Sprucedell Labradors

Maurice C. W. Gilliat

Sprucedell line

“During the past year, I have been urged to say something about Labrador heads, which not a few people think have deteriorated in recent years. Space will not allow for anything but a brief mention so I must content myself with a couple of points, namely quality and "stop". Coarseness in Labradors is abhorrent especially when it applies to the head. Most judges avoid being too blunt and describe such heads as being "rather overdone" or "a little too strong”. On looking through the descriptions of heads of gundog breeds in the Kennel Club's standards, one finds the following terms used to denote the degree of "stop". "Well defined", "clearly indicated", "showing", "good ", "pronounced", "deep", "distinct", "gradual", decided", "moderate". The term used in our breed's standard is "pronounced", which according to my dictionary means "marked with emphasis". This I firmly believe may well be a major reason why one comes across numbers of Labradors with heads which are not typical, largely due to the "stop" being too pronounced, thus spoiling that lovely head which is so desirable but which I believe some of our new judges and beginners in the breed may innocently believe to be correct. My own view has always been that the term "pronounced" is likely to be misconstrued and that one of the terms used for other gundogs, possibly "moderate", meaning not excessive or extreme, would be a better choice.”

Maurice C. W. Gilliat, 1977, Holton

Dorothy Howe

Robert Burns