Saturday, November 2, 2013


 I can't tell you how often I hear this statement "It's just a beauty contest" as folks try to dismiss the value of the conformation ring.   It is almost always said by folks who have never competed at anything with their dog and who certainly do not fully understand the purpose of the "beauty pageant".

While beauty and grace is certainly a big part of it there is really so much more as far as evaluating the underlying structure and muscle tone of the dog.  Without strong conformation the dog is subject to or more
prone to injury when working.  This is certainly far more important for the larger working breeds than any other as the larger breeds have a lot more pressure and stress put on their bones and joints.

For me to poo poo something just because you do not fully understands its underlying importance is a big part of what has hurt the dog fancy and in the end our dogs.  If breeding is about bettering the breed then we must consider the conformation of the dog which speaks directly to the correct underlying structure for optimum performance.

Nothing is more heartbreaking than to get a dog, spend two years just to put the foundation training on it and then have it break down somewhere along the line before you finish the program you had for that dog.  It is a very costly mistake also.  Conformation helps us and guides us in breeding so we have the best chance at long term success for the working dogs.

Standards are very specific on each and every part of the dog - head structure, dentention, ear set, stop, eye shape and size, topline, shoulder angulation, rear angulations, feet shape and size, neck tie in all of which affects the overall movement of the dog ..........all of it is a part of the dog that was developed for a specific purpose based on what that particular breed was developed for.  To say it is just a beauty pageant shows a complete lack of understanding of what the breed was originally designed for and the purpose each part of the dog fulfills.

It is far far more than just a beauty pageant although we are obsessed with the beauty and the thrill of a show like Westminister it goes far beyond that goes to the very heart and purpose of each breed.

That is the reason breeders are so passionate about their breed and its standard.  We must never stray far from the original purpose of the creation of the dog.  REGARDLESS of if today's society still uses the dog for that purpose or not the dog still must be structurally sound of mind, body and temperament.

Perhaps part of the reason we have misunderstood this important aspect of any breed is because the conformation ring is just that ............conformation (underlying structure and soundness) of any breed.
We all certainly love and are thrilled as we watch each breed - groomed to perfection move around the ring and show off the best of its breed.

If we did not have a written standard to follow then what would happen to breeds???  Correct size for optimum purpose -  everyone certainly agrees that to breed oversized dogs is detrimental to over all sound structure - the standard guide us and helps us stay within that standard size.

To say it is just a beauty pageant and then complain about some other aspect that you feel is not right does not make sense.  All is important ...All is vital to breeding dogs that are true and correct.  The next time you
hear it is just a "beauty pageant" ask them how many dogs they have bred that meet any standard????  Ask them how many dogs they have bred that have succeed in any venue??? Shocking you will usually hear NONE.  Don't fall into the trap of moaning, griping and complaining by those who are arm chair quarter backs and lack real drive and passion.  They are a part of the destruction of any breed not a part of the solution.  Let's get involved, Lets' breed better dogs,  Let's get a solid understanding of each and every part of the structure of the dog and its purpose.  It is a beauty pageant to end all beauty pageants and it is a vital part of what takes us soundly to the next generation.

Dobs4ever  - Dogs Under Fire!

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