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What is the point of this?

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he told me is was rare for a bc to weigh over 50 lbs. At that point I knew I had to walk away before I lost it and started blessing the guy out in front of his son.

 

ugh... :rolleyes: i haven't been reading the forum for more than a month and i realize THAT!............what a pompous ass. if you're interested in your dogs naturally bred characteristics, it seems that you might wanna find out all of the representations of it. no matter what the mix, if there is one.

 

if i had a dog that was a spangreyhoundapoodlerman i would wanna understand all the aspects of the breeds it represented. if i had a ten foot tall yorkie......it would still be a yorkie.---just kidding :D , but you get my point.

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If someone has already said this- forgive me- I think I have read the whole thread but I'm not positive. :rolleyes: My issue with conformation show dogs, all of them not just BCs, is that they fall prey far too easily to stupid human fads. Using the QH analogy, I think rampant popularity has done a lot of harm to that breed, and show people have too. When I had friends who showed, little feet, low tail carriage and slow trots were the big thing with quarter horses. People were actually breeding for little feet- dumb! And the teacup muzzles on Arabs- dumb! I just hate to think of any breed of anything I like being subjected to those kinds of trends just because at one show it was a look a judge liked.

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I think that the "progress" the QH breed has made over recent decades is an allegory for what can (and is?) happening to the Border Collie, and it should serve as a warning about what happens when a breed is bred for something other than the purpose that made it great. You may produce a terrific horse or dog, but will it really be a Quarter Horse or a Border Collie, or will it be something else descended from Quarter Horses or Border Collies? That is my concern.

 

Thank you for clarifying. I went in a historical direction instead of a future direction and missed your point. You're seeing the breed split into several subraces with only one ability while I was still embracing the versatility. I'm too far away from today's reality to be aware of it. My memories of Quarters in the US are still my little girl dreams that drooled over just about any horse and over here we seem to have some pretty well-rounded stock yet--probably because most riders are playing at all disciplines and Danes can't afford to import top-of-the-line one-discipline stock.

 

It would really be a shame for the border collie (and for the quarter horse) to lose its original value. I think that has happened to many breeds in both species. How much has the German Shepherd been bred away from its original herd purposes to an aggressive guard dog with horrible hip problems? The Oldenborg was originally a work horse. Daisy is still the old heavy type but most today are lighter and sportier. The same has happened to the Norwegian Fjord. It isn't easy to find good breeding stock in the "old" style. People don't need a work horse anymore so the breeds are remade into a lighter riding horse but it often costs much of their stability, sturdiness, and temperment. Although Daisy can be a bit stubborn, she is also very patient. The lighter ones I've known are much more hot-headed. Daisy's way of letting me know she doesn't want more rides is to keep her distance in the pasture when she's had enough. She doesn't give me any trouble under saddle. She takes no advantage no matter how bad a day I'm having (my hip popped out one day in the woods and she carried me calmly home on primarily voice commands and stood still as a statue while I climbed off. the others I'd known would have run off with me in that situation and has been known to do so to her owner and to run her owner down).

 

Sorry, babbling again.

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Guest pax

Bexie, is it that cold blooded mare you posted a pic of that you are thinking about breeding down the road?

 

Or the one that's away in training?

 

 

In either case, I can understand why you are struggling with the conformation standard vs performance issue. For horses, here's what I would look at...

 

I WOULD check the conformation. I would want to know the horse I am breeding is set up to do the job correctly. There are some structural defects that just cannot be worked around, no matter how keen or wonderful the horse is.

 

So I guess when I'm looking at a breeding, confirmation plays a huge part, but not because I want them to look a certain way. I want to know they will be capable of performing their job if all things go well.

 

There's a MINIMUM comformation standard. Once they pass that, then you decide if their performance (work ability, whatever) is good enough to consider passing it on. I'm not talking about craziness like measuring the exact angle on a hock. I'm saying, you don't breed something whose pasterns are lying on the ground, no matter how well it jumps.

 

You could just as easily look at it the other way around. IF it's in the top 10% (or pick any arbitrary number you like for the sake or argument) in it's arena whatever it is, say, show jumping, well then yes, it's worth looking at breedability. Then you look at it's conformation and decide if there's anything there you just can't risk passing down.

 

 

QH's are ubiquitous and cheap around my neck of the woods, they are written off as "grade" most of the time. As much as I really like the typical QH sensible attitude and general affability, I avoid them like the plague, because it's a rare QH in this day and age that is sound past 10 years without a lot of help. What modern conformation breeding has done to a QH's feet and legs is about akin to what AKC breeding has done to the German Shepherd's hind end. Those of you with sound QH's, get back to me when the thing hits it's teens. Bar shoes, laminitis, bute, isoxsuprine, and more bute, until you colic it or end up nerving it to make it comfortable. No thanks. Not to mention the whole HYPP thing. Holy crap. No wonder they just show them in halter. If my horse was likely to start twitching and then fall out from underneath me, I'd stop riding the thing too.

 

It takes a year to grow a foot from top to bottom. I hope you see improvement in your girl's feet before that. If she weren't QH, I'd say pull her shoes, keep her off the really hard ground, and let her do it her ownself, with regular trimming. Then you'd really see what you've got. As she's QH and likely to do that whole founder thing up front if she's left barefoot, maybe that's not an option. Failing that, an x ray can eliminate a lot of questions about what you're seeing in terms of natural conformation as opposed to poor shoeing.

 

 

 

 

 

PS..."nerving" is cutting the nerves to the feet. You know what it's like walking around on a foot that's gone to sleep? Similar. I don't let my kids ride things that have been nerved, I think it's dangerous. Some people do, though.

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Maria -

 

"I would prefer judging how these dogs got to be who and what they are. I don't much care if people get their feelings hurt and Eileen once pointed out that the dogs don't really read the board so it shouldn't matter, but it does to me."

 

And herein lies the problem. No offense, but it's not about you. Westminster, by its very nature, judges dogs on appearance. These dogs were bred solely for their appearance. When watching them in the ring, people are not going to say, "Oh, Maria doesn't want their feelings hurt, so let's talk about how these dogs got to be who and what they are, and not what they look like." People will judge them on appearance, and they should, considering that's what they are intended for and that's what the people who show them strive for. They don't want you to talk about how they got to be who and what they are. All they care about is how the dog looks. And the people on this board are judging them by what they see also, which is to be expected. This is a working dog board.

 

To me, I won't comment on how they look, as how they look pracing around the arena doesn't matter to me. Do I love them? Yes, I love all dogs. But all dogs can be trained to prance around the ring. With the more dogs I see, own and train to work livestock, the stronger my feelings get about being "bred to work." The whole versatility thing is a farce, going to a puppymill with "working lines" you might get lucky but probably not, but once you've owned a dog that was honestly bred solely on working ability and you quickly see that it knows why it was put here, there is nothing like it in the world. The raw talent blows my doors off.

 

Yesterday, I felt the irony of apologizing for unintentionally insulting someone on a working dog board who owns a show dog. I don't think I should have to worry about that every time I mention conformation in general on this board. It breaks my heart to watch a dog that appears to be a Border Collie bouce bouce bouce and bark bark bark when working livestock, and if I can't discuss it on the "working" dog board I belong to, where am I supposed to go? I think we should all be speaking out against conformation, whether people take it personally or not.

 

Jodi

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Those of you with sound QH's, get back to me when the thing hits it's teens.

 

Pax,

 

I can get back to you right now. I have 6 mares here--20-27 years old, all sound. All barefoot living out their lives here in pasture , after a career of being reined cowhorses then broodmares. All excellent working horse bloodlines. The AQHA horse you must know is that other AQHA horse, bred for halter. Just like the Border Collie there are differences within the breed. My horses are bred for form to funtion and they do at a high level. It's just that my idea of form to function is different that the halter horse world, just as my working Border Collies look different than the show dogs.

 

Carolyn

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Okay, I'm not really the grammar and spelling police, but please, it's confOrmation, not confIrmation. A small thing, I know, but it's gets very distracting when it's done repeatedly.

 

Bo Peep,

I'm not picking on you with the following comments, because I think your philosophies have changed from back when you bred litters, but because so many lurkers read these threads, I want to comment on something you said. Please don't take it personally. When someone says something like "My dog would have been much better as a stockdog if it hadn't been held back by a handler like me," when discussing breeding worthiness of the dog, it makes me cringe. It is NOT a valid argument and is in fact the very argument nearly always used by the conformation/show set to explain away why their dogs are not worked to a high standard, if at all. We've all heard the argument, "I'm sure my dog would excel in open trials if only I had the time/skill/money/________(fill in the blank)" and that's just a justification with no basis in fact.

 

There are exceptions to that, of course. If a big hat or two sees my dog working even though it's still in, say, P/N (being held back by me, of course :rolleyes: ) and suggests breeding it to his/her dog because of all the potential s/he sees in my dog, then I might be swayed by that, but only if said big hat is also planning to take/keep a pup or two out of the litter. Likewise if a well-experienced mentor--someone who really knows the dogs and the work--makes such a suggestion I might take it into consideration. But anyway, my point to anyone else reading this is that claiming lack of personal ability as a reason why your dog can't prove itself to a high standard and therefore justifying breeding that dog because "otherwise it would be a star" is not valid.

 

J.

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Okay, I'm not really the grammar and spelling police, but please, it's confOrmation, not confIrmation. A small thing, I know, but it's gets very distracting when it's done repeatedly

 

 

Bless you :rolleyes:

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Those of you with sound QH's, get back to me when the thing hits it's teens.

 

Pax,

 

I can get back to you right now. I have 6 mares here--20-27 years old, all sound. All barefoot living out their lives here in pasture , after a career of being reined cowhorses then broodmares. All excellent working horse bloodlines. The AQHA horse you must know is that other AQHA horse, bred for halter. Just like the Border Collie there are differences within the breed. My horses are bred for form to funtion and they do at a high level. It's just that my idea of form to function is different that the halter horse world, just as my working Border Collies look different than the show dogs.

 

Carolyn

 

 

I submit to you that the QHs that were being bred two or three decades ago are not the ones I'm seeing every day, now. I am well aware, as are most here, that there is a difference between working animals and fou fou ones. Twenty seven generations can make a lot of difference.

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Two things here, since JULIE started it, and Celia, it's just because you wrote it, but it's for everyone... It's froufrou, not foufou!

 

Phew, now that the housekeeping is done, I would like to comment on the cutting horses, and just how awed I am by them, seriously. I cannot believe what athletes they are, and does anyone here have any experience on them? If you want to take it to coffee break, that's cool too.

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When someone says something like "My dog would have been much better as a stockdog if it hadn't been held back by a handler like me," when discussing breeding worthiness of the dog, it makes me cringe. It is NOT a valid argument and is in fact the very argument nearly always used by the conformation/show set to explain away why their dogs are not worked to a high standard, if at all. We've all heard the argument, "I'm sure my dog would excel in open trials if only I had the time/skill/money/________(fill in the blank)" and that's just a justification with no basis in fact.

 

Ha! I was just recently schooled about this very thing. Well, not this very thing, as I wasn't planning to breed my Taz dog, but I was lamenting the fact that my noviceness was holding back Taz (this part is true, but not unique to us) and that Taz would surely have been an open dog within a year or two if he had a better handler from the start. I was talking to two friends who are themselves open handlers and have had countless dogs between them who have suffered their own handling along the way. One of them shook her head and said "Laura, that may well be true, but you absolutely cannot say that at this point. Taz is where he is right now, and he has loads of potential, but honestly you have no idea whether he is capable of running open right now. There are way too many variables you haven't begun to uncover yet."

 

It shut me up pretty quick :rolleyes:

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Maria -

 

"I would prefer judging how these dogs got to be who and what they are. I don't much care if people get their feelings hurt and Eileen once pointed out that the dogs don't really read the board so it shouldn't matter, but it does to me."

 

And herein lies the problem. No offense, but it's not about you. Westminster, by its very nature, judges dogs on appearance. These dogs were bred solely for their appearance. When watching them in the ring, people are not going to say, "Oh, Maria doesn't want their feelings hurt, so let's talk about how these dogs got to be who and what they are, and not what they look like." People will judge them on appearance, and they should, considering that's what they are intended for and that's what the people who show them strive for. They don't want you to talk about how they got to be who and what they are. All they care about is how the dog looks. And the people on this board are judging them by what they see also, which is to be expected. This is a working dog board.

 

To me, I won't comment on how they look, as how they look pracing around the arena doesn't matter to me. Do I love them? Yes, I love all dogs. But all dogs can be trained to prance around the ring. With the more dogs I see, own and train to work livestock, the stronger my feelings get about being "bred to work." The whole versatility thing is a farce, going to a puppymill with "working lines" you might get lucky but probably not, but once you've owned a dog that was honestly bred solely on working ability and you quickly see that it knows why it was put here, there is nothing like it in the world. The raw talent blows my doors off.

 

Yesterday, I felt the irony of apologizing for unintentionally insulting someone on a working dog board who owns a show dog. I don't think I should have to worry about that every time I mention conformation in general on this board. It breaks my heart to watch a dog that appears to be a Border Collie bouce bouce bouce and bark bark bark when working livestock, and if I can't discuss it on the "working" dog board I belong to, where am I supposed to go? I think we should all be speaking out against conformation, whether people take it personally or not.

 

Jodi

 

I agree, we should all be speaking out against conformation and the mentality which allows (and strives for) a dog to be judged and bred for/by its looks. It's that very essence that makes me respond every time someone on this board does that very thing, judges based on looks when everyone keeps saying that a BC should not be judged on looks but work.

 

Sure, that's what the conformation mentality is all about and if it's what you want to speak out about, please don't let me stop you because it's neither insulting nor threatening to me personally, I just don't see the need when so many different and more applicable arguments can be made, and have been made thereafter in this thread. When you decide to comment on looks simply because the show people and their mentality put looks before functionality it's like saying, "well, they do it, why shouldn't I?" But they do a lot of things we don't want ...... why lower ourselves to their standard when so many positive arguments can be made for why dogs should not be bred and judged for looks.

 

Even though we're going round and round, we're really on the same side of this argument Jodi. We just have a slightly different opinion as to how it should be expressed and for what it's worth, I'm not on any AKC type BC lists but if I were and someone commented negatively on the looks of a working BC, my objection would be just as heartfelt. The reason I enjoy this list is that I've come to expect "more" from the people here rather than less....

 

Maria

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Ha! I was just recently schooled about this very thing. Well, not this very thing, as I wasn't planning to breed my Taz dog, but I was lamenting the fact that my noviceness was holding back Taz (this part is true, but not unique to us) and that Taz would surely have been an open dog within a year or two if he had a better handler from the start. I was talking to two friends who are themselves open handlers and have had countless dogs between them who have suffered their own handling along the way. One of them shook her head and said "Laura, that may well be true, but you absolutely cannot say that at this point. Taz is where he is right now, and he has loads of potential, but honestly you have no idea whether he is capable of running open right now. There are way too many variables you haven't begun to uncover yet."

 

It shut me up pretty quick :rolleyes:

That's a good story Laura. I think that one could also say that a truly good one might just be able to pull it's "incompetent" handler along with it, at least in some cases (a good one would certainly be able to compensate for many handler failings)....

 

J.

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"Little Bunny Fou Fou, hopping through the forest, scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head." :rolleyes:

 

Fou fou is French, it means, a little silly.

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Even though we're going round and round, we're really on the same side of this argument Jodi. We just have a slightly different opinion as to how it should be expressed and for what it's worth, I'm not on any AKC type BC lists but if I were and someone commented negatively on the looks of a working BC, my objection would be just as heartfelt. The reason I enjoy this list is that I've come to expect "more" from the people here rather than less....

 

Maria, I have to respectfully disagree. I don't think we're on the same side of anything, otherwise, this conversation would not have ensued. Let me get this straight ... conformation is a beauty contest ... dogs are judged solely on looks alone ... I post a link to a video of a conformation show ... and all the people on THIS board are supposed to rise above ... be the better people ... and not state the obvious ... i.e. the dogs are fat, they have very short legs, bodies too long, too much coat, blank stare, "Barbie Collie," "Golden Retrievers in Tuxedos," etc. ... when breeding for conformation robs the breed we love of everything we love about the breed, we are all supposed to not "lower ourselves" by discussing the physical traits we see ... but we're supposed to talk about these other reasons why these dogs should not be bred (I assume you're talking about the overt lack of instinct and/or working ability), but those other reasons are not obvious in the ring they are pranced around in. To say they are would be nothing short of hypocritical.

 

I want some of whatever it is you're smoking. :rolleyes:

 

And if a conformation snob ever called one or all of my dogs ugly, I would take it as nothing less than a compliment. I would much rather have my dogs called "ugly" ... than "a very poor example of the breed."

 

Jodi

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Bexie, is it that cold blooded mare you posted a pic of that you are thinking about breeding down the road?

 

That cold blood is a pure Oldenborg. Old-style. ;-) She's already had a couple foals and isn't going to be bred anymore because she's over 20.

 

It's my Quarter I'm thinking of.

 

I will start a coffee thread so I don't drag this further off topic. then we can also get into cutting horses. :-)

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Froufrou refers fussy or showy or frilly ornamentation- so I take that to be applicable when talking show dogs/horses. Of course fou fou being silly, that is implied :D

 

"Little Bunny Fou Fou, hopping through the forest, scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head." :rolleyes:

 

Fou fou is French, it means, a little silly.

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Okay, I'm not really the grammar and spelling police, but please, it's confOrmation, not confIrmation. A small thing, I know, but it's gets very distracting when it's done repeatedly.

 

Yes, it is, and I think I'm the worst error maker. Thank you for editing me. It is correct in my brain, but my fingers were doing a very bad job of thinking for themselves. I'd cut them off to put an end to their horrid work, but I fear the bloody stumps would make even more a mess of things.

 

I really do appreciate your pointing it out as such errors annoy me dreadfully too. I will try to type better in the future. :-)

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"Foo foo" is also West African, same idea. :rolleyes:

 

I don't think anyone needs to apologize for criticism of conformation bred dogs that have ended up being the exact opposite of utilitarian. I was scrubbing and grooming Drift's huge coat yesterday and thinking of thse puffballs and excaliming to myself, "What on earth were they thinking? How is this kind of coat useful?!?"

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Good point on the coat thing Rebecca- I know that where the BC was developed, harsh weather was to be considered, but for a busy farmer, keeping all that coat free from brambles couldn't have been easy. I LOVE slick coated dogs for that reason!

 

 

"Foo foo" is also West African, same idea. :rolleyes:

 

I don't think anyone needs to apologize for criticism of conformation bred dogs that have ended up being the exact opposite of utilitarian. I was scrubbing and grooming Drift's huge coat yesterday and thinking of thse puffballs and excaliming to myself, "What on earth were they thinking? How is this kind of coat useful?!?"

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Bo Peep,

I'm not picking on you with the following comments, because I think your philosophies have changed from back when you bred litters, but because so many lurkers read these threads, I want to comment on something you said. Please don't take it personally. When someone says something like "My dog would have been much better as a stockdog if it hadn't been held back by a handler like me," when discussing breeding worthiness of the dog, it makes me cringe. It is NOT a valid argument and is in fact the very argument nearly always used by the conformation/show set to explain away why their dogs are not worked to a high standard, if at all. We've all heard the argument, "I'm sure my dog would excel in open trials if only I had the time/skill/money/________(fill in the blank)" and that's just a justification with no basis in fact.

 

There are exceptions to that, of course. If a big hat or two sees my dog working even though it's still in, say, P/N (being held back by me, of course :rolleyes: ) and suggests breeding it to his/her dog because of all the potential s/he sees in my dog, then I might be swayed by that, but only if said big hat is also planning to take/keep a pup or two out of the litter. Likewise if a well-experienced mentor--someone who really knows the dogs and the work--makes such a suggestion I might take it into consideration. But anyway, my point to anyone else reading this is that claiming lack of personal ability as a reason why your dog can't prove itself to a high standard and therefore justifying breeding that dog because "otherwise it would be a star" is not valid.

 

J.

 

I didn't take offense to your post Julie. Those breeding's were many years ago and in fact it was Bob Applebee that offered me $1,000 for the female that I bred. He offered me that money after she messed up at a trial and saw potential in her and I probably should have sold her instead of bred her. But I loved her. I have learned a lot since then and I thought by sharing my mistakes it would help others. My male came from Kathy Brunetto's Skye and was litter mate to Cliff Steelman's Raymond. THAT'S how long ago we're talking about- LOL. By the time I got around to teaching my dogs how to drive I got divorced and literally "lost the farm".

 

I really have to agree with Jodi on this one. I think it doesn't matter what your dog looks like as long as it does what it is supposed to do.

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Even though we're going round and round, we're really on the same side of this argument Jodi. We just have a slightly different opinion as to how it should be expressed and for what it's worth, I'm not on any AKC type BC lists but if I were and someone commented negatively on the looks of a working BC, my objection would be just as heartfelt. The reason I enjoy this list is that I've come to expect "more" from the people here rather than less....

 

Maria, I have to respectfully disagree. I don't think we're on the same side of anything, otherwise, this conversation would not have ensued. Let me get this straight ... conformation is a beauty contest ... dogs are judged solely on looks alone ... I post a link to a video of a conformation show ... and all the people on THIS board are supposed to rise above ... be the better people ... and not state the obvious ... i.e. the dogs are fat, they have very short legs, bodies too long, too much coat, blank stare, "Barbie Collie," "Golden Retrievers in Tuxedos," etc. ... when breeding for conformation robs the breed we love of everything we love about the breed, we are all supposed to not "lower ourselves" by discussing the physical traits we see ... but we're supposed to talk about these other reasons why these dogs should not be bred (I assume you're talking about the overt lack of instinct and/or working ability), but those other reasons are not obvious in the ring they are pranced around in. To say they are would be nothing short of hypocritical.

 

I want some of whatever it is you're smoking. :rolleyes:

 

And if a conformation snob ever called one or all of my dogs ugly, I would take it as nothing less than a compliment. I would much rather have my dogs called "ugly" ... than "a very poor example of the breed."

 

Jodi

 

I don't smoke anything at all and quite honestly, I think you're reacting solely to the fact that I disagreed with you and pointed out that your initial post didn't ask for anything constructive and wasn't initially met with anything constructive. You continue to manipulate my intent to suit the argument to your needs when the conversation could have been, "why are these dogs being bred to have short legs, long backs, long coats, and symetrical markings. Even so far as to say "why are people breeding for this ugliness" if that's how you deem it but that wasn't the conversation that ensued until I popped in and the discussion actually changed. Hey, if you find it constructive to sit around and talk about fat ugly dogs that you see on a video instead of focusing on the breeding behind it, it doesn't much matter to me.

 

And for the record, you assumed wrong, I never said those physical traits shouldn't be discussed but that it made more sense to discuss them in the context of why these dogs were bred. But that's my opinion and I'm entitled to state it in this and all future Westminster posts. :D

 

 

Maria

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We are counting on you Maria! :rolleyes:

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