BREED STANDARDS Dog experts consider breed standards the single best guide to understanding what is correct structure and correct movement. Standards are designed to reflect not only a breed’s appearance and architecture but also their purpose, function and temperament. Breed standards are not checkbox lists of requirements, but rather a description, giving a detailed “word picture” of the ideal dog. They are written statements that describe the desirable and undesirable attributes of each breed.
Due to the great variability between breeds, there is no one standard that fits all breeds. What is good conformation for a terrier may not be good conformation for a working dog. Differences occurring between breed standards can be related to the variations found in a breed’s function and purpose. For example, those that herd and hunt must travel over long distances. Their length of leg will not be the same as those whose function and purpose requires speed. While there are many differences between breeds and individual dogs, there are also common factors that link them together. For example, all breeds have an excellent sense of smell and hearing and have the same number of bones which are tied together by the same number of muscles, tendons and ligaments.
The ways in which they are connected and positioned determines the architecture of a breed. Factors that separate one breed from another are found in their country of origin, history, and purposes for which the breed was developed. Collectively these factors influence the size, shape, weight, length of bone, coat and color of a breed. - DR. BATTAGLIA