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Working Breeds VS Show Breeds - what's the difference?

Working breeds and show breeds refer to distinct categories of dogs, each with its own set of characteristics and purposes. The primary differences lie in their intended functions, physical traits, and often their temperaments.

Working Breeds

Function Purposeful Jobs: Working breeds are typically bred for specific jobs or tasks. These tasks can include herding, guarding, pulling sleds, hunting, or performing other functions that assist humans.

Physical Traits Functional Build: Working dogs often have a more utilitarian build, emphasising strength, endurance, agility, and specific traits that are beneficial for their designated tasks. Varied Coat Types: The coat types of working breeds vary based on the environmental conditions they work in. Some may have dense coats for cold climates, while others have short coats for warmer environments. Some working breed standard grooms style hair in a purposeful way that offers particular protection in specific areas dependent on the task for example eyes, hips, vital organs and so on.

Temperament Intelligence and Trainability: Working breeds are usually highly intelligent and trainable, as their tasks often require problem-solving skills and the ability to follow commands. Independent: Some working breeds may exhibit independence, a trait that can be advantageous in situations where they need to make decisions on their own.

Show Breeds

Appearance Conformation Standards: Show dogs are judged based on conformation standards set by kennel clubs. These standards specify the ideal physical characteristics for each breed, including size, coat colour, ear shape, tail carriage, and more.

Emphasis on Aesthetics: Show dogs are often bred with a focus on maintaining and enhancing specific visual traits that conform to the breed standard.

Physical Traits Aesthetic Features: Show breeds may have physical characteristics that are valued in the show ring but may not have a functional purpose in terms of work or utility for example the sometimes vast difference in ears between working and show cocker spaniels.

Grooming Requirements: Some show breeds have grooming needs that may be more elaborate compared to working breeds, however there is sometimes a fine crossover of the two. For example the Standard Poodle breed standard cut; while this is an elaborate and seemingly heavily aesthetic focus, the exaggerated contrast between close shave and bouffant actually draws its style from their original working purposes as water dogs!


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