The Field, 1916




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This Article taken from 'The Field', August 1916 and reproduced in the 75th Celebration Year Book 1991


The Labrador Club is now established on a thoroughly sound basis and Mrs Quintin Dick is to be congratulated on the completeness of the little handbook which has been issued.  The Hon A Holland Hibbert is the first Chairman and Mr Maurice Portal the Vice Chairman whilst the executive committee is made up of the Earl of Chesterfield, Lord Vivian, Capt Archibald Butler, Mr E W Blagg, Mr A Nichol and Mr T W Twyford.  A membership roll of 111 is something to be proud of considering that it is only six months since the Club was started; but from the beginning such enthusiasm was shown that its rapid progress need cause no wonder.  Its objects are to encourage the breeding of pure Labradors, to protect the type that has proved itself so eminently suitable for work, to encourage field trials and to ensure qualified judges at shows. 

Dissatisfaction with the selection of judges has been expressed in connection with more than one prominent show, but it must not be forgotten that owners have a very good remedy quite close to hand, and our reply to dissatisfied exhibitors, who declare they knew when entering the judge had no knowledge of the breed, has always been that they were not obliged to support him.  A man who bought something simply because it was for sale would be considered a fool; an exhibitor who shows under a man whom he does not credit with knowing the breed is quite as silly.  He certainly deserves no sympathy if his champion dog is dismissed without even a card of commendation.  Candidly, we do not like the system where judges are nominated by specialist clubs; it is but one degree removed from nominating a man or woman who gives a special prize and we would hail with satisfaction the licensing of judges by the Kennel Club and the control of their appointments by the governing body.  However there should be less growling at shows, where though Labradors are liberally catered for, their groups are judges by men whom owners consider to be quite incompetent.

Apart from the handbook which has been mentioned, the standard description of the Labrador has been issued, and no fault will be found with the common agreement that the general appearance of the Labrador should be that of a strongly built, short-coupled very active dog, and also that compared with the Wavy or Flatcoated Retriever he should be wider in the head, wider through the chest and ribs and wider and stronger over the loins and hindquarters.  The coat should be close, short, dense and free from feather.  The detailed description of the head is well worth repeating, it is:  ‘The skull should be wide giving brain room; there should be a slight ‘stop’, the brow being slightly pronounced so that the skull is not absolutely in a straight line with the nose.  The head should be clean cut and free from fleshy cheeks.  The jaws should be long and powerful and quite free from snipiness or exaggeration in length; the nose should be wide and the nostrils well developed.  The ears should hang moderately close to the head, rather far back and set somewhat low and not be large and heavy.  The eyes of medium size should express great intelligence and good temper; they should be brown, yellow or black.’  That the Standard has been drawn up with great care cannot be doubted, but we are quire prepared to hear of certain points being criticised.”

Note:  Very soon after this first Standard, changes were made, amongst other things, the acceptable eye colours were amended.