question to those who know purebred dogs

luvdogsSeptember 20, 2009

When it comes to "conformation variations" - when is something a "major fault" and when does the deviation denote that the dog is a mixed breed?

For example, i have a Neo that i got at the dog pound. I totally believe he is a purebred though his tail is a major fault. She's just not a "good quality" purebred.

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Purebred has to do with parentage. When both parents are papered and registered, their offspring are purebred. Conformation only makes showing possible. There are other factors affecting showing---if a show dog looses a tooth, for instance, it's show ring days are over.

Mixed breeds have parents that are not of the same breed---example---a purebred poodle and a labrador produce a mixed breed that is highly desirable as a pet(Labradoodle) but is a mixed breed dog.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 11:40AM
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Are you asking if a purebred dog can have such a major fault that you can't call it a purebred dog anymore? That can't happen. Either it's a purebred dog or it isn't. You can't make a purebred dog into a mutt no matter how awful the confirmation is.

You can guess that your Neo is a purebred Neo, but without registration papers denoting both parents were purebred Neos there is no proof. Which doesn't matter much because unless the dogs are registered they can't participate in any AKC confirmation competitions anyway.

The definition of a major fault is breed-specific. You can find the breed standards on the AKC website, along with any characteristics that are major faults.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 12:27PM
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No, my question is not being understood.

I know what it means to be a purebred. I'm talking about if the dog is not papered -

Forget it - i can tell that this forum is not the right place for this question.

But it's not "confirmation" - it's "con FOR mation" - because you're comparing your dog to the breed standard and trying to "conform" to the breed standard.

I need to ask this question somewhere else - thank you though.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:14PM
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I totally believe he is a purebred though his tail is a major fault. She's just not a "good quality" purebred.

For someone who doesn't seem to know whether their dog is a "he" or a "she", you are awfully critical of the people trying to help. Maybe the fault lies in the way you asked the question, not the knowledge of the people in this forum.

I don't believe that there is a "line" at which a dog is declared "not a purebred" because of a major fault. The term "major fault" is used only for assessing purebred dogs. Therefore, it does not define a way to say a dog is not a purebred. It simply assesses whether or dog a given PUREBRED dog fits the breed standard in an acceptable or unacceptable way.

On the other hand, there are many mixed breed dogs that look astonishingly like purebreds.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:41PM
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That was supposed to be "whether or NOT a given PUREBRED dog"..

You see, we all make mistakes while typing. Let's not jump all over people for "confirmation" vs. "conformation". Especially if you have any idea of the qualifications of the person in question.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 10:29PM
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Quote-----When it comes to "conformation variations" - when is something a "major fault" and when does the deviation denote that the dog is a mixed breed?
For example, i have a Neo that i got at the dog pound. I totally believe he is a purebred though his tail is a major fault. She's just not a "good quality" purebred. Unquote

A dog is a mixed breed when both parents are not of the same breed. Very simple.

You said NOTHING about papers.

A purebred dog with no papers is simply an unregistered purebred. A pure bred dog with papers that is not registered is still an unregistered purebred.

You have a dog you 'think' is a purebred. You actually have no idea. You don't even know the gender of your dog.

Comformation is physical. Has nothing to do with whether a dog is purebred, papered, registered, or a mixed breed. Any registered(by the AKC) dog can be shown in an AKC show. Whether the dog places or not depends on several factors---of which conformation is only one part. Temperment, injuries(that missing tooth) ring attitude, and color all are parts of what is required to be a winning show dog.

The malformed tail on your dog would be a major fault in a show ring. However, without being papered and registered, showing in an AKC show is out of the question. Breeding is also out of the question---no papers nor registration.

What you have is a dog with a bent tail. Hopefully one with a good temperment and disposition.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:41AM
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What are "conformation variations"? There are degrees of conformation to the standard, and in some breeds a range of acceptable markings or coat type. But the term "conformation variation" is new to me.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 5:22AM
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Luvdogs, I would not be suprised at all if it were a purebred - 40% of all dogs in shelters are purebreds. Whether or not the dog has a fault so far from conformation that he would be considered not a purebred, I can't say. Say for example the fault made the dog unrecognizable as a particular breed because of some deformity.

Now without papers, if I recall (and I'm not gonna go look it up), you can obtain recognition of your dog as a particular breed through a local AKC breed club). Why would you want to do this some might ask? I have an aussie with no papers. He is neutered and came from the local shelter I was working at. AKC has several classes of competition including Conformation, Obedience, and Agility. A neutered animal may not compete in AKC Conformation. A mixed breed dog may not compete in AKC Agility or Obedience.

A local AKC breed club (at least it use to be true for Aussies about 8 yrs ago), would recognize an aussie of questionable heritage (from a shelter for example),if a certain number (I think it use to be 2) of AKC folk in good standing and a vet would give testimony that the animal conformed enough to be the breed in question. At the time, I was gearing up for competition with Mocha. Unfortunately, we didn't complete the process due to his development of epilepsy around that time.

Another reason this could happen (though not this case I don't think since the animal is already homed), is that breed rescues get overwhelmed with calls. Obviously so do shelters, since 40% are purebreds. That means the rescue is phoned to come releive the shelter of a surrender. They get just as full as shelters, and thus have to be sure the animal they are obtaining is indeed the breed they accept. Otherwise, they are left with the same delimma the shelter is - which is adopting out mixed breed dogs.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 12:13PM
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No amount of faults can change a purebred to a mutt. If a dog has registered parents with AKC or CKC and the dog is registered with these registries as well he is purebred. He could have 3 legs ,ears going every which way missing most teeth etc etc. he would still be purebred. ( hopefully spayed or neutered.)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 12:47PM
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I get a laugh from the OP... they don't like or understand the responses so they posted the question in the wrong place.

A major fault doesn't change a dog's status from purebred to mixed breed.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 12:54PM
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I don't think the OP is asking about a purebred dog being considered a mixed breed because of a fault. I think OP is asking - if you have a dog that looks like a purebred but has a "major fault" according to the breed standard, are there certain "major faults" that would indicate that the dog is not in fact a purebred.

cindyandmocha, yes it is still possible to obtain an ILP number for an unregistered dog if it looks sufficiently like a breed. As you said, that makes the dog eligible to compete in events such as agility and obedience.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:33PM
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If you are trying to determine if the dog is a pure breed, there are DNA tests for dogs. Basically swab the cheek and send in your money. Just be sure the dog breed in question is actually one they do recognise.

And it is interesting that you can still get a dog registered without the dog's lineage. I always assumed if you don't know the bloodline you can't get any animal papered. It's always very informative to read posts from various people.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 8:28PM
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There are many purebred dogs in shelters but not all purebreds are a result of a breeding program that is put forth to better the breed standard which is what a reputable breeder will do. By reputable I mean a breeder who breeds two dogs then enters those dogs in conformation to be shown against other dogs meant to better the standard of that breed. These are the people who enter their dogs in dog shows. A major fault is not a fault of the dog it is a fault against what the parent club of a particular breed determines what it's standard should be. For instance in my breed the Shiba Inu a major fault to consider would be a cream colored dog. Now this dog could be the pick of litter but due to coloring would not normally be shown. That doesn't mean that it can't be shown... they can... but are rarely given a second look by a judge though there have been creams that have won a group. It's all subjective as to what a judge is thinking. A major difference between a reputable breeding program and a breeder who "breeds purebreds" is the reputable breeder will not breed a dog twice once a fault gene is discovered in that dogs breed lines.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 12:35AM
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Thanks prarie and shboom.. yes, that was what I was trying to recall. My mocha for example is larger than the average aussie, but is actually at the top of the spectrum for a male (suprisingly to many many people that is 75 lbs and you rarely see a 75 lb aussie). In addition, he has a tail. Few and far between have seen the natural tail of an australian shepherd, but most are actually born WITH a tail. When the litter was at the shelter (I got him when he was a pup), he looked like the "odd guy out" in that litter. But when I started to do agility with him, most of my rescue contacts agreed that he was indeed an aussie, a red merle. He simply had a full tail.

We went to a show once not long after that, and I was stunned - I met a couple who stopped me and my "little mocha" (LOL AT LITTLE!), and they had a girl there who was competing who could have been his TWIN - except for that tail. They were so excited and thought I had simply chosen to keep him natural. Now obviously I was not going to dock an 8 wk old pup's tail (I think its normally done within 10 days of birth?), but there is a reason they do it - something to do with cattle gates if I remember correctly.

Prarie hit the nail on the head, it was the ILP number. You have to have a certain number of recognized members of your local akc club declare that yes, the uncertain parented animal is that particular breed. Then there were other points on the form that deal with conformation to the breed standard.

(by the way, its not relevant, but I think the aussie has one of the highest variances in a weight standard of most of the breeds -- from like 35 lbs to 75 lbs).

Shboom, in line with your point... yes, I think something like 7 out of 10 aussies are born with a tail, and the rest not, they are "natural bobs". However, the natural bob is considered a fault. A reputable breeder never breeds a bob to a bob, because it is considered to promote a fault in the breed (i.e. propensity for spinal trouble).

I'm quite sure I've made aussie breeders everywhere shudder due to my lack of actual facts or references, I'm simply remembering stuff from years ago. I got him when he was 8 wks (day I started work at that shelter when I was actually looking for a SHIBA INU!). He's nearly 9 yrs old now.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 2:08AM
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I wouldn't waste any money on that DNA test. There is a long thread on VIN about vets and staff sending their own dogs' swabs several times to the same or to different labs and getting different results. Hard to believe that one day your Rottie is a Rottie and the next he is a Golden retriever or whatever.

I guess I have to wonder why worry so much about the dog being a purebred or not. There was no mention of typical health issues for the breed, which I'd be VERY concerned about. But I guess other people have different priorities.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 9:21PM
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Well Meghane it's not surprising that the people doing the DNA tests aren't very accurate. Well hopefully, the tests still indicate that you have a dog and not a cat! LOL.

As far as certain people can state that a dog is purebred and get the dog papered is still amazing. I would assume that this only applies to dogs that have been fixed. Though even for a gelding, you still need bloodlines and paperwork.

The reason I am making that statement is I once had the cutest Yorkie. She looked perfect for her breed. Her older brother was a Chihuahua.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 12:27AM
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To the OP

It's capital I not "i have a Neo that i got at the dog pound"

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 12:35AM
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housefairy, the AKC does indeed require that dogs seeking PAL (Purebred Alternative Listing - which used to be called Indefinite Listing Privilege)be spayed or neutered.

PAL'ed dogs can compete in all AKC events barring conformation.

PAL registration is quite easy - send in 2 pictures of the dog (head and full body), spay/neuter certification and a fee of $35 - I PAL'ed my (obtained from breed rescue)German Short-hair so that we can compete in AKC field events

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:56AM
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