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Old 01-27-2008, 01:30 PM
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Default At what point

is a dog so badly bred that it can no longer be considered that particular breed? For example, I know this pair of pugs (from same breeder but not littermates) that only vaguely resemble actual pugs. They have very long, skinny legs, one loose curl to their tail, small heads with a defined muzzle (not flat faced in the slightest) and their body shape is just...off. To me, those are pugs in name only and probably shouldn't be considered pugs at all. The same with all these horrid BYB Labs that I see...very skinny, stick tails with snipey muzzles and moose ears...resembling nothing of the Labs everyone thinks of when you say "Lab".

What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:46 PM
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See this is why as much as the AKC and dog shows can ruin working breeds, in some ways they I think they help preserve them. Of course temperment should come before appearance. But if you don't consider the appearance at all then eventually your going to end up with just dogs instead of specific breeds. I'm with you if it's a pug without a flat face i really don't know if I'd even consider that a pug anymore. I've seen pitbulls bred with gigantic heads and this short over muscled body. They didn't even look like pits bulls anymore.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:51 PM
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EXACTLY, RD!

When, to someone who knows the breed, the dog does not resemble their breed at first glance. THAT is when you're too far off. I got to meet a dobergirl who was just larger than Middie... she weighed less than 50 lbs... fawn, with hound ears, a snipey muzzle.. all except her coloring she only had a vague resemblance to a Dobe. I'd certainly still call her a Doberman - she had the temperament - but if it had been any different I would doubt she was a Doberman.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:02 PM
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Zomg Nolu, I hadn't posted yet... are you reading my mind?



I think when a line no longer has the traits that define the breed (whether it be appearance in the companion breeds, or working ability in the working breeds) the dogs have become a breed of their own.

I can't recall who said it, but in a book I read a very astute quote in regards to BCs: "Aside from its work, there is not much to be said about the Border Collie". And it's so true. To me, there's no such thing as a dog that doesn't look like a Border Collie, if it can work like one.

Personally (and please, those of you who show, don't jump on me for this! it's an observation, not a judgment) I find that the show-type BCs have basically split off from the breed. They act completely different, work completely different and just basically aren't a good example of what Border Collies should be. I'd rather see dogs like these in pet homes than BYB dogs, but IMO both are pretty far removed from what the breed should be.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:07 PM
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LMAO I called Zoom your name. I knew it was too early for me to be up! Sorry about that.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:09 PM
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Which brings up the temperment/ability side of it. Those "Sporter Collies" that Sizzle mentioned...they LOOK like BCs but only have insane ball drive. The show/companion-only Aussies..."look" like Aussies and will probably bark at running kids (which to some people means "herding ability" ) but that's as far as it goes. Are those really Aussies anymore? They're supposed to be the quintissential "all-around" dog; working/guarding/playing/companion...if you take out even one of those traits, is it still a true representation?

Nolu...I'll choose to take that as a compliment...THIS time
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:17 PM
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I think I'm in trouble.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:19 PM
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Well, IMO, when a dog loses the ability to do the job it was bred for, it's no longer a fair representation of its breed. A Border Collie could look like Virgo (and I have seen a couple black, smooth coated BCs that look like lab mixes) but it's still a true representation of the breed if it works like it should. You can have the world's prettiest Border Collie that LOOKS just like people think a Border Collie should look... but if it doesn't work like one, I don't think it's really a Border Collie.

But, eh. I probably sound like a huge hypocrite because when I walk into a shelter and look at the dogs labeled Border Collie mixes, I often see no Border Collie in them at all. Despite not selecting for a specific appearance in the breed, Border Collies all have a relatively similar shape and form, because that's the most efficient build for the job. The dogs unable to work due to physical problems are not the ones that get bred, so by (un)natural selection, the dogs best fit to the job were the ones that passed on their genes. Which is why we have no 100lb Border Collies or Border Collies with Corgi legs, or Doberman bodies.

On the flip side, some dogs need to have certain physical conformation in order to do their job. It's hard for Labs built like Pointers to still work like Labs, for example. A 50lb LGD wouldn't be much use. Etc. And then there are the lovely companion breeds that were bred specifically for a certian appearance, and IMO that and their unique personality is what makes them that breed.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD View Post

I think when a line no longer has the traits that define the breed (whether it be appearance in the companion breeds, or working ability in the working breeds) the dogs have become a breed of their own.
I agree.

For instance, when you ask someone what their dog is and they state, "oh he's a lab!" and you ask, "purebred?" and they say yes. Sometimes I just want to shake my head at people (the breeders... what exactly are they thinking and what can be done to actually get them TO think?).

But then, really, what do the purebreds look like today? You hardly see any that resemble yesteryear... humans have shaped them into these creatures that resemble nothing like what they should. Not to mention their working ability, temperament, etc. It's quite sad.

Disclaimer: obviously not all breeds are watered down.. but many are. I would love a purebred lab one day, but I don't think I ever would get one...
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:26 PM
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Labs are amazing dogs, but I found more Lab type in my Lab MIX than I do in most purebred Labs. Buster was a little oversized and lean for a Lab, but he was certainly a retriever (though probably a retriever in the same sense that an Aussie biting the kids' heels is a herder, lol) had a soft mouth and nobody ever wondered if he was a Shepherd, Pointer or Rottie mix as I often wonder with "purebred" Labs.
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