AKC Gazette
AKC Gazette

A Dog for All Reasons
by Nina Mann

Twenty years ago the Puget Sound Labrador Retriever Association was formed to recognize the versatility of the Labrador Retriever. This club gives awards only to Labradors whose owners have allowed them to demonstrate their talents in more than one venue. These all-around Labradors have titles in the show ring, in the field, and in either obedience, agility, or therapy work. It is our belief that a show dog that will not retrieve is not a true Labrador, that there is no reason why a hunting dog should not conform to the breed standard, and that either one should be a well-mannered family member.

About five years ago, when our national specialty was adding venues in which Labradors could show their versatility, a couple of PSLRA members decided to sponsor a special honor called the Dog For All Reasons Award. A metalware plate and a copy of artist Terry Albert's award-winning Dog for All Reasons poster are given to every dog who either (A) competes in conformation and two of the following events, with a qualifying score in one: obedience, the hunt test, tracking, or agility; or (B) who places in conformation and competes in two of the following, not necessarily qualifying in either: obedience, the hunt test, tracking, or agility. In other words, try something new!

The award is intended to challenge owners to get out and really discover the many talents of their dogs. For this reason, neither the LRC Inc. Working Certificate (WC) nor the LRC, Inc. Conformation Certificate (CC)—both of which recognize successful completion of the most basic tests—are acceptable. Remember that the dog doesn't need to place or qualify in everything.though there are certainly many dogs who do.but he does need to qualify or place in at least one event.

If you live in the city and have got your dog ready to earn a WC, you can train him in the house or garage to deliver to hand. It's not that big a jump from a WC to a Junior Hunter. And if you have taught him good manners and how to heel, how hard would it be to add a CD to his titles? If you and he already enjoy agility, come and try the conformation ring. Correct conformation, which helps him run easily and well in the agility course, is rewarded in the show ring.

Whatever you do with your dog, come to Denver from October 6—10 this year and try something new with him. The activities will include tracking, conformation, obedience, agility, and a hunt test. You and he can have fun and add a Dog for All Reasons award to his other achievements!—N.M.

Thank you, Nina.

Faith Hyndman
Doylestown, PA 18901

(Labrador Retriever Breed Column for AKC Gazette July 2004 Vol 121, No 7)

The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc., is the single organization officially recognized by the American Kennel Club as the national parent club of the Labrador Retriever. The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc., was incorporated in October 1931, in the state of New York, and is not affiliated with any other association titled or claiming to be the National Labrador Retriever Club.