it produces. In Seals case, he has a great pedigree - dogs such as Stanroph Soldier Boy, Perrimay Hugo of Fenwood, Gatchell's Jazz Player and Paudell Easter Plantaganet at Kerrien have been outstanding sires. One thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread and is a personal opinion of mine, is I believe that one of the contributing factors to the problems is the trend towards making up champions while they are still very young dogs that seems to be increasingly prevalent in Europe. They look great in the show ring at 2 and 3 years old but by age 6 or 7 when they should be in their prime and coming into their own, they have gone over the top. This is why I like to see a kennels dogs when they are mature, as good stock always tastes better when it has been slow cooked!I recently saw Dasmask Hugoboss of Fenwood win the veteran class at the Gibraltar International Dig show. He was in stunning condition for a dog that was almost 11, solid as a rock, moving soundly and would have been my choice of BOS and possibly BOB.
Every once and a while I search the Internet to see if there are reports on dwarfism in goldens. We have an adult Golden who was diagnosed with a genetic dwarfism related to the same kind of selected dwarfism that you see in (for example) basset hounds, where the joints of the legs do not grow as they should. At the time of the diagnosis (2007), he was the only Golden known to have this genetic flaw actually "officially" diagnosed. He also has behavior, digestive, and heart murmur issues which suggest other traits associated with the diagnosis. We have his normal, fully sized sister. The breeder learned of the diagnosis and was careful not to breed that particular pair again, as it seems to be a double recessive trait. The student at the teaching veterinary hospital was going to publish these results, but I don't think she ever did. Just passing this along for general interest . . .