Chambray Labradors Illustrating The Breed Standard

  

 11/10/2010

Illustrating The Breed Standard

 

The series of informative articles recently published to the website, "How A Winner Is Made" and "How To Present A Winner" has brought about many inquiries concerning the verbiage used in the written Labrador Breed Standard and how it actually applies to a real life dog.

There seems to be much confusion on understanding the written "blue print" and then taking that information and attempting to build something with it.

The following offering will use real life photos of dogs to illustrate certain passages of the Breed Standard.

The full Labrador Retriever Breed Standard may be downloaded at the AKC's breed pages http://www.akc.org/breeds/labrador_retriever/

 

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Text Box: Black type are my comments & 
Blue type is wording from the Breed Standard
Text Box: P
Text Box: W
Text Box: L
Text Box: H
 

The photo above illustrates the proper way to measure a dog for the following Breed Standard descriptive:
Proportion--Short-coupled; length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump is equal to or slightly longer than the distance from the withers to the ground.
H to W is the height measured from the ground up to point W which is the Withers.
P to L is the length distance from the Point of Shoulder (P) to the Rump (L).
If you actually take a ruler and measure the 2 lines above against each other, you will see that PL is slightly longer than HW, exactly as the standard calls for below:

Labrador Retriever Breed Standard

Size, Proportion and Substance
Size--The height at the withers for a dog is 22½ to 24½ inches; for a bitch is 21½ to 23½ inches. Any variance greater than ½ inch above or below these heights is a disqualification. Approximate weight of dogs and bitches in working condition: dogs 65 to 80 pounds; bitches 55 to 70 pounds.

Text Box: The Labrador’s hindquarters are broad, muscular and well-developed from the hip to the hock with well-turned stifles.
Not the straight legs seen in many dogs showing today!
Hogan pictured above under Labrador breeder judge Carl Liepman ( judged the Labrador Retriever Nationals) winning a Group I, then went on to win a Best In Show minutes later!

Proportion--Short-coupled; length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump is equal to or slightly longer than the distance from the withers to the ground.

The dotted red line across the elbows is equal to one half the height at the the withers & the brisket extends right to the elbows!

Distance from the elbow to the ground should be equal to one half of the height at the withers. The brisket should extend to the elbows, but not perceptibly deeper. The body must be of sufficient length to permit a straight, free and efficient stride; but the dog should never appear low and long or tall and leggy in outline. Substance--Substance and bone proportionate to the overall dog. Light, "weedy" individuals are definitely incorrect; equally objectionable are cloddy lumbering specimens. Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat.

 

 

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Text Box: Chambrays Sunny Daze
The photo above describes the chest area: *"Chest breadth that is either too wide or too narrow" "the Labrador Retriever shows a well-developed, but not exaggerated forechest". Dog above exemplifies the breed standard for correct chest.

Text Box: Chambrays Emerald In 
The Ruff
The red line illustrates the following: **The underline is almost straight, with little or no tuck-up in mature animals.

Text Box: *
Neck, Topline and Body
Neck--The neck should be of proper length to allow the dog to retrieve game easily. It should be muscular and free from throatiness. The neck should rise strongly from the shoulders with a moderate arch. A short, thick neck or a "ewe" neck is incorrect. Topline--The back is strong and the topline is level from the withers to the croup when standing or moving. However, the loin should show evidence of flexibility for athletic endeavor. Body--The Labrador should be short-coupled, with good spring of ribs tapering to a moderately wide chest.
*The Labrador should not be narrow chested; giving the appearance of hollowness between the front legs, nor should it have a wide spreading, bulldog-like front. Correct chest conformation will result in tapering between the front legs that allows unrestricted forelimb movement. Chest breadth that is either too wide or too narrow for efficient movement and stamina is incorrect. Slab-sided individuals are not typical of the breed; equally objectionable are rotund or barrel chested specimens.**The underline is almost straight, with little or no tuck-up in mature animals. Loins should be short, wide and strong; extending to well developed, powerful hindquarters. When viewed from the side, the Labrador Retriever shows a well-developed, but not exaggerated forechest. Tail--The tail is a distinguishing feature of the breed. It should be very thick at the base, gradually tapering toward the tip, of medium length, and extending no longer than to the hock. The tail should be free from feathering and clothed thickly all around with the Labrador’s short, dense coat, thus having that peculiar rounded appearance that has been described as the "otter" tail. The tail should follow the topline in repose or when in motion. It may be carried gaily, but should not curl over the back. Extremely short tails or long thin tails are serious faults. The tail completes the balance of the Labrador by giving it a flowing line from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. Docking or otherwise altering the length or natural carriage of the tail is a disqualification.

 

 

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Text Box: Great rears are produced by great rears!
Hogan, the sire above and 3 of his "get" to the left.
#1 Chambrays And The Beat Goes On (Cher)
#2 Chambrays Summer Breeze (Hanna)
#3 Chambrays Stella's Desire
 

The photo above describes the Forequarters area: "The shoulders are well laid-back, long and sloping, forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees" see 90 degree angle formed by the withers to point of shoulders and point of shoulders to elbow Ideally, the length of the shoulder blade should equal the length of the upper arm. Those two measurements are exact with the dog above!

Viewed from the side, the elbows should be directly under the withers, and the front legs should be perpendicular to the ground and well under the body.  see elbows under withers, legs perpendicular to the ground and well under the body.

Pasterns should be strong and short and should slope slightly from the perpendicular line of the leg.

Forequarters
Forequarters should be muscular, well coordinated and balanced with the hindquarters. Shoulders--The shoulders are well laid-back, long and sloping, forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees that permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with strong forward reach. Ideally, the length of the shoulder blade should equal the length of the upper arm. Straight shoulder blades, short upper arms or heavily muscled or loaded shoulders, all restricting free movement, are incorrect. Front Legs--When viewed from the front, the legs should be straight with good strong bone. Too much bone is as undesirable as too little bone, and short legged, heavy boned individuals are not typical of the breed. Viewed from the side, the elbows should be directly under the withers, and the front legs should be perpendicular to the ground and well under the body. The elbows should be close to the ribs without looseness. Tied-in elbows or being "out at the elbows" interfere with free movement and are serious faults.
Pasterns should be strong and short and should slope slightly from the perpendicular line of the leg. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads. Dew claws may be removed. Splayed feet, hare feet, knuckling over, or feet turning in or out are serious faults.

 

 

 

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Text Box: No Cow-hocks here!
Hindquarters plain and simple should look like any of the dogs pictured above and below.
Giving the appearance of strength and power! No cow-hocks seen here as is too often seen in the Labrador ring!
Toes slightly behind the point of rump, not the  weak rears where the legs are held and carried underneath the dog,
both standing still and when moving because of severe weakness as is also seen in many dogs now showing!

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Text Box: When standing the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump.
Not underneath the body as with weak rears!
Text Box: and strong short hocks. 
the hocks should be 1/3 the leg length
Hindquarters
The Labrador’s hindquarters are broad, muscular and well-developed from the hip to the hock with well-turned stifles and strong short hocks. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are straight and parallel. Viewed from the side, the angulation of the rear legs is in balance with the front. The hind legs are strongly boned, muscled with moderate angulation at the stifle, and powerful, clearly defined thighs. The stifle is strong and there is no slippage of the patellae while in motion or when standing. The hock joints are strong, well let down and do not slip or hyper-extend while in motion or when standing. Angulation of both stifle and hock joint is such as to achieve the optimal balance of drive and traction. When standing the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. Over angulation produces a sloping topline not typical of the breed. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads.
Cow-hocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted.

Judges need to look at more than the head and front of Labradors! The rear assembly should be the strongest part of a working dog! Too often judges put up dogs that are weak, cow-hocked individuals and in some cases it has become an accepted norm because of the numerous dogs being shown with this serious structural defect!

Disqualifications

  1. Any deviation from the height prescribed in the Standard.

  2. A thoroughly pink nose or one lacking in any pigment.

  3. Eye rims without pigment.

  4. Docking or otherwise altering the length or natural carriage of the tail.

  5. Any other color or a combination of colors other than black, yellow or chocolate as described in the Standard.

 

Editors Note: I guess you can tell that as a Labrador breeder I have a huge pet peeve! Too many weak rears being bred by supposedly serious breeders! Standing from behind a dog, the hocks should never cower inwards towards each other. There are some breeders that constantly produce dogs whose hocks at times touch each other while standing still!
Worse yet, while in movement, because of the severity of the cow-hocks, the feet clown-step east and west instead of
in-lining and pointing forward underneath the mid-section of the dog! The look from behind a dog should be an open U and not a V or worse an "hour glass figure" with the hocks curving inwards!

"Sacre bleu mon Dieu!"

 

PSS: Watch for another "informative diatribe" coming soon about "Disqualifications", mainly Pigmy-sized Labradors!!!!

 

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