The Measure of Balance Amongst Dog Breeds

Why do breed standards differ on their definition of balance?

By | Posted: Thu Jun 23 00:00:00 PDT 2005

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Thank you, Basenjis. Contrast that with the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, whose length "from top of shoulders to root of tail is one to two inches less than twice the height." That takes a little extra thought.

The Solution
The solution to this confusion is a challenge. Most of us tend to become complacent about the breeds we judge. We have to be cautious, as parent clubs tend to change standards to meet the market of the day rather than the classic, original definitions of the breed. A good example of this is the Brussels Griffon. Originally the Griffon was described as square, with the length measured from the withers to the base of tail, which would be equal to its height. This resulted in the classic boxy, square dog that was easily distinguishable from its cousin, the Affenpinscher, whose length was measured from the point of shoulder to the point of the buttocks, giving it a slightly different square look. In 1990 the Griffon standard was changed to match the Affen standard so t hat their "squareness" is the same, rather than the distinctive difference that was once apparent.

Many judges complain about educational requirements. Imagine the uproar if judges were required to attend institutes to refresh their eyes and brains on the dogs they judge. There will not be consistency in our breed standards, so judges and breeders must take the responsibility for filling in the blanks left by the written standards.

 

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