whew, we're going to get into some sticky territory here.
My personal opinion is that the only way we're going to be able to do that is if breeders quit breeding for "just one thing", be that looks, agility, obedience, field, whatever. Of course, that will never happen. But when you breed for just one thing, the others seem to fall by the wayside and we end up with goldens who are no longer the versatile dog they originally were.
As always, I like to use Tito as an example. Most people here know his "story", but if not....he was bred to be a nice structured pet with a good temperament. Nothing more. I bought him as a pet for my daughter, originally on a limited registration with a neuter contract (which was obviously since lifted). I had no plans to do anything with him except love him.
He wasn't bred to be a show dog. He wasn't bred to be a field dog. Etc., etc., etc.
But look at what he has been able to accomplish. If you look at his pedigree, there is nothing in there that would foretell of what he has done.
He was bred to be a versatile companion dog, and he is what people call an "old-fashioned golden retriever". He is what the breed used to be.
So why has Tito been so successful? Lord knows it's not ME, I've never done any of this before with my dogs.
Because he is to the golden standard in ALL ways.
He succeeds in obedience because he is intelligent and highly trainable,and because like all good gun dogs, he is not overly reactive to the environment, and he is able to focus well. He isn't at all fearful or skittish, and he gets along fine with all other dogs.
He succeeds in agility because he's a medium sized, well muscled, athletic dog. Again, as per the standard. Also, the ability to focus is very important in agility.
He succeeds in the field because he has tremendous prey drive, and tons of bird instinct. He has a natural love of water, and the gentle mouth that the breed is supposed to have.
And that is why we need to breed the dogs to ALL of the standard, not just to the physical part of it.
Tito truly can and will do anything that is asked of him, and as I said before, I believe him to be the norm for a well bred golden, not the exception.
Also, the LRCA (labradors) have done that, requiring at least a WC (working certificate) of their dogs. So what ended up happening is the WC for labradors got dumbed down to the point that I think my cat probably could have passed.
CH Rosewood Little Giant, VCD2 UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP MFP T2BP TD DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG (born 3-10-2007), also UCH HR UH UUD NN UJJ URO1 UHIT a.k.a. "Tito" (the Tito Monster)
waiting at the bridge:
My first dog, and my most special girl
Gibson's Golden Girl, CD, CGC, TDI ( 3-20-1997 - 11-22-2013) a.k.a. "Tiny", "Queen B"
and my heart dog
Gibson's Golden Guy, CD, CGC, TDI ( 01-31-1998 - 01-02-2012) a.k.a. "Toby", "HRH"
Last edited by hotel4dogs; 12-05-2012 at 08:42 AM.