this book by pointing out that at any one time there are about
twenty top breeders who can and do stay at the top for many
years, but when I come to the breeders who can show their dogs
as Championship show-prize winners and also run them in Trials
as Trial dogs, accepted as such by the Trial people and not
called 'Bl---y show dogs' as is their wont,
then I find it hard to name twenty kennels that can do this in
the last forty years.
last War there were plenty of strains capable of doing this,
indeed it was more or less the norm. The whole atmosphere of
Labrador breeding was different, with such people as Lorna,
Countess Howe seeing to it that the show Labrador remained a
working dog. ... The dogs were good-looking on proper Labrador
lines, they were thoroughly experienced shooting dogs and cut
out their own work with the minimum of help from their
handlers, although always ready to take the hint when they
were stuck. The good work on the day was put in by the dogs
and not the handlers, and while Lady Howe was alive this happy
state of affairs, when Trials were fun and you and your dogs
welcome, remained until the sad day she died, when we
immediately feared and experienced the Great Divide, into
entirely show bloodlines and entirely Field Trial, poles
- Mary Roslin Williams,
|"The primary qualities required in a
retriever are, in my opinion, nose, brains, determination and
mouth; without these he is of little use except as a house
- Vincent Routledge, 1929, Hallingbury
|"As a judge of the breed for over thirty years and a breeder since 1951, my personal description of the breed is that of a strongly built, medium size, short coupled, active dog possessing an athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion. Physical features and mental characteristics should denote a dog bred to perform as an efficient retriever of game with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment.
"Above all the Labrador Retriever must be well balanced - the components of his anatomy in proper correlation, enabling him to move in the show ring or run in the field with little or no effort. The true Labrador possesses elegance without over refinement and substance with out lumber or cloddiness.
"The Officers and Directors of the Labrador Retriever Club, as well as the majority of the sportsmen involved in the breed are disturbed with a recent trend towards two so called "types" of Labrador Retrievers -- field dogs and show dogs. We are concerned if the trend persists, the breed may be divided into two separate and distinct kinds of dogs, as have so many breeds in the sporting group.
"It is our opinion that the show dog and field dog should have exactly the same conformation and condition. Additionally, we believe the first question that should come to mine in judging the Labrador Retriever is
'Can the dog do the job he was originally intended to do?'"
- Dr. B.W. Ziessow, Franklin