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The easiest way to think of it is type is what makes a Golden Retriever a Golden Retriever vs a Labrador retriever or a Flat Coated retriever etc.
Style is what makes one Golden Retriever different from (or the same as) another Golden Retriever.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
The easiest way to think of it is type is what makes a Golden Retriever a Golden Retriever vs a Labrador retriever or a Flat Coated retriever etc.
Style is what makes one Golden Retriever different from (or the same as) another Golden Retriever.
Thank you!

So all breeders should breed for type and no one style (as long as it adheres to type), should be valued higher than the other outside of personal preference, right?

So how does this tie into what is being referred to as the "generic show dog"? Is this a style of dog that deviates from the breed standard in a specific way (temperament, bone, etc)? Or something else?
 

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Maegan
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On the showiness/it factor thing: Think about it this way, if a really correct and beautiful dog doesn’t like to show, they prevent a judge from seeing all of the good in them. For instance, if they hunch their shoulder or lean back during an exam, the judge can’t feel the correctness of their front assembly very well. If they don’t carry their head well when gaiting then their overall outline doesn’t look as good. If they get squatt-y during an exam because they don’t like it very much, then their balance looks off and the top line will look slope-y. If they are reluctant to put their ears up and show expression, the judge can’t see the alert, intelligent expression that a Golden should have. The judge can only go on what the dog and handler give them that day. So, if the showy, but less correct dog stands confidently and struts their stuff like they own the place, the judge has an easier time of seeing all of the good things about the dog.

I’ll use my own dog as an example: normally she is all fun and attitude, but at the Louisville show, she got dead tail and was in pain. So, she got a little hunch-y during the exams and she could feel my nerves traveling straight down the lead. The breeder judge that I thought would like her couldn’t feel her nice front assembly and her outline wasn’t right when gaiting because she couldn’t hold her tail up. Her expression wasn’t as bright as usual because her tail was hurting. So, she didn’t bring home any ribbons. (And then the rest of the weekend got cancelled and of course her tail came back up the next day.)
 
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Kate
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The easiest way to think of it is type is what makes a Golden Retriever a Golden Retriever vs a Labrador retriever or a Flat Coated retriever etc.
Style is what makes one Golden Retriever different from (or the same as) another Golden Retriever.
It's worth the satirical comment here - there are some people in this breed, including some who are aspiring and God forbid well established breeders, who think the main difference between a golden retriever and a FCR is color. 😶
 

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Maegan
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Thank you!

So all breeders should breed for type and no one style (as long as it adheres to type), should be valued higher than the other outside of personal preference, right?

So how does this tie into what is being referred to as the "generic show dog"? Is this a style of dog that deviates from the breed standard in a specific way (temperament, bone, etc)? Or something else?
The "generic show dog" thing goes back to something Lesley said earlier, I'm just going to use different words: when breeders choose the "dog of the day" in the show ring for their bitch instead of really evaluating whether that stud is right for their bitch, they end up with generic puppies. Sure the puppies might be nice, but they won't be special. They won't be as good as they could have been if the breeder had chosen the right stud for their bitch. They end up being generic and mediocre. Just ok as far as show dogs go. Finishable, sure, but not great. Anyone with enough time and money can get a dog finished. I guarantee that people have bred to whoever the number one dog was at the time because he was winning, not because he was correct or the best option for their bitch. A generic show dog isn't any specific style and they don't necessarily have any specific faults (although many have terrible front assemblies. just terrible). You can have generic show dogs in many different styles, but there are so many faults a dog can have that it's hard to pin down one that consistently shows up in generic show dogs (besides bad front assemblies).
 

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Your first statement, more or less, yes. But you see certain styles become fashionable and win, style is subjective for the judge. So some breeders who like to play the show game breed for whatever style is in fashion at the moment, and some will breed to the #1 or #2 dog just because they want to produce the winning style.
In theory, every dog in the show ring (IN THEORY) is to the standard, so the style doesn't deviate from the standard, no. But there's a lot of room for interpretation in the standard, so what one judge sees as, for example, a correct coat, might seem very thin and underdone to another judge, and overdone to yet another. But all are correct type, and to the breed standard.
You may hear old time people who actually know what they are talking about refer to a dog in the ring as "very type-y". It means that the particular dog is very, very close to the blueprint of what makes a Golden Retriever a Golden Retriever.
You might enjoy the old but classic book by Richard Beauchamp, "Solving the Mysteries of Breed Type".



Thank you!

So all breeders should breed for type and no one style (as long as it adheres to type), should be valued higher than the other outside of personal preference, right?

So how does this tie into what is being referred to as the "generic show dog"? Is this a style of dog that deviates from the breed standard in a specific way (temperament, bone, etc)? Or something else?
 

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Mostly agree with you, but I want to add that the specific faults seem to go in cycles. The fault de jour is bad front assemblies. But when Tito was showing, circa 2009-2010, the biggest faults were long bodies and short legs. Oh, and massive dripping coats.
Fortunately a lot of that has been cleaned up.
I loved it when a breeder would contact me about breeding Tito to their bitch and would begin with something like, "he's such a cobby guy, it's exactly what I need in my lines". I knew right there here was someone I wanted to talk to.


The "generic show dog" thing goes back to something Lesley said earlier, I'm just going to use different words: when breeders choose the "dog of the day" in the show ring for their bitch instead of really evaluating whether that stud is right for their bitch, they end up with generic puppies. Sure the puppies might be nice, but they won't be special. They won't be as good as they could have been if the breeder had chosen the right stud for their bitch. They end up being generic and mediocre. Just ok as far as show dogs go. Finishable, sure, but not great. Anyone with enough time and money can get a dog finished. I guarantee that people have bred to whoever the number one dog was at the time because he was winning, not because he was correct or the best option for their bitch. A generic show dog isn't any specific style and they don't necessarily have any specific faults (although many have terrible front assemblies. just terrible). You can have generic show dogs in many different styles, but there are so many faults a dog can have that it's hard to pin down one that consistently shows up in generic show dogs (besides bad front assemblies).
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Wow thank you!!

Maegan, I think that helps me understand a lot more. So the dog has to be confident in the ring, show that it wants to be there. But also that breeding is more than just putting "X winning dog" and "Y winning dog" together. A breeder should produce a dog that is true to breed standard, not just a dog that is the offspring of two high winning dogs. Just because a dog is winning a lot doesn't necessarily mean it is the best example of the breed nor the best animal to use in your breeding program.

Your first statement, more or less, yes. But you see certain styles become fashionable and win, style is subjective for the judge. So some breeders who like to play the show game breed for whatever style is in fashion at the moment, and some will breed to the #1 or #2 dog just because they want to produce the winning style.
In theory, every dog in the show ring (IN THEORY) is to the standard, so the style doesn't deviate from the standard, no. But there's a lot of room for interpretation in the standard, so what one judge sees as, for example, a correct coat, might seem very thin and underdone to another judge, and overdone to yet another. But all are correct type, and to the breed standard.
You may hear old time people who actually know what they are talking about refer to a dog in the ring as "very type-y". It means that the particular dog is very, very close to the blueprint of what makes a Golden Retriever a Golden Retriever.
You might enjoy the old but classic book by Richard Beauchamp, "Solving the Mysteries of Breed Type".
I actually have that book :) I've read through it, in particular, the chapter where he discusses the correct temperament of the Golden Retriever.

Edit:

We use "type-y" a lot with horses. I'm used to hearing my trainers and such refer to a horse as "typey" in the hunter, when the animal is bigger boned, solid, calm temperament, with a huge ground covering stride where the horse hardly picks up its feet with the natural rocking horse canter, and perfect form over fences. We have other hunters who aren't necessarily "type-y", maybe they're a more athletic looking animal and lighter boned, but they still manage to get the job done, but not as well. Sometimes, though, these less typey animals have the best riders and trainers and owners with more money who can take them to the top. The only difference is that in horses, these animals may win, but they aren't usually bred.
 

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Ok I'm going to open a MASSIVE can of worms here, but this exactly is why so many dogs do so much better with handlers. Now I'm not saying there is NO politics going on, there certain is. But a huge amount of the time it's really just that the handler, since that's what they do all the time, is able to bring out the best in dogs.
I, too, will use my own dog as an example.
I move like a baby hippo with gas pains. When I showed Tito, and I did in fact put a few points on him, he would move terrible trying not to get out ahead of me too much and drag me around the ring. He would have short, choppy little strides with his front legs, more like a terrier than a Golden.
But as soon as I got a handler to take him in, and she was not a "big name", he immediately finished with 3 majors including a couple of 4 point majors, back in the day when you needed 25 dogs for a 4 point. She was not by any stretch of the imagination someone that the judges put up just because of who she was. Far from it. But she moves like a gazelle, and she is a true dog whisperer, and she was able to bring out the absolute best in him, every time, at every show. She was able to show the judges exactly what he's all about, and the rest is history as they say.
If I had continued to show him, he probably never would have finished. It took someone who could present the dog well. As you said, the judges had an easier time seeing all of the good things about him.



On the showiness/it factor thing: Think about it this way, if a really correct and beautiful dog doesn’t like to show, they prevent a judge from seeing all of the good in them. For instance, if they hunch their shoulder or lean back during an exam, the judge can’t feel the correctness of their front assembly very well. If they don’t carry their head well when gaiting then their overall outline doesn’t look as good. If they get squatt-y during an exam because they don’t like it very much, then their balance looks off and the top line will look slope-y. If they are reluctant to put their ears up and show expression, the judge can’t see the alert, intelligent expression that a Golden should have. The judge can only go on what the dog and handler give them that day. So, if the showy, but less correct dog stands confidently and struts their stuff like they own the place, the judge has an easier time of seeing all of the good things about the dog.

I’ll use my own dog as an example: normally she is all fun and attitude, but at the Louisville show, she got dead tail and was in pain. So, she got a little hunch-y during the exams and she could feel my nerves traveling straight down the lead. The breeder judge that I thought would like her couldn’t feel her nice front assembly and her outline wasn’t right when gaiting because she couldn’t hold her tail up. Her expression wasn’t as bright as usual because her tail was hurting. So, she didn’t bring home any ribbons. (And then the rest of the weekend got cancelled and of course her tail came back up the next day.)
 

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Yep, especially the part where he describes how incorrect the temperament is of most Goldens in the show ring...saying they are not supposed to be on their toes, in your face dogs. They are the "good ol' boys" of the sporting dog world.
I had the honor of showing to him at Tito's very first show. 150+ Goldens entered.
Tito was basically ungroomed, and neither he nor I had a clue what we were doing. We were in a class of 12 or so dogs, and he gave Tito 4th. Told me I had a really fine dog.
It was my first show (nothing like jumping in with both feet!). No idea what to do or expect. I literally didn't have a grooming table, didn't bring a blow dryer, nothing. Just combed him out at home then jumped in the car and drove. It was a benched show, and he chilled out on top of his crate since I had no table.
When our class went in the ring, Mr. Beauchamp looked at all the dogs and did the basic stuff. He never gave Tito a second look. I was devastated. He had many of them gait a second time, but not me, just sent us to the end of the line. I was close to tears, thinking I must have a really, really awful dog, and how stupid I was for thinking I could do this.
Imagine my shock when he gave us 4th place!!
I told my conformation instructor, who knew Beauchamp well, and he just laughed. He said, oh, Rich knows the best dogs in the ring from the moment they walk in. Then he just looks closer at the ones he's pretty much eliminated, to be sure he didn't miss something.
For fun, here's Tito at his first show. Note my idea of having my dog ready when the judge is looking them all over lol. Sorry it's blurry but you can tell he's pretty well ungroomed.
876134



I actually have that book :) I've read through it, in particular, the chapter where he discusses the correct temperament of the Golden Retriever.
 
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The Golden should be judged as primarily a hunting dog. If the judges were to keep that in mind (God forbid with some of them), the question of flashiness vs. correctness just wouldn't even come up. A proper Golden coat can get loaded with mud and burrs, and be combed out with very little trouble (and a little Cowboy Magic). It should be thick enough to keep them warm on cold hunting days, and have a nice double layer for repelling water when they do the waterfowl retrieves. So no, a "plain dog" is totally incorrect.
The coat is supposed to lie "like a jacket". It should be any shade of Gold, as long as it's lusterous.
The "belly fur" is actually a drip rim. If you watch a wet Golden, the water runs down their sides and runs off the belly fur. Yes, it really does have a purpose. The "pants" and thick tail serve to keep them warm when sitting on cold ground in a blind waiting for their hunter to down a bird.
The "ruff" is critical. It should be thick enough to protect their neck and chest from brambles, they were from the rough highlands of Scotland. When I would take Tito out in the field with my friend and her weimeraner, her dog was always all scratched up and Tito never had even a slight ding on him. That's the purpose of the ruff. Protection, but not so thick that you can't get them quickly cleaned up and de-burred afterward.
As far as bone, they need enough bone to be able to carry heavy birds back all day long. They need sufficient bone to not break anything in the rough field conditions that they upland hunt in. But too much bone results in a heavy dog that can't be readily lifted into your duck boat, or in a heavy dog that can't be lifted over a barbed wire fence to continue the hunt (which is why they're not supposed to be over a certain weight....)
Every inch of the dog is primarily a hunting dog.


Thank you!

That is my understanding too, but it's still very difficult for me to see. Penalize excess coat, but does this mean the Golden should be a plain dog? Or is it more that flashiness should not come before correctness? What defines too much bone vs the perfect amount? It is all things taken into consideration sort of deal? Sorry, but I really want to understand because it seems to me that all Goldens are flashy, though I believe I have seen some that are "too much"
 

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Yep, especially the part where he describes how incorrect the temperament is of most Goldens in the show ring...saying they are not supposed to be on their toes, in your face dogs. They are the "good ol' boys" of the sporting dog world.
I had the honor of showing to him at Tito's very first show. 150+ Goldens entered.
Tito was basically ungroomed, and neither he nor I had a clue what we were doing. We were in a class of 12 or so dogs, and he gave Tito 4th. Told me I had a really fine dog.
It was my first show (nothing like jumping in with both feet!). No idea what to do or expect. I literally didn't have a grooming table, didn't bring a blow dryer, nothing. Just combed him out at home then jumped in the car and drove. It was a benched show, and he chilled out on top of his crate since I had no table.
When our class went in the ring, Mr. Beauchamp looked at all the dogs and did the basic stuff. He never gave Tito a second look. I was devastated. He had many of them gait a second time, but not me, just sent us to the end of the line. I was close to tears, thinking I must have a really, really awful dog, and how stupid I was for thinking I could do this.
Imagine my shock when he gave us 4th place!!
I told my conformation instructor, who knew Beauchamp well, and he just laughed. He said, oh, Rich knows the best dogs in the ring from the moment they walk in. Then he just looks closer at the ones he's pretty much eliminated, to be sure he didn't miss something.
For fun, here's Tito at his first show. Note my idea of having my dog ready when the judge is looking them all over lol. Sorry it's blurry but you can tell he's pretty well ungroomed.
View attachment 876134

That is a crazy story :eek: I keep hearing over and over how competitive it is and how, unless I practice, practice, practice, I won't stand a chance (which may be true, Tito is a nice dog and Felix may need more help than an amateur can give him 😅). But that is an uplifting story. I was listening to a podcast about Goldens and dog shows, and this particular man, Michael Faulkner, (I regretably do not quite know how influential he to the breed, but to my understanding it is a lot) he said that he was (I'm going to incorrectly phrase because I don't remember the exact wording), that he was tired of seeing how some of the paws are overgroomed and drilled into the ground how the Golden is a sporting breed first and foremost and and athlete.
 

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In my humble and often wrong opinion, the biggest detriment came when the AKC introduced the GCH title in an effort to get people to continue to show (and pay the AKC more money) and also due to the keeping track of breed points and dogs' standings in the show ring world.
This removed the original purpose of getting independent, unbiased opinions as to whether or not a dog was suitably to the breed standard to be bred. That was the original purpose of dog shows. The dog either was a CH, or was not. Easy peasy. No popular sire breeding every bitch in heat to the #1 dog, no breeding to win the most points by having the dog with the biggest head or drippiest coat, and on and on and on.
The dog show world has now become a fun, expensive, highly competitive game. Totally removed from what it was originally meant to be.



Is this what people are referring to when they say they say that the show ring is no longer the main factor in looking for their breeding prospects, because it is not always the most correct dog that wins?

And on that same note, if excellent breeders can tell what they want to breed to, how detrimental is it to the breed to be putting the showier dog first over the more correct dog? I have not seen enough shows in person nor have I seen enough Goldens to say that I have seen this in action, but the sentiment seems echo across many breeders (though I sometimes wonder if some echo it because they don't understand why their dogs are not doing well in the ring) and I want to understand it.
 

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And passing along the advice given to me by a very, very well known Golden handler. Stick to the bigger shows, you get better judges at bigger shows. The smaller shows your judge may be judging bulldogs, terriers, and Goldens. They just put up the flashiest dog or the handler they recognize. The big shows, you more often get someone who actually knows what a Golden is supposed to look like.
Tito went BOW over 70+ other dogs at a specialty, but couldn't win (more than once) over 3 dogs for his last point! Several times!
So we entered a big show instead, and sure enough, he finished that day.

Regarding Michael Faulkner, look up the Verdoro Goldens on K9data and you'll see the style of dog he likes.


That is a crazy story :eek: I keep hearing over and over how competitive it is and how, unless I practice, practice, practice, I won't stand a chance (which may be true, Tito is a nice dog and Felix may need more help than an amateur can give him 😅). But that is an uplifting story. I was listening to a podcast about Goldens and dog shows, and this particular man, Michael Faulkner, (I regretably do not quite know how influential he to the breed, but to my understanding it is a lot) he said that he was (I'm going to incorrectly phrase because I don't remember the exact wording), that he was tired of seeing how some of the paws are overgroomed and drilled into the ground how the Golden is a sporting breed first and foremost and and athlete.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Thank you!

The Golden should be judged as primarily a hunting dog. If the judges were to keep that in mind (God forbid with some of them), the question of flashiness vs. correctness just wouldn't even come up. A proper Golden coat can get loaded with mud and burrs, and be combed out with very little trouble (and a little Cowboy Magic). It should be thick enough to keep them warm on cold hunting days, and have a nice double layer for repelling water when they do the waterfowl retrieves. So no, a "plain dog" is totally incorrect.
The coat is supposed to lie "like a jacket". It should be any shade of Gold, as long as it's lusterous.
The "belly fur" is actually a drip rim. If you watch a wet Golden, the water runs down their sides and runs off the belly fur. Yes, it really does have a purpose. The "pants" and thick tail serve to keep them warm when sitting on cold ground in a blind waiting for their hunter to down a bird.
The "ruff" is critical. It should be thick enough to protect their neck and chest from brambles, they were from the rough highlands of Scotland. When I would take Tito out in the field with my friend and her weimeraner, her dog was always all scratched up and Tito never had even a slight ding on him. That's the purpose of the ruff. Protection, but not so thick that you can't get them quickly cleaned up and de-burred afterward.
As far as bone, they need enough bone to be able to carry heavy birds back all day long. They need sufficient bone to not break anything in the rough field conditions that they upland hunt in. But too much bone results in a heavy dog that can't be readily lifted into your duck boat, or in a heavy dog that can't be lifted over a barbed wire fence to continue the hunt (which is why they're not supposed to be over a certain weight....)
Every inch of the dog is primarily a hunting dog.
This is very nice to read. The other day someone commented that Felix dried fast compared to their dog and I would suspect it's partially because of his feathers and partially because he has a correct coat. It makes sense now, I had always wondered about the coat. I also think about bone density often and how much is too much vs too little...I find I have a preference for a certain head style over others, but as long as both heads are within standard and functionally correct, I believe that is okay

In my humble and often wrong opinion, the biggest detriment came when the AKC introduced the GCH title in an effort to get people to continue to show (and pay the AKC more money) and also due to the keeping track of breed points and dogs' standings in the show ring world.
This removed the original purpose of getting independent, unbiased opinions as to whether or not a dog was suitably to the breed standard to be bred. That was the original purpose of dog shows. The dog either was a CH, or was not. Easy peasy. No popular sire breeding every bitch in heat to the #1 dog, no breeding to win the most points by having the dog with the biggest head or drippiest coat, and on and on and on.
The dog show world has now become a fun, expensive, highly competitive game. Totally removed from what it was originally meant to be.
I hear this often from many people. A lot of people also think they should get rid of Groups/BIS/etc and just focus on the breeds, but I honestly don't really have enough experience to understand why they feel this way, though a vague idea is forming.

And passing along the advice given to me by a very, very well known Golden handler. Stick to the bigger shows, you get better judges at bigger shows. The smaller shows your judge may be judging bulldogs, terriers, and Goldens. They just put up the flashiest dog or the handler they recognize. The big shows, you more often get someone who actually knows what a Golden is supposed to look like.
Tito went BOW over 70+ other dogs at a specialty, but couldn't win (more than once) over 3 dogs for his last point! Several times!
So we entered a big show instead, and sure enough, he finished that day.

Regarding Michael Faulkner, look up the Verdoro Goldens on K9data and you'll see the style of dog he likes.
Thank you!!! I will keep this in mind :)
 

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And sometimes the dog itself is just not the same dog on different days. The moving dog was acting like a total ass, completely over the top jerk. Wouldn't bait, wouldn't let himself be stacked, moved like a *******. Acted like he was bouncing off the walls during gun dog sweeps and hunting retriever.
876139


Same dog winning Select Dog from the Hunting Retriever class at an all breed show.
:cool:
876140


Some days they just aren't the same dog. Make sure the one you "judge" is the real dog.
 

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Which brings up another excellent point. The judge can only judge the dog that is being presented on that day, not the potential that the dog has....

And sometimes the dog itself is just not the same dog on different days. The moving dog was acting like a total ass, completely over the top jerk. Wouldn't bait, wouldn't let himself be stacked, moved like a ***. Acted like he was bouncing off the walls during gun dog sweeps and hunting retriever.
View attachment 876139

Same dog winning Select Dog from the Hunting Retriever class at an all breed show.
:cool:
View attachment 876140

Some days they just aren't the same dog. Make sure the one you "judge" is the real dog.
 

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Wow that is a good point! I guess when they're uncooperative you have to just ride it out and hope it's better next time. Are there ever penalties for unruly or disruptive behavior, maybe in young dogs? Or do judges tend to be forgiving?
 

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