Showsight August 2020



T his series is a discussion about the natural ten- sion that exists between how we view show dogs, field/working dogs and dual-purpose (show and work/field) dogs. The dog grouping last dis- cussed was the multi-sense hounds. This month, we will explore those questions for several functional groupings within the AKC Working Group. How does the evolved morphological form relate to past and/ or current function? How and why is it that some breeds have devel- oped different types for field/work and show? What are the actual or perceived similarities and differences between the purebred show dog and field/work dog? What have breeders done to breed dogs that can do the job for which they were intended, if it still exists, and if not, what simulations exist that are as close to the original intent as possible? Before standards were written for the Working Group breeds we recognize today, dogs were already being used and selectively bred to perform certain work. Multiple factors impacted the development of these breeds and their continued evolution, including geography, cli- mate and terrain, culture and customs, as well as type of work to be per- formed. Within this Group, we find breeds that serve as flock/livestock guardians, human/property guardians, farm dog/draft dog/watchdog, sled dogs, and other purposefully evolved dog breeds working in various jobs via snow, water, or big game hunting. In so many cases, the original purpose of the breed has been supplanted by technology and machinery, enabling man to do the dogs’ work faster and more efficiently at times. Still, there are dedicated breeders who continue to breed quality speci- mens that demonstrate the individual breed’s working abilities where the actual work, or a simulation, exists. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) has divided this grouping of dogs—all found in the AKC Working Group—mainly into two distinct groups: Spitz (FCI Group 5); and Molossian (FCI Group 2). Two of the breeds, Komondor and Kuvasz, fall into FCI Group 1


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