Posted : 3/27/2008 9:01:55 PM
In my breed, if the lines are carefully bred, there can be a finer line between show/field lines in reagards to conformation. There are several differences however, and even the best bred dual purpose or field lines show some marked differences. Generally, there is moer "fill" to the muzzle in show lines, along with shorter backs, and tighter feet. The show breeders actually have it right with the feet, because that nice compact foot is more of an asset to a working dog than the hare feet often seen in field lines ... sometimes my hounds get bloodied feet after running all day, but you don't see that when the foot is tighter.
This is typical show breeding:
Note the particularly short back that slopes on the stack ... this particular bitch only has the sloping topline when she is posed in a stack, but it still does not make for good working conformation. She is a particularly well balanced hound for the under 13" variety, with good chest by show standards. Her legs are shorter than one would see in field lines, especially when breeding for foot speed but her bone is moderate. I've seen some weighed down with bone and with rottweiler-ish "fill" to the muzzle. She has far too much angulation to be conducive to endurance. But yet, she is a moderate bitch in terms of conformation.
These are some field bred hounds - LPO style:
And this is a field/show cross:
Note that in the field bred hounds, the backs are all longer - although the first bitch is considered too long backed even from the field perspective. Even so, that longer back is required for endurance, as is the less angulated hocks. You tend to get better movement at a trot (i.e. show paced gait) with the build of the show hound, but the other three are build for speed, ease of movement, endurance. One main difference is the spring of rib in the field breds - it's ok in the show bitch, but more would be desired for lengthy runs. The field breds may not look as "clean" or appealing to the eye, and their gait may not seem to "flow" at a show ring pace, yet this is exactly why I believe form does not follow function. The show bitch pictured here has very akward movement, especially in the front when running in the field. She cannot keep up with my pack and does not have the endurance they do. I have seen her get out of breath, because she needs more spring of rub. My field breds are a lightning fast speed and do not get sore after running all day. My field breds need slightly shorter backs and better feet.
The field/show cross bitch is about 3/4 field breeding (SPO) and goes back to show lines known for producing hunt. At a glance, she is typy, moderate, and seemingly well built enough for perhaps the UKC or ARHA showring/bench shows as well as the field. Her main fault is that she's out at the elbows and believe me, this effects her endurance! Note the angulation in the hocks, but it's still more moderate than the show bitch. She has excellent feet, short muzzle w/ just enough "fill" to be passable in the show ring. Spring of rib could be better. Her hunt is lukewarm, though :(
Below are some hounds that I bred for conformation/hunt that are 100% field bred:
This is a standing pic of the pup above:
You can see the line is much more blurred with field/show Beagles in regards to conformation, yet I have not seen a show/field cross or a show bred hound hunt like the best in my hunting pack. I have heard of some show/field crosses who were particularly hard hunting but did not pass this trait on consistantly. Case in point would be the uncle of the field/show cross I posted. Even with the lines blurred as they are, getting the best of both worlds is unimaginably difficult.