For the past 22 years, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the U.S., tying the Poodle´s record reign atop American Kennel Club registrations. "They´re the greatest dogs in the world," said David Frei, the Westminster Kennel Club´s communications director. "Who doesn´t love a Labrador Retriever?" The answer is judges at the Westminster Dog Show. In 136 years of the event, no Labrador has ever won Best in Show. The Labrador hasn´t even made it out of the Sporting group to sniff at Westminster´s grand prize. In other words, Labradors are the Chicago Cubs
I have been the owner of a labrador for the past 7 years, and back in the 1970s, I owned another labrador. They are exceptionally loyal dogs, most of them are excellent hunters for upland game as well as for retrieving waterfowl. (My first lab was really good at that, but our current lab was sissified by my wife, and is an oversized lap dog.)
The winners at westminster, in my opinion, are more sissified than our current lab.
Labs are too nice, and as we all know, nice finishes last. Especially in this upside down world that seems to have no reason, no logic and no sense. I have been owned by Yorkshire terriers for almost 30 years, and they don´t get any respect either. Out of necessity, I must have small dogs, if I didn´t I would have Labs.
We never miss watching and root for our favorites every year knowing full well we will be disappointed and mad when it´s over. All of our dog lover friends feel the same way. WKC is very political (same judges, same breeders and breeds on top year after year) and the results are pretty well decided before the show even starts.
Reply 9 - Posted by:
Rather Read, 2/11/2013 10:22:34 AM (No. 9170013)
My daughter has a lab. She is a loyal and very loving dog. Although I have a cat now, I do love dogs but I HATE the Westminster show. Exaggerated breed standards have ruined the German Shepard (one of my favorites) as well as other dogs and have made dogs like the poodle (which is smart and a good retriever) into nothing but foofy pets.
We have Shetland Sheepdogs here in the Barn. Labs are a wonderful breed, but any dog show is tough to win. I´m always more impressed with the dogs that go Best of Breed than Best In Show. I was never much for conformation showing, I loved Obedience or sheepdog trials, but there´s a place for everything and every breed. Mrs. Cow
Love Labs. I have a shelter dog who is a Belgian Malinois (see: member of Seal Team 6). He´s a great, great dog. He turned 15 in December and I know our time is getting short, so we´re enjoying every day. Don´t know what I´ll do without him; he´s really been my best friend ever. Shoot, Shep probably thinks he´ll have to bury me!
I´m not quite as thrilled w/ Labradors because I´ve been bitten by 3 dogs in my life and two were Labradors. They must have been the black sheep of the breed. As for the show, we like to see all the different breeds. The Swiss Mountain Dog looks like a giant beagle.
I´m a mutt person, but do enjoy watching the show to see breeds I´ve never heard of. One of our current and most beautiful dogs may be half coyote. I asked my vet about a DNA kit to check our suspicions but she said they´d probably not confirm it due to liability issues.
Laid back breeds like Labs are at a real disadvantage in the Group and Best of Show ring where each dog competing is a fine example of breed type and the win usually depends on intangibles like the canine version of charisma. That may be why the high energy terriers usually rule at Westminster.
The Wire Haired Fox Terrier is a strong contender this year. So is the Doberman, the Affenpinscher and the Harrier.
As the daughter of an owner/breeder/shower of champion Labradors, I can think of only three years of my life (and I´m "of a certain age") that I have not had a Labrador in my life. They´re simply the best dogs, great with kids and loyal to a fault. About the only thing I wouldn´t want one for is a guard dog.. they´d show the burglar where the silver was
They have simply never had a 90lb lab look up at them with those big sad eyes that say "I am a good dog, I am, I was helping sort the recycling! Honest I was not going through the trash bin and eating trash I was recycling!" I just can´t punish our lab when she slips up and dumps the kitchen bin to steal butter wrappers or other things that seems tasty only to a doggie when she gives me that look.
I´ve known good Labs and a couple of truly awful ones that were dangerous. Part of the problem may be that people tend to be very careful around the so called dangerous breeds like German Shepherds and Rottweilers. The same people can be overly casual with the equally large Labs. If a Lab isn´t properly trained when they enter that mouthy stage as a pup they can end up being a biter.
I started watching the Westsminster Show a couple years ago, and I´m hooked. I love learning about all of the different breeds of dogs and their histories. It´s fascinating and a learning experience. I especially love the working and sporting dog categories.
Two Greyhounds and a Pitbull here, all rescues. While I´m generally disappointed with the winner, I did love the Scottish wolf(?) hound which won a couple of years ago. Probably because he was basically a wire-haired Greyhound.
So sorry to hear of your loss,#30. Goldens are, indeed, wonderful dogs. We stopped getting larger breeds when my last Collie was ill and I couldn´t lift him into the car. We all have our favorites, but most dogs are terrific. We call ours ´pre-rescued´. I figure if I hadn´t bought them they might have ended up in a shelter depending on who took them. Mrs. Cow
Sincerest condolences also, #30. While my bias is towards Labs, I´ve known some really wonderful Goldens in my day and would own one in a heartbeat. Had to put my 11-year-old female Lab down about six months ago for a similar reason as yours. There´s still a hole in my heart.
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