Disparity of Type

 

 

 

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Kivalina...Quality Polish Lowland Sheepdogs and Siberian Huskies,USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disparity of Type

 by Andrea Erickson

 

 

As Gabby Hayes once proclaimed, “No brag Ma’am, jut fact”, and the fact is that dog breeding and exhibiting has become a fad, and that’s nothing to brag about.  Never have so many, who know so little, bred so much!  Have the few efforts to educate our breeders come too late?

 

Have you looked objectively in the ring at what constitutes a Polish Lowland Sheepdog today?  The shepherds of old would surely roll over in their graves!

 

“Selective Breeding” evidently, is a criterion presently ignored, if not long forgotten.  Granted, numerous dogs that you see are champion sired, but unfortunately, not champion quality.  Many are champion titled owing only to the status of the owner or handler, not their own attributes.  Majors are won by padding entries with all the dogs in the kennel, some long ago finished.  There is serious erosion in the breed.  To quote a philosopher in disguise, Charlie Brown, “We have met the enemy and he is us”!

 

Far too many specimens of mediocre Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are being bred and shown.  Far too many breeders obviously do not know what they are doing, and far too many exhibitors are quite satisfied to show dogs with very definite faults, improper coat, too much leg, out of proportion, poor movement, etc. and every type imaginable. 

 

This divergence of type perhaps is not so much the result of what is being produced so much as what is being selected to be shown.  The mark of a truly successful breeder is that he is a master of selection.  He has the ability to recognize and appreciate correct type. 

 

The essential reason for exhibiting a dog is that particular dog represents what a breeder considers to be an outstanding example in breeding characteristics of the breed according to the standard.  Therefore, this outstanding example will become breeding and foundation stock for future generations.  The standard of ALL breeds is the general standard of excellence and as dog breeders we have the responsibility of evaluating our dogs against our standard, point for point, and fault for fault, with each and every dog before we breed it or place it in the show ring.  However, those “breeders” who have insufficient or no knowledge of genetics, structure and the application of the standard are dooming the breed!  They practice a loose interpretation and improper application of the standard by blighting the ring with a “dash of this and that” variety.

 

In large measure, the inexperienced and unknowing breeder must take account for their contributing to the problem. 

 

The standard is a guide based on the characteristics for measuring against only the best dogs, the ideal or desired type to breed.  Breeders must breed to the standard, not gear the standard to the dogs being produced.  We need to assess our own motivation and egos and emerge from our snug cocoons of self- interest so that we can produce more sound representatives of the breed, while maintaining the type stipulated in our standard.

 

Is our standard too open?  Yes!  It is time to seriously revise the standard in terms and clarity.  In this way and through continued aggressive educational measures made available to everyone can the Polish Lowland qualities be preserved as well as perfected. 

 

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Kivalina...Quality Polish Lowland Sheepdogs and Siberian Huskies,USA