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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hvgoldens4 View Post
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.
Can you explain what that bolded part means in real life terms? I'm not sure what minimum requirements to meet the standard means. In my limited understanding, the breed standard is an ideal that cannot possibly be reached, but only approached to varying degrees. Am I understanding that correctly?

As to the larger point of the CCA not being enough to demonstrate good breeding stock, is there any single thing that would? My understanding, again limited , is that there is not. So, why is not CCA a useful tool for both breeder and buyer (and I'm probably thinking of this more from the buyer's standpoint, looking for indications of reliably bred dogs giving the confusion and the generally opaque process of a lay person trying to find a decently bred Golden)? One of the things I like about the CCA is there is some indication of temperament that is wholly absent in AKC shows.

In fact, some very famous conformation dogs have temperaments that are great for the ring but horrible as pets, so how does one evaluate that for "breeding stock" purposes?

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 06:45 PM
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My question would be, if someone doesn't do conformation but instead has working titles is a CCA then not appropriate for them??? Is a CCA really saying they meet the standards enough to be bred or is it really just, well useless. I mean no disrespect either I guess I'm trying to understand just what a CCA is good for then?? If that makes sense
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:40 PM
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To me a CCA is more educational for the owner than anything else (getting real feedback and explanations on their dog and the standard), and another major reason GRCA created the CCA was for goldens other than those who can point in the breed ring be eligible for the VC/VCX awards. CCA has nothing to do with breeding.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:24 PM
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There seems to be some confusion on what the CCA is and isn't. The CCA was never meant to be a green light to breed any dog whether that dog be an AKC Champion, a Master Hunter or an OTCH dog that has recieved the title.



What the CCA Program IS AND ISN’T

IT ISN’T just another title and a quick way to earn a versatility certificate.
IT ISN’T just a way for Goldens from show lines that don’t compete in the breed ring to get an easier title.
IT ISN’T a program where Goldens from working lines will get scored tougher and/or evaluated against a style that is being shown in the breed ring today.
IT ISN’T a program where all scores will be identical even though Evaluators are comparing the same dog to the same Standard. Scores will vary to some degree and each Evaluator’s interpretation of the written words in the Standard and the scoring system will differ. This has been taken into consideration and that is why you can enter the same dog in two events and/or a maximum of six evaluation tries.
IT ISN’T a program where you can just visually assess which dogs should or shouldn’t get a CCA Title by being a spectator or looking at pictures. There is no substitute for a hands-on written critique scored against all the written components of the Standard including temperament.
IT ISN’T a program where Goldens are compared to each other and placed or awarded placements because of what the other Goldens looks like.
AND
IT ISN’T that easy.
To earn the CCA Title, a golden must have three scores of seventy-five or above with no two categories scoring four or less, no category scoring two or less and no disqualifying faults. An Honorable Mention is awarded to those that earned three scores above or between sixy-five and seventy-four, these scores are noted in the program as above acceptable conformation for a Golden Retriever and IT IS an award to be very proud of.
IT IS a program where the Evaluators are qualified to interpret the Standard. They have met strict criteria, are knowledgeable about the breed’s history and have had years of hands-on experience. They certainly wouldn’t be volunteering all their time and energy if they didn’t care about you, your Golden and the future of this breed.
IT IS a program where it takes guts to enter your Golden and have your dog critiqued by someone you only heard of and probably never met before.
IT IS a program that will archive the information, critiques and pictures for future breeders and owners.
AND
IT IS an educational gateway for everyone to reflect on the written description of what is “ideal” for this incredible breed, the essence of a Golden Retriever, that is timeless, without prejudice and not subject to changing fashion or popular style.
The CCA Committee


When the CCA started being discussed as a program amongst the GRCA Board and the members, it was done as a learning tool and not a breeding tool. There are non-competitive venues in other areas of competition for goldens-hunt tests, obedience trials, tracking tests, etc. Dogs in these areas of competition can be awarded a title or certificate(when talking about the WC/WCX program) without ever having to defeat another dog. The GRCA wanted to do this for conformation and as a teaching tool for people.

Also from the GRCA's website:


Overview of program
The GRCA offers a Noncompetitive Conformation Assessment
Program for Golden Retrievers at which a Certificate of
Conformation Assessment (CCA) may be earned. This program
is open to all Golden Retrievers over the age of 18 months that
are AKC or CKC registered or that have an AKC PAL or ILP
number. Spayed and neutered animals are expressly permitted
to participate, as are dogs owned by non-members of the
GRCA. However, see “Limitations of Entries” below.
General Purposes of Program
The purposes of the CCA program are to (a) provide a noncompetitive
means of evaluating and scoring the conformation
qualities of individual Golden Retrievers against the Breed
Standard (as opposed to a competitive “dog-to-dog” comparison
as in dog show competition); (b) provide a useful and
informative evaluation with verbal and recorded assessments
by knowledgeable evaluators of the conformation qualities of
individual Golden Retrievers; (c) provide archived records of
the completed evaluations for all Golden Retrievers that have
been assessed to generate reports for historical purposes.
Recognition will be based on achievement by any Golden
Retriever of three qualifying scores of 75 or greater (out of a
possible 100) for a CCA as assessed by three different evaluators.
It is expected that many dogs that may never enter in formal
conformation competition would qualify for a CCA under
the program. In addition to the qualifying score of 75 or
greater, certain minimum scores will be required in order to
obtain the CCA title (explained under “Scoring”). In addition,
the number of attempts to qualify will be limited to six evaluations
for any one Golden Retriever.


If you look above, a golden only has to get 75 points out of a possible 100 to get a qualifying score toward a CCA. As Annie pointed out and the information from the GRCA's website shows, this was never meant to have anything to do with breeding. It is an educational tool to help people understand more about their dog and how it compares in respect to the standard in a non-competitive venue so they can learn about their dogs strengths and weaknesses in a non-competitive venue. The above is what I am speaking about in reguard to the minimum requirements necessary to meet the breed standard.


As a CCA evaluator I can tell you that there are many, many dogs who can get a CCA who could never get a single point in a AKC conformation show and a CCA was not created to say that they could. There are also plenty of dogs who can get a WC/WCX and will never have what it takes to be a MH and the same would be true in every other venue.

The purpose of conformation dog shows has always been to evaluate breeding stock and it still is to a great degree. However, as things have changed with reguard to how dogs are kept and the number of dogs that are kept, some things have also changed about dog shows. Some people will continue to show a dog who has failed a clearance to their championship so they can count toward a parents OS or OD award or simply because they believe the dog has the merit to be awarded their championship. When dog shows were started, there were not clearances being done on breeding stock.

As far as the "mingling" part of the CCA really being used to assess a dogs temperament, I don't believe that it can. The only thing that can evaluate a dogs temperament is to spend time with that dog and get to know them under various situations. Trainers/handlers can very easily train a dog to behave on a leash and dogs aren't stupid either and they are much more apt to behave when they are on a leash vs off lead. The mingle part of a CCA is really no more than what happens at every dog show when the handlers and owners are standing around ringside waiting for the dogs to go into the ring.

Breeders have always been the ones to evaluate the dogs fitness toward being bred and remaining in the gene pool. There will always be people who will cut corners and breed a dog without clearances or breed a dog who displays dominance issues around other intact dogs. As a pet owner/buyer, you best way to make sure that you are getting a dog with the correct temperament is to talk with other people who have dogs from that breeder and to spend time with the parents of the litter. Temperament, for the most part, is genetic. It can be affected by life experience but there would have to be a pretty horrific set of events happen to make a dog with a good temperament all of a sudden have a bad temperament. The puppies will inherit the tmperament of their parents. The mom is even more important because not only is she passing along her genetic material to the puppies, she is the one who is raising the puppies and the puppies will learn a great deal from her. It is hard for a mom who is shy and nervous to raise a litter of puppies that will be confident and outgoing. The puppies will learn by her reactions to different stimuli to be nervous or worried about things as well.

As far as evaluating a dog temperament to the standard for breeding purposes, our standard is pretty straightforward in that department:

Temperament -- friendly, reliable and trustworthy. Quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, is not in keeping with Golden Retriever character. Such actions should be penalized according to their significance.

There will always be differences of opinion on temperament because one person will prefer a dog with more energy if they are a more active person themselves and another person, who may be more sedentary, will prefer a dog who is a couch potato.

Goldens should not be hyper/high strung or couch potatos. They are a sporting dog so they should possess drive, biddability and a desire to do the job they were intended to do. Those traits also need to be addressed as well as their ability to meet the physical requirements of the breed standard.

No, there are no perfect dogs but there are certainly dogs that come closer to meeting that ideal than other dogs do. Breeders need to assess all these things(as well as physical health and clearances) before making a decision about breeding the dog.

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Last edited by goldenjackpuppy; 11-26-2012 at 11:11 PM. Reason: increased size of font in post
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tippykayak View Post
Between SC's initial clearheaded definitions and HVG's contributions, this thread NEEDS to be a sticky.
So far this is a great discussion and it is staying well within bounds. If we don't have to close it, I'd be delighted to make it a sticky. Promise!
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 10:58 PM
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Thanks again to to HVG for the most recent post. I was particularly interested in the comments on temperament. Unfortunately the typeface for that portion of the post is really tiny and difficult to read. Any chance it can be adjusted or is there something I can do to make it easier to read.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 11:06 PM
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Thanks again to to HVG for the most recent post. I was particularly interested in the comments on temperament. Unfortunately the typeface for that portion of the post is really tiny and difficult to read. Any chance it can be adjusted or is there something I can do to make it easier to read.
You can try zooming in your browswer. I don't have time right now to enlarge the font, but I'll try to remember to come back to this tomorrow. You are welcome to PM me with a reminder.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 11:12 PM
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You can try zooming in your browswer. I don't have time right now to enlarge the font, but I'll try to remember to come back to this tomorrow. You are welcome to PM me with a reminder.
I just enlarged it
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 11:35 PM
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Thanks HVG for the information


I realize that a CCA is not a green light to breed...I was trying to understand why and whom they would benefit...

I appreciate the answers and the tone of this thread. It is indeed refreshing...
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:15 AM
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Let me try again as to why and whom the CCA will benefit. Going back again to the origins of the breeds and those big kennels. If you then wanted to get started in showing your dogs or breeding or into hunting, you would go to one of those big kennels and work and learn about the dogs and how the kennels were run and about animal husbandry practices and everything else that was involved with the dogs. These people had mentors and were mentors to others who were involved or wanted to be involved in the fancy. A person could go to one of these big kennels and see upwards of 100 dogs that were all closely related and generation after generation so they could see and learn about structure and movement and breed type and how the form of the dog follows the function they were bred to do.

We don't have that anymore. Property restrictions, zoning ordinances, money and so many other things and so those big kennels don't exist anymore.

So, just where does someone who wants to learn about the breed go? How do they learn? Ok, you can read books, you can look at things on the internet and you can go to dog shows. But, if you really don't know what the golden standard means when it says:
Head
Broad in skull, slightly arched laterally and longitudinally without prominence of frontal bones (forehead) or occipital bones. Stop well defined but not abrupt. Foreface deep and wide, nearly as long as skull. Muzzle straight in profile, blending smooth and strongly into skull; when viewed in profile or from above, slightly deeper and wider at stop than at tip. No heaviness in flews. Removal of whiskers is permitted but not preferred. Eyes friendly and intelligent in expression, medium large with dark, close-fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep in sockets. Color preferably dark brown; medium brown acceptable. Slant eyes and narrow, triangular eyes detract from correct expression and are to be faulted. No white or haw visible when looking straight ahead. Dogs showing evidence of functional abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes (such as, but not limited to, trichiasis, entropion, ectropion, or distichiasis) are to be excused from the ring. Ears rather short with front edge attached well behind and just above the eye and falling close to cheek. When pulled forward, tip of ear should just cover the eye. Low, hound-like ear set to be faulted. Nose black or brownish black, though fading to a lighter shade in cold weather not serious. Pink nose or one seriously lacking in pigmentation to be faulted. Teeth scissors bite, in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. Undershot or overshot bite is a disqualification. Misalignment of teeth (irregular placement of incisors) or a level bite (incisors meet each other edge to edge) is undesirable, but not to be confused with undershot or overshot. Full dentition. Obvious gaps are serious faults.

just where and to whom do you go to find out??

To be a better breeder, exhibitor, you need to be constantly learning more-what we call a student of the breed. So, the GRCA set up the CCA as a very INFORMAL-and I am stressing informal event so that people could learn in the hopes that by learning more from their peers and with a hands on written evaluation that they could refer back to from evaluators that the GRCA had approved as knowledgeable about the breed and the standard.

So, lets go back to form follows function. What and why is this important? The standard isn't just there so that goldens keep looking like goldens. That is part of it and that is type. Type refers to when you see a dog off in the distance, can you tell it is a golden or does it look like an Irish Setter?? But then we have all these words that talk about how tall and long and how much the dogs should weigh and how their front assembly should be built and what their toplines should look like and so on and so forth. So, you may say to yourself, I just want a pet-why are these things important to me? They are important to you because if the dog isn't built at all like it should be(not even remotely close) the dog will have issues down the road even being able to go out and hike and play ball. If the stifle(the knee area) is too straight and not a gentle half moon, as I like to describe it, this can result in torn cruciate ligaments. Now, there are other factors that can contribute to this as well, such as weight and age but structural issues also contribute to issues the dog will have down the road.

So, you want a dog to be an agility dog or a hunting companion on the weekend. Why do you care if the dog has a straight upper arm and upright shoulders?? Because the dog will get tired faster when the dog isn't built properly. If the dog has a strong desire to please and a good work ethic, they can overcome some of these structural issues but over time, these issues will cause the dog problems. The dog will break down and be prone to more injuries than if they are built properly.

So, now you have a dog that has a few obedience titles and maybe some agility titles or a tracking title-just fill in the blanks. She gets all her clearances and she has a great temperament-she is biddable, learns quickly and gets along well with other dogs and all people. So, how do you decide who to breed her to?? If you don't know where the structural problems with her lie, you can't improve and the goal of any breeding program is to improve on what you have(or it should be )

So, now you decide-OK, I am going to take her to a CCA. You find out that she has a dip in her topline and maybe she is missing a tooth and her coat is a little softer than it should be. With this information, you can then find Studly who does not have those issues and then hopefully, you will be able to improve upon what she is in regaurd to the standard while keeping the good things about her.

Now going back to informal......at the last CCA I judged at, I had some very well known obedience exhibitors who have been showing for many years and who have had many OTCH dogs come thru to have their dogs evaluated. Every single one of them said that they had learned quite a bit and found the process quite interesting. Now some of them also weren't very good at gaiting because they had never been taught to gait. They had been taught to heel as obedience dogs. But, an experienced evaluator can use their hands to feel the dogs structure and also see the few steps where the dog was actually gaiting and still be able to give an evaluation and opinion on the dog.

That is part of the reason that a lot of performance people do a CCA and as like Anney had also mentioned it does fulfill the conformation aspect for a dog to be able to earn a VC(versatility certificate) where before the CCA, they would have had to be entered in conformation shows and gotten minor points or major reserves. For many people, this wasn't something they were interested in doing because they couldn't show the dog themselves and it would entail them hiring a handler or something along those lines.

No matter how long you have been a breeder or exhibitor, you always need to be learning and improving on what you have. If you are a performance person and you learn your golden has upright shoulders and a straight upper arm, that all of a sudden explains why when they are heeling that they want to swing wide, forge, etc. The degree of the issue will have an affect on the problems that you see with them structurally. So, now you know what those look and feel like so the next time you get a new puppy, you can overcome that obstacle or when you are looking at stud dogs, you can look for a dog who has a better front to improve on what you already have.
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