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Old 07-16-2007, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default When working dogs become conformation dogs

This seems to be a subject that is in the background of some discussions about what constitutes "good" breeding and I am curious as to everyone's input.

There have been fairly recent cases where breed clubs in the US have resisted AKC recognition (the Jack Russell Terrier and the Border Collie for example), fearing that a focus on conformation would ultimately be bad for the breed. With some breeds that have been AKC recognized for many years, for example the Labrador Retriever, we live with the "Field Lines" vs "Show Lines" and somehow the breeders are in two different world with their dogs and their breeding.

Way back 100 years ago, when breeds were developing out of the different groups of dogs (herding, hunting, etc) supposedly the general public thought that this was silly, and that there was no need for it. This is at least if you believe what was in a New York Time magazine article published last February.

So what do you think? What are the advantages and disadvantages of AKC recognition, and the competitions that come along with it?
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:00 PM   #2
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I have only shown in Fr and most breeds,need to pass an aptitude Test called the TAN.Working groups have a gun test and a defense test.For hunting dogs like retrievers,there is a gun test, a land and water retrieving test and an obedience test.for the herding group,dog are put with sheep and they analyse their reaction to moving animals,they want to see the intinct kick in.Without the TAN test,the dog cannot become a champion.
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:10 PM   #3
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As much as i love watching dog shows, i think they are a bit silly, they do prove that the Dog is to the breed standards, and what the dog should look like, but they dont prove the ability of that dog to do the job it was bred for.... i think that agility, feild trials, and obedience trials are the true shows that should determine the best dog, but america is a materialistic, and apperance crazy place and if it looks good and is "in" then its going to be the most popular.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:10 PM   #4
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I think conformation if just kind of silly. I mean, look at the conformation goldens. They barely match the standard and are beginning to look more like english creams with coats desperate need of conditioning.

Compare Katz's beautiful Ozzy to this:
http://www.agram-can.com/Gallery/Exh...Can%20(8).html
The standard should stay the same, and shouldn't change. If a judge awarded that golden an award over Ozzy, I'd have to protest. IMO they're very biased to personal opinions and not the standards. (please ignore the fact that Ozzy is might be a little to dark for conformation, but that besides from color I believe his anatomy is flawless. from the photos anyway)

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Old 07-16-2007, 06:34 PM   #5
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I've only shown horses, but I think it's the same thing. When an animal is looked at purely from a conformation standpoint, the ability of that animal is compromised. A horse does not need brains to stand there and look pretty, so you end up with an absolutely perfect animal that can’t figure out its hay net from the hole in the ground. I have ridden a few horses that would never win in the show ring but I would trust them with my life on an endurance ride. And the opposite is true with the horses I’ve ridden in show; all of them, with one exception, I would never dream of taking on the trail.

Also registering an animal with any group actually limits the bloodlines, as people are more hesitant to “mix the blood” if you will, causing an increase of hereditary problems. When a breed registry is closed no new lines can come in to “fix” those problems.

In the end with ability comes conformation. An animal that can excel at the job its designed to do, is usually pretty close to the standard to begin with. An animal should be tested for ability long before it ever gets to the conformation ring.

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Old 07-16-2007, 06:51 PM   #6
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I think working lines should have the confirmation to do the work and that is what the confirmation standard should be in the show ring as well.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:52 PM   #7
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That why I love the Malamutes.

Here you have a beautifully stunning, regal dog, that can actually carry out, and does, the job it was meant to do.

I have Sylers first show in Sept and after being too many many shows including Crufts many times this is hopefully going to be a very exciting time for us. However if he doesnt appreciate it then there is no point if his heart isnt in it. It does worry me tho the way Judges have been doing their job lately.

When Syler reaches 1yr, which is the recommended age to start working in harness (not including the pre-training) I fully intend him to work til his hearts content.

Here in the UK, the very Reputable breeders, will only breed from or use studs that have proven themselves both in the ring and harness (by harness they mean won a lot, over different competions, and keep on winning).

I believe that the working Malamute only serves to show the pure power and elegance of the dog when they are shown.

I do however agree with above comments regarding judges favouring certain lines or look.

Very rarely will a sable, or seal/white malamute win a major competion, the wolf grey seems to be preferrable even tho these specimins may have all the makings of a true champion.

It also seems to be the same dogs winning under these certain jusges too.

Is it the same with other breeds or am I taking it too personally. LOL LOL.

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Old 07-16-2007, 07:59 PM   #8
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As most of you know, I showed cats for over 20 years so my opinion is SEVERELY SLANTED toward conformation standards. Did I say SEVERELY? Let me reiterate ... I DO MEAN SEVERELY SLANTED! (So, you should take my comments with a grain of salt knowing that I can't be swayed & think the opposing viewpoint is simply WRONG.)

I believe comparatively speaking, the impact that "trendy judges" have had on breeds is slight in comparison to the goals of the traditionalist breeders. There are, of course, many exceptions & I don't care to debate the issue (because some breeds have been changed drastically due to trends & some have been damaged).

The problem lies with the breeders who give up their standards on the "correct" conformation to be trendy in an effort to win. If breeders stick to their goals & the purposes the breeds are intended, there would be little to argue as the trendy judges would just have to come around & judge the dogs based on merit as intended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by golden-lover View Post
Compare Katz's beautiful Ozzy to this:
http://www.agram-can.com/Gallery/Exh...Can%20(8).html
The standard should stay the same, and shouldn't change. If a judge awarded that golden an award over Ozzy, I'd have to protest. IMO they're very biased to personal opinions and not the standards. (please ignore the fact that Ozzy is might be a little to dark for conformation, but that besides from color I believe his anatomy is flawless. from the photos anyway)
Oh my! Thank you very much as I think he's beautiful too. Ozzy thanks you too but I have to say that IMO, he would be somewhere between what is considered a field & conformation Golden. It isn't color that would prevent him from being a conformation dog. I prefer a "leaner" golden but not as lean as a true field golden. For conformation, his head & chest aren't nearly broad enough & he carries his tail WAY too high (it is considered a "gay tail" & should be faulted based on standard).

Here is a GREAT photo of Golden Colors:



Goldens who traditionally do best in the show ring fall between the 3rd & 7th dogs in this lineup from L to R. Ozzy is probably closest in color to #5 & #6. Admittedly, there is a trend to lighten the "proper" Golden Color. IMO, the 2 dogs in the photo that are MOST correct are #3 & #4.

In the photo below, you can see his color & that "gay tail". I happen to LOVE the way he holds his tail. (I also love that some of the hairs on his tail are 10" long.). He's young yet so he's got some filling out to do. He likely won't get too broad chested which would be a fault & could certainly use more coat on his body which may come with a little more age.

Ozzy @ 13 months:

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Old 07-16-2007, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlambertz View Post
I think working lines should have the confirmation to do the work and that is what the confirmation standard should be in the show ring as well.
In a perfect world, I would have to agree with this statement! AKC missed the boat on this one!
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:55 PM   #10
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From what I understand, there are different rules in the UK, Europe and the US in that regard. IF I remember correctly (and please correct me if I am mistaken), it is not possible for an adult canone to win a conformation title in Europe without having won a title in some unrelated event. This may cause a difference between views in Europe and the US (AKC).
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