|09-06-2013 07:31 PM|
Obtaining a dog that conforms to the breed standard carries some certain guarantees that a dog of lesser quality may not have. For instance a well bred animal will be less likely to have bad hips or develop heart issues. Large breed deep chested dogs do have issues with weak hearts and that is one of the biggest reasons to get an animal that conforms if you can. However with that said I have an animal that is certainly less than perfect. Her ears do not stand and even though she is a Czech working line decendant she has issues with new situations and doesn't adapt very well quickly. I will never allow her to be a brood bitch but she is also the love of my life and my go to dog when times are tough for me personally. So in the interest of quality and high standards we got her spayed and will keep her as a well loved and pampered pet until she gets old and dies. She is an excellent pet and will be for many years to come, but she will never add anything to the gene pool to help prevent her shortcomings from getting introduced and further expanded within the breed. SO conformation is a two sided sword that must be wielded carefully to insure that we do not cause harm in the name of purity. Hope this helps you see the purpose of the standard and that some dogs may be less than perfect but still worth loving and training non the less, they are just not suitable for breeding.
|09-06-2013 06:19 PM|
- Terrierman's Daily Dose -
Dogs That Changed the World - Introduction - Dog Breeds | Nature | PBS
|09-06-2013 06:07 PM|
That's why there are almost no bull shows today, and those that are organized are done in a more "those romantic old days" than anything else. Today you have catalogs with every productive data of said bulls measured objectively and pictures are only added to made them more visually attractive, but no sane rancher chooses semen based on the picture...
Bull catalogue: http://sierradesertbreeders.com/wp-c...k-2012_web.pdf
|09-03-2013 05:18 PM|
When your 'sport' is conformation then it is important to breed from stock that adhere to whomever is judging your breed, be it AKC, UKC or whathaveyou. Is it correct to the breed? That depends on who you ask! Plenty of dogs in the conformation ring these days have horrible temperaments, of all breeds. They cower in fear from the judge, refuse to move, freak out when handled by someone other than their owner, or just shut down and quiver on the table. But they look gorgeous! And plenty of really exceptional working dogs look like bricks with legs. Is THAT correct to the breed? That depends on who you ask!
Ideally, the dogs bred have good conformation AND ability. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a perfect dog. There are dogs with appropriate conformation and good temperament/work ability, of course. I'd hope that's what the ultimate goal is for most folks in their breeding.
For me personally, I believe things like weak ears, long feet, odd tail, croup angle and length, bone, ear set, self-correcting bite issues during growth periods, eye set, eye color, pigment depth and marking etc are traits that are 'forgiving' in breeding. You can alter their expression in a single generation and thus aren't necessarily 'deal breakers' if the dog is otherwise healthy, sound, moves properly, and has appropriate breed characteristics (temperament, drive, etc). Issues like improper number of teeth, improper color expression, heritable issues such as HD or demodectic mange, critical structural issues (incorrect shoulder, downed pasterns, cryptorchidism, missing or improperly formed organs etc) and the like would be a much more significant concern.
I LIKE good conformation because I show in conformation. I could have the best working dog on the planet, but if he doesn't move or look like the breed standard I will never walk away with a placement. That's the reality, and because I'm involved in it I have to keep it in mind.
|09-03-2013 04:44 PM|
My friend, I think you nailed it!
|09-03-2013 04:02 PM|
|Liesje||Malinois outnumber GSDs in many of the other sports I do so I won't disagree with you. Just proves that structure and conformation ARE important.|
|09-03-2013 03:43 PM|
I don't think it is structural/conformation faults that cause breakdown, but rather, genetics that are present in the dog for problems with the spine, elbows and hips for example.
Again, look at the gold standard for the German GSD, which is schH titles. I don't think there are nearly as many orthopedic problems in the Malinois, which often compete in protection sports that require extreme jumping and potential trauma to bones and ligaments. The Malinois can do the extreme jumps and have fewer problems and the GSDs can't do the extreme jumps and have greater problems.
You don't see anything about conformation in the working Malinois. You see male dogs that weigh 45-95 pounds. And you see GSDs with odeal conformation with hip, elbow and spine problems.
|09-03-2013 03:18 PM|
What Liesje said above (it should be about balance, not extremes either way....)
I come at this from more experience in the horse world but similar things have happened (see Quarterhorses, racing, halter and ranch/working types for example).
Here's another way to frame the question for a hypothetical thought experiment. If form following function is all that should matter why not just ditch all the breeds that fall into the GSD/Mali(maybe Dobies too) protection dog spectrum?
No more breeds, just thoroughly work tested 'protection' type dogs that are objectively tested with scientific measuring equipment for speed, reflex, bite strength, ability to jump and scale obstacles and such. They will all eventually be very, very similar in body and mind and no need for specific breeds within the category. Someone asked my trainer the other day if his Czech line bi-color dog was a black mali, he is a smallish lean, fast and lighter framed dog......
So the conundrum is the existence of the breeds to even begin with, a process that started a long time ago.
The next hypothetical question would be, if this is not a type of dog that is needed by most of society/pet owners will that then put the breed(s) in danger of extinction? So it could be said that in animal for whom we *usually* do not depend on for utility as most dogs are not really used for work (whereas livestock producing milk/meat/wool really is the key for selection), if aesthetics are part of what keeps a breed going then conformation becomes more important from that aspect.
|09-03-2013 12:09 PM|
|Liesje||Yes it depends on what we are talking about....when I say "correct conformation" I mean to the standard and correct *functional* (working) conformation...not any extreme interpretation of said standard. I've seen dogs doing sports like IPO - show and working line - that had problems like moderate to severe HD, dead tail, missing multiple teeth (genetic, not due to accidental knock out), etc. To me this is all part of a dog's "conformation" and IMO not acceptable for a "working" dog to be bred even if the temperament is stellar and even if the dog can achieve SchH3. Of course no dog is perfect, all dogs are going to have conformational and structural flaws but then you have to look at the entire pedigree going back and sideways (siblings and other relatives) and what the other half brings to the equation. For me it is never as simple as WL = temperament and SL = conformation. I think many SL could be improved on by some WL and I don't mean the WL that now look like type-y SL.|
|09-03-2013 11:39 AM|
But I must say, I'd rather have an ugly dog with good temperament than a beautiful dog with faulty temperament.
Again, I think there's a difference between good working structure, and the type of conformation that is winning in the show ring. Because of show ring fashion in both Germany and the US, the highest-rated conformation isn't necessarily going to be the best *working* structure IMO. There are a lot of people who will disagree with me on this, but I've seen some show dogs that couldn't even get out of their own way, let alone work all day long.
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