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Does The Shape Of A Dog Affect Its Performance?

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You only have to look at human athletes to see , shape/build matters , distance runners are invariably similar in shape /conformation the same applies to sprinters , middle distance runners , shot putters , long jump , high jump etc , even the all rounders , ( the lurchers of the athletic world ) the decathletes have a distinctive build , a mix of speed ,power and balance , so yes build matters , there are other attributes a good dog must have , and build/shape is only one link in the chain , but it does matter .

Ofcourse it matters or we would all be just using collies :laugh: always exceptions to the rule, look at the horse sea biscuit. I know plenty of dogs you wouldn't give a second glance but do the business. Cos something looks like its good isnt always the case. You could dress 10 fit looking guys in football strips, line them up with a professional and be hard pushed to pick out the player, until a ball gets kicked ;) what has that to do with confirmation you might ask, f**k knows :laugh:


never seen a fat Ethiopian marathon runner or a skinny Russian lady shot-putter :angel:


Never seen a fat Ethiopian ...full stop

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As Juliana Berners said waaaaay back in 1486. . . .   A running dog should have. . . .   "A head like a snake, A neck like a drake, A back like a beam, The sides of a bream, Be footed like a c

Q Does The Shape Of A Dog Affect Its Performance?   A YES……………….

Agreed. If the dog is powered correctly both front and back it will not only be able to work better, but also stand a better chance of going through life without the muscle and tendon injuries so ofte

Now this is realy interesting for me.


Trev had a head like a fridge-freezer, was pretty quick, good at turning etc but boy could he bite down if he wanted.


Now I'm looking for a new dog and was wondering about this. Obviously when it comes to a terrier, a snipey jawed cur just doesn't cut it for most and I remember watching a program where the bite force of a dog was measured and they found that a 10% increase in skull sized gave on average 30% more bite force..


Will a snake headed lurcher have a strong enough bite force for pulling and holding larger game??


For rabbits and hare I can't see a difference in performance, but if the dog has hold of a pissed off deer, going sick to get loose the jaw stregth is going to play a huge part in keeping the bambi fecker put :laugh:


Look forward to hearing from the guys who have experience of this preban ;)


DISCLAIMER; This is in relation to legal deer hunting with dogs here in SPAIN before anybody starts :laugh:

So nobody has an answer to this???

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I think a few people get mixed up between Conformation (the way a animal is built) and Beauty (the way it looks) No doubt a well built animal looks good but its not about that is it??
I keep reading " I don't care how it looks as long as it catches" kind of comment which I agree with BUT if a dog is not built right especially in shoulders, feet etc , it will come unstuck eventually.

A example is that a dog with say 'weak shoulders' maybe be great for a few years of work catch fecking loads of quarry as it has youth on its side, but eventually that dog will suffer as it gets older, much sooner than a dog with a good lay of shoulder.

I would say good conformation is more to do with producing healthy animals which have a longer working life than anything to do with beauty. :yes: :yes: Nothing fancy just a good balanced animal with no extreme exaggerations. :thumbs:

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i agree with the 'handsome is as handsome does' , 'looks don't matter as long as its good at its job' and 'looks don't kill' and its obvious certain mutts have the temperament, attitude and heart etc but ........how much better would they be if they had better conformation?

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i think pauls said, its about balance, and i think he's right.Both my dog's catch well both have good strike+agilty, i think my pup Buck looks more so now just like a bigger version of Bryn in physique i think, there both strong looking dogs but not over racey.?

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some interesting ponts on this topic.


i agree that there are some very good dogs which aren't desperately beautiful out there, and i've seen undershot jaws, cow hocks etc on dogs which were killing machines, but there are certain features which i think are evidently important. i never saw a good worker for example with very upright shoulders, or hocks too straight. i think that the more you study conformation, the more you come to realise just why certain features are considered important. of course to consider conformation and movement can only give you a part of the whole picture of a dog, and there are other qualities which you cannot judge unless you see a dog work but conformation is important to a degree

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