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Breed Standards - who decides ?

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Jenny Olley, Jan 13, 2008.


  1. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    I have been following closely a lot of the threads on breeding, and while I agree with a lot of what is being said. I have a query it is often quoted "dogs should be bred as close to the breed standard as possible". Who decided this breed standard and does it remain the same or does it change ? In my sport which is a kc liscenced event, if we want rule changes, we take them to our rep,which then take them forward to the KC meeting, where they are voted on, if they are passed by the reps the rules change.

    Do your breed clubs have the power to change breed standards ?

    Some breeds do seem to have changed a lot in appearance, does this happen in response to the breed standard or is the standard altered.

    The colour of the Golden retriever seems to have altered dramatically, with them being cream to white.

    The GSD who now has a very sloped back, known quite rudely in working circles as dogs at the front and frogs at the back, with working dogs still being bred as straight backed as possible.
     
  2. Brainless

    Brainless Guest

    Standards are drawn up by breed clubs and agreed to by the governing canine body, the National Kennel Club.

    FCI countries all follow the breed standard originating in the country of origin.

    Changes in standards are rarely made, other than to make a point clearer or where some point being exaggerated causing health concerns, like Massive head in the original Bulldog standards.

    Breed standards were written with an ideal in mind that might have not been what the breed yet was like, or breeders may have changed the breed based on judges opinions for a preferred type, as the standards give enough room for varying styles of dogs that are still true to breed type.

    I think you will find less variation in type in the quality animals of a breed, than in a popular breed as a whole where the breed standards have often been largely ignored in cmmercial and pet breeding.

    On the other hand a breed like my own some dogs of 30 or more years ago would not look out of place in the ring today, adn soem of todays woudl ahve looked better in the ring then.

    Sometimes the style of dog winning in any decade will change, but the same types have always been around.

    My own breed for example has a desired height (rather than a range) so just over an inch over and a bit less than that under tends to be accepted, (and is actually stated under disqualifying in FCI countries).

    So you will find when a lot of the breed seem to be getting small, dogs that are taller will find favour, when too many seem to be too tall breeders strive to keep size down again and some of the smaller ones are less likely to be faulted.

    Leg length is another one many breeds call for a decent length of leg, but those wanting to do well with young dogs often do so with the ones with less leg who look good as pups, when the leggy ones as youngsters look gawky.

    With Patience the leggy ones will come into their own, but very few people have the Patience and the exhibit will no longer be shown, and perhaps not bred from, bearing in mind the average exhibitor is in the game or any of the working sports for five years or less, and few take the time to research the breed over time.

    Also when a trait is desirable there is a strange human failing to think more is better, and that is how exaggerations slowly creep in. the dog with more of what is desired is eye catching.

    This is how you get over coated, over angulated, exaggerated heads etc.

    This again really needs both judges and breeders to step back and look at their breeds as a whole so they can see if it is going in an undesirable direction as a whole.
     
  3. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for you interesting reply. I have never shown dogs, my only contact has been as reards to behaviour when things go wrong ie dogs not coping well in the ring, fear, aggression etc. It is good to hear that when "good" features become over exagerated they try to return them to the norm.
     
  4. Brainless

    Brainless Guest

    I think with so few people in breeds for the long haul compared to the past and kennels with more than a few animals being less common it is harder to see the bigger and long term picture.

    This is where the judges have the biggest responsibility as breeders especially less experienced ones will breed what wins.

    Fortunately most breeds have a core of knowledgeable caring breeders who will stick to what they have learned to be correct and weather the fashions, but it must be hard to do if the current fashion leans to a less correct dog, and your ultra correct ones finish up behind them.
     
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