Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Erie PA
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Unfortunately, there are goldens who have less than wonderful temperaments and they finish their championships and are bred. This is where the part about the hobby breeder doing what is right for the dog and the breed is most important. There is absolutely no way we will ever be rid of temperament problems in our breed. It was there in the dogs that were the founding stock that was imported into the US. Now, when I am talking about aggressive, I am more talking about dominance aggression and not any aggression toward people.
The breeder is the one who has to decide if the dog has the proper temperament and other qualities that are required to be a good example of the breed and be bred. Because of the issues with the founding stock, a bad temperament can come up from almost any breeding. It does not make the breeder a bad breeder. What makes them a good or bad breeder is how they deal with it!!! If this is a dog that they own, will that dog be spayed/neutered so that it cannot contribute to the gene pool. If it is a pet puppy, do they help the family do everything possible up to and including taking the dog back so it can be put down, if need be?? Yes, these things can and do happen because breeding is far from easy.
As to conformation shows, this is how breeding stock has been determined for many, many years. Yes, there is only one winner in each sex and thus with the number of dogs in competition with a breed like our own, it does make it difficult to finish a dog, at times. However, I am a breeder/owner/handler and I have finished plenty of our dogs myself and have also finished dogs that were bred by me but owned by other people. If you have a good dog and the dog is presented well, the dog will do well. The biggest issue with conformation shows is that people are not really honest with what their dogs faults are and if they are worthy of being a champion. The dog needs to be in good condition, the dog need to be in good coat, the dog needs to be trained and the dog does need to fit the standard.
As to a CCA being a better gauge for breeding stock?? I do not agree with this at all. I am a CCA evaluator and that was not what the program was set up for at all. It was to help teach people/breeders about the standard in real life and so they could see how their dog would be evaluated by their peers in a non-competitive setting. If you look at the information on the GRCA's website about the CCA, you will find that it states these are the minimum requirements for a golden to meet the breed standard. I would say that an AKC championship would be the upper requirements for a dog to meet the standard.
Do dogs finish that should not?? Do politics come into play?? Absolutely, but there are politics in every facet of our lives and dogs are no different. It is our job as a breeder/exhibitor/student of the breed to learn what the standard really means and how to apply it to the dogs and be able to look at dogs without being kennel blind and through rose colored glasses.
Every dog has their faults. There is no such thing as a perfect dog and if a breeder tells you their dog has no issues, run. They are being kennel blind. A good breeder should be able to tell you the areas of their breeding program that they are working on and the strengths and attributes of their breeding program along with each individual dog in their breeding program. We all have areas that are strengths and things that we need to work on.