I have covered something similar to this topic but not as detailed and eye opening as this post is going to be. We'll go into detail about different breeds of dogs of the past and present and the differences between breeding for shows vs. breeding for work.
Breeding for show means that one is breeding dogs strictly for show and not work. The American Kennel Club is one of the most well known dog registries in the nation with millions of dogs registered with their kennel club in their database. The American Kennel Club recognizes 175 breeds of dogs. There's things about the American Kennel Club that isn't good like the way they will register any breed of dog of the 175 breeds that they do recognize whether the dog is from a backyard breeder or mill.
I dread when the American Kennel Club recognizes a new breed of dog. When the American Kennel Club recognizes a new breed of dog it usually means the end for that specific breed. The dog will no longer be bred for work, the dog's ability and appearance will drastically change, the dog will no longer be able to perform nor will he have the abilities he was bred to have.
It's not just the American Kennel Club that one should be warned of. The Continental Kennel Club, American Canine Association and National Kennel Club are just a few out of many kennel clubs that one should be warned of as they are exactly like the American Kennel Club.
It's not just kennel clubs that are the problem, it's the people that are. There are some people who don't have a pedigree or papers on their dogs and some people breed just to have a litter or to make money meaning that even though these people aren't necessarily breeding for show, they are still breeding low quality dogs without an organized program, plans and goals. These dogs were not intended for work.
Let's take a look at a few of the breeds that the American Kennel Club recognizes.
Shar Pei: The Shar Pei is a distinct breed of dog that is known as a gladiator breed and was bred for hunting and fighting. The Shar Pei breed can no longer perform like he used to. He can no longer excel in work and be the working dog that he was bred to be. Let's take a look at some examples of the type of Shar Pei that the American Kennel Club recognizes as a breed.
I actually came across a Shar Pei not too long ago which was surprising as they are pretty uncommon around our area. The Shar Pei I saw was in horrible condition as it had a slope in its back which made it off balance and unable to walk evenly. The dog was an adult, but appeared to have some form of dwarfism. The dog was covered in wrinkles and so was the face to the point where the eyes of the dog were unseen. I blame the breeder of this dog but I also blame the owner. I blame the breeder for breeding such a dog in this shape. I blame the breeder for not taking the responsibility for this dog. I blame the breeder for breeding for selfish purposes and not to the standard nor for work. I blame the owner for allowing this dog to live in the condition he was in. If you've ever heard a pig snort, that's how this Shar Pei was breathing. This was one of the worst looking Shar Peis I have ever had the chance to come in contact with. I have come in contact with other Shar Peis but I still can't say anything good about them because they are not true to the breed. Have you actually ever seen a real Shar Pei before and actually had to chance to come in contact with one before? Do you even know what a Shar Pei should look like? Below are a few examples of what a real Shar Pei bred to the actual standard and for work look like.
I bet that you have never came in contact with a Shar Pei like the ones above. The real Shar Pei is hard to find. There's very few breeders of the real Shar Pei and the breeders of them are usually people who are breeding their dogs for working purposes which is good. It's sad to come in contact with people who own Shar Peis (not like the working ones, but the example of the American Kennel Club one and the one that I came in contact with) that have no knowledge on the breed like most people don't on any breed of dog that they own. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone say "Shar Peis were originally bred to be companion dogs and farm companions".
It's sad that so many breeds of dogs today can no longer perform, exceed and excel in working purposes.
Cocker Spaniel: The Cocker Spaniel is a beautiful breed of dog that was bred for hunting. I love Cocker Spaniels, I think they are really good breeds of dogs. I will be honest, I have a "soft spot" for Cocker Spaniels. A well bred working Cocker Spaniel set to the standard makes for a real good hunting dog. Cocker Spaniels have drastically changed through the years like all breeds of dogs have but have you taken the time to look at show bred Cocker Spaniels? For the older people out there, did you ever have a Cocker Spaniel as a child and if so, do you remember what he or she looked like and do you have pictures? Let's take a look at some show bred Cocker Spaniels, shall we?
Is this the type of Cocker Spaniel you remember having as a kid? I bet not. The breed has drastically changed for the worse. The dogs pictured above are bred strictly for show. The ears of the dog are much longer and the tail is shorter. The coat is longer, even covering the bottom of the dog's feet. The dog's skull is shaped differently and is almost considered smashed in a way. The dog has either a sloped or 'dented' back. The way these dogs walk cannot be compared to how the working dog walks. The show dog seems to be much shorter than the working dog. The show Cocker Spaniel is much different than the working Cocker Spaniel in the sense of appearance, performance, functionality, ability and genetics.
Let's take a look at Cocker Spaniels bred for work. Let's take a look at the real Cocker Spaniel.
Miniature Australian Shepherd: The Miniature Australian Shepherd was bred for selfish reasons like the American Bully. The Miniature Australian Shepherd and American Bully both originated because of selfishness (money). The American Kennel Club recognizes the Miniature American Shepherd (it's the exact same thing as a Miniature Australian Shepherd). The Miniature Australian Shepherd honestly has no purpose. Bad genetics are the cause to the Miniature Australian Shepherd.
I could also go on about those teacup Australian Shepherds because I constantly see advertisments for people breeding those mutts. Anything teacup has no purpose in life and was bred for selfish purposes by selfish people. The teacup Australian Shepherd is a mix between an Australian Shepherd (usually miniature) and a Chihuahua resulting in their tiny size.
Let's take a look at an example of a Miniature Australian Shepherd
Let's take a look at the working bred Australian Shepherd
Can you see the difference between the working Australian Shepherd and the show Miniature Australian Shepherd? There's a HUGE difference between the working and show Australian Shepherd and the working Australian Shepherd and the show Miniature Australian Shepherd.
The difference between show and work is appearance, functionality, ability and genetics. A dog bred for show has a different appearance than a dog bred for work. A dog bred for show isn't as functional as a dog bred for work. A dog bred for show doesn't have the abilities that a dog bred for work has. A dog bred for show has f***** up genetics unlike a dog who is bred for work.
If breeders would health test and cull, health issues and genetics could be more controlled preventing genetic issues or health concerns from passing on to the puppies. If breeders had goals and plans, most of today's dogs wouldn't be f***** up and would actually have a purpose. If breeders bred for work and to the standard, the dogs would have the appearance, functionality, ability and genetics that the breed was made to have. If breeders did not sell to every person with cash in their hands, the breed would be safe from stupid. If breeders are not worthy of respect, trustworthy or honest, don't expect his dogs to be. A good man once said "If you can't trust him, you can't trust his dogs".
Breeding for work doesn't mean breeding dogs specifically for weight pulling or wall climbing. Breeding for work means breeding for the following hunting, herding, Schutzhund/PP, search and rescue/tracking, sledding, racing/lure coursing and fighting depending on the breed of dog and its purpose. Weight pulling, wall climbing, hang time, conformation, etc., are a few named activities that a dog can do (wall climbing and hang time are activities that are most common with bully breeds, especially the bulldog).
I want to mention that the American Pit Bull Terrier is a great breed of dog and to this day is still being bred for work and gameness and the ones who breed this dog for what it should be bred for are the ones who are keeping this breed well and alive. Without the dogmen of the past, we would never have the great bulldog that we have today. People still breed the bulldog for what they originally were bred for and that is the [ ], in other words, gameness. There's very few breeders of this breed who are keeping this breed alive and those are the men that we have to thank as well as the dogmen of the past. The very few dogmen of today will not let this breed die.
Images are from:
Dog Breed Insight
Complete Dogs Guide
Photobucket - iguaani
Dogs In Depth
US. 123 RF
Working Cocker Spaniels
Buccleuch Gun Dogs
Working Aussie Source