So, if anyone has ever met me, you can totally testify to the fact that I am a complete and total nerd. As a breeder, it is my goal to produce functional working dogs, which includes the artistic/scientific endeavor of going into creating perfect dog…
Important Things (In no particular order)
- Structure and Movement
- Mental Resilience
Several of these things are very complicated, rooted in generations of pedigrees, behavior, environmental conditions, and maturity (which is why researching pedigrees is super important in the ACD world). However, structure is one of the “easiest” elements to look at, and structure is probably one of the smallest parts of the equation to the best working dogs.
And by easy… meaning that it is very nuanced, complicated, and full of functional tradeoffs, priorities, and subtle differences, and it can take an entire lifetime to understand in practice.
There are judges out there who study all things dog structure and anatomy. But, in the case of the cattle dog, there is a few pages of paper dictating the Breed Standard. it is our job, as breeders, especially those of us who are focusing on working and performance dogs, to get this into reality. The cattle dogs also have a Working Standard, that talks a lot about their working style.
But, conformation as a sport developed to evaluate breeding stock, as body structure can be related to overall health and longevity. If the dogs are going to be working all day, they need to have the movement and balance, and the correct type to do the work.
I am one who has an absolute passion about talking dogs, and I love it when people who are knowledgeable talk about form, structure, and what makes a good dog. Not everyone has the same interpretation of these standards, but this is one trait that we can look at and look for in the real world.,
So, I decided to actually work toward getting the license to be a judge. It is something that may or may not ever happen, but I am so glad I decided to go the March Raleigh Cluster. It was my first experience getting my hands on and really understanding the process. I also got to ask many questions to the legendary Carole Brown, who I am ever so glad came into my life.
On to living my dreams!