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Discussion in 'Dog Showing' started by liza, Sep 24, 2010.
and if all judges judged to that standard all whippets would be fit for purpose :thumbsup:
hey thats nothing compared to some of the posts on here slagging of americans, australians telling people to sort their own backyards out etc, but we all know you wont report them to nigel as you did me for the post you've just quoted as after all its not posted by me, now how long before this post is deleted in line with the two tier system that exists on here? Thank god those members off here that go onto The Poachers Rest Forum dont get treated the same way.
Go on girls hit the report button
Don't bet on it! It's been done before today - I haven't seen you on the showing forum much before - so I guess you wouldn't have seen when certain posts by show people have been deleted or threads have been locked.
Honestly it's the "holier than thou" attitude that gets on people's goats.
The working/racing vs showing debate will go on forever but people who like to make out that they or they dogs are better than others simply because of what they do is annoying.
Let us pursue our individual hobbies and be happy and proud of what we achieve without saying the other side is worse than we are.
And be bloody proud we have a breed that can still excel at a range of activities.
On the stud dog question:
1. Temperament. The overwhelming majority of Whippets will spend most of their lives as companions first and foremost. Any temperament issue that detracts from that role shouldn't be bred. It worries me to see sharpness creeping in. You should be able to hold half a dozen strange whippets ringside with no issues between them and to have dogs that don't shy away from you.
2. Movement. This is a dog bred to run. If it can't move well, it can't perform its original function. The conformation of the breed exists to promote that movement so I put that here. Form follows function.
3. Size. Yes the breed is getting bigger (or so it seems). But IMO there are worse faults to focus on than size. I'd rather see a big dog than one that goes round the ring looking like a harness pony. Each to their own I suppose.
The question is does being able to move around the ring in the way that we want our dogs to move, indicates that the dog is nimble and fast enough to catch a rabbit? Or is the dog that moves like a hackney pony on trot, incapable of running fast after rabbit?
Good post .
I used to ride horses when I was younger :wacko: and I found those that `hackneyd `at the trot were certainly not as fast and fluent a ride when galloping , so mayby there`s the answer
but on saying that ive seen some appalling movers of racing greyhounds that could really shift(thoughI must admit to not being able to recall a real `high steppers `
Quite Agree Lana , makes you wonder why they bother to look on the SHOWING thread dosnt it
Maybe she just wanted to start a good discussion. Too bad it started to head down the usual route. If it can get back on track I think it's a good talking point, and there's been many good posts on it (if you can sort through the other stuff).
Maybe she's aware of that fact that being in the breed 30 years doesn't mean there's nothing left to learn from each other, no matter how long any of us has been in.
That hackney gait tells us one very obvious thing - the dog is too straight in front. The straight shoulder that allows draft horse breeds to pull well into a harness also restricts their reach. As they can't reach, they lift at the knee to allow for follow through from the driving hind legs.
A dog with no reach in the trot will have no reach at the gallop. A dog that is over muscled (starting to be a bit of an issue with 'chunky' dogs) will overheat sprinting and lack the flexibility to turn and corner.
A dog that is cow hocked cannot stop or turn quickly or easily (ask reining horse folk about that).
Horses bred to run have good lay of shoulder. Horses bred to stop and turn well are dead straight coming and going. A horse bred for speed has a true "daisy cutter" action with excellent reach and drive - and so does a good Whippet. The first sign of lift at the knees says that dog is not built as it should be.
A good Thoroughbred trainer can evaluate conformation on a yearling just watching it walk and jog around at the yearling sales. A good judge of a Whippet should be able to do the same seeing the dog stacked and gaited. And I'd say many can.
I have to say that with a horse background and coming from a different breed that the extended description of the breed standard in the book The English Whippet is the best one I have ever read for any breed. It describes WHY the dog should look how it should - head shape, neck length and shape, foot shape etc are all there for a reason. Fail to understand what the dog has been bred to do and you overlook important breed features in a plainer dog or allow critical faults to go through on a pretty one.
Show folk should still seek the same basic conformtion that allows working whippet folk to select their dogs. Maybe we show folk want all that and "pretty" as well but the Whippet that is not built to run is not asset to the breed regardless of its elegance, eye or coat colour.
Very well said. :thumbsup:
I've only been in Whippets for a heart beat but I do love true movement in animals bred to run.
My first Whippet was a pretty show girl TWA link, she had a fantastic side gait, but when i took her to races she was left far behind the other dogs, everytime. She had a plenty of prey drive and ran with passion, but fast she was not. It would be interesting if somebody could take some pics or even better make a little video of some top racing dogs gaiting. The standard says "built for speed" but the original Whippet was more than race dog, it was a hunting dog and so i would think more acurate description would have been "a nimble dog built for speed" or something along that line, because it does not matter how fast in straight line dog can run it would not have caught a rabbit or hare zigzaging around without being able to do fast turns. And the very fast dogs do not necesarily do so well in coursing and vice versa.
In any case most breeders do not breed show dogs to be build like the racing dogs or coursing dogs. The only way to prove the top winning show dogs are indeed bred for speed is to run them and see how fast they really are comparing to the race dogs, who according to us are not anatomically correct. Our standard still says that front angulation should be 90degrees, which is totally ridiculous. Not many people will still argue that all breeds should have 90 degrees, most accept that sighthounds need much more open angle. Just because the 90 degrees was accepted as a fact for the best part of the twentiest century, that does not mean it is correct.
I too was involved in equastrian sport; and I remember one particular horse; actually not quite a horse, more of a pony, bad tempered, little, fat and with short legs, ugly coarse head and dirty looking fly bitten white. When we first saw it we loughed. But it went like a rocket and very rarely knocked down a rail. It managed one clear course after other and at fantastic speed. But certainly not a horse I would have given a second look when looking for a show jumper.
There will always be horses (and dogs) that run better than their pedigrees and conformation suggest. Never underestimate the importance of spirit I reckon.
Friend of mine had a pony like that.. seemed to be built on springs. Took jumps that many a larger animal hesitated at. Ran on pure heart. I've heard many a person suggest that the ornery ones try harder.
You're bang on about the requirement to be nimble - no hare that lives long runs only in a straight line. No dog that can catch one will either.
yes i have been in dogs for over 40 years but we do learn thing every day about our own breed and other breeds and we do have our own opinions on what we are looking for in a dog / bitch for show and what sort of stud dog we want to use on our girls i choose a dog for size and yes it did work but it could have gone either way you never know what you will get when using a stud dog no matter how good he is or how good your bitch is i think its just luck
whippet fan I agree with most of what you have written except this
A dog that is over muscled (starting to be a bit of an issue with 'chunky' dogs) will overheat sprinting and lack the flexibility to turn and corner.
I live here on the fens you need a muscular dog to have the strength to pull its self through the turns, it needs muscle to cope with the strength needed to drive through the plough or the drilled land, I let the dogs out in the morning and there is often a hare or two in the garden , and see a lot of coursing, we also get to go on land the day after hare shoots, in order to look for the possible injured hares, and dogs without muscle never seem to have more then 1 or 2 runs in them.
Also regarding the overheating, I believe you are wrong there, as we all know panting is the dogs way of cooling down, all dogs pant, but (and I am talking working here) a dog develops more muscle the fitter it is gotten(to a point) now give me a very well put together show dog that is known to chase rabbits and a fit(muscular) non descript whippet that is also known to chase rabbits(I am not talking about catching just chasing) and they are both allowed to run together on the same rabbits, then the latter whippet will have its tongue away quicker than the former, it will also probably go on longer. jmo
I can see the working folks point to a degree. Using standards to evaluate the "best" dogs is not without pitfalls. We had a grey racer here that won 34k in prize money(which was alot in the early 90's) and was a fantastic courser. He would have never won a ribbon in the show ring. Was he a greyhound in the true sense of the word? you betcha. Would he of been a show dog champion? not a chance in hades.
But that is what "Breed Standards" are for when it comes to show dogs. How everyone interprets the standard is another kettle of fish alltogether. What someone perceives as a good powerful side gait, someone else may perceive as a German Sheppard gait. What someone perceives as a good topline, someone else may peceive it to be more akin to a boxer sloping topline or a topline flat enough you could throw a tea party on it. Every breeder thinks they have the "true" correct type when each line looks nothing like the other.
Anyway as far as stud dogs go:
I look for attributes in the dog that would compliment my bitch or have attributes that I want in my dogs. Does not necessarily mean I want to breed dogs that look like the stud. I don't get swayed by the current "it" dog or the dog that gets used the most at stud. I also prefer to use older mature whippets so I can see what they have thrown to other bitches and what dominant traits they tend to throw (good and bad). Temperament is paramount as most dogs do end up in pet homes with only a couple being run on as show prospects.
i bother to look because my interest and passion is with the breed not just my given discipline, i am anti showing but unfortunately due to the numbers bred by the show fraternity this is where the future of the standards sits
well said Masta
Here we go AGAIN!!! it is not just show people that breed!!!!
Some really interesting posts :thumbsup:
Given that my dogs chase those carrier bags so derided by some I'd be looking for a sire with spirit and stamina as well as correct conformation, typical whippet temperament and good health. I want a successful simulated coursing (and agility) dog, and a dog that I could show at KC champ shows without embarassment.
Re. stamina. I'm sure someone more knowledgable than me can better explain this but I'll give it a go for anyone who doesn't know what I'm wittering on about. Muscles contain a genetically determined mixture of both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers. There is some evidence in humans to suggest that training can cause muscle type to switch, but on the whole what you've got is what you're born with, so sire (and dam) become important here. Type I muscle fibres are fatigue resistant aerobic slow twitch fibres, i.e. they fire more slowly than fast twitch fibers so can fire for longer before they fatigue and are what is needed for endurance running over long distances. Type II muscle fibres are anaerobic fast twitch fibres, i.e. they fire more quickly than slow twitch fibres and allow the sprinter bursts of speed. Type II fibres are actually broken down in humans into types IIa (fatigue resistant oxidative-glycolytic) and IIb (fast fatiguing gyclolitic), but in dogs although there are also two distinct types of type II fibres (IIa and IIdog) they are both akin to type IIa in humans, they fatigue more easily than type I but they do not fatigue as quickly as the human type IIb. Whippets all have a much higher percentage of type II fibres than type I, but some whippet lines will have the right balance of fibre types for sprinters, e.g. straight racers, and others for endurance athletes, e.g. coursers or workers. I'd say the only way you can know which you're getting is to look at what activities the sire and dam excell at. So as I want an endurance dog (and we do agility as well where that's also important) I'd look for a sire that had proved he could do more than trot around a show ring, be he a working dog, coursing dog, agility dog, whatever (which is not a dig at folk who only show their dogs, just my answer to the question, which I hope makes sense).
Just realised I've described Finn (w00t) Bet he'd jump at the chance :lol: