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Old 02-15-2014, 09:15 AM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
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Originally Posted by Fran101 View Post
Sorry this is a novel lol

I honestly don't think many people would make that implication (do they really?). Working bred dogs are bred to herd and it's a priority so obviously...they are more naturally capable of herding. I mean it's common sense.
Yes, they do. At least some do. I've been through these kind of arguments where people bring up that their dogs nip at other dogs' heels in play ergo the dogs they're breeding can herd. No seriously.

As far as original purpose goes, I have mixed feelings. For me, if the original purpose still exists, I'd like to support that. It is a beautiful thing to see dogs working at what they have been crafted for hundreds of years to do. I love dog sports, but it's just not the same as seeing that instinct come into play.

Sadly for many breeds it's just impossible. Dog breeds do change and you're not going to recreate the jobs they once did. Or if you're on another continent it may be impossible to recreate the work exactly. I don't think you can really duplicate the kind of herding in the mountains that pyrsheps do in the Alps here, for example. I have no doubt you can breed them to play herding trials or to work on a farm but it's not the same.

I've also watched the sheltie go down the path of turning into pretty useless dogs (for the most part, not all). It's sad to me the way heads keep getting more and more extreme and coats get more and more extreme. The coats are getting ridiculous. Heck, it's even sad to me how extreme papillons are getting in the specials circuits and they're not even a working breed.

I don't know the perfect answer and I'm sure my perfect is not everyone else's perfect. I just wish people bred more for moderation and function. Even if that function now has to be 'versatility' vs a dog that works every day all day.

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Old 02-15-2014, 10:00 AM
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Torch Torch is offline
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Originally Posted by SizzleDog View Post
Let's say breeders start making ears a priority. What happens to the dogs that end up with bad ears in the meantime? Can't be shown, can't really be bred, and finding pet homes could/would be difficult. Entire breeding programs could be wiped out. And much, much bigger issues (health, temperament, and structure) could be neglected and be allowed to run rampant. As far as ears go, IMO they're really low on the list of things that need to be drastically changed and specifically bred for, until such time as it is illegal to crop them. Dogs don't run or jump with their ears.

I get your point, but I would like to clarify - people pay money for a judge to critique their dogs. While we can all agree that the judges get it wrong sometimes, the fact still remains that the only opinion people are paying for is that of the judge. Anything else is just ringside speculation - which could be spot on, or could be totally off base. Especially when you're dealing with people who don't know or understand the standard of the dog they're criticizing.
I love everything about your post.

Originally Posted by Paviche View Post
There are a couple points here that I want to respond to - and I want to preface it but saying, overall, I agree with you. Overall health and temperament should be more important than little cosmetics like ears.

The main thing to me is not that ears aren't being bred for: it's that it seems like they're just being entirely written off because cropped is more popular in the ring. That, to me, is a sign of a much bigger problem, especially when things other than just ears are being changed because it's popular, against what the standard says. See all of the increasingly ridiculously coated dogs when the standard calls for moderation in coat - and that doesn't affect the dog's health negatively, only their ability to work and function (at the level that they should be able to, that is.) Brachycephalic dogs that have absolutely no snout any more, stenotic nares, and in many breeds (like bulldogs) such an extreme physical build that they have a hard time whelping naturally... because it's popular and that's winning so let's breed for more and more extremes, to the dog's detriment. And THEN acting as if you're breeding to "better the breed". Uh huh, right. How exactly is that "bettering" a dog?

I think that a lot of breeders have their hearts in the right place, and that they're genuinely trying to do what's best for their dogs, both currently and going forward. But I honestly believe that there are breeders out there who don't have the long term in mind and are all about now, now, now. Breeding into corners because that's what's popular now with no thought to how it's screwing breeds over in the long run. THAT is what I have a problem with. If your goal is just ribbons, you have no business breeding dogs. Get into baking or sewing or cars or anything that doesn't involve manipulating the futures of living creatures for your own ego.

I mean... it's actually in the Labrador standard that the dog should be built in a way that it can function tirelessly as a gun dog ("possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions") Do I think everyone breeding labs needs to be out there actively hunting with them? No, definitely not... the purpose and uses of dogs change and evolve. But it's in the standard that the dog should be physically built to hunt for long hours under difficult conditions, and there's no doubt that some of the big name show labs are absolutely NOT built for that. When you breed against the standard, is it even a lab, or (insert x breed) anymore? On the flip side I've seen some gorgeous show labs, too. It's not a show issue, it's an issue with the people, exhibitors and judges alike.

Geez... ramble ramble. Sorry!
I get what you're saying about ears, I really do. On one level, it broke my heart to crop Rhys's ears. But I have always loved the look of a good crop. I agreed contractually to crop and most likely will continue to do so with future Amstaffs. Especially now that I have done the aftercare and what not.

But what about tail docking? Do you desire to see breeders breeding for better tail set and not docking anymore? I understand that having a docked tail is set down in the standard, but obviously in many places it is illegal. And theoretically, breeders could be producing dogs with incorrect natural tails and we would never know since puppies are docked so young.

I think many people are overly critical about cropping when compared to their opinions about docking or having dew claws removed. My theory behind this is that cropping is a much more visible (let's be honest) and somewhat more graphic looking procedure. It also requires more post op care.

At the end of the day, standard or otherwise, cropping and docking are both somewhat cruel forms of body modification we do to our dogs. No breed is born naturally cropped or docked. So to be displeased with one and not the other makes no sense to me.

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Old 02-15-2014, 10:31 AM
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GingerKid GingerKid is offline
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Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
Well I have Belgians so...I know all too well about behavior issues that are often easy to work through/prevent but ends up being a major problem when people just accept it.

How so?

You can find a list of all upcoming AKC shows everywhere in the US at:
I don't handle politics well. Maybe there is less at the local level in conformation, but somehow I doubt it?

Thank you for the list... unfortunately I don't live in the US . I did find a couple of local shows, but the next one is not until the end of March.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:29 AM
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sillysally sillysally is offline
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For a word on the labs--the short and stocky is a body type that many of the bench labs have. While those labs are overweight, I don't think they are as fat as they look. They have a lot of coat, so some if that (probably at least a couple of inches is fur, and a bit is skin. Jack is at a decent weight and he has a LOT of skin. His skin rolls back and forth when he trots, but it's not because he's fat. You truly have to get your hands on the dogs to know how much is fat, fur and skin. Also, just the way they are built the show labs have a more "straight" torso, with less tuck that the average dog, even at a decent weight. Now, I'm sure those labs are overweight, just not as much as people imagine.

Jack says not all bench bred labs are fat! (though I'm sure he'd love to be fat-lol) Jack is definitely not a proper lab by bench standards though, despite being bench bred.

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Old 02-15-2014, 11:48 AM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is offline
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It's not even the torso that really blows my mind in those labs, because I've been told over and over that labs aren't supposed to have a tuck-up, but the chest and neck and shoulders. I mean, how do you even put a collar on those dogs?

Plus with Jack you can see a bit of definition where his muscling is in his haunches, and a basic outline of his ribcage area, even with the coat.

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Old 02-15-2014, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Oko View Post
Hmm, well, the tail isn't supposed to curl over the back...

Pine Cone Collector by Feistea, on Flickr

Hell, cats' tails aren't supposed to curl over their backs. And yet, there's Falafel with a Chow tail.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:25 PM
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Aleron Aleron is offline
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Originally Posted by GingerKid View Post
I don't handle politics well. Maybe there is less at the local level in conformation, but somehow I doubt it?

Thank you for the list... unfortunately I don't live in the US . I did find a couple of local shows, but the next one is not until the end of March.
LOL I see that now! Actually from what I hear, it's much easier to show in CKC than AKC. For one, you don't need majors And they often have two shows per day. A lot of people in the US go to Canada and finish their dogs in a just a couple weekends.

Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
Plus with Jack you can see a bit of definition where his muscling is in his haunches, and a basic outline of his ribcage area, even with the coat.
Yeah Jack doesn't look fat at all. Would love to see Labs in that condition being shown! The show Labs really are fat, there's just no way around it. I see them in person and they really are quite overweight. Like I said, I know someone who was told her bench bred agility Lab would need to put on 20lbs to be able to finish. That does was not underweight, she was fit and in good condition. I've also known of people who wanted to do stuff with their CH Labs and had to take a bunch of weight (15+ lbs) off the dogs when they retired from the breed ring to pursue other venues. I'm not trying to be mean, it just is what it is.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:01 PM
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elegy elegy is offline
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Originally Posted by Oko View Post
Hmm, well, the tail isn't supposed to curl over the back...

Pine Cone Collector by Feistea, on Flickr

Yeah, well....

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Old 02-17-2014, 07:24 PM
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Elrohwen Elrohwen is offline
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
I agree to a large extent, and I'm really not opposed to breeding for a purpose if you are staying within the breed standard. My only real objection is implying that the (for example) show bred dogs are every bit as capable in the field as the working/sport/whatever bred ones. At least admit you are breeding for *your* purpose. (You being in general, of course)
I've been thinking about this comment for a while and wanted to come back and comment on it. I honestly do see this a lot in my breed and it bugs me. People want to believe that Welshies are still working dogs, under the show dog coat, and it's popular to point out there isn't a breed split. Being totally honest though, not that many people hunt them anymore so it's impossible to know how much of that instinct is left. The people who do hunt typically do conformation as well, so there are dual dogs out there, but it's not common. I can say that Watson has hunting instincts, which is true - he has a fantastic nose, lots of drive to hunt, and a very strong prey drive. Still, I have no idea if he's the type of dog I'd actually like to hunt with all day. I even feel like he's probably not, since his natural retrieve isn't that great, and he ranges too far and would be springing birds 1/4-1/2 mile away where I couldn't shoot them. A dog can have the basic ingredients of a hunting dog, but not make a good hunting dog.

I think the Welsh is an awesome versatile breed, suitable to dog sports and being a rocking lap dog. I just wish breeders would stop claiming their dogs have hunting instincts when they don't go out of their way to test it. I would like to go out of my way to prove that my dog is good at a variety of activities, including nosework (which speaks to his hunting heritage), but I would never claim that he would make a good hunting spaniel because I just don't know.

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Last edited by Elrohwen; 02-17-2014 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:46 AM
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gilles gilles is offline
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CAO standards state that the height is 26 to 30 inches height and 120 to 175 lbs weight then it says : there are no maximum limits for height and weight. i guess there are many variation in the breed due to the fact that it could originate from different areas of central asia and it could come from different lines: working, show, fighting, etc...
if you check pictures of CAOs you will notice also different body types and heads. some have a wedged head and some have a rectangular head. some have shorter muzzles than others. some are stocky and wide and some are taller,
my Volka is 5 and half months old and he is already almost 27 " high and 90 lbs
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