Showsight Express - July 1, 2021

Form Follows FUNCTION

BY STEPHANIE HEDGEPATH

W hy is side gait such an important characteristic of breed type? It is important simply because it proves the true structure of the dog. The correct profile is the most important breed characteristic of any breed. Why? Because we are to assess the dog as a whole, thus consid- ering all of the parts and how all of the parts relate, one to another, to make up the whole of the dog. As breeders, we must understand where the faults lie in each of our individual dogs because, as breeding stock, we must know what needs correcting in the next generation. With the long-awaited upstart of dog shows again, we are eagerly getting back to doing what we love to do—and that is to show dogs! Some of you are new to the sport and are trying to find your way in what can seem to be a complex new world. Hopefully, some of you have been in the sport for a very long time. This is a sport. It is a game we play, but a game, to us, that has a very serious outcome; the preservation of the many breeds of the purebred dog. As “show breeders,” we are charged with the preservation of our individual breeds for future generations of dog lovers to own and love these breeds as we do now. Do you think for even one minute that those who do not show their dogs, but either breed the occasional litter for fun and profit or who breed mostly for profit in order to supply the demand for the more popular breeds—and especially those who breed the exotic colors or patterns (which are NOT standard) or cross-breed two (or more!) breeds to dupe the public with “designer dogs” as “spe- cial” or “exotic” or “rare” to an uneducated public—would ever be able to answer the simple question, “What is your breed(s) most important breed characteristics? I would have to say the answer is NO. The important thing for all of us to remember is the purpose for which our breeds were developed and to do our very best to continual- ly breed toward these genes and not away from them. We must remain vigilant as we are battling for our very survival against the misinfor- mation concerning designer dogs and the propaganda of the animal rights movement. LET’S TALK ABOUT TYPE IN TWO BREEDS

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