February 11, 2013

"Labradors are the Chicago Cubs of show dogs."

Loveable losers. 
For the past 22 years, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the U.S.... In 136 years of the [Westminster Dog Show], no Labrador has ever won Best in Show....

Their fans point to the bite of the Sporting group, which has produced 19 Best in Show winners, including the Sussex Spaniel in 2009, English Springer Spaniel in 2007 and German Shorthaired Pointer in 2005. Those dogs are what buffs call "flashy" breeds.... Unlike their peers, Labradors lack the extravagance of a long coat or the grace of a fast gait, making it trickier to catch a judge's eye....

Labradors also go home empty for the same reason they are such reliable companions: their good temperament. Some dogs are divas. Labradors like to share the spotlight with their handlers. "Labs aren't selfish enough," [said David Frei, the Westminster Kennel Club's communications director].

55 comments:

SteveR said...

A Lab only wants to be #1 to you.

Patrick said...

"Labs aren't selfish enough," [said David Frei, the Westminster Kennel Club's communications director]

Maybe it's just me, but that sounds ridiculously stupid.

Rocketeer said...

"Labs aren't selfish enough," [said David Frei, the Westminster Kennel Club's communications director]

Selfish, huh? This goofy statement is tantamount to admitting a cat should win the WKC show.

Hagar said...

Empty of what?

BDNYC said...

Labs are just too common. Bubbas own them.

EMD said...

Dogs are great.

It would take humans creating dog shows to make them stupid.

bpm4532 said...

Well, if this is a democracy, then Labs win!

Chip Ahoy said...

That was a beautiful black lab too, so much like the blog's favorite, I would dare say even a bit more fussed over, yes, it's possible to stand there and groom them constantly. But German shepherds don't win either, Dobermans, Shelties, all outstanding and popular breeds. It's all so arbitrary innit. You go there to get points and the judges know all the good dogs of all the breeds have to get points.

Jim said...

I felt the same way about beagles, my favorite breed, until UNO won best in show in 2008. Labs are my second favorite.

traditionalguy said...

He said labs are not divas. But if that is true why do men love them so much and mourn over their deaths.

Women like dogs they can serve...divas dogs.

Men like dogs who are equals.

BarrySanders20 said...

Best In Show was one of the funniest movies I have have ever seen. Only saw it once, and don't know if I'd react the same way again, but laughed till it hurt. Cried too.

BarrySanders20 said...

It's the Labradoratory of Democracy!

FleetUSA said...

We loved our black lab, Max. A perfect pet in every respect.

tim maguire said...

Ehh, best in show is an absurd category anyway. How could any judge be expert enough and discerning enough to say this pug is a more perfect pug than that poodle is a poodle.

A lab trouphy drought that is explained by the nature of the lab is simply proof of this.

David said...

Bad analogy. The Cubs are just losers. They stopped being lovable about a decade ago.

David said...

Labs + hunters = guns.

Bad dog!

Bob Ellison said...

Labs do steroids?

Steroids do come from labs, come to think of it.

robinintn said...

Chip, that's an interesting list. I've had German Shepherds, a Lab/Shepherd mix, a Golden and now my awesome Sheltie. They're all my favorite dog.

Trad Guy, is it really a chick thing, those hideous diva dogs? How embarrassing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's OK. The Labs will wipe the floor with those snooty [ha ha] pointers in a field trial competition.

Titus said...

Rare clumber won a few years ago.

I would not call a springer flashy.

furious_a said...

Beagles aren't far behind Labs, consistently ranking in the Top 10 for popularity but winning their first/only Best-in-Show at Westminster in 2008.

Basta! said...

I always root for the pug, which has won Best of Show only once (1981) --- still, that beats the Lab.

As the German comedian Vicco von B├╝low remarked: "A life without pugs is possible but pointless."

furious_a said...

Maybe Labs' comfort around guns has something to do with big-city judges' disdain.

BarrySanders20 said...

I see a Springer spaniel won in 2007 as well. That one was a bench variety.

We haz the field variety at home and she's kind of a spaz. Not show material, but she's great with the kids, keeps a watchful eye out for varmints in the yard, and brings anyone entering the house a shoe -- any old shoe will do. The pooch had 8 pups last year, five liver/white and three black/white. All snapped up quick and now bringing joy and consternation to other springer-loving families. That was a crazy 10 weeks with all of them.

furious_a said...

But German shepherds don't win either...

Because...Schindler's List.

MadisonMan said...

..then who are the Yankees of Show Dogs? The ones whose owners spend unlimited funds for dogs that are essentially primadonnas?

ricpic said...

Zeus is not amused.

Rob said...

It's an honor just to be nominated. (This year, the odds-on favorite for Best of Show is Daniel Day-Lewis.)

I Callahan said...

But German shepherds don't win either...

1987 - Covy Tucker Hills Manhattan (aka Hatter). He was a beautiful dog.

I Callahan said...

then who are the Yankees of Show Dogs? The ones whose owners spend unlimited funds for dogs that are essentially primadonnas?

Poodles. Like Yankee fans.

(Ducks and runs...)

Baron Zemo said...

The Yankees of show dogs are the A-Rods.

Well at least he is a dog.

Baron Zemo said...

Also, that is why when it comes to Labs you should rent and not buy.

Oh...wait a minute.

Nevermind.

Basta! said...

All you Lab people will probably beat on me, BUT
around here Labs are for Lesbians --- the 30-40ish marrying turkey-baster-baby kind.

I will, I fear, never be able to rid myself of this association.

David said...

I was unable to divert this happy dog thread to Cub bashing.

edutcher said...

If you want to win something like that, you need a pup like Mrs Hudson.

She'd come into a room and everything about her was, "Yes, I am all that and a great big bag of chips. Spicy nacho flavor".

Fritz said...

"But German shepherds don't win either...

Because...Schindler's List."

Maybe if you called it an Alsatian...

chrisnavin.com said...

They also make tasty burgers. A nice golden retriever steak can sure hit the spot.

I once knew a guy in Alaska with a "Lab" coat, made from shelter dogs.

Warmer than fox pelts.

Just kidding.

The Godfather said...

I've had: two collies, a schnauzer (min.), a poodle (standard), two Lakeland Terriers, and now a "lab pointer mix". I loved them all (except the Lakeland Terrier bitch -- she really was).

But show dogs and dogs to live with just aren't the same. It's like the difference between a runway super model and the woman you want to live your life with.

John Burgess said...

@BDNYC: Demonstrably untrue. New to the AKC (and the Westminster) this year is the Treeing Walker Coonhound. If that's not a bubba dog, I don't know what is.

http://www.akc.org/breeds/treeing_walker_coonhound/breed_standard.cfm

chrisnavin.com said...

Rottweilers and German Shepards have had to play down their overall genetic excellence to win at these shows.

Hundreds of years of breeding for the master race, German excellence and dogged attention to detail...all for not.

It's enough to make you barking mad.

Nein!

jr565 said...

Labs are great low maintenance dogs. Perhaps the greatest low maintenance dogs.

Not only low maintenance but they have an inner calm that isn't found in most dogs and generally are not yapping every third seconds like a chihuaha.

No drama.

EMD said...

Does that make Golden Retrievers the Cleveland Indians of show dogs?

Titus said...

My mom and dad, who are in their late 70's got a Cavalier King Charles before Christmas. She is beautiful and a major lap dog.

She came from a breeder who lives for these dogs.

The stipulation for them getting her is that the breeder/owner wanted her back, one time, when she was in heat in order to breed her.

So now my parents are responsibile for turning over to check her cooch to see if it is enlarged. But before they did that they had to turn her over to just identify the vagine to see what it looked like not enlarged. She is very hairy and it was hard to locate. My dad got the flashlight out and they were able to identify the non inflamed puss. But once the twat is enlarged the dog only has 72 hours to fuck. So when my parents see the puffed pussy they have to immediately travel to Kenosha to drop the dog off so she can get plowed.

Lots of work.

Titus said...

My parents days revolve around checking a dog's clit or looking for blood stains and then bolting out the door to drive 2 hours to get it to the breeder/owner.

The male dog will be immediately flown in from Lubbock.

Emil Blatz said...

NIGHT 1:
Monday, February 11
Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups
8-11 p.m. (ET) live on CNBC

NIGHT 2:
Tuesday, February 12
Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups, Best In Show
8-11 p.m. (ET) live on USA Network

ampersand said...

If Labs were Chicago anything,they would instinctively know to bribe the judges.

DavidD said...

It's. A. Dog.

Nomennovum said...

Dogs, beer, and whiskey are God's gifts to men.

And perhaps tobacco too, but it is, for all practical purposes, illegal.

And Kate Upton.

ganderson said...

On our fourth lab- (not counting the yellow pup who died) a springer lab mix- lab body, springer legs, two blacks. and now a chocolate; looks just like the one in the WSJ. Showed none- loved 'em all!

Rusty said...

Labs are just good company.
I love our Siberian Husky, but they are a hauty breed and not nearly as smart as a lab.
I miss our Beau.

Browndog said...

I have two chocolates. Old, now.

I call them "dogs of a thousand faces".

The face of "Bub", my male, my best buddy, that I use for my avatar says "What you just said distracted me from my moment of Zen... explain yourself."

Truckee Man said...

I have a labradoodle, the heart of a lab and the style of a poodle -- the best of both and no shedding. And she loves me even more than food, although it's close.

jr565 said...

Actually, supposedly labs shed a lot. So if you're allergic to dogs, they may not be the best dog to be around. And they don't really mature till around two years of age(emotionally)so they're like overgrown puppies .


I'll be honest I've never been around labs as puppies, always as adult dogs. So perhaps I've missed the down side.

But adult labs are best low maintenance dogs I,ve been around. Puppy labradors, you're on your own.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Not only low maintenance but they have an inner calm that isn't found in most dogs

When they're young they're a handful. They're complete spazzes for about the first two years. Very high energy dogs, love to chew, and cannot be still. It's like they're vibrating when not actually chasing a tennis ball.

Zeus looks like he's about two years old.

After the first 2-3 years they calm down and they're good dogs.

Black lab heaven: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLYMD6R6PvU

Fred Drinkwater said...

When I was a kid a neighbor had a black lab named Fagin. He used to come into our garage and steal the felt blackboard eraser. Dad said he did it because the mouth feel reminded him of retrieving a bird, but I was a literal-minded and reasonably well-read kid and figured it was just Fagin doing Fagin stuff.