I love watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
I don’t know if you watched the competition last year, but when the winning Labrador retriever literally waddled across the floor, all I could think was, “My God, that Lab is fat!”
My own black Lab mix Ace was fit and lean as can be. He’s no purebred, but I thought maybe all Labs appear fat to me since I’m used to looking at Ace.
Nope. It wasn’t just me.
A lot of other dog lovers were also surprised to see such a “flabby Labby” win Best of Breed in 2014.
My friends at Slim Doggy wrote an excellent post last winter asking, when did overweight Labradors became the new normal?
It’s a great post that sparked a lot of controversy because some people strongly believe a dog is healthy as long as it meets the “breed standard.”
So you can see for yourself, here’s the Lab that won Best of Breed at Westminster last year, a female:
And here’s the dog that won Best of Opposite Sex:
Do they look a little chubby to you?
I’m no breed expert, but I know a fat dog when I see one.
Pet obesity is a REAL problem in this country and denying it or excusing it by saying that an overweight dog meets the standard is just perpetuating the myth that Labs are supposed to look like that. They aren’t. They didn’t in the past and there is no sound or sane reason that they should now …
SlimDoggy also posted a followup post today, and the good news is that the Labrador Retriever Club (the national parent club of the Labrador) wrote a letter to the AKC judges asking them to pay attention to the standards of Labs as far as size and proportions.
The letter pointed out that Labs shall be shown “in working condition, well muscled and without excess fat.”
This doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing leaner Labs on TV this year, but hopefully we’re headed in the right direction.
Will you be paying attention to Westminster this year?
Photos originally from WestminsterKennelClub.org.