Posts Tagged ‘working certificates for retrievers’


Here’s a video of a European show golden with a Show Gundog Working Certificate.

Now, that all sounds good.

But then I looked up what a Show Gundog Working Certificate actually was.

The KC awards a Show Championship, but no gun dog can be a full champion unless it passes this working test. Originally, they had to be run in actual trials, but now, they get to do the sort of amateur behavior. These certificates are given at trials or a special show gun dog working certificate test.

The retrieving behavior tested during this test is pretty much remaining steady to a line and retrieving a dummy from the land and the water. It is the same as the true trial dogs. However, these dogs aren’t expected to beat the performance bred dogs, which they would have a very hard time doing. Instead, they are looking for a modicum of instinct that has been polished through some training. These tests are a wonderful way of getting more dogs in trials, so that the actual performance-bred dogs can clobber them. Brilliant move.

It does takeĀ  a lot of training to keep a dog in a line. That really is impressive. The fact that these dogs have enough retrieving instinct to be trained to do this work at this novice level is amazing. But it doesn’t disprove a very simple truth: Performance bred dogs are better at this work than these dogs are. You might find some dogs in the European show-lines that really can do the work. These dogs should be bred from. We need dogs with retrieving instinct to be bred. However, it doesn’t change the fact that their bodies are built incorrectly to really do the work. It also doesn’t change the fact that the very light colors are the result of fad breeding, which started around 1960. The original colors were light gold to mahogany. Some of the early dogs were light golds with cream shadings (like my dog), but none were so pale as to be mistaken for white.

The fact that this dog’s owner says it’s so hard for a show golden in the UK to make the grade here is an admission of what I know and what most serious retriever people know. The European show golden is not the best example of a working dog.

While they were breeding for light color, bone, and blockiness, they forgot to also breed for biddability and drive. And that’s why I’m very wary of these lines. The vast majority of these dogs are not selected for their retrieving instinct, and even if they have it, they may not be properly built to really do working gun dog work.

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