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This might not be exactly the right place for this thread, but it ties in with the WC vs. JH thread to some extent.

So in the WC vs. JH thread, I think most were in agreement that the WC may not tell a whole lot about the field drive of a given dog. Along those same lines, how does a CCA compare? Is it “worthless”? And just because a dog can’t pass a CCA, does that mean that they are structurally incompetent and shouldn’t be bred? A lot of field bred dogs are out of standard height-wise, so couldn’t pass a CCA, but that doesn’t mean that their basic structure is poor. Or some field dogs have a poor head, but their size and structure are great. Would poor head structure mean that they are not worthy of being bred?

So, my question would be: For the “betterment” of the breed, should there be “minimums” that must be met before breeding and what should they be (of course assuming that the dogs in question have proper temperaments, etc.)? I.E. Should the dog have at least a CCA and a WCX? OR should it be a CH and a MH? OR the dog must have one but not necessarily the other? Other titles would be great of course, but like it was pointed out in the WC/JH thread, obedience and agility are not really part of the breed standard (and I would contend that any dog athletic and trainable enough for higher field titles would be more than capable of obedience and agility).

Of course, the GRCA would have to enforce the minimums and I don’t see that happening, so this is all theoretical.
 

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I don't think it's generally accurate that a basic level achievement is axiomatically "worthless". I just think it's worth being clear about some of today's field titles being proportionately limited as a yardstick for discerning the various attributes of working retrievers.

Desire (drive), marking acumen, strength in water, memory, trainability/bidability, willingness to take direction from a handler, courage; all combine to reveal how desireable an individual dog may be as a contributor to the gene pool of the breed. If that is to be used to best serve the breed, does it not makes sense to seek maximums, rather than minimums?

"Shoot for the Moon! Even if you fall short, you'll land among the stars." ~ author unknown

EvanG
 

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Is a CCA the conformation certificate? Sorry I don't know.

The reason I ask, at Labrador Nationals this year we were still looking for our pup at the time. There was a dog there bred by a kennel we were very interested (and went with). This dog was competing in obedience and agility. The owner took her for her conformation certificate, the judges were in the ring with the dog for a fair amount of time. Looking her over again and again. After they came up to the owner and said "now THAT'S a Labrador".

I think the conformation ring standard too has gotten too far away from form vs function. Not as much in the golden retriever but to be honest, too many goldens have cotton candy for brains. I would not want to have a pup from that either. In my lab search AND my upcoming golden one, I want to find a dog that take the best from both field and conformation lines, with a good working attitude and brain. Too bad they don't have an intelligence test. LOL

Ann
 

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Magica Goldens
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I think the CCA is an important baseline...CCA should (and yes there are exceptions) be evaluating the dog as a whole against the standard - not what is popular in the conformation ring...CCA evaluations also evaluate the dog as a whole and the evaluators have a lot of hands-on time with the dog. From a learning experience it was good to have some truly objective eyes on my dogs.

There are some that scoff at the really high pass rate of dogs taken in for their CCA - what isn't accounted for are the people who KNOW their dogs aren't going to pass so those dogs aren't entered in CCA events. Would I bring an Am CH to a CCA for evaluation? Probably not (unless I was trying to support a club or go for a triathlon award at a specialty)....

Would I breed a dog that couldn't pass the CCA? No. Should a dog that doesn't pass the CCA be bred? That's an individual decision based on so many variables - but I would hope that there are really really really good reasons for doing so. There are a number of line items in the CCA test and the average has to be 75 or better. Personally I wish that the temperament line-item counted more "you can not qualify if the temperament score is less than an 8.5"....

Erica
 

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I would love to see the GRCA set passing a WC and CCA as a standard for breeding. They can't enforce it, just like they can't enforce clearances, but those knowledgable of the breed know to look for clearances and wouldn't imagine looking for a pup out of parents that don't have them. I would like the same standard set for WC and CCA, that while byb would still breed without them, reputable breeders would only breed those dogs that could meet those qualifications.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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While I won't delve into the "should there be “minimums” that must be met before breeding" debate. But I will discuss what I think are the virtues of the CCA.
It is an extremely informative educational tool. The evaluators must compare every physical aspect of the dog to the breed standard and put it in writing. Many of the evaluators will even give a narrative while examining the dog. Each evaluator spends an average of 15 minutes with each dog individually. As a comparison in the conformation ring they figure about 2 minutes per dog and that is not all individual time.
While I have seen several finished champions entered at CCAs they have been few and far between.
As too some of the concerns about the pass rate of the CCA now being very high I attribute this to the fact that it is an honest assessment compared to the standard. In the early days of the CCA there were many dogs being entered that just were not in the standard. I see very few dogs enter that are not in or very close to the standard.
 

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I am not a breeder, but I've read many articles from judges on on-line publications, and also articles from long time breeders, that would even argue that just because a dog is a CH, doesn't necessarily mean it should be bred.

In my conformation class, there is a Vizsla owner with her two young dogs and she has told me that in the Vizsla world, no one thinks about breeding (for the most part) unless their dog is a CH/JH. Although Vizslas are gaining in popularity, here in Florida, the point schedule for a championship is not the same as for goldens (yes, you still need 15 points, I understand that, but the number of entries it takes to earn those 15 points is higher in goldens than in Vizslas). 12 Vizslas in Florida is a 5 point major in dogs--in goldens, it is only 2 points, so in many cases, it's apples/oranges.
 

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Barley & Mira's Mom
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I think that both are great programs, which can pull people into learning about the true purpose of the breed as well as the breed standard.

My first foray into dog anything was doing agility, I had no aspirations for field or conformation. When I heard about the WC I thought that it sounded like a fun thing to try, it is after all what these dogs are supposed to do! I loved it and now I can not picture not having field training be part of my routine. So now we will work toward our JH and then who knows. I am working on lining and teaching her how to handle, but I am not sure how far we will get based on time limitations. I don't think I would have ever gotten involved without the intro programs to start with!

I feel the same way about the CCA, it is a great way to expose people to the breed standard, and a place where any Golden can be evaluated. I am really looking forward to doing this with Mira at some point.
 

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I shoot, they fetch.
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I think the CCA is a very valuable program. There were quite a few field bred dogs at the one I attended, and I think only a couple of dogs that did not qualify in the end. One was field bred, and ended up being undersize, and the other was what her owner called an "obedience breeding" that was neither here, there, nor yonder. It just did not move well, had poor structure, and a weak head.

Having two dogs entered that day, I found that in many ways the feedback I got was far more useful than what you get in the show ring (the closest I've ever had there was the critique we got when Win JAMed at the GRCC NAtional.) And interestingly, I got the impression that the dogs were being evaluated far more closely to the elements of the standard than I did in the show ring. I had shown Win to two of the judges who were evaluators that day. The one who had placed him in a large Open Dog class at an all breed show was the most critical of him and gave him the lowest of his three scores. The other, who had not even placed him in an Open class half the size scored him very highly, and after it was all done actually called over another participant who lived near her (who just happens to be a friend) and told her she should be considering Win for her girl!! Then when we went to the Rhode Island National, the judge who had given him his lowest (but still very good) score found us after the English Tea to ask for hispedigree and clearance information!! Who knows, maybe she was more critical because she did like him enough to consider him for her own bitch.

Because she was so thorough in her evaluation, we also had another interesting moment during the examination. As she was dictating to her helper she kept giving me these sideways glances, almost as if she expected me to be upset. When I was just nodding my head after each comment, she eventually said that it seemed I was actually aware of my dogs faults, to which I replied that she hadn't told me anything I was not aware of. I found her response interesting, as she said that in the last two CCAs she had done, people with show Ch's had gotten upset during the process because she was identifying faults they did not think their dog had!!! By contrast, she said the field people tended to be the ones who were the most honest with themselves about their dog's structural issues. In the end, she scored my little girl, who has not yet got a show point, who carries minimal coat and is at the absolute minimum height, higher than my Ch, GRCC National JAM boy!
 

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Magica Goldens
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Then when we went to the Rhode Island National, the judge who had given him his lowest (but still very good) score found us after the English Tea to ask for hispedigree and clearance information!!
I can guess who that was! LOL - I don't need to guess. That evaluator (and they all should) has a very clear picture of what she likes. She WILL find every fault and she doesn't sugar coat her feedback in the slightest. However, while that seemingly brash honesty can rub people the wrong way I have seen the other side of an incredibly knowledgeable and fair steward and historian of the breed. As a judge in the breed ring she doesn't care who is on the other end of the leash, she'll put up the best (in her opinion) dog - ALWAYS.

As an aside, in the agility ring as a judge she asks very fair questions of the dog and handlers - her courses aren't easy - but anyone can walk in there with a shot at qualifying (which lately hasn't always been the case unless you're about 25 and fast).

Erica
 

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The actual CCA evaluation sheet is posted in another thread, and it's very interesting. I, too, think you would have to have an EXTREME reason to breed a dog that couldn't pass a CCA.
 

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The actual CCA evaluation sheet is posted in another thread, and it's very interesting. I, too, think you would have to have an EXTREME reason to breed a dog that couldn't pass a CCA.
I did know a very nice dog that did not pass the CCA but most people thought should have. But because of the rules, he couldn't try again. One of the main reasons this dog did not pass was because of his coat. Now this was a MH dog that, while it didn't have the type of coat that would have won in the breed ring, it was still a nice coat that met the standard. However, the judges wouldn't pass it because when they pulled back the coat, there was not enough undercoat. It was summer, and this was a dog that trained field work in Houston, Texas. No, goldens working in hundred degree plus heat do not have a really thick undercoat during that part of the year. I'm sure if the CCA had been in the winter, the undercoat would have been plenty think. But since it failed under all three judges at that event, he was unable to get a CCA.
 

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Magica Goldens
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I did know a very nice dog that did not pass the CCA but most people thought should have. But because of the rules, he couldn't try again. {{{SNIP}}} I'm sure if the CCA had been in the winter, the undercoat would have been plenty think. But since it failed under all three judges at that event, he was unable to get a CCA.
A dog can enter two CCA events (under a total of 6 evaluators). A dog needs three passes. If he maxed out his attempts without passing three than he failed under more than just those three evaluators. Without seeing the scores I have a hard time believing that a dog was correct on every aspect of the standard and failed on the basis of his coat. Is it possible that he was borderline on everything else and just didn't get a good rating on that section?
Erica
 

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Magica Goldens
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While I won't delve into the "should there be “minimums” that must be met before breeding" debate. But I will discuss what I think are the virtues of the CCA.
I attended a CCA where a golden KNOWN to have a bad temperament somehow failed to show up for the mingle, yet got a passing score and passed the CCA....it's funny because in the picture of the days event there are a bunch of dogs all squished in together and then one dog and handler way off to the side with the handler hanging on by death grip...

Good times!
 

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The way the CCA works, the dog needs to get 75 points total in 10 different categories. Each category is scored on a scale of 0 to 10.
If the dog gets a 0-2 in any one category, they fail.
If the dog gets a 0-4 in any two or more categories, they fail.
So as long as the dog gets the required 75 points, he can get a "3" on his coat and still pass the CCA evaluation. (3 means, "very obvious faults or unsoundness; strongly resembles trait of another breed")
So what you are saying is that 3 independent judges, judging separately, each gave a dog with "a nice coat that met the standard" a 2 or less on coat. (1-2 means "almost wholly deficient in merit; trait present but seriously incomplete, incorrect, unsound")
If that's the case, they need to be reported to the AKC, because that type of judging would certainly discourage people from participating in the CCA. Unless there was something more going on there that perhaps wasn't known to anyone but the dog's owner, which honestly I think is more likely the case.
Also, you get 6 tries to pass the evaluation, so he can try again under hopefully better judging. He's failed 3, but gets 3 more chances.


I did know a very nice dog that did not pass the CCA but most people thought should have. But because of the rules, he couldn't try again. One of the main reasons this dog did not pass was because of his coat. Now this was a MH dog that, while it didn't have the type of coat that would have won in the breed ring, it was still a nice coat that met the standard. However, the judges wouldn't pass it because when they pulled back the coat, there was not enough undercoat. It was summer, and this was a dog that trained field work in Houston, Texas. No, goldens working in hundred degree plus heat do not have a really thick undercoat during that part of the year. I'm sure if the CCA had been in the winter, the undercoat would have been plenty think. But since it failed under all three judges at that event, he was unable to get a CCA.
 

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I can guess who that was! LOL - I don't need to guess. That evaluator (and they all should) has a very clear picture of what she likes. She WILL find every fault and she doesn't sugar coat her feedback in the slightest. However, while that seemingly brash honesty can rub people the wrong way I have seen the other side of an incredibly knowledgeable and fair steward and historian of the breed. As a judge in the breed ring she doesn't care who is on the other end of the leash, she'll put up the best (in her opinion) dog - ALWAYS.

As an aside, in the agility ring as a judge she asks very fair questions of the dog and handlers - her courses aren't easy - but anyone can walk in there with a shot at qualifying (which lately hasn't always been the case unless you're about 25 and fast).

We did the CCA at a different club in the summer befoer the 08 National--so it was a different judge than you are thinking of--she does not judge agility. But equally, this lady judges the dog end of the leash, too.:dblthumb2
 

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This was back when the CCA was brand new, I've been told the judging was harsher then, still favoring the conformation style rather than strictly going by the standard, but I don't know, I've never been to a CCA. Didn't matter in the longer run, because the dog got cancer and was never bred anyway.
 

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the party's crashing us
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I can guess who that was! LOL - I don't need to guess. That evaluator (and they all should) has a very clear picture of what she likes. She WILL find every fault and she doesn't sugar coat her feedback in the slightest. However, while that seemingly brash honesty can rub people the wrong way I have seen the other side of an incredibly knowledgeable and fair steward and historian of the breed. As a judge in the breed ring she doesn't care who is on the other end of the leash, she'll put up the best (in her opinion) dog - ALWAYS.

As an aside, in the agility ring as a judge she asks very fair questions of the dog and handlers - her courses aren't easy - but anyone can walk in there with a shot at qualifying (which lately hasn't always been the case unless you're about 25 and fast).

Erica
Ahem -- I guess we aren't naming names -- but I will say, the above CCA/breed/agility judge was wonderful with us....I entered Fisher in last year's national CCA because I was going for the triathlon award. Said judge absolutely loved him, and her friend who was an English judge there with her, said to me, "When you find good it doesn't matter what package, it's still good." (I'm sure she meant American vs. English styles) She told me Fisher was the best dog she had seen that day and invited us to be a demo dog for the judge's seminar that night! WOW I would LOVE to show under her one day.

Interesting thread and I will respond more later when I'm done with dinner :)
 

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the party's crashing us
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The actual CCA evaluation sheet is posted in another thread, and it's very interesting. I, too, think you would have to have an EXTREME reason to breed a dog that couldn't pass a CCA.

Like Fisher's sister Frankie, who did not pass the one CCA she tried, by one judge. Who was working on UD/MX/MXJ/TDX when she passed away? She was bred, twice. She'll be an Oustanding Dam by the time her kids are done.

Or Slater's grandpa Gunner -- who did not pass the one CCA he tried -- because a judge failed him for having too much improper coat for a hunting breed? Gunner was a Master Hunter by age three and an Outstanding Sire many times over, producing multiple MH/OTCH/MACH kids.

Or the very famous field trial sire who is undershot and would have never made it past ANY CCA judge?

I don't think things are so black and white.
 

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Super interesting thread!
 
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