Page 44 - ShowSight Express, June 8, 2020
P. 44

  The breeder, however, must score differ- ently: Knowing full well the importance of “type,” he must still pursue “soundness” as though it was of equal importance; for to him it is. Without soundness his type will degener- ate. In fact, he must occasionally sacrifice type for soundness, for only in this way will he, in the end, produce perfection. But never, never, must he sacrifice “soundness” for “type”, for in so doing he will turn against nature; and in all our efforts to produce an individual type of dog, we must have nature working with us. Only nature’s rules can make a creature’s beauty both useful and secure.
As both a practicing breeder and a judge, I find the above paragraph to be quite inter- esting. We all know that the judge should seek the dog that exhibits the most breed character (look for the most virtues) and the breeder should have a firm grasp on
the most important breed characteristics that make its dog unique from all others, as well. But the breeder had darn well better know which faults they have in their breed- ing stock, so that they can try to fix them in the next generation! What good does it do us to have a dog with a stunning head- piece if the dog cannot perform well enough to acquit the duties it was developed to do in the first place? As a judge, I just have to know that the dog has a fault and to what degree that fault weighs in against the dog’s virtues. As a breeder, I must know the ‘whys and whats’ of the fault–why is it where it is and what is causing it? So, if a judge decides to put up a dog with a beautiful head, he is correct in doing so, as he is going first and foremost for what in most breeds is the best indicator of breed type. If a judge decides to put up the dog with the overall best outline
and movement, but may be lacking in head type (but still identifiable as its breed), then that judge is also correct, for he is helping to preserve the working abilities of the breed in question. What any and all judges would far rather do is find the dog with the stun- ning head that is undeniably recognized as its breed from its silhouette and can move in the exact manner dictated by its breed’s structure. But this is not a dream world and we know that all dogs (like all people) have faults. What we should all continue to endeavor to do is produce a dog that looks like its breed, acts like its breed and moves like its breed–the complete package. For if we do not, then why have differing breeds at all?
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