The show went really well. There were over 140/150 Labs showing, just beautiful dogs. My pups did so well, all taking 1st-2nd in their classes and Phantom took a beautiful RWD from his puppy class last Thursday. Just to give you an idea on how difficult finishing a Lab is, the largest specialty held in April has over 1400 Labs total competing. There is not another breed that comes close to this. The dogs are stunning, it's so much fun just looking at the beauty. My Megan also took a beautiful 1st one day in her class with 8/9 other pups in it. Lear was one of the dogs that was the talk of the show however he did not show well, tail down, and with a Lab you can't have that. I respect the judging for not putting him up as really it wouldn't have been fair. On the other hand, he is quality of what we call a "specials" competitor and we are working now on fixing that. He has stage fright LOL. Last day of the show he was MUCH better. Phantom and Megan came home with me, I now have 3 out with my handlers, Strut, Lear and Jadis. My show handlers also came over Monday night to evaluate the dogs here and we are thrilled we now have more that are ready. Jadis left with them. Below are pictures though Lear's pictures from the show turned out blurry so I just attached pictures I took of him 2 days before leaving.
Savannah, your labs are absolutely beautiful. Where was the show held?
I actually have to disagree with you on how hard finishing a lab is. Yes, the National Specialty has probably more entries than any other breed, and yes it does take 20+ entries of one sex to get a major. However there are about 3-4 other breeds that require similar numbers of entries for a major, if not more in our area (Alabama). I think finishing any one of those other breeds is far more difficult, simply because very very few people owner/handle in those breeds because professional handlers rule those breeds. A lot of the labs shown in our area are owner or breeder handled, even in major shows.
You're right on the other breeds however sincerely Labs are so fricken hard due to the numbers. Certainly if you are in an area whereby the shows are not that large and points are easier to get, all breed smaller shows, that's kind of easy. But we do specialty shows mostly and that becomes really difficult. In fairness the Labs we compete against are also so drop dead beautiful it's as much fun to just look at them. I'm not an owner/handler obviously for numerous reasons so I just wait for the call LOL. Even the majors we go to have so many darn Labs it's just harder. Goldens at the show we just did had 1/2 the Lab number, Boxer was much less.
The show was in Romulus NY, called Wine Country. Friday was Lab Specialty. Thurs/Sat/Sun was huge all breed with specialty judging. Was great. Phantom took 1st in his class during the Specialty, Megan took 2nd (Gorgeous pups with her, 9 I think), and Lear with his tail down took 2nd .. was truly a wonderful speiclaty day for us.
Savannah, just curious. Is another reason you go to the big shows, because that is where your handlers are scheduled to go? I don't know about you, but I didn't have much of a choice where my dog was shown when I was using a handler. You go where they go, and they are normally hunting for majors.
Major shows, are major shows, specialty or not. I do know it is much much harder to Champion some breeds compared to others, and it does depend on location.
Will you be satisfied though if you continue to go to these huge huge shows and your dogs never point or title? It is very possible with all the competition that you are describing that very good, worthy dogs will never get titled.
I really don't like AKC's point system for that reason. I think it is kind of backwards. Wondering your thoughts.
Ali, I have working FOR ME (not the other way around) 2 of the very top handlers in our country for my breed. Case in point.. just recently we discussed a major specialty coming up and I am the one that asked them not to put a certain dog into the show as this one was not yet competitive and it would be a waste of their time, my money. They not only agreed, they respected my willingness to speak up and ask the hard questions. My dogs go where we all agree to send and take however I also admit they are teaching me a huge amount. These people have a reputation that is gold, why in the world would they ever do something stupid even to a peon like me?? NEVER.. would never happen and this is why I chose them as my handlers. I assure you I checked them out more then they checked me out!!
Considering I have points, not so sure I understand part of your question. They do go to some All Breed, but they are so professional in their choices and how they work with the dogs and funds from any of their clients. Perhaps that is not what you are used to, I dont know. But I certainly have it.
No, I do not agree with your comment "major shows are major shows" Your breed just for example where I just came from, major show and did not have 1/8 of the dogs there as Labs. Please understand this is certainly not said in a deragatory way at all, I'm just giving you facts. I also know the shows that are major specialties of your breed and still they do not compare in the numbers as the big specialty shows with Labs. Simply facts.
The other thing.. your question of being titled... I'm also blessed as I stood in front of them and had to hear the bad as well as the good when they were at my house just recently. They flat out said... "no" on dogs I didnt want to hear that about. They wont waste their time or my money as I already said. If they take a dog of mine, or any of their clients its because they professionaly feel the dog is worthy of a title and will have it. They have also sent dogs home to me LOLOL... especially when they blew coat UGG... said "x dog needs to be home now".. no more. They wont embarass themselves putting a dog into a ring if it's not right, competitive, appropriate.
I think the bottom line.. we surround ourselves with the same as we are... I consider myself to be very professional (still learning big time)and I surround myself with the best/the same.
I also have to disagree with 'majors are majors'. With some breeds, building majors is sooo easy as long as you know about 5 people who have your breed. Since I mentioned Briards as one of my favorite breeds, if I had a briard and I knew 3-4 people in the southeast with briards, I could make a major at any given show site with 4 male dogs. I can't do that with labs, where I'd have to call 20-25 people :P
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.