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Old 12-15-2008, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Undershot Jaw.

I've often wondered why some breeds have a undershot jaw, apart from it being in the breed standard can anyone tell me why it came about as I am quite interested in learning why from anyone who can tell me. And in breeds with undershot jaws is there a limit of how undershot it can be, what I mean is over a certain amount does the dog get penalised in a show, or do they just want a undershot jaw, can anyone help with this?
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:30 PM   #2
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I'm sure the why depends on the breed. Some dogs just looked that way early on, so it was a trait passed through the generations. Sometimes this grew to be exaggerated and sought after so that is how people bred them. Like the English Bulldog, they try to make claims of it being good for bull baiting but it actually isn't needed for gripping and holding and is of no advantage.

Other breeds because of their breeding what the people wanted. Some companion breeds were created that never really had a job, only bred for a look and that is the look the people wanted.

Yes there is a measurement depending on the breed. Cane Corso should have a 1/2 cm undershot in accordance to the breed standard. Other breeds have measurements as well, but some I've found only say undershot without a measurement but the breed does have the "normal" compared to dogs who don't place, I guess the judges just know what it should be.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:23 AM   #3
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If you ever observe a dog show you notice the judge open the dogs mouth or look right at the sizzor bite it should have. Not an overbite~~ Ok, it is a fault in most breeds, does not matter how much, if the breed has an over bite as my bulldog had, it did not matter how much unless it crippled her. She ate properly and looked ugly cute with it know what I mean. Some are cute with one, others you do not even know unless you check the front teeth, very wrong in shepherds. they must have a very precise sizzor bite.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:05 AM   #4
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Most if not all of the dogs that are permitted or required to have an under bite are the shorter faced breeds.

My guess would be that the shorter face interferes with the proper placement of the teeth and is the direct cause of the under bite. Therefore the under bite was written into the standard in order to preserve the short face.

In other species of the dog family such as; wolves, foxes, coyotes, they couldn't survive in the wild if all members of the species had the short faces and under bites that are required in some breeds.

I've seen some serious belly injuries on Pug, Boston and even Chihuahua puppies whose mothers with bad bites had tried to sever the cords on their own. Most knowledgeable breeders of the short nosed breeds don't allow the mothers to do the cords. The breeder does it as soon as they're born.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:55 AM   #5
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I was surprised as a recent first time boxer owner, to find that they are required to have an undershot bite. I think Tosh looks like someone tried to take her chin and stretch it over her nose, lol. I guess it's normal for squashed faced breeds, but I also see how Tosh has trouble chewing and because of that, swallows a lot of air which results in her being tuneful and fragrant from the back side. Well it also makes her tuneful from the front side as well, but at least that doesn't perfume the whole house.

I've had undershot dogs, one of my best dogs was a pug cross and I was forever reminding him to pull in his bottom teeth, but I prefer the more natural scissor bite. Maybe because of my thing for poodles, they must have a perfect scissor bite, or from my years of showing rabbits, anything other than a perfect scissor bite pretty much means death for the rabbit if the owner isn't willing to cut the teeth every couple weeks.

But for the original question, some breeds have undershot jaws because domestic dogs are made to suit humans idea of a work animal or a companion and some one, somewhere in the domestication process, liked the look and bred for it. Face it, a lot of traits in recent dog breeds were mutations that were kept going at some point in it's history. And it's something that most nationalities desired at some point because you find examples in China, Japan, Europe, USA, and I'm sure others that I can't think of a squashed nosed example of a domestic dog.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:30 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone, I've always wondered, I haven't had a dog with a undershot jaw, but where I'm living now they have a Shih tzu with a undershot jaw, and it got me wondering why, so its nice to be told by people that know .
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