Showsight Presents The Labrador Retriever


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PUREBRED DOGS A Guide to Today's Top

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1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? 2. In popularity, Labrador Retrievers perennially rank at the very top of the list. Again this year you’re Number One! Do you feel this helps or hurts the breed in the long run? 3. Few of these dogs really “work” anymore. How has he adapted to civilian life? What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? 4. A big strong Sporting dog requires a special household to be a perfect fit. What about the breed makes him an ideal compan- ion? Drawbacks? 5. What special challenges do Labrador breeders face in our cur- rent economic and social climate? 6. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness (or lack thereof)? 7. We’re told a Lab’s loyalty is unquestioned, but that his hard- headedness can make him difficult to train. Is this your experi- ence? Does that make it more interesting, or exasperating? (Or both.) 8. What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? 9. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 10. What is your favorite dog show memory? 11. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. LADANNA BOSTWICK

horseback riding and gathering cattle on our ranch. We also raise and breed Highland Cattle. Do I feel the breed’s popularity helps or hurts the breed in the long run? I feel it definitely helps the breed. There has been a lot of money raised and donated to support research for our beloved breed. Through continued research, knowledge and genetic insights will be obtained, that will enable affected dogs to be recognized earlier and enable breeders to know if they are producing an affected puppy. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? I feel they have adapted very well. The Labrador Retriever should have a very stable temperament, suitable for a variety of activities beyond working, hunting and outdoor activities. Training in the field, home or any- where always comes in handy. The Labrador is a very versatile breed! What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? Even temperament, trainability and desire to please make the Labrador the ideal companion. They are a breed that like to be inside with their family. Labradors thrive with their humans and should be an almost constant companions. They require daily adequate exercise to remain in good physical and mental health. They shed a lot more than most people realize. Labradors like to chew. They should be provided the proper oral stimulation—safe and healthy chew toys/treats/bones, to ensure their chewing needs are met. Also great for healthy teeth. What special challenges do Labrador breeders face in our cur- rent economic and social climate? Economic challenges are always something we must be conscientious of. To exhibit and breed prop- er health tested purebred dogs is not cheap. It requires extensive planning, budgeting and many other sacrifices. I feel our social climate is great. With the introduction of social media. We are now capable of expanding our gene pool by being introduced to a much broader selection of dogs from all around the world. I feel we have also been given a wealth of information through mentor and educational forums on social media. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? At eight week evaluations, again at six months. At 18-24 months is when I make my final decisions. However, if at any point dur- ing this time frame, I just don’t like what I see at all—then it’s a pet. There must be something that I really like about the dog from the start and throughout the growing/maturing process. Or I don’t invest into the dogs show career. Can the breed’s hard-headedness can make them difficult to train? No, they should be very easy to train, if you know what you are doing or seek the assistance a professional trainer to help you learn to train your dog. It all goes back to correct temperaments when breeding. Tem- peraments are paramount to me! If you have even temperaments, trainability and desire to please (I also like a bit of confidence)— this Labrador is so eager to learn and please. Look at the jobs many Labradors perform daily in therapy, ser- vice work, police work etc. Very smart and trainable breed. But they have to be bred correctly or it can be a totally different story! What is the most important thing about the breed for a nov- ice to keep in mind when judging? The written standard and breed type. My ultimate goal for the breed? To keep it healthy, pure and loved by so many.

Firewater Lab- radors is located in the mountainous region of North- ern Arizona. Our small town is nes- tled in the beauty, serenity and pri- vacy of the Kaibab National Forest. I was born and raised in Broken Bow, Oklahoma to a working com-

mercial farming and ranching family. I’ve been involved in some form of animal husbandry my entire life. I started learning about the Conformation of animals and showing at six years old, when I showed my first of many Hampshire pigs at our local county fair. I made the sale with my pig that year. Awarded Best Junior Show- manship, I was hooked! I also have shown sheep and horses, and have appreciated a beautiful well-bred animal my entire life. Any animal doing its job is a beautiful thing to me. My husband, Tom, and I have six children and three grand- children. I had a wonderful 20 year career working as a Registered Nurse, specializing in pediatric critical care for special-needs chil- dren, and retired in 2017. Tom is a Veteran and served 25 years in law enforcement before retiring. I am thankful that Tom also enjoys and supports our amazing dogs and the journey they continue to take us on. We travel as much as possible- something Tom and I truly enjoy. We love the spending time in the mountains where we live. Enjoy


Labrador Retriever Q& A

“I was once told that every dog that comes into your life is for a reason and he is here to teach me something. When I struggle to understand one of my puppies or dogs, I have always remembered that.”


ment. You may not find that dog until later in your assignment. And most importantly, find a breeder who you respect and admire. Ask them to become your mentor, sit with them at ringside, ask them to explain to you what they like and what they don’t like about the dog as it is being judged. Ask lots of questions and always keep learning. My ultimate goal for the breed? That we stay true to the Labra- dor Standard in all areas; whether conformation, hunting, agility and/or obedience. My favorite dog show memory? Oh where do I start! There are so many memories I could write a book. It was last year at the National Labrador Specialty when Theodore won Best of Breed. It was an emotional and overwhelming moment for me. A year of my hard work and my husband’s time and energy on helping keep in condi- tion along with the knowledge and experience of our Handler truly made it a rewarding experience. ERINMCROBB & DIANEMCCLURG I live in a small town called Sanger, Texas on the north side of Ft Worth. I have been involved with my family in the breed since the age of ten. Our first show Labrador was shown beginning in 1989 at which time I also showed in Junior showmanship. For my outside job, I am actually a sales rep in the pet food industry. I work for Smuckers and we have a variety of brands including but not limited to: Natural Balance, Nutrish, Natures Recipe, Milkbone to name a few. Diane — I live just north of Erin in Gainesville, Texas. We got our first Labrador in 1987 with the intent of showing her in confor- mation and for Erin in junior showmanship. I work as the Director of Laboratory services for Medical City Plano hospital in Plano Texas. Do I feel the breed’s popularity helps or hurts the breed in the long run? I have been in the breed so long with it being number one I honestly don’t even notice it anymore. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? We actually take great pride in our dogs trying to get titles on both ends of their names. We currently have a young boy in training for his JH, and some that are ready to compete starting in Rally soon. I really feel that is provides balance not only in the breeding program, but for the dog as well. I think if you train your dog to work- you gain a dog who has obedience that can really make a difference in your home. No one wants to live with an unruly dog! What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? A Lab- rador is a dog that should be able to walk into any household and assimilate to daily life without any major disruptions. Sure, you are adding a new family member, but the breed itself is biddable and easy going. While they may be big and strong, with proper train- ing, the Labrador should not overpower anyone in the household. They should be calm, willing to please, and easy going. These quali- ties in itself make the breed desirable. I commonly hear and joke about shedding. Labradors definitely shed and sometimes we do vacuum daily!

I live in Loudon, New Hampshire where my husband and I have lived for the past 25 years. I currently work for USDA-Food Nutrition Service. Do I feel the breed’s popularity helps or hurts the breed in the long run? I think it’s a combination of both.

How has the breed adapted to civilian life? While our Labradors compete in the show ring, my husband also is an avid bird hunter. I as I mention below, I really believe their temperament and how you raise them allows for its true Labrador qualities come out. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? The temperament of the Labrador is so important. As with any breed it’s important to socialize and train them when they are young. If you don’t provide that foundation early, spend time with them, then the dog is not easy to live with. Which means you won’t be able to enjoy them and most importantly, it’s not fair to the dog. What special challenges do Labrador breeders face in our cur- rent economic and social climate? Social media. I think social media has had a huge impact not just with Labrador breeders but with all breeders. While I feel it can be positive, I also feel it’s negatively impacted our breed. Breeders are more likely to reach out to that social media breeder, who has is always posting their dogs on Insta- gram and/or Facebook, to either buy a puppy or breed to their stud dog, without doing their research. I have been mentored to research pedigrees and the health of the pedigrees when selecting a stud dog or purchasing a puppy and most importantly physically see and put your hands on the dog. At what age I you start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I think it’s an individual decision for each dog. Some pedigrees mature fast and other pedigrees mature for three to four years. I think you need to assess each dog on its own. As we know, not all dogs are considered “show-worthiness”. In our kennel, we keep dogs to improve the breed and our kennel, not just to compete in the show ring. Can the breed’s hard-headedness can make them difficult to train? I wouldn’t say that a Labrador is “hard-headed”. Labradors are very smart and intellectual dogs. Like people, some are very smart. I think as a breeder and owner you need to adjust your train- ing styles to accommodate the dog’s needs. I was once told that every dog that comes into your life is for a reason and he is here to teach me something. When I struggle to understand one of my pup- pies or dogs, I have always remembered that. It seems to work for us. What is the most important thing about the breed for a nov- ice to keep in mind when judging? When I have judged sweep- stakes, I always think to myself “which dog would I like to take home today?” and stick true to it. Don’t fault judge. Find a dog and use that dog to compare the other dogs to throughout your assign-


Labrador Retriever Q& A

“The Labrador Retriever is the most sought after breed to work as guide dogs and therapy dogs as the temperament lends itself to be the most adaptable to the owner’s needs.”

Erin McRobb & Diane McClurg continued


At what age do we start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? We start to look at the puppies running in the yard as soon as five weeks. We may not put them on the table to evaluate as I think puppies running in the yard certainly give a different look and per- spective. Show worthy puppies can start as early as six weeks and as late as ten weeks, if you are choosing some and placing others in pet homes. I have changed my mind when choosing a puppy as late as the day before a pet family comes to pick up the new family member. We then grown them up and do basic clearances to see if it will be worth the time and money investment to make them a show dog completely. Even as late as a year—with clearances—we may decide to place a dog as it isn’t quite what we were looking for. Can the breed’s hard-headedness can make them difficult to train? Most of the labs we have bred aren’t hard headed. In fact very few that we have bred have been difficult to train. Labradors are easy going, willing to please, biddable, and ready to do a job for their owners. (I think we may be on a different level for this ques- tion.) Labradors shouldn’t be hard headed at all. Diane: The Labrador Retriever is the most sought after breed to work as guide dogs and therapy dogs as the temperament lends itself to be the most adaptable to the owner’s needs. What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? There are a lot of different types in the Lab ring. Find a mentor with a type you prefer and learn. Learn- ing also means looking at other breed to learn proper movement and structure. Trust your mentor—they have been doing it a long time and probably have encountered nearly everything. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater—look at the whole picture. There will be some things you can forgive and some thing you know you cannot stand to look at—those are the moments you will learn the most. My ultimate goal for the breed? My personal goal is to breed and own (and handle if I can) one of our own dogs to BIS and BISS status. We have bred, owned and shown dogs to BISS, but have not achieved a BIS. My favorite dog show memory? I have three actually. Winning best junior at the Lab national under breeder judge George Bragaw. That win qualified me for my first trip to Westminster. Then win- ning BISS from the 12-18 class with a bitch we had bred, owned, and handled. The third being the most proud breeder moment—we took a yellow boy to the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac. I showed him to a class win. It was at that moment that I realized as I was showing him I was in a ring full of people I looked up to and helped mentor me and my mom to where we are now. Diane: My favorite dog show memory is at the first Labrador Retriever Club National show held in Arlington Texas in 1989 where we showed our first Lab, Aquatdots Good Golly Ms Molly, as a puppy and she made the cut to the last six puppies in large sweep- stakes and regular classes under “ famous’ breeder judges—it was a thrill like no other to the novice dog show exhibitor.

I have bred and shown Labra- dor Retrievers for 45 years. I am proud to have bred and owned over 75 champions, including multiple group winners and plac- ers. I have shown multiple BISS Labradors as well as having many Labs win points at specialties. I am proud of the Champion Master Hunter that I bred, along with the SH’s, JH’s, and multiple Obedience titled dogs, and the many hunting and companion dogs that I hope have brought

fun and happiness to their owners. I have judged Labrador Retriev- ers, Golden Retrievers, Flat-Coated Retrievers and Norfolk Terriers since 2004. I live in Conifer, Colorado. What do I do outside of dogs? Noth- ing! My husband and I own a boarding and grooming kennel and have for almost 29 years. Do I feel the breed’s popularity helps or hurts the breed in the long run? With regard to the popularity of Labradors, Labs have been very popular for several decades, so that is nothing new. Labs are so versatile that it really isn’t surprising. Labs as a breed excel in field work, scent work, obedience, as service dogs, guiding the blind, tracking, police work such as finding drugs or accelerants, and they are just the best family pets. Being popular helps a breed like Labradors because there are lots of them available for the many jobs they’re good at. On the other hand, this popularity can also hurt the breed when less than critical breeders produce lots of poor quality puppies that are easily sold to the unsuspecting. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? Labs will really find a job if left to occupy their own time. In order for them to be the best dog they can be, they need training, exercise, and inclusion in the family. A Lab’s natural inclination is to please and serve (such as retrieving a bird and giving it to the handler). This natural instinct of a retriever is the basis of pretty much all the jobs that Labs are trained to do. In the home, this retrieving and wanting to please makes for a fun and involved family pet. The Lab’s willingness to please makes him relatively easy to train. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? With proper socialization and training, a Lab can be the perfect family dog. Most Labs are and should be friendly, biddable, and able to get along with children and other pets. It goes without saying, however, that puppies do not come pre-trained; they can be teenagers for a long time. Labs are big and, as they can be very strong for their size, early and continued training is essential for a long and happy family relationship. What special challenges do Labrador breeders face in our cur- rent economic and social climate? In my opinion, every serious dog


Labrador Retriever Q& A

“I want a sound and beautiful Labrador Retriever that can do the work asked of it, with a sense of humor!”

Linda Vaughn continued

years. During this time I have produced many breed Champions and several Champion Master Hunters. Also many dogs with high level performance titles. Probably best known for my chocolate dogs (they are not crazy!). I have been judging Labradors and several of the other sporting dogs for over 15 years and really enjoy this as well. Special thanks to my husband, Leeds, and my kennel part- ner Robin Magee and her husband Jim for all their help when I’m traveling. I have lived in New Hampshire for 30 years. I work in the Veterinary Industry educating and selling Veterinarians Natural Supplements. Do I feel the breed’s helps or hurts the breed in the long run? It potentially hurts the breed as it can be seen as an “easy” money maker to those not truly committed to the betterment of the breed. Point to fact—the “silver” Labrador. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? The Labrador has always been a dedicated companion to people, when not “working” so they are easily adapted to family life, however active or sedentary their life style may be. What about the breed makes him an ideal companion? Although the Conformation Labradors have great performance abilities (hunting, Obedience, agility, etc.), their main goal in life is to be part of the family. They are a sturdy dog that can fit into most families as they have a great ability to adapt when given proper attention and training. What special challenges do Labrador breeders face in our cur- rent economic and social climate? The uneducated policy makers of state and nation are continuously introducing bills and passing laws that will have negative impact on the dedicated breeder. Many of these bills/laws are directed toward puppy mills and pet stores but the way they are written, they all effect the true stewards of our breed. Organizations like PETA mislead the public to believe they are trying to save the dogs—far from it. They represent a danger to us as well. Organizations that bring up “stray” puppies from the South and outside of the US are selling them as rescues and play on people’s emotions. These too impact the true breeders. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I start watching the pups when they are on their feet and continue to watch them as they grow and develop. We’re told a Lab’s loyalty is unquestioned, but that his hard- headedness can make him difficult to train. Is this my experience? I find it is usually the owner training the dog that misses the signals to train the dog. There is not just one way to train a dog. What is the most important thing about the breed for a nov- ice to keep in mind when judging? The judge represents just one opinion and their own interpretation of the breed standard. Best learning tool is to work with an experienced and respected breeder to be mentored. Be especially open to constructive criticism and suggestion. What is my ultimate goal for the breed? To maintain the integ- rity of the Labrador in their confirmation and temperament that the breed is traditionally known for. My favorite dog show memory? There are so many. One of my favorite was when my chocolate boy, GCHB WIllcare to Fly Under the Radar, WC, RN, was awarded Best Puppy at the LRC of Potomac when I did not think I had any chance at all! I’d also like to share about the breed that in all my years in dogs and in the Veterinary field, I still enjoy my Labradors more than any breed I have owned or worked with.

breeder of any breed faces difficult challenges. It’s just part of it, I’m afraid. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I look at my puppies at five, seven, and nine weeks. I personally pick the pups that I don’t think are going to make show prospects first so that they can go to their family homes. I can usually tell by nine weeks if they have show potential. Can the breed’s hard-headedness can make them difficult to train? I don’t think that Labs are any more hard headed than any other sporting breed. They might want to do something that they find more interesting than what you want them to do, but is that hard headed? What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? Look at the entire dog. My order of importance is outline, then balance of front and rear angulation (fronts in Labradors have been a problem for a long time.) Having a lot of front without the rear to match isn’t balanced any more than a straight front combined with a nice enough rear is balanced. Next, I want a kind expression. I don’t think round or light eyes look kind. Then I look for a proper coat and a well carried tail, with the tail as close to being carried straight off the back as I can find. Yes, Labs can be in and out of coat, but a thin coat and tail should be examined closely. The dense undercoat of a well-coat- ed Labrador is designed to insulate the dog when swimming and retrieving in icy waters. It gives a rounded appearance, and softens the angles of the dog. Have a breeder show you a good coat, feel it, learn it—it is the hallmark of the breed and creates the classic otter tail. It can add visual substance, but a hands-on examination will easily reveal the difference between a Labrador with dense under- coat and one that is poorly conditioned or overweight. A Lab should move fluidly. A correctly made Lab will not hold his head up high when on the move; his head will be somewhat in front, which is made possible by a well-made front assembly. Think about the dog when swimming: he wouldn’t have his head straight up out of the water. His head would be down close to the water to help him move through the water efficiently. Don’t get hung up on things that don’t really matter. I see even experienced judges get all involved in things that do not make a great Labrador. Look for correct outline, soundness, correct coat and tail, and kindness of expression. Try to see through the han- dling. Sometimes you may have to work to find the best Labs and to disregard the handling. My ultimate goal for the breed? I want a sound and beautiful Labrador Retriever that can do the work asked of it, with a sense of humor! My favorite dog show memory? Showing at the Westminster Kennel Club show when Mr. Thomas Bradley escorted my 81year- old father-in-law to ringside so that my father-in-law could see me show my dog. No one outside of the official photographer was sup- posed to take pictures from the show floor, but Mr. Bradley (the chief Steward) made way for Mr. Robert Vaughn, Sr. to take his cherished pictures. It was so kind, and I will never forget it. One thing I would like to say is that the people in the Labrador world are some of the best you will find anywhere. And they are really good cooks! SUSANWILLUMSEN I grew up in the dog world through my aunt, Carol Willum- sen, the “original” Willcare. I have been breeding Labradors for 38


LABRADOR RETRIEVER BY FRANCES O. SMITH DVM PHD DACT Vice President, The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc, Health Chair, The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc THE T he Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in the United States where it has maintained its popularity as number one in registration for the past 20 years. This is certainly due to their phenomenal temperament and temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment. The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labra- dor Retriever are its short, dense weather resistant coat; an “otter” tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its “kind” friendly eye, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament.

trainability which allows the Labrador unusual versatility. The breed dates back to a least the 1830s when it was introduced from ships trading between the Labrador region of Canada and Poole in Dorchester. Early fans of the breed include the Earl of Malmesbury, the Duke of Buccleuch, the Earl of Home and Sir John Scott. At first the dogs were not referred to as Labradors. The first Labrador was described as not being larger than the English Pointer, more often black than other colours, long in its head and nose with a deep chest, fine legs, short and smooth coat and did not carry its tail as highly as the Newfoundland. In 1887, the Earl of Malmesbury wrote a letter, “We have always called mine Labrador dogs and I have kept mine as pure as I could from the first that I had from Poole.” There is a stud book of the Duke of Buccleuch’s Labra- dor Retrievers which make it possible to work out pedigrees of the two dogs that contributed most to produce today’s Labradors. The Labrador was first recognized as a separate breed by the English Kennel Club in 1903. The American Kennel Club registered its first Labrador Retriever in 1918 Brocklehurst Nell who was import- ed from Scotland. The first yellow Labrador on record was born in 1899 (Ben of Hyde). Chocolate Labrador Retrievers appeared in the late 1800s with brown puppies documented at Buccleuch kennels in 1892. From the Labrador Breed Standard, the essence of the breed can be described as follows: General Appearance The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short- coupled dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conforma- tion that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the sub- stance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion. Physical features and mental characteristics should denote dog bred to perform as an efficient Retriever of game with a stable

Above all, a Labrador Retriever must be well balanced, enabling it to move in the show ring or work in the field with little or no effort. The typical Labrador possesses style and qual- ity without over refinement, and substance without lumbering or cloddiness. The Labrador is bred primarily as a working gun dog; structure and soundness are of great importance. It is inappropriate to judge Labradors strictly on the ever nuanced idea of type. Movement is a critical element of the Labra- dor Retriever given the emphasis in the Labrador standard on struc- ture and soundness. There are differences in the breed standard from country to country. In the United States, as in many other Sporting breeds, there has been a divergence in physical appearance and in energies and aptitudes. Conformation Labradors or as John Q Public identifies them: “British” Labradors tend to be bulky, and stockier with broader heads, heavier coats, big otter tails and calmer dispositions. Our conformation bred dogs need to be differentiated from the British field dog which is an additional style that is heavily marketed in the United States—these dogs are smaller than their US counterparts—tend to have longer bodies, longer muzzles and very slick coats. These dogs are famed for their natural hunting skill and low energy as family pets. Our “American” Labradors: i.e. dogs from field and performance pedigrees tend to be lankier, lighter framed, longer muzzled and often do not have the classic “otter” tail. These American dogs have tremendous intelligence and stamina, a great work ethic and great courage. They tend to have more energy than the typical conformation bred dog. It has been many years since the last Dual Champions, i.e. a dog that is both a Show Champion and a Field Champion. The differences seen today in our Labradors make it very unlikely we will see one again. In the United Kingdom dogs bred for hunting and field trial work are selected first for working ability, whereas the conformation >

“The first Labrador was described as not being larger than the English Pointer, more often black than other colours, LONG IN ITS HEAD AND NOSE WITH A DEEP CHEST, FINE LEGS, SHORT AND SMOOTH COAT AND DID NOT CARRY ITS TAIL AS HIGHLY AS THE NEWFOUNDLAND.”


The Labrador Retriever


dogs are selected for their conformation to the standard and other characteristics sought by show judges. A similar selection process occurs in the Labrador in the United States although the purpose of a breed standard is to select for breeding animals and for dogs that embody the breed’s function. The Labrador Retriever is pleasant, outgoing and tractable enabling it to serve the public in a multitude of venues. They are excellent family dogs that are trainable and need training. They generally love children. Labradors do shed and it may be wise to match the coat color of your dog to the colors in your home. Labradors are the most commonly used breed as guide dogs for the blind and they excel as assistance dogs and as therapy dogs. Lab- rador Guide dogs have successfully guided their charges to safety in extreme situations. These dogs also work successfully as detec- tion dogs and tracking dogs both for the military and our police forces where a strong indefatigable retrieve drive is needed. The Labrador Retriever has served the US as military working dogs in multiple arenas. Labradors are powerful and enthusiastic swimmers that can tolerate cold water. They are capable of remaining quiet, mark- ing falls and retrieving both dead and wounded birds. Many are also outstanding upland retrievers who work in the field and are eligible to compete in AKC Hunting tests and AKC Upland test for Retrievers. The Labrador Retriever is overall a healthy breed. The CHIC requirements for the breed are OFA hips, OFA elbows, OFA eyes, EIC testing and testing for the dilute gene. Recommended addi- tional tests are the prcd PRA test, cardiac testing, and CNM test- ing. While other testing is available, the tests should be selected based on Parent Club and veterinary advice. The breed deserves the popularity it has attained and it is the mission of the breeders to maintain the qualities that make them the most desirable dog in the United States.

#80 CH Briarwood’s Jumpin Jack Black Flash MH (bm, 2018) CH Bidwell To Hiddensprings Covey Buster MH (bf, 2018) CH Mar-Jo’s Major Attitude MH CGC (bf, 2018) CH Wiscoy’s Carnival MH (bf, 2018)

CH Pathways Tygrrsaurus Rex Of Fair Haven MH WCX CGC (ym, 2017) GCH Seawind Fergmar Bells and Whistles MH UDX OM1 BN (ym, 2017). The ONLY GCH, MH, UDX Labrador Retriever in the world!! GCH CH Boynes Avian Investigator MH (bf, 2016) CH Falline Telemark CD, RN, MH (yf, 2016) CH Rockycreeks Jack Daniels CD PCD BN RN MH (bm) CH Duckback Armbrook’s Indigo CD MH (bm) GCH CH Watersedge John Quincy Adams MH SHU CGC (bm) CH Cedarwood’s Rollickin’ Good Thyme CD BN RE MH (cf, 2015) CH B And M Meinhold Col. Hawker RN MH CGC (ym) CH Klassic’s High Voltage F-18 MH (bm) CH Oasis Diamond Del Rio MH (yf) CH Deep Run Casablanca MH (ym) CH Spirithawk Let It Ride MH (yf) CH Mar-Jo’s Rough-N-Ready MH (ym) CH Wiscoys Midnight Train MH (bm) CH Kohlercreek Radiance At Honorbright MH (yf, 2013) CH Briarwood’s Luna Brillante MH (yf) CH Grampian Bedizened Viking RA MH (bf) CH Briarglen’s Celtic Caper MH (yf) Am/Can CH ReiMur Juz Fulla Myself CDX RE MH CGC (bm) CH Sonlight’s Nachusa Storm Chaser MH (yf) CH Topwater Hiddenspring Yuletide RN MH (bd) GCH CH Lobuff Major Yeager At Asquam MH (yd) CH Seawind’s Fergmar Edubard UD OM1 MH (bm) GCH Am/Can CH Poplar Forest Topp Gunn MH (bm) GCH Viking Hil’Die Tanzbarin CD RA MH (yf) CH Nachusa’s I Walk The Line MH (ym) CH Dickendall Buckstone Deck The Halls MH (bm) CH Kerrybrook’s Vince MH (ym) CH Yellow Roses Rio Bravo MH (bm) CH Hollyhill Password To Bidwell MH (bf) CH Raintree Wooly Bully RN MH (bm) GCH CH Hidden Springs Blue Goose MH (ym) Am/Can CH Poplar Forest Play It Again Sam UD RE MH (bm) CH Ridge View No Fear MH (ym) CH Lands End Whatever She Wants CDX RN MH (bf)

CH Caer Bren Superhero CD RN MH (ym) CH Ransom’s I Wanna Be Good CD MH (bm)

Am/Can Ch. Lor-Al’s Got Our Power Play CD MH (bm) CH Ransom Armbrook’s Hole In One CD MH (bm) CH Pembroke Blk Mist Poplar Forest MH (bf) CH Ransom’s Armbrook Indigo Hue CD MH (bm) CH Bayview’s Aliho Denali MH (bm) Am/Can Ch. Fawnhaven Hard Act To Follow CD MH (bm) CH Waterbound Locke On Laddy MH (bm) CH Sundance’s Paddy’s Irish Cream CD MH (ym) CH Danikk Leap of Faith MH (ym)

CH Belle Tradition O’Broad Reach MH (bm) CH Marit’s Slippry Round the Bend MH (bm) CH/MACH Prospect’s Slam Dunk UD MH RN MXP5 MJP5 PAX (ym, 2002) CH Winnie’s Block Buster MH (ym) CH Ashridge Captain Wentworth MH (ym) CH Naiken Indian Temple MH (cm) CH Campbelcroft Peppermint Paddy CDX MH (ym) CH Ashway’s Willcare Impression CD MH (cm) CH Bayside’s Mark West CD MH (bm, 2000) CH Avalon’s Regal Buck MH (bm) Am/Can Ch. Clarion’s Bad As I Wanna Be CD MH CKC MH (bm) CH Westwind’s Chilkoot Charlie MH (ym) CH Brandywine’s Westdale Duggan MH (ym) CH Franklin’s Pickpocket for Kerrybrook MH (ym, 1999) Am/Can. Ch. Brookland’s Mischievous Sealion MH CDX NA (ym) CH Ruthless Blazing Brentley CDX MH (cm) CH Aliho’s Igloo Iggy UDX MH (ym) Am/Mex/Int’l Ch. Cook’s Midnight Bandit MH (bm) CH Topform’s Edward MH (bm, 1995)

CH Willcare’s Gypsy Talkeetna CD MH (ym) CH Willcare’s Gypsy Chitina CD MH (yf) CH Devon’s Rough Magic CD TDX MH (bf) CH Harbortop’s Redwick Valhalla MH (bm, 1993)

CH Broad Reach Gripper UD MH (bf) CH Duckback’s HiHope CD MH (yf) CH Plantiers Ruthless Ruthie MH CD (cf)

CH Broad Reach’s Trace Of Grace MH (bf, 1991) CH Buddy of Cedar Bush Creek UD MH (bm, 1989)

Fergus is registered with AKC, CKC and UKC and his official name is: GCH CH Can CH UKC CH HRCH UH ReiMur’s Juz Fulla Myself CDX RE MH CGC Can CD/JH/WCX.

CH Simerdown Royal Canuck MH (ym) CH Romany Sun Jester CD MH (ym, 1988)



SUE WILLUMSEN I’ve been breeding and showing Labradors since 1980, mentored by Lorraine Robbenhaar-Taylor in early years. I owned/co-owned three Champion Master Hunters in addi- tion to over 25 breed champions, multiple Hunting, Obedi- ence, Agility and Rally titled Labradors. AKC licensed judge of Labrador Retrievers breeds since 2006 adding multiple sporting and hound breeds in the last 8 years, a member of LRC since 1980s in good standing, certified LRC Mentor and President of NLRC. Willcare has been a registered All-Breed kennel since the 1990s. Since the very beginning of my breeding program, I have always been committed to the AKC LRC Labrador Standard. When people call and ask what “type” of labs I breed my reply is always “I breed to the standard”. I breed dogs that are judged by the standard and are able to work in the field, and other performance events as well as in the confirmation ring. To do all this, the dog must be structurally sound and in working condition. I take great pride in keeping my dogs fit whether for the show ring or for performance events. The Labrador is a working bird dog and without proper conditioning, cannot do what they were bred to do. I also reflect this belief in my judging. I do not reward dogs that are sloppy and out of condition. They are seldom in my ring as Labrador people are well aware of this! For several years, I was active in the field trials. Although I do not own any field bred Labradors, I certainly appreciate their abilities and have always enjoyed them.

(which I was lucky to win on four occasions, plus our Spaniel club show. I started judging when I was 35, with my parents Carl and Rosalie Anderson. Now approved for all sporting, best and juniors. I own a major dog business in San Diego, California. (Groomingdales) plus attended culinary school through the CIA Ralphs Corp, I love to eat! But my passion for the sport won over, I love what I do but most of all the kind and won- derful dog family which I belong to. I’ve had the great honor to judge the Cocker national four times, plus numerous sporting shows. To relax I kayak and pump iron! So I can eat all the food I cook! But most dog folks now me for my humor and relaxed way of judging, but I do take my judging very seriously, type is so important! Make and shape for me, condition, and of course, their charm. Most people call it showmanship, I call it charm, most dogs win you over with their charm, like most people. When I see a charming dog in all breeds I smile a lot! I always remember one great smile, when you see a great dog you rarely go wrong. JANIS GRANNEMANN DR. MICHAEL J. WOODS


Dr. Michael Woods has bred and exhibited Labrador Retrievers, under the Waterdog prefix, for over 40 years. He and his wife, Lynn, have bred and/ or owned many Canadian and Ameri- can Champions as well as Best in Show and Specialty winners. They have also exhibited Border and Smooth Fox Terriers. As a judge, Michael has officiated extensively throughout Canada and

I’ve been in the sport nearly all my life, starting with kennel duties, to juniors, to apprentice to many great dog people, terrier to working to sporting, most all breeds; then turned professional at an early age. I’m most known for my Spaniels, Cockers and English Cockers, but have always had a passion for all sporting breeds

I also had great wins with some of the most beautiful Cocker Spaniels back in the days when we had 900 or more at our nationals

the United States as well as in Asia, Bermuda, South America, Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, New Zealand and Australia. He has judged at most of the major Labrador Specialties in the



4. Labs all seem to be very strong-willed. Does that make them hard to live with and train? SW: Labradors are seldom better trained and behaved than the effort that is put into them. They are very smart, the owner is sometimes the one catching up with the dog. They enjoy activities with their people. When activities not provided, they often entertain themselves by being creatively destructive. 5. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? SW: Heads. They are becoming Rottweiler and/or New- foundland like, losing the kind expression and intelli- gence they are known for. 6. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? SW: Sometimes. Several long standing kennels have sus- tained and improved “their type”. 7. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? SW: The non-breeder judge gets easily overwhelmed and misses the forest through the trees. Often they will go with a handler feeling that that is a “safe” choice. It is often commented “How can you judge them, there’s so many different types. Because of this, there are a lot of inconsistency in the winners. I always suggest mentor- ing (if possible)and definitely determine a “type” in your mind and compare your assignment specimens to your “ideal”. 8. Have your Labs competed in any performance events? Did that experience affect judging decisions? GA: I’ve actually I never worked with Labs in field work, but I have seen them (so great to watch). JG: Yes, I have done both. After watching dogs in the field, I am more aware of the fact that “form does indeed follow function.” For example, a short nosed Lab will have a much harder time carrying a large goose. The dog will most likely have to take a harder grip on the bird and will probably damage the bird in the process. I also look at some of these really large dogs in the ring and know that I could never get them back into the boat without tipping over. MW: I was a fairly avid hunter and worked my Labs on a number of bird species: goose, duck, dove and pheasant. In addition to amazing insight into the breed’s inherent retrieving instinct and trainability, hunting gives one an appreciation of ‘form following function’. Sitting in a freezing goose blind certainly makes one aware of the necessity of double coats. Retrieving from inclement seas and busting through thick brush stress the power and athleticism needed to perform the job efficiently. When judging, I think I’m pretty consistent in looking for good coats, sound movement, tight eyes and feet and a general indication of the ability to ‘do the job.’ I think a

United States and Canada, as well as the National Champi- onship Show in New Zealand, the Canadian and American Nationals, and BIS at the Potomac, the world’s largest Labra- dor Specialty. He co-judged BIS at the 40th Anniversary show for the Labrador Club in the Netherlands, the largest Labrador show in Europe. Dr. Woods is an All-Breed and all obedience classes judge and has published on the Labrador Retriever, Conformation Judging, Retrievers and Ethics in the dog fancy, and wrote a regular column on Ethics for Dogs in Canada. In 1999, he was named Purina Canine Writer of the Year. Michael has also given seminars throughout the world on judging and evalu- ating the Labrador Retriever. He most recently presented a seminar on the Labrador Retriever at the American Kennel Club’s ‘Sporting Dog Institute’ and at the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac. Michael wrote a column, “Speaking Out”, for the Labra- dor Retriever Club Inc. News and is an approved mentor and presenter for the LRC, Inc. He co-authored the Illustrated Labrador Standard for the Labrador Retriever Club of Can- ada and was chairman of the committee to revise the CKC Labrador Standard. Michael was Vice-President in charge of judge’s educa- tion for the Dog Judges Association of Canada, and is a mem- ber of numerous Labrador Retriever Clubs. He has served as a member of the Canadian Kennel Club’s National Appeals Committee and Ethics Committee. He is now retired from his position as a University Professor of English and divides his time between St. John’s, Newfoundland and Charlestown, Rhode Island.

1. Describe the breed in three words. SW: Temperament, coat and tail.

2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? SW: Temperament, distinct double coat, otter tail, kind head with soft expression yet strong enough to carry game, balance. 3. What’s the most common fault you see when travel- ing around the country? SW: Inconsistency of breed type.




‘moderate’ dog is the ideal and tend to avoid extremes; however, my interpretation of ‘moderate’ might differ from others. The term is certainly subject to interpreta- tion, but most certainly does not mean ‘generic.’ 9. What are the most controversial judging topics for this breed? How do you address them? GA: The points I looks for are the proper make and shape, not to tall but not low legged, good depth of body, with front legs well underneath of chest a great thick muscled loin area, hard level back (no dips) great tail! with that otter-like look hair wrapped well around the tail! a dark eye with the beautiful Lab expression, sound walking a must! JG: The tendency to award dogs with length of loin/body because they move “better.” I judge first on type and then movement. If the dog is not typey, then I do not care how it moves. The second big problem is that more is better. If the coat should be “short and dense,” then longer and fluffy is better. Or if “the legs should have good bone,” then tree trunks for legs are even better. Again I judge to type. If the Lab reminds me of any other breed, it is not a Lab and does not have breed type. MW: Probably the most controversial area of judging Lab- radors today in the question of excessive weight. My opinion is that too many dogs are shown in poor condi- tion and carrying too much weight. However, too many all-round judges think that the Labrador’s powerful build is fat, where a close examination of the dog reveals the dog is substantial and well muscled. The Labrador is not built like the Flat-Coat or Golden. He is a more substan- tial, compact dog, but that doesn’t mean he should have too much substance. More is not better! One of the major challenges in judging Labradors is understanding the bal- ance between substance and athleticism. 10. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. Are there any unforgivable faults in the Labrador breed? JG: Breed type—It should not remind me of any other breed Balance—Everything in proportion, a one piece dog

The Labrador is an approximately 1:1 breed: muzzle approximately equals skull; withers to elbow approxi- mately equals elbow to ground; height approximately equals length. Although the standard doesn’t use the phrase, I like to see a dog with a ‘touch of class’, an aura of quality that sets the great dog apart from the mediocre one. Next for me is can the dog keep this outline on the move. Sometimes when I view a class standing, I think, “This is going to be really difficult, sorting them out.” But, once they move, they often seem to do the sorting for me. Good handling can hide numerous faults that become readily apparent when the dog moves. Weak toplines, poor tail sets, lack of reach and drive are impossible to camouflage on the move. Our breed culture is very explicit when stressing the breed characteristics judges should look for: head, coat, tail and temperament. I love a Labrador with the sweet, gentle expression that is so much a part of the breed, the broad head with the strong muzzle, neat ears, tight dark eyes that reflect intelligence and kindness. As much as one can in the ring, I want to see good tem- perament, not a crazy idiot nor a cowering wimp. The breed should be a ‘solid’ dog both in structure and in temperament. One of the faults that I’m getting pretty obsessed about is short legs, for the reasons I’ve indicated above. How- ever, a caveat, having leg doesn’t mean we want miniature giraffes! 11. Why does it seem Labs don’t place more often in groups? GA: I feel Labs are misrepresented in the group due to lack of flash these days, plus some all round judges really don’t understand the breed type. Labs are beautiful standing on their own, the shape is great naturally; some judges want them to run fast, Labs don’t do that. JG: Labs do not have and should not have an extended side gait or a flying trot. A Lab is a swimming dog and as such he is almost square in structure. He should move with “good” reach and drive, but not the ground covering movement of an upland hunting dog. The Lab’s move- ment should not be flashy and this type of movement does not catch the eye of the group judge when the ring is full of flying dogs. He is a quarter horse in a ring full of thoroughbreds. MW: Labs don’t place nearly enough in the Group! This is not to say that Labradors never place in the Group. The breed has had some dogs that have done extremely well at both the Group and BIS levels. Generally, however, we have the one of the largest, if not the largest, entries in the show and don’t get nearly enough rewards in the Group. The problem is two-fold: judges are not familiar with what the breed is and want it to be something it’s not; breeders are not producing and/or showing dogs that can compete at the Group level. Some breeders are so disgruntled with the poor judging at all-breed shows, they now only show at specialties. Unfortunately, this severely limits the exposure of non-breeder judges to really good dogs.

Expression—Soft, welcoming and happy Coat and tail—Hard, short and wrapping Movement—Clean and effortless

I find that lack of balance is the hardest fault for me to forgive. Not only front to rear balance, but also body to bone balance. Too many Labs are very front heavy and this does not make for a very good swimmer. A Lab should be a row boat, not a barge. The bone should also match the body. A heavy bodied Lab should not have fine or weak bones. MW: The first thing I look for in the ring is outline. I want to see the correct compact outline with good balance front and rear, nice reach of neck and head carriage, strong topline and correct tail set, and some leg under the dog. Getting to know the correct outline for each breed is the greatest challenge for judges, since the outline encapsu- lates the essential characteristics for the breed.


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