What do you understand about Style vs. Momentum? - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Good thoughts on this so far. Apparently too few people read the part of the AKC rule book on field trials governing style in particular. I think they did a great job defining and dealing with it. Here is a direct quote.

(7) Style is apparent in every movement of a dog and throughout his entire performance at trials, for example: by the gaiety of his manner in approaching the line, by his alertness on-line, by his eagerness and speed on retrieves, by his water-entry, by his pick-up of birds and by his return with them. Style makes for a pleasing performance; together with ability to mark, they constitute the most important factors for placing’s in Derby Stakes.
In all stakes, in respect to “style,’’ a desired performance includes: (a) an alert and obedient attitude, (b) a fast-determined departure, both on land and into the water, (c) an aggressive search for the “fall,’’ (d) a prompt pick-up, and (e) a reasonably fast return. Dogs may be credited for outstanding and brilliant exhibitions of style, or they may be penalized for deficiencies in style — the severity of the penalty ranging from a minor demerit, to elimination from the stake.

Momentum is a physics term, and it has that place overall in defining how dogs perform. The word "drive" is aptly used here, and it is that trait that allows a dog to act out the definition; the ability to maintain velocity against resistance. That overcomes distance as well as obstacles.

Everybody on the same page?

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:01 PM
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So--is there a difference between 'style' and 'flashy'?
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GoldenSail View Post
So--is there a difference between 'style' and 'flashy'?
Nah! I think a truly stylish dog is flashy!!

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 09:42 PM
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Nah! I think a truly stylish dog is flashy!!

EvanG
Ok but do you think all flashy dogs have style? Does it relate to their working ability or can it be a separate quality? I ask because I know dogs (in multiple venues really) who have that sparkle and are fun to watch but not necessarily high drive or high performers. Yet they catch the average viewer's attention more readily than some solid performer who do not carry the same visible sparkle and energy.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 01:28 AM
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Maybe that's just it -- with both "flash" and "style" we immediately think speed but when it comes right down to it, speed isn't the defining factor of either. Eye-catching and enjoyable would be better definitions.

BTW the last hunt test I was at I volunteered to hang birds for the master judges in the last series. This is always such an eye opening learning experience. I finally got a good grasp of what "perseverance" means : refusal to let factors deviate the dog from it's perfect path to the bird. Perfect example was, one of the memory birds was about 45 yards, cut across the end of a pond. The middle of the pond was filled with lily pads. Memory, shoreline and lily pads caused most dogs to hug the shore on their way out to the bird. One golden, however, cut a perfect path to the bird, neither fading to shore nor deviating because of the lily pads. She was the only one to swim straight through the pads. The judge remarked that she got a high score for perseverance. Anyways I think that plays in to the "momentum" conversation. So maybe momentum = perseverance?

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 03:30 AM
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Momentum, that's my barometer.
It my job to preserve and build it. If there is a loss of momentum I need to figure out why.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Maybe that's just it -- with both "flash" and "style" we immediately think speed but when it comes right down to it, speed isn't the defining factor of either. Eye-catching and enjoyable would be better definitions.... So maybe momentum = perseverance?
To the first point, as much as many people attempt to diminish the role of speed in defining style, "speed" does not imply an amount. It is, however, a necessary component of a definition of style that gives a fair and comparative tool to judges in judging overall performance. Directly from the AKC rule book:

(7) Style is apparent in every movement of a dog and throughout his entire performance at trials, for example: by the gaiety of his manner in approaching the line, by his alertness on-line, by his eagerness and speed on retrieves, by his water-entry, by his pick-up of birds and by his return with them. Style makes for a pleasing performance; together with ability to mark, they constitute the most important factors for placing’s in Derby Stakes.
In all stakes, in respect to “style,’’ a desired performance includes: (a) an alert and obedient attitude, (b) a fast-determined departure, both on land and into the water, (c) an aggressive search for the “fall,’’ (d) a prompt pick-up, and (e) a reasonably fast return. Dogs may be credited for outstanding and brilliant exhibitions of style, or they may be penalized for deficiencies in style — the severity of the penalty ranging from a minor demerit, to elimination from the stake.

I think your "momentum = perserverance" idea has real merit. One of the dictionaries' better definitions of momentum includes "the ability to maintain velocity against resistance". Things like distance and terrain are factors that provide resistance, and a dog with strong momentum can maintain velocity in their presence.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 10:15 AM
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Holly, interesting thought. Momentum is our job (to build it, maintain it, etc) while style is the dog's job.



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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Holly, interesting thought. Momentum is our job (to build it, maintain it, etc) while style is the dog's job.
I agree, but only to a point. If a dog is naturally stylish, but is now slow, tentative, or nervous in the field, that is nearly always a trainer deficit. Maintaining a good working attitude is also our job, and that is central to maintaining style.

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 01:25 PM
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I would say my friend's lab is a solid performer and excellent marker with good momentum in the sense that she keeps going--but she is not flashy, or stylish, or fast. She does get the job done. When I first started field training I thought this dog was SO boring to watch but she is far more consistent than most of the dogs in my regular training group. She pins a lot of birds. I've come to appreciate that more as I've gotten more experience. I would say she still has good momentum because even though she is slow, she keeps going.

OTOH one of my other friend's flat coats is a very flashy dog. He's got some bone, substance, nice coat, and very enthusiastic demeanor. His tail is up, he powers through the brush and overall is fun to watch bouncing around working it--but he lacks for perseverance at times and has given up on marks before only to try and return back empty handed. He won't be trained beyond a JH. Her other boy who does not have that pizzaz is a more honest, hard worker without all the flashy fun fluff.
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