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  Topic: Everybody Loves Labradors,
So Why Are They Underdogs?
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Everybody Loves Labradors,
So Why Are They Underdogs?

Wall Street Journal, by Ben Cohen

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 2/11/2013 9:21:35 AM

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

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: lakerman1, 2/11/2013 9:39:25 AM     (No. 9169929)

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.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: CEP, 2/11/2013 9:42:14 AM     (No. 9169933)

The Westminster Kennel Club show is just dumb. Poor dogs they should be allowed to play not be lead around by poorly dressed people and judged by equally poorly dressed nose in the air people.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Bevan, 2/11/2013 9:50:39 AM     (No. 9169952)

I have had Black Labs for over 20 years. I have 2 now. Best companions on the planet.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: seal010101, 2/11/2013 9:59:12 AM     (No. 9169973)

The whole dog show world is invested in selecting extreme breeds, like the brachycephalic Pug, Pekingese, or what I call "Haircut" dogs, like the Poodle.

Normal dogs like the Labrador Retriever, the greyhound, whippet, and other dogs, are given short shrift.

It seems to be more of a show about how man can manipulate the genes of the wolf, and we wind up with dogs with breathing problems, short legs, congenital deafness, or gas.

I stopped watching because I´m sick of the haircut dogs, for example.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Coy860, 2/11/2013 10:00:31 AM     (No. 9169976)

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.


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Reply 6 - Posted by: secondtimelucky, 2/11/2013 10:06:57 AM     (No. 9169988)

Labs are best in show at this house. And that´s the only show that matters to us...

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Reply 7 - Posted by: StormCnter, 2/11/2013 10:12:12 AM     (No. 9169999)

Blue Heeler here, after a series of Dachsies and a Chow-Shepherd mix. All wonderful dogs, but the Heeler is the smartest of the ones we´ve had.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: gagolfer, 2/11/2013 10:17:31 AM     (No. 9170005)

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.

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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.

A pox on Westminster.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: pomom, 2/11/2013 10:26:42 AM     (No. 9170023)

The show is about what dog represents the best qualities in his/her individual breed. If it happens to have a ridiculous haircut like that floor mop of a Peke or a foo foo poodle, oh well.

My favorite is the sporting group. They are so regal and they are fun to watch. I own two mini dachshunds and have had pomeranians but those big dogs steal my heart.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: rmyersne, 2/11/2013 10:29:25 AM     (No. 9170029)

Our family has a full-sized Rat Terrier. Amazingly smart, although a very nervous breed.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: pineledger, 2/11/2013 10:30:54 AM     (No. 9170033)

Westminster has outlived its usefulness.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Forehand, 2/11/2013 10:32:41 AM     (No. 9170038)

All labs here. The best, most loyal and loving friends on earth. No Westminster Kennel Club title could ever add to their innate glory and value.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: planetgeo, 2/11/2013 10:36:30 AM     (No. 9170047)

I can understand why Labs don´t win. They´re really not dogs but more like the coolest, most even-tempered and friendly little persons with a lot of fur all over them.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: earlybird, 2/11/2013 11:01:23 AM     (No. 9170090)

Labs are not interested in beauty contests. Too busy being the best pets in the world.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: rollingcow, 2/11/2013 11:02:03 AM     (No. 9170092)

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

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Reply 17 - Posted by: shepsmum, 2/11/2013 11:08:12 AM     (No. 9170099)

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!

Love all dogs.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: gabula, 2/11/2013 11:11:24 AM     (No. 9170105)

I´m rooting for the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and the Bedlingtons. A friend may be there next year with her Beddy.

Gabula

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Rumblehog, 2/11/2013 11:13:03 AM     (No. 9170108)

Poodles? What do you expect? It´s held in New York. Real-life working dogs need not apply. The Poodle Union is very strong there.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: earlybird, 2/11/2013 11:36:14 AM     (No. 9170144)

I am not a poodle fan, but it has traditionally been a "real life working dog". It even served as such in WWII. Doubt me? Read on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poodle



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Reply 21 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 2/11/2013 11:52:15 AM     (No. 9170169)

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.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: stencil, 2/11/2013 11:52:48 AM     (No. 9170170)

These are the best threads . . .

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Reply 23 - Posted by: rubberneck, 2/11/2013 12:26:47 PM     (No. 9170220)

After reading these comments, I feel a sudden urge to watch "Best in Show." Hilarious movie, highly recommended.

Re: Labradors, I´ve crossed paths with some great ones over the years... but also some nasty ones. I´ve been bitten 2 times while bicycling - both times by poorly-raised Labradors.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: corndoggies, 2/11/2013 12:29:21 PM     (No. 9170224)

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.

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Reply 25 - Posted by: Hobbiest, 2/11/2013 12:33:56 PM     (No. 9170234)

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.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: crunchycon, 2/11/2013 12:45:32 PM     (No. 9170253)

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

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Reply 27 - Posted by: tygerlily, 2/11/2013 12:54:51 PM     (No. 9170273)

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.

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Reply 28 - Posted by: Hobbiest, 2/11/2013 12:58:35 PM     (No. 9170281)

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.

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Reply 29 - Posted by: ScarletPimpernel, 2/11/2013 1:08:39 PM     (No. 9170298)

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.

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Reply 30 - Posted by: keeptherepublic, 2/11/2013 1:25:34 PM     (No. 9170334)

I can´t believe that this thread has so many replies and no one has mentioned the noble Golden Retriever. The GR has all the qualities of a Lab, except that he is gentler and a better fammily dog.

I had to put my most recent one down last Friday because he´d developed Pancreatic Cancer, and we could not allow him to suffer further. But, today my heart is heavy and my house is empty.

OMG, I miss that beautiful dog that graced my life for nearly 11 years.

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Reply 31 - Posted by: udanja99, 2/11/2013 1:42:24 PM     (No. 9170365)

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.

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Reply 32 - Posted by: udanja99, 2/11/2013 1:44:39 PM     (No. 9170377)

Deepest condolences, #30, on the loss of your Golden. My brother and sister both have them and they are, indeed, wonderful dogs. If I weren´t hooked on Greyhounds I´d probably have Goldens.

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Reply 33 - Posted by: rollingcow, 2/11/2013 2:34:27 PM     (No. 9170498)

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

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Reply 34 - Posted by: Videodrone, 2/11/2013 3:37:42 PM     (No. 9170612)

had a Yellow Lab, not the sharpest knife in the doggy drawer and deathly afraid of gun fire (so much for hunting...) but loyal and protective of her pack.

had to release wife´s Bichon just before Christmas - left a big empty space and ended up with a rescue Doxie to round out the Siberian Husky and Tibbie

furry kids

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Reply 35 - Posted by: 4poster, 2/11/2013 4:21:32 PM     (No. 9170712)

Was walking our black Lab when a 8 or 9 year old boy stopped and asked "Is he a human dog?"

I think that said it all

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Reply 36 - Posted by: earlybird, 2/11/2013 11:09:36 PM     (No. 9171232)

We get a big kick out of the WKC show - on tonight and tomorrow. Interesting dogs we´ve never seen before, some very appealing. And then there are the handlers. Great entertainment.

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Reply 37 - Posted by: crunchycon, 2/12/2013 1:42:35 PM     (No. 9172388)

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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