I think I have heard, in other breeds, of some dogs becoming caricatures, but I've not seen it yet. I've heard a few breeders talking about how difficult it is to improve upon their dogs/lines without losing other parts (in particular they mentioned the head being very difficult to get back). I look forward to seeing more styles of dogs, thank you for you answer!Exactly!!! This is why it is so difficult for goldens to do things like win Best In Show at Westminster. It is a big breed numbers wise , and within a larger group of very nice goldens with lovely breed type, there can be many different styles. It is not easy to line up a breed judge, a group judge , and a best in show judge who all endorse and prefer the same style to that degree.
In rare breeds, there may be just a handful all of similar style. It is a different ballgame.
This applies to showing in specialties too. If there are several dogs of equal caliber breed type, then the judge may defer to his/ her/ their favorite style in good conscience.
It is easier to show a golden who appeals to a variety of tastes, and has excellent breed type as well as style that appeals to many. Easy isn't better though.
It is better to have the motto "to thine own dog be true" and stay the course with the style in which you believe once you are very sure you know the details of breed type and have good breed type in your dogs.
I've had dogs who are effortless to finish, finishing in just a few shows; I've had dogs who appeal to a very specific group of judges, and it is pointless to show them to all comers.
As a competitor, you grow to know what judges are in harmony with your own eye for a dog and what judges don't agree.
When a judge can decide a win on preferred style, that means there are quality dogs in abundance because breed type comes first.
I have an appreciation for many styles of golden, although I might not want to breed that style myself. I am not at the level of master breeder in which I am originating a style all my own, though it is in my mind's eye . I have tremendous admiration for the master breeders who are at that level. Sometimes breeders will achieve a distinct style and thrive for a while, but then almost cartoon their dogs trying to maintain the look and line breeding.