Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,839 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So it has been suggested often to actually read the AKC/GRCA breed description. Very interesting actually... but I'm no breeder and hope to get some breeder perspectives.

If you compare the current breed description it is quite different from the book I have dated 1963. I'm sure there are lots of changes but the one that stood out to me was COLOR. In 1963 the prefered color was "brown" (pretty sure they meant dark gold) and coat was NOT to be long and silky like a setter, feet & bone were not to be large. Ears and coat were to be trimmed up but to remain natural. Feathers were to be minimal as this is primarily a sporting dog. Size remained the same.

This of course is not the golden standard of today and certainly not what you see in the ring. So question is did the GCRA change the standard to meet what was being bred? So basically what the breeders produced influenced the standard vs. breeding to the standard?

LOL it sounds like the preverbal question... which came first the chicken or the egg?

So would love to hear the breeders perspective, especially if we have some long time people out here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,513 Posts
From Judges Ed Committee : "In 1932, when the Golden was officially recognized by AKC as a separate variety of Retriever, the breed standard used by AKC was essentially identical to that of the Kennel Club in the UK. This standard was quite brief and lacked much detail, probably assuming that the reader would know what the "basics" were. This standard was chosen by AKC because the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) was not founded until six years later, in 1938.

In the early 1950s there was much discussion about the standard, especially in regard to size. Even though size was stated in a footnote to the standard, this was often ignored in the show ring, with some notable dogs well above the stated 23-24 inches. Bad bites were common, and often overlooked. After much research and discussion, a new and more complete standard was written, voted on by the membership of the GRCA, and approved by AKC, effective in 1955. For the first time disqualifications were added, including deviation of more than one inch over or under the stated height range, and overshot or undershot jaws.

In the late 1970s there was again a need for a more comprehensive standard. A great deal of effort went into this work over several years, to describe the structure and character of the Golden Retriever. There was no change to the "ideal," but considerable detail was added to the description of what that ideal was. This standard was approved in 1981.

In 1990, at the request of AKC, the standard was reformatted to accord with AKC's desire for all standards to use a uniform order of sections. Basically, it was just a "cut and paste" re-ordering of parts; no essentials were changed. This is the standard currently in use."


the Standard currently used is basically the same as the one adopted in 1981 as the later re-write changed nothing.
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,839 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Man you are good! I looked for standard history but failed to find anything.

So the 1963 AKC book I have is most likely the standard set in 1955? I tried to reproduce the pic in the book but couldn't get a good enough copy to post. No way that pic represents what is currently in the ring, not around here anyway.

Very few breeders have dogs with color, just keeps getting lighter and lighter. Color seemed to be important back in the day. Are puppy buyers wants influencing the standards in the ring? Or is it judges personal taste? Bigger (bulkier) / lighter appears to be the future.

So is the new version of the 1970's when the big division of field bred / conformation bred begin? or did the field people just decide function was more important than form and blew off the standard? While there are some lovely field dogs most are quite leggy, long muzzle, more narrow skull.

How big a factor do the judges play in the field/conformation split?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,900 Posts
So it has been suggested often to actually read the AKC/GRCA breed description. Very interesting actually... but I'm no breeder and hope to get some breeder perspectives.

If you compare the current breed description it is quite different from the book I have dated 1963. I'm sure there are lots of changes but the one that stood out to me was COLOR. In 1963 the prefered color was "brown" (pretty sure they meant dark gold) and coat was NOT to be long and silky like a setter, feet & bone were not to be large. Ears and coat were to be trimmed up but to remain natural. Feathers were to be minimal as this is primarily a sporting dog. Size remained the same.

This of course is not the golden standard of today and certainly not what you see in the ring. So question is did the GCRA change the standard to meet what was being bred? So basically what the breeders produced influenced the standard vs. breeding to the standard?

LOL it sounds like the preverbal question... which came first the chicken or the egg?

So would love to hear the breeders perspective, especially if we have some long time people out here.

puddles everywhere

This could lead to a heated debate. I will withhold my comments as they have gotten me into arguments in the past. What you will probably also notice is that comments will be a reflection of what type of activities the person likes to do with the dog: obedience; field; agility; huggy pet; etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,513 Posts
Man you are good! I looked for standard history but failed to find anything.

So the 1963 AKC book I have is most likely the standard set in 1955? I tried to reproduce the pic in the book but couldn't get a good enough copy to post. No way that pic represents what is currently in the ring, not around here anyway.

Very few breeders have dogs with color, just keeps getting lighter and lighter. Color seemed to be important back in the day. Are puppy buyers wants influencing the standards in the ring? Or is it judges personal taste? Bigger (bulkier) / lighter appears to be the future.

So is the new version of the 1970's when the big division of field bred / conformation bred begin? or did the field people just decide function was more important than form and blew off the standard? While there are some lovely field dogs most are quite leggy, long muzzle, more narrow skull.

How big a factor do the judges play in the field/conformation split?
I think all-breed judges play a huge piece. Color often is regional- I remember when all the winning dogs felt like very blond, now they feel like midGold= if you can see the dogs in the Top 20 for the last few years you'll see they are getting darker. But I've pretty much always had color so I'm somewhat aware of the judges who don't mind a dark dog, or that I've never seen put up a fluff ball - those are the ones I will give an entry to. Color is just cosmetic-
Think there's always been a split in the breed, it's just now we see more of the dogs out of our region so it seems more obvious that there is a split. Even seeing events- used to we'd not have gone to a HT or FT if we didn't participate- now it is easy to go anywhere.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,230 Posts
Very few breeders have dogs with color, just keeps getting lighter and lighter. Color seemed to be important back in the day. Are puppy buyers wants influencing the standards in the ring? Or is it judges personal taste? Bigger (bulkier) / lighter appears to be the future.

Breeders themselves are influencing everything as far as looks and style. They are the ones who choose what they will keep and show.

That said - the dogs aren't getting lighter.

They still can be shown in shades of blonde to a caramel type dark golden color.

Dogs who are very light or very dark - as per the breed standard have to be shown more selectively. Some breeder judges. And very selective all breed judges.

*speaking as somebody that does both conformation and obedience. People who do not do conformation think color is everything. But there more to a dog besides color.
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,839 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Gdgli I meant no offense to anyone and certainly welcome your POV. Discussions have been lacking of late :) My questions were more about learning and understanding how all this works and why there is such a huge split in not just GR but several breeds. Just look at the differences in setters & labs... same sort of split. What was viewed as standard in the 1963 AKC book isn't what you see in today's show rings, at least not around here.

Megora I agree that color is not a factor when choosing your dog. Just an observation that the 1963 description stated that brown was the preferred color. Shows in the N TX area may have 1 red in 30 entries. This is why I was asking for breeder input as my exposure to conformation shows is limited to mainly my area and what is on TV. I'm sure there are far more factors than what I have seen or understand.

Robin you are a wealth of information and grateful you are willing to share. I had no idea when the GRCA even came into play and love expanding my knowledge about the breed. The seminar footage from your CCA sparked my curiosity to learn more about the transitions / development of the GR.

I have two very different, wonderful goldens. Very different in build, color and coat yet both are considered to meet the breed standard... well guess this depends on who you ask. This falls in line with what you were saying about fine tuning the GR standards but also shows how varied the interpretation of this standard is. I liked when the speaker (at the CCA event) said the judges need to re-read the standard before every show as it should not reflect their preference as much as it should reflect the written standard.

Thanks to everyone willing to share and again, I meant no offense to anyone, their dogs or their preferences. All our dogs are wonderful and perfect for each of us. It's just amazing how varied they are don't you think?
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,230 Posts
Megora I agree that color is not a factor when choosing your dog. Just an observation that the 1963 description stated that brown was the preferred color. Shows in the N TX area may have 1 red in 30 entries. This is why I was asking for breeder input as my exposure to conformation shows is limited to mainly my area and what is on TV. I'm sure there are far more factors than what I have seen or understand.
Last time I checked, the breed is called golden retrievers. Not brown retrievers. Not red retrievers. Not white retrievers.

Perhaps the breed standard was adapted for clarity w/r to a breed that has a wide-range color in its name?

Conspiratorially speaking here, maybe the clarification on coloring had something to do with deterring people from breeding back to brown flat coats?

Brown, btw... isn't RED either. Or the other way around. :D

And btw - I train with people who jokingly call all the gold, orange, red and buff dogs - BROWN DOGS. Big deal.

More specifically though since this touches on a pet peeve of mine.

We all are fans of moderate dogs, eh?

Why not moderation when it comes to color too???

Why do we need to promote extreme shades just because there's emotional value and prop that up over other things? Which I've seen people rambling emotionally about edited (dogs coats/outlines trimmed) old pictures of really ugly dogs from the 10's and 20's because in some way those pictures remind them of their own dogs. Yikes.

Why do people just see color first when they should be looking at the whole dog? And fwiw - these are also people who think judges are biased.

My medium gold dogs have won over light dogs many times. We've also been beat on more than one occasion by very dark dogs.

I'll kinda say here there ARE judges who prefer the dark colors. And I find it really bad when they put up dogs who have faults just because they favor the color.

And along those lines, fwiw, randomly speaking here, I just watched a video of a dog over in Singapore. And this is connected to US bred goldens, fwiw. Based on what I've heard, very successful breeders like Fxxxxer Goldens and others have sold champion dogs to breeders in Asia.

Anyway, this dog was dark reddish gold....

But I would not want a pup from this dog.

Because of the color????

NO.

Because of the coat and tail carriage.

The coat was very heavy and this did not appear to be an older dog. Which means that coat was going to be really bad by the time the dog gets old.

Additionally, because of that coat, it was difficult to say whether that dog had a good front or not. I'm leaning towards - not.

Excess coat made the dog look shorter legged.

Tail carriage - thing that was concerning is this dog was not at a show where excitement leads to high tail carriage. This dog was just being gaited at home. High tail carriage, and C shape with the tip of the tail over the back of the dog.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
956 Posts
Interesting thing happened to me recently. I was at my obedience trainer's house, having a private training session with Denver. I think I've mentioned before...but my obedience trainer breeds golden retrievers. Her dogs are all heavily titled in obedience and agility...but not conformation. I had reached out to her, asking her to mentor me in all aspects of the breed, and stated that I really wanted to learn about proper structure.

As we were going through obedience stuff...we got chatting and I had mentioned I was taking handling classes, and was preparing to dip my foot into conformation showing as well, starting with UKC and doing a CCA. She said "I hate what AKC has turned conformation into. Those beauty pageants don't do anything for me." I guess maybe she was referring to judges choosing structurally incorrect dogs because of preferences in color or coat...

I didn't really want to get into a negative conversation with her...especially because it is something I aim to pursue, but I couldn't stop thinking about what she was referring to. It made me wonder if she thinks that conformation has become less and less about correct structure(in her experiences) and more about other things. Her male is a Canadian Champion..but none of her other dogs are titled in conformation.

So I know there are breeders out there who value those titles less...and working titles more, which has contributed to the divide in the breed? I think when you think of conformation bred, titled golden retrievers....you do see greater continuity (obviously there are more nuanced differences).

When you zoom out, and think of the breed across the board you clearly see that when you are removed from conformation, you lose the value of the standard and the biggest differences occur (just my novice 2 cents).

I am still learning and find these discussions to be quite insightful and full of information!
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,230 Posts
When you zoom out, and think of the breed across the board you clearly see that when you are removed from conformation, you lose the value of the standard and the biggest differences occur (just my novice 2 cents).
Yes. That's why even sticking with a breeder who the very least dabbles in conformation, is a member of the breed clubs in their area, is friends and cobreeders with show breeders... the very least, they don't get kennel blind.

Kennel blindness is a big problem - and it happens to show breeders too. Doesn't matter who or what.

The negative about AKC that I can see is all the constant propping up of junior handlers as the future. When that is just handling the dogs. Promoting, maintaining, loving breeds - it's the owners and breeders. And this extends into all sports.

I spent my morning at an obedience trial and I'll say that 99% of the people at this trial owned and competed with purebred dogs. And a good percentage of these people were also competing with champion dogs.

One of the ladies I train with - she just broke some kind of record in finishing OTCH's with two different dogs within a 2 week period.

Her one dog is a CH OTCH and also a MH (Flat Coated Retriever). Her other dog is a GRCH OTCH border terrier. And she finished the OTCH and her UDX for the terrier this weekend at the same trials. The Flat Coated Retriever had some professional handling in the breed ring, but the terrier was all owner handled to his championship, I believe.

People like that should get the recognition for being the future of AKC. Because among else, they will remain in the breed a long time, continue to breed, and continue to compete in all areas while promoting, maintaining, and loving their breeds.

With goldens there are not as many CH OTCH dogs.... all the more so as OTCH trainers go further and further away from breed rings and get performance bred dogs. The obedience world is very different than it was 30-40 years ago. A lot of the people who used to have fluffy blond dogs in the obedience ring back then going for UD's (which was tops for a while)... are now favoring dogs from 1-3 different breeders only. You see it with smaller or rangier and darker dogs in the rings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,513 Posts
I tried to edit my post- but I guess @ the time wire it won't let you

So- what I wanted to say was the AB judges do have a big piece but the breeders will breed whatever's winning if they don't have a set concrete idea in their minds of what is correct. The breeders you see heading to the stud d'jour and it seems like most of those folks don't title in any venue other than conformation. big name CH X CH sometimes doesn't = correct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,386 Posts
Interesting thing happened to me recently. I was at my obedience trainer's house, having a private training session with Denver. I think I've mentioned before...but my obedience trainer breeds golden retrievers. Her dogs are all heavily titled in obedience and agility...but not conformation. I had reached out to her, asking her to mentor me in all aspects of the breed, and stated that I really wanted to learn about proper structure.

As we were going through obedience stuff...we got chatting and I had mentioned I was taking handling classes, and was preparing to dip my foot into conformation showing as well, starting with UKC and doing a CCA. She said "I hate what AKC has turned conformation into. Those beauty pageants don't do anything for me." I guess maybe she was referring to judges choosing structurally incorrect dogs because of preferences in color or coat...

I didn't really want to get into a negative conversation with her...especially because it is something I aim to pursue, but I couldn't stop thinking about what she was referring to. It made me wonder if she thinks that conformation has become less and less about correct structure(in her experiences) and more about other things. Her male is a Canadian Champion..but none of her other dogs are titled in conformation.

So I know there are breeders out there who value those titles less...and working titles more, which has contributed to the divide in the breed? I think when you think of conformation bred, titled golden retrievers....you do see greater continuity (obviously there are more nuanced differences).

When you zoom out, and think of the breed across the board you clearly see that when you are removed from conformation, you lose the value of the standard and the biggest differences occur (just my novice 2 cents).

I am still learning and find these discussions to be quite insightful and full of information!
It may not necessarily be the dog's that are being entered, but the lengths that handlers go to in order to make the dog's look a certain way. I was quite shocked my first time at a dog show when I stumbled on the grooming stalls and saw a woman using what must have been a full bottle of expensive hairspray on a poodle. That obviously has absolutely nothing to do with the dogs structure but I'm sure they weren't the only ones with tacky fur full of product. In Golden's it's less dramatic, but people can still spend hours grooming and blow drying until a golden retriever looks like a chow. I wish it could be simpler.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,230 Posts
Kate - depending on the dog, it can be pretty simple.

Right now - I spend 1/2 hour tops grooming Jovi the first day of a show weekend. Probably less than that the next day.

If I get to a show and there is no electricity - I don't panic. And there was one show this summer that had no electricity available (power outages). Did not matter. And my dog did get reserve at that show, so it was OK.

As a preference I do like to spritz/blow dry day of - just because it "wakes up" the coat.

But he has good bone and good coat. His coat is naturally smooth/straight. There's just no need to fuss.

Glee obviously hasn't started growing his coat yet - but I am hoping big time that he has the same coat as Jovi. Makes life easier.

Bertie sometimes would get flippies in spots and he looked like a smaller dog in the ring. So I would give him a full bath and blow dry every show morning and this included using stuff to make him look like a bigger dog. This would usually take about 45 minutes total - more time than that if were were outside and humid conditions (makes it tougher to get dogs dry). There was just no way I would skip a show day bath with him then and even now I wouldn't!

I've heard from people who criticize the lengths people go to make a dog's coat completely smooth and they point to the breed standard allowing for waves - with a wide definition of waves.

But I spoke with a judge (breeder judge, really good judge) very recently about waves and flips. This was because we were sitting outside the ring and watching. There was one golden in the ring who was very ripply with waves and flips.

The judge explained that it is not a fault and the coat is correct.... BUT.... it makes it very difficult for the judge to see if the dog's topline (for example) is correct. She said yeah, they do get their hands on the dogs and can work out what is coat and what is dog, but it is tough to pick a dog based on what you feel if the dog looks really bad going down the side.

The people spending 1-2 hours grooming dogs at a show are either inexperienced or they have a string of dogs. Or they have a lot of work to do with a dog.

Going back to the waves and curls - there are some curly goldens out there. There are also dogs with open coats (incorrect coat - looks like a chow coat). Those are things which need more time on a show morning to fix with grooming.
 

·
Maegan
Joined
·
563 Posts
@Megora you just reminded me. At Eevee’s first show I didn’t spend time worrying about her wild puppy coat making her top line look goofy. Plus I don’t know how to fix weird top coat and she’s a puppy for heaven’s sake. We were there for good experiences and to learn. Well... we are waiting outside the ring for Winners to start and a COMPLETE STRANGER walks up and says what a nice puppy I have, then follows it up with a hateful, snarky comment about how I should have fixed her top line before showing her at all. Completely unsolicited. I guess, in my head, I was thinking that I know she has a nice top line and that the judge would be putting hands on her so it didn’t matter much if she had some wavy top coat going on. And also, let me reiterate, IT WAS HER FIRST SHOW. Not even 7 months old yet at the time, but I definitely learned my lesson on the whole wavy coat thing.

The next day, my friends helped me fix her top line and she got reserve. Snarky lady got nothing. Lol

Other than her goofy puppy coat, she’s pretty easy to groom. She has great bone and her coat will settle down as she gets older. She doesn’t need a full bath and blow dry the day of the show or any excessive trimming to cover things up. So if there is ton of time spent on her the day of the show, it’s because I don’t know what I’m doing.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,230 Posts
Maegan - how obnoxious! Has me wondering if the person who made that comment was the one who owned the dog your girlie beat to get into winners! o_O

My first show - I showed up the day of show at a BIG INDOOR SHOW WITH LIMITED GROOMING SPACE!!! (LOL). I found a weird spot kinda on top of cords in the middle of other grooming setups. I basically just plopped my chair there, my little tack box, and brushed my dog before showing.

I DID know how to groom and knew I should be doing a full spritz/blow dry, but I was really embarrassed about doing that in the middle of people who knew what they were doing. I also wasn't confident I could get the coat completely dry under a couple hours.

My dog (Bertie) had flippies all over the place. :) Especially on his hips.

That first show day was a blur - and by the time I got through it, it was a boost to my confidence. Enough that I brought my grooming table in and borrowed a plug in from a neighbor for the show the next day.

Next day, I gave myself 2 hours. I still couldn't get his coat to lie smooth! LOL.

I asked different pro handlers there how to get the coat to lie smooth - and mainly after that, I practiced weekly at home until not only could I get the coat to lie smooth, but I knew how to do it efficiently. The next show was 3 months later so there was lots of time to learn.

Anyway, I can't imagine making a rude comment about a flippy coat. :( The pup I mentioned above, it was quiet chat between me, a handler friend, and the breeder judge - and mainly me thinking about what I went through with Bertie when he was Jovi's age and the flippies in his coat.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,900 Posts
puddles

I don't think you meant to be offensive. Let's just say I now keep my opinions about this topic to myself. I would love to tell you what the CCA judges had to say about my dog but it would only start trouble. Yes I am being cryptic for a reason.
FYI I generally stay out of topics about the standard, genetics, breeding practices and probably some other topics.
 

·
Maegan
Joined
·
563 Posts
Maegan - how obnoxious! Has me wondering if the person who made that comment was the one who owned the dog your girlie beat to get into winners! o_O
That person was also going into Winners, but probably should have left that part out of the first post. Anyway, I know how to trim ears, feet, tail, and where to thin out on her, but the top line was escaping me - especially since I've always heard you're not supposed to mess with the jacket really. Her adult undercoat hasn't come in all the way yet, so there's nothing really to hold those guard hairs together.

Anyway, on the original topic: If breeders are doing their job, then the breed shouldn't look exactly like it did 50 years ago. It should look better. That's not to say that there aren't still "problems" today (long and low, straight fronts, etc.), but since this isn't an old breed, I would expect it to still be evolving. It's not a breed that has been around for thousands of years like the Greyhound, some of the spitz breeds, and the molossers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Breeders themselves are influencing everything as far as looks and style. They are the ones who choose what they will keep and show.

That said - the dogs aren't getting lighter.

They still can be shown in shades of blonde to a caramel type dark golden color.

Dogs who are very light or very dark - as per the breed standard have to be shown more selectively. Some breeder judges. And very selective all breed judges.

*speaking as somebody that does both conformation and obedience. People who do not do conformation think color is everything. But there more to a dog besides color.

I disagree about people who don't do conformation. I have two who are different colors. The positive remarks I receive about my dogs have to do with their size. They are at the smaller end of the standard. Obedience people, in my area at least, seem to like smaller dogs. They also tend to love Pilot's head. Never any color comments.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,230 Posts
I disagree about people who don't do conformation. I have two who are different colors. The positive remarks I receive about my dogs have to do with their size. They are at the smaller end of the standard. Obedience people, in my area at least, seem to like smaller dogs. They also tend to love Pilot's head. Never any color comments.
I was more referring to people not involved with any sports, quite honestly.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top