Each purebred breed was created with a purpose to do a specific task. Either it’s hunting, guarding, herding or companionship – like being there for royals to warm their hands when heating wasn’t yet available.
Each breed currently present has its own breed standard that indicated what body structure, coat type/colour, temperament, working qualities, movement is required for a particular breed.
All these parts are important for each breed type, and the overall silhouette. This is how we differentiate one breed from another and this is what each preservation breeder is working towards – that dog that will possess all the components of it’s standard.
Standard also provides a blueprint to keep track of a breeding program and dog shows were created so the dogs used in breeding can be evaluated by the professional breed judges. ⠀
•Coat colour – in some it may be a camouflage (eg. Chesapeake Retriever is Chocolate to better camouflage with environment while retrieving) or for better visibility (eg. Boarder Collie’s white patterns “highlight” the dog and makes it easier for shepherds to see them in twilight). Disqualified colours are those that either minimize working capability of the dog or are knows to introduce new illnesses/defects to the breed. Like it is in Chihuahuas or French Bulldogs – incorrect breeding of merle may cause genetic diseases/issues as blindness, deafness, skin issues, structural defects, etc. Therefore, after many years of selective breeding some colours were eliminated from some of the breeds. ⠀
•Working quality – naturals instincts in some and level of trainability in others that determine how well the dog will perform the task it was originally bred to do. I would like to highlight, that no one is forcing the dogs to do the work, after years and years of selective breeding we now enjoy the luxury of having a big variety of breeds that ENJOY working, this is what they were bred to do and that’s what they feel most comfortable doing…. You can’t get a Belgian Malinois and just have it as a family pet expecting it to sit all day at home, this dog needs a TON of mental work, it needs and loves learning new things and using its brain, besides physical exercising. That’s why it is widely used by police. Or a Pekingese that was bred to sit by Royals and enjoy all the royal treatments without any rush or worry in the life can’t be you next jogging partner.
•Temperament is very important in every breeding program, for many preservation breeders is of higher importance than other points. We all understand that in our time most people have dogs mainly as family pets, therefore each kennel is working towards having puppies with suitable for family living temperaments while still maintaining the type and working abilities of the breed (which may be pretty complicated to accomplish with some breeds due to their historical work)⠀
•Movement/ Body Structure – This is highly important and is so underrated by people looking for “just a pet”. When a dog has a correct to it’s breed conformation (structure) it has better and much healthier life far to its elderly years either as a pet or a performing/working dog. For example, good shoulder angle provides a good reach at the trot that allows a dog to have a smooth and effortless movement. It evenly spreads the weight of the body reducing the chance of joint issues and other possible problems found in aging dogs. These are the same reasons why cow hocks are always eliminated from breeding, it creates uneven weight distribution and adds more tensions and weight in the bones.
Each component of body structure is highly important and conformation should be considered by a person looking for a pet. It is important for all breeds either hunting or companion.