Friday, April 24, 2015

U -- Undesirables (Faults and DQs)

As I mentioned before, the Breed Standard is a written description of what the ideal dog should be. All the standards list what is considered a fault in that breed as well as what would be a disqualification. For example, under color the German shepherd standard states:
The German Shepherd Dog varies in color, and most colors are permissible. Strong rich colors are preferred. Pale, washed-out colors and blues or livers are serious faults. A white dog must be disqualified.
Knowing this, I wouldn't purchase a pale, blue, liver or white German shepherd puppy if I wanted to compete in AKC conformation.

Faults are divided into minor and major faults. Minor faults are things that can be easily corrected in the next generation through careful breeding. An example of this might be a dog's coat texture. Major faults would include structural problems (undershot jaw) and temperament (overly timid or aggressive).

AKC rules aside . . .
Certain things are automatic disqualifications (DQs):
  • A dog that bites a judge
  • A dog that attacks anybody in the ring
  • A dog that has been sterilized
  • A dog that does not have both testicles
  • A dog who's appearance has been changed by artificial means

Some DQs are breed specific. For example a dog may:
  • Be too tall/short
  • Be too heavy/light
  • Be the wrong color
  • Have missing teeth
  • Have a misaligned bite
  • Have cropped ears/ears that don't stand up naturally
  • Have a docked/undocked/poorly docked tail
  • Have a nose that isn't predominantly black
It's imperative that you read your Breed Standard. You should know your dog's strengths and weaknesses before entering the ring. According to the AKC: "A judge can't excuse a dog for a non-disqualifying fault." That's mean you can still show your dog, though there's a chance you won't win. And if your wonderful puppy grows up to be outside breed standards (it happens) consider entering him in other dog sports. You can try conformation again with your next puppy. See you at the show! -- K

Tomorrow's Topic: Vaccinations, Diseases and Parasites

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