Friday, March 22, 2019

Labrador retrievers most popular dog for 28th year

According to AKC so that would be most popular in America.

And AKC, being an elitist club, isn't counting dogs that are not purebred.

Come on! They're sporting dogs in the US and gun dogs elsewhere. By the uploaded videos you'd think they're nothing but layabout goofball dogs. They're excellent assistance dogs, therapy dogs, screening and detection dogs and they're prized for sporting and hunting and they are fantastic swimmers with an affinity for water. They retrieve.

And that means they are willing to run out there and get something and bring it back gently without tearing it up and present it without playing keep away. And although all that is in their genetic makeup it still has to be trained. 

I just now watched a video of a hunter whose Labrador refused to retrieve. The dog behaved as Belgians do, like the whole thing is meant for some other breed. The dog swam out to the duck then just looked at his handler. His handler knew that the dog knows what the handler wants but still resists playing that game and that is very odd for a retriever. Frustrating. The handler asks in the video, "What can I do?"

Here's what you do: You get another retriever and take them both out. Keep the uncooperative one on a leash nearby while you play with the cooperative one. Oh what joy you have together playing the game you can do. Get the uncooperative one good and jealous. Then unleash them for a contest and watch them blast into action. Show them the joy of cooperation.

I always wanted a dog that retrieved enthusiastically as retrievers do but all three of my Belgians just flat wouldn't do it. It was a mental block with them. A degrading thing. They simply cannot be arsed.

Until the second one threw three puppies sired by a neighbor's black lab. Those three puppies were naturals. My Belgian went insane watching us play. I untied her and she became the most beautiful retriever I ever saw. I mean it. I'm honest here. Her physical grace was pure poetry in motion. She jumped over the ball and twisted midair above the ball and landed facing me and scooped up the ball in a single motion and leapt back in a straight line and shoved the ball into my crotch. Ouch. 

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, literally for hours. I finally have a retriever. And, man, was she ever good.

My heart was filled with joy. 

The very day that the last puppy was given away is the moment the dog went braindead about retrieving. Went like this:

See, I told her to find the sweater, not bring the sweater to me. She kept finding it over and over and over but not bringing it to me. So, who's the dumbass? Who's training whom?


edutcher said...

And Yorkies only made it to 8?


MamaM said...


That made me laugh, edutcher. Your loyalty to Yorkies could almost convince me to consider their virtues if I hadn't previously given my heart away to a Chocolate Lab. Given is probably not the right word though, more like he stole it right out of my locked chest.

Part of the charm of Labs is that they don't flaunt the fact that they are smarter than their owners by doing enough bone-headed things to throw them off the scent.

MamaM said...

I used to feed the cats canned cat food, putting the empty tins in a trash basket in a pantry cupboard with a door that closed.

A Most Wonderful Night for our Lab would start with someone leaving the pantry door ajar. I would awake the next morning to find a trail of licked-clean cat food cans on the area rugs (where they wouldn't make noise while being licked) between the living room to the kitchen. Procuring those delicious treats that couldn't be had when opened involved waiting to be sure the Mom Who Stayed Up Late was fast asleep before nosing into the cupboard to stealthily retrieve them one at a time from the trash basket and carry them back to a fresh spot where they could be delightfully savored without once cutting a tongue on the sharp edges. It didn't happen all the time, but when it did, oh my, it was as good if not better than hunting for duck. Fetching sticks was child's play compared to the prepartion, care and attention needed to successfully execute that retrieval.

MamaM said...

MrM enjoyed the story about the Belgians, along with the illustration.

We used to read stories to the SonsM that were written by British author Brian Jacques, who started out writing stories for blind children. His books were highly readable and engaging, but difficult to listen to on CD, as Jacques read his own work and his accent(Liverpudlian?)was so strong it turned listening to him into an uncomfortable chore.

When I read some of ChipA's stories aloud, I wonder about the possibilty of collecting them into something like a book or file for his nephews or other children who like a good story. Hell, they'd even make fun physical/paper book with a pop up to go with the story, or a fun online book with an active illustration. The words and descriptions used along with the storyline and ending make them fun to read aloud and listen to, and usually bring a laugh of enjoyment and shared awareness to MrM (and myself) when I read them to him.

He also liked hearing and thinking about the Big Dog and the cans again, with both of us admiring anew the recon work involved, concluding that he must have checked the door every night after I went to bed in the hope and off chance if finding buried treasure. Either that or his keen nose led him on nights when the door was ajar.

edutcher said...

MamaM said...


That made me laugh, edutcher. Your loyalty to Yorkies could almost convince me to consider their virtues if I hadn't previously given my heart away to a Chocolate Lab

Well, since my little buddy, Sherlock, died, I've had to transfer some of that loyalty to a Malshi who has some of the traits of no less than 4 of our Yorks. And she came along just in time.