Monday, November 28, 2011

Sausage Heads

I own a fairly comprehensive library of not only vintage Airedale books but also a bunch more on various other hunting breeds. One of the things I find interesting is the evolution in physical characteristics of a breed as it is refined over the years.

I would like to believe that most dog breeder's ultimate goal when they make a mating is to make their breed of choice better in every way they can, but of course the way the dogs are used will be a major determining factor.

In reality most show people will be slanted toward conformation and looks where performance breeders such as hunters will be looking more at how the dog produces in the field.

Sometimes things breeders do with dogs start getting out of hand and some breeds end up being distinctly different in both looks and performance. In some breeds like Hounds, they remain relatively unscathed by the show crowd. Other breeds like the English Bull Dogs, they are so screwed up they can not even mate naturally.

In my opinion it all stems from the breed moving away from and not participating in the jobs and work they were originally developed and bred to do.

Below are a couple of photos of Airedales that were on a calendar I received as a gift, I was left not only scratching my head but I was also angry. Take a look a the heads on these dogs, their skulls are barely wider than their muzzle, and look at the muzzle length, they almost appear "Anteater" like. As the tennis player John McEnroe would say "You Can't Be Serious", I am trying to figure out what the hell are these people thinking??

Sorry but this is no improvement of the Airedale breed and I sure hope this narrow headed conformation fad falls out of any kind of favor and goes by the wayside!!

Below those two are some photos illustrating my point, first one of those calendar photos compared to my big Mooreland hunting bred Airedale, below them an old time Airedale from 1899 and another current Airedale from hunting lines, wider heads and medium length muzzles.

I want to see some space between the ears with room for brains and power, when that Mooreland dog chomps down, bones start breaking,  I will take the old fashioned heads any day, the breed founders knew what they were doing!!

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