Old Fashioned Retrievers

(11 Posts)
ducksback Thu 14-May-20 17:58:54

Is it me or are Goldens much taller and slimmer than they used to be?

I used to see big, chunky retrievers with lovely big kind heads and big feet nowadays I see a lot of weedy looking dogs - sort of gangly and no breadth to them. Have things changed?

Is this my imagination?

OP’s posts: |
TeacupRex Thu 14-May-20 19:17:55

Show-type Golden Retrievers tend to be bulkier and have longer, heavier coats, chances are that you're seeing more working-line ones which tend to be a lot skinnier looking. That or you're seeing some poorly bred examples of retrievers that have deviated a lot from the breed standard.

ducksback Thu 14-May-20 19:32:48

Yes I wonder if they are just not so well bred show types.
I am familiar with the working type as my neighbour has some.

OP’s posts: |
twilightcanine Fri 15-May-20 13:06:43

I used to see big, chunky retrievers with lovely big kind heads and big feet nowadays I see a lot of weedy looking dogs - sort of gangly and no breadth to them. Have things changed?

Some of this is about neutering habits.

Dogs neutered/spayed early will tend to be taller and finer boned, with narrow heads.

Dogs left intact until fully matured tend to be shorter, thicker boned and with a big/wide head.

See the pic which shows two dogs (bitches) from the same litter. One spayed at six months and the other not.

twilightcanine Fri 15-May-20 13:06:59

Attaching the pic would help grin

Gin4thewin Fri 15-May-20 13:09:14

Bad breeding, cheap dog food, over exercised as pups.

ducksback Fri 15-May-20 17:11:15

Interetsing pic! I didn't realise that early neutering made that much difference although. I have never been a fan of it.

I wondered about this too Gin. They just look...unhealthy somehow, not how I remember them as a breed.

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changeagainandagain Fri 15-May-20 17:56:42

We have two, one of the chunky pure breed, he's beautiful and very large and compact, our other is a lovely pure golden colour but as a male is smaller and more feminine looking, he's pretty but not the solid chunk like his pack mate.

I see lots more of the skinny ones your describe and these are the working lines, that was always my understanding.

peoplepleaser1 Fri 15-May-20 18:15:59

Retrievers (and labs) have a propensity to having arthritic hope and elbows, this can make ageing very painful and really affect quality of life. So the move away from heavy show types to lighter more agile working lines is welcome in that regard.

I do accept that the stockier lines look nicer to some people, and have a more traditional feel but having seen the difference in ageing in labs I now prefer working lines.

In terms of neutering, early neutering ie before the end of puberty makes dogs taller (but not stockier), because the growth plates don't close naturally and bones keep growing- again giving a higher risk of joint issues later on.

So to increase the likelihood of healthy joints: working lines, kept slim and not neutered before 18 months is the way to go.

ducksback Fri 15-May-20 19:09:14

Thanks for this info - very interesting. I have alwyas had gundogs but never a retriever.

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GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 15-May-20 19:40:54

I see a couple of working line ones around and they are leaner and a much darker gold colour than the show line.

You see a similar thing with labs: the show line dogs are much chunkier than the rangy, leggy working line. The workers are less likely to be neutered.

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