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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been involved with the equestrian community since I was a child, owning and observing different horses over the years as training projects. I wouldn't say I am an expert on horse conformation, but as with anything over time you develop an "eye" for what you're looking for. I have always been interested in dog conformation, but perhaps gave up early on in my endeavours because to me it seemed conformation evaluations in dogs was strictly adhered to the breed standard. Standards exist for a reason, but the horse person in me views conformation as an evaluation for potential performance, soundness, and suitability in an animal for a specific line of duty. Of course a breed standard specimen in the case of our dogs would have the best chances of leading a productive working life, but how many times do we see animals that are less than desirable rewarded in the name of a flashy trend? It is quite prevalent in the horse world as well.

So my real curiosity is, to those that are the go-to's of the APBT, what do you look for when evaluating conformation in a dog? Do you look for the same characteristics for a potential Schutzhund dog as you would for agility? Or any other working sport? Or is there no difference, and simply a APBT that fits the standard has the best chances of succeeding at anything? I may have just answered my own question, but would still love to hear others insight. :)
 

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just like everything else youll get opinions from 1 end of the scale to the other. even the go-to people here have a difference of opinion-some dont like just show dogs, they have to function properly and some here like show dogs and feel thats good enough
 

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just wanna bump this up so I can read and comment at a later date when I don't have to get off here so quick!lol Carry on!
 

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Since the "true" APBT is bred to perform you tend to see some dogs slightly off on confo but because they are able to "get the job done" they do not get culled...nor should they imo.

Now there are plenty of dogs that have great confo and are bred to work (a lot of them on this forum)

Check out this thread http://www.gopitbull.com/general-discussion/28792-examples-structure-faults.html

Most of the time if the dog excells in performance its conformation is good in order to function effectively...however, remember that the ultimate source of that function cannot be measured in shows...but is measured in heart, drive and determination aka gameness!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses =) (though I am still looking forward to hearing from dixieland!) I have read and gone over the sticky about conformational structure and faults, as well as reading and observing what I can from apbtconformation.com... they are quite helpful resources! In my experience with horses I know more than anything that conformation definitely does not make an animal, good or bad. I am a staunt believer that function over form is paramount, doubly so in breeding stock. I was mostly curious if dog people evaluate conformation and apply the strenghts/faults towards potential suitability for a specific work, rather than just strictly adhering to the written standard. If so, what are the most important aspects? What would be a deal killer?
 

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FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION....

That being said, the APBT should be the total package - good working drive, proper structure, good health, confidence, personality etc... That is what I expect and nothing less. Not everyone expects that much or even evaluates a pup at all from what I've seen. I say that because I've noticed a lot picking pups just off of colors, markings etc... Just an observation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION....

That being said, the APBT should be the total package - good working drive, proper structure, good health, confidence, personality etc... That is what I expect and nothing less. Not everyone expects that much or even evaluates a pup at all from what I've seen. I say that because I've noticed a lot picking pups just off of colors, markings etc... Just an observation.
This is very true. By "form" I meant simply appearance, though I agree it wasn't the best word to use.
 

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Form does follow function there are many working breeds need strictly on working ability and are still recognized to be of the same breed.

Though this doesn't mean dogs are bred only id they have good form nor that dogs with poor structure don't function.

I'm less concerned with conformation exact standard form and more concerned with the solid structure.

Somethings I don't like to see are short muzzle, shallow chest, subluxation of the carpus, bowed legs to name a few.
 

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everyone has certains things they look for; its diff for everyone. I prefer to see a strong backend with a nice stifle but not to much stifle. I worry about the apbt developing too much stifle like the rottweiler. Tight paws, strong back and clear eyes. Dark colored dogs tend to catch my eye more as well. And of course thier attitude, confidense, and willingness also comes into play
 

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This is the reason i choose to show dogs in the ADBa the conformation standard was made by dog men. Based on the performance. Every part of the of the dogs body was picked apart and placed in the standard for the best performance aspects. So when i look at a dog i want it to have a light and springy back end. And a strong front end, like the dog to be square, not to long not to tall. Personal preference I can not stand a dog with a bad bite or a straight stifle, high back end.
 

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Schutzhund Dog tend to have a higher pray drive then what you would need for Agility. Now why not just find the best dog possible and do both sports. A good sound working bull dog would excel at both.
 

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Form does follow function there are many working breeds need strictly on working ability and are still recognized to be of the same breed.
this breed is 1 of those.

atomic, if you want to show the apbt in this day and age i would do this-pick a bloodline that you think looks the best and stick with it. keep it tightly line bred.
 

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this breed is 1 of those.

atomic, if you want to show the apbt in this day and age i would do this-pick a bloodline that you think looks the best and stick with it. keep it tightly line bred.
I would some what disagree. pick the blood line you think looks the best and blend it with the blood line you think is the best it is always good not to stay t tight or else you start producing faults from the blood being to tight. the best thing is to find different strains of the same blood, or two different lines that complement each other.
 

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This is very true. By "form" I meant simply appearance, though I agree it wasn't the best word to use.
Your wording was fine... I'll explain better. The standard reflects form vs function if you pull it apart and understand it. Each part of it is set up for a reason, examples having proper shoulder and rear angulation as well as good turn in stifle allows for proper reach, drive and speed in their overall movement. A dog lacking in any of those areas will not move as efficiently. So those who discount conformation when looking for a good working dog often get a dog who may mentally have what it takes, but who will physically break down faster and not be as able to perform in a sport like agility, and be more prone to injuries.
 
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